Helen M. Thomson, a registered nurse, has served in a number of elective offices: the Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors, and the 8th District of the California State Assembly.
As a California Legislator, she chaired the Assembly Health Committee, and the Assembly Select Committee on Mental Health. She served on the leadership teams of four Speakers, as Majority Floor Whip and Assistant Speaker Pro Tem. Thomson authored 81 bills signed into law by both Democratic and Republican Governors. She led legislative efforts to end discrimination against those who suffer from mental illness. AB 88, the mental health “parity” ended historic discrimination in insurance benefits for those who suffer from mental illness. End of life care, pain management, narcotic prescriptions, traumatic brain injury, and nursing education were all successfully legislated. AB 1421, “Laura’s Law”, established a court-ordered program of assisted outpatient treatment, currently being implemented in counties throughout counties in California.
As a Yolo County Supervisor she continued to provide leadership on many issues. She served as Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Chair of the First 5 Commission for Children and Families, Chair of the Future of the Safety Net Collaboration, Chair of the Children’s Alliance of Yolo County, Chair of the Yolo Natural Heritage Program, and as Chair of SACOG (Sacramento Area Council of Governments). She was a member of the California Words to Deeds leadership group working to end the criminalization of the mentally ill. She also served on the California Coalition for Compassionate Care as the Chair of the POLST Task Force.
Helen M. Thomson retired at the end of her term in December 2010. She continues her community service as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at U.C. Davis, as the public member of the Yolo Housing Commission, and is a member of the Sutter Health Valley Area Board of Directors where she is a member of the Boards’ Executive Committee, member of the Patient Safety and Quality Committee, and chairs the Medical Affairs Committee.
She lives in Davis with her husband Captane P. Thomson MD.