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Two doctors, two nurse practitioners hired at Humboldt County Mental Health

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EUREKA- Humboldt County Mental Health is ahead of schedule in resolving a staffing shortage brought to light in February.

On Tuesday the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved the appointment of Raja Dutta, M.D. as Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry. Dutta was recruited by Traditions Behavioral Health, a firm working with mental health to bolster staffing. The firm has also recruited a child and family psychology doctor. Along with those additions, the Department of Health and Human Services has hired two nurse practitioners for mental health.

The department says it it's nearing a full staff and the appointment of Dutta was a major step in enhancing operations at Sempervirens. The department is also working on recruitment strategies of its own.

"We don't want to solely rely on Traditions Behavioral Health," Humboldt County DHHS Director Phillip Crandall said. "So we're going to be going out looking at how we can get creative in terms of not just recruiting but retaining physicians. We're also looking at recruiting additional nursing staff and other medical extender staff."

The supervisors also approved an agreement with Nightingale Nurses to recruit a traveling nurse for the Mental Health Branch.