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Temecula Valley Hospital awarded $1 million grant from city of Temecula toward mental health

TEMECULA – Temecula Valley Hospital was recently awarded a grant by the city of Temecula totaling $1 million toward mental health. The funding agreement, signed and executed by City Manager Aaron Adams, was based on the city council’s direction in late 2022 to grant the hospital $1 million from the community reinvestment grant program.

The city council established the program to provide grants to organizations providing behavioral health and social services to persons living or working in Temecula.

“This funding will assist TVH in providing behavioral health services to assist at-risk veterans, active-duty military, first responders, youth and homeless individuals in need of behavioral or mental health services, that reside or work in the city of Temecula in furtherance of the health, safety and general welfare of the community,” Adams said.

Darlene Wetton, CEO of Temecula Valley Hospital, shared that she is honored to be a recipient of the grant funds.

“There is a significant shortage of available services to support the behavioral health needs of the community’s at-risk populations,” Wetton said. “Sadly, the Riverside University Health System – Public Health reports a suicide rate of 11.8 per 100,000 in Riverside County which can be compared to a 10.5 suicide rate per 100,000 in California between 2018 and 2020.

“The funds provided shall be used to build awareness through community education, and most importantly, introduce behavioral health programs that will be critical in servicing first responders, active-duty military and our honored veterans. This program, hosted at the hospital, will be led by trained social worker, Kelly Felton,” she said.

Felton is a licensed clinical social worker who earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Fort Hays State University. She is trained in crisis management and stabilization, conflict resolution, investigations, program development and has facilitated prevention and intervention community groups and worked in community outreach programs.

“I am excited and honored to embark on this incredible opportunity for our hospital, in partnership with the city of Temecula, to provide a much-needed, elevated level of care for our community,” Felton said.

Felton said she is committed and passionate about working toward equitable access to behavioral health services across all communities; utilizing best practices to make a positive impact and supporting and enhancing individual and community health.

For information on Temecula Valley Hospital’s proposed master facility expansion plan, visit

Submitted by Temecula Valley Hospital.


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