Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, many new provisions of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act will be implemented. What will these new provisions really mean for us in Santa Barbara County?

Residents and community partners are invited to a free forum that will address this question from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23 at the Goleta Union School District.

The new provisions in the Affordable Care Act will bring big changes related to health-care coverage and health-care services. The forum will address the changes ahead, how they will impact us, the choices individuals can make and what we can all do to get ready.

The Health Care Forum is sponsored by Santa Barbara County Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and CenCal Health. Bob Freeman, executive director of CenCal Health, and Dr. Takashi Wada, public health director and health officer, will be featured speakers at the forum.

“There is nothing more important than good health,” Wolf said. “I urge all residents to attend the forum, increase their understanding of new options for health-care coverage and take personal initiative to prepare for what is ahead.”

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.