Washington firm may aid in solving county's medical health dilemma
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Hillcrest Life Services of Washington may join with Henry County in order to provide mental health services to those in need.
Sarah Berndt, administrator for Central Point of Coordination (CPC), said, “As of right now, we have to send people to Fairfield for services. We don’t have the right resources here in town and some of these people aren’t making those appointments.” This is in reference to people who have court-appointed commitments to receive mental health care.
Berndt presented a solution to the board during Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. She said, “We have been trying to get Hillcrest Life Services to expand into Henry and Louisa County. I have a contract now, and we can make that happen.”
All Hillcrest Life Services will need in order to expand into Henry County would be locating a space to set up shop and start-up money. “We have money to give them the start-up money. We can use our emergency services fund, since we don’t have that service, and they can come to our office and we can share the space with them. They need three rooms and reception space. We will have to do some moving around, but we have the room,” Berndt said.
Berndt went on to say, “They would want to put a privacy glass window up, but they would pay for that. We would need to put a half-door in, and we would be responsible for that, but that can’t cost much. They (Hillcrest) are willing to pay a reasonable rent.” With Hillcrest a part of the county, those in need would have services available to them that they didn’t have before and more court appointed commitments would be made.
“Hillcrest would give us three days a week for therapy and one day for doctor time. We can route all court made appointments to one spot. We have it so we can make all court appointments to Hillcrest. It makes everything easier,” Berndt expressed to the board.
She then informed the board that, “It’s a requirement for the county to have this service available. I’m asking you to embrace this idea. I advocate strongly that we do this.”
Berndt then presented a rough copy of the contract that has been developed to the board. Greg Moeller, board member, looked over the contract and then Gary See, chairman of the board, suggested a visit to the CPC office on Tuesday in order to make a more sound decision about how Hillcrest would fit into the space. It was agreed upon, and the board will visit CPC Tuesday, at 10 a.m.
After the CPC discussion, See discussed his meeting with the Mt. Pleasant Area Development Commission. “Our commitment for the market research might go down. Winfield has expressed interest in the research, New London we know is on board, but we still don’t know about Wayland. There has been good interest by those involved and I think it will hold value for them,” See said.
He told the board that, “I think that even if Wayland does, or doesn’t, we will still probably do the whole county.” Final plans for the actual start date of this research have not been made as of now.
Moeller finished the meeting with a brief synopsis of his meeting with Healthy Henry County Communities, and he said, “the Transformation Grant money has been spent. HHCC bought new bike racks for Salem and even bought new flashing stop signs to put up. The committee also brainstormed ideas for new members and discussed how to get current members more active.”
HHCC will meet again on Tuesday Oct. 1, from 1-2:30 in the lower-level meeting room at the ISU Extension office.
The board’s next meeting is Tuesday at 9 a.m.