Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cook County Human Services Board Meeting

Cook County Human Services Board

Present for the Cook County Human Services Board were Diane Fitzgerald, Jan Hall, Bruce Martinson, Fritz Sobanja, Jim Johnson and Sue Hakes.  Carla LaPointe was absent due to illness.  Also present were Sue Futterer, Jan Parish, Anna Jorgenson, Grace Bushard and Janet Simonen.

After approval of the agenda and May 17 Meeting Minutes, Committee Reports were given on Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) by Sue Hakes and Health Care Planning Committee by Jim Johnson.  Of particular interest to Cook County is a $10,000 grant submission by AEOA specifically for further exploration of the need for affordable housing in Cook County.

Adult Mental Health Needs Assessment Results and AMHI Update
Grace Bushard gave the Human Services Board an overview of a Mental Health Services Assessment in Region 3 dated December 2010.  Strengths and Weakness in services were specifically identified, as well as ideas for improvements.  Bushard also discussed a "Crisis Stabilization Virtual Response Model" specifically for supporting persons in a mental health crisis. This model is designed to support persons that don't require emergency mental health hospitalization, but offers a plan to respond locally with mental health responders using Bridge House (Duluth) for coordination.  Phase B of this plan would include the use of Certified Peer Specialists.

Bushard's report is a continuation of the Human Services Department to focus on one area of the service they provide and present it to the Human Services Board.  These overviews are valuable in understanding the challenges and the work of the Public Health and Human Services Department as they work to meet local needs.

June 2011 Financial Report and AMHI Funds 
Jan Parish reported on the overall budget noting that the PHHS Department will be impacted by the potential State Government shutdown.  Parish said the Department has a plan in place, but there are many unknowns at this point. 
Parish also complemented Bushard's overview of the Adult Mental Health Initiative by giving an overview of the funding and fiscal organization of the program.  Cook County does employ a AMH Case Manager that is 100% reimbursed by earnings from Mental Health Targeted Case Management.  Cook County is also part of the Region III AMHI in which Lake County is the fiscal agent.  Under this initiative, Cook Conty is able to offer multiple client services and programs including crisis intervention and stabilization, emergency response, housing subsidy, suicide prevention, staff trainings, etc.

Director's Report
Director Sue Futterer reported on the potential State Government Shutdown.  Futterer shared copies of the letters that were sent to clients and providers that will likely be affected and the State's Recommended Priority One and Priority Two Critical Services.  Our County PHHS Department is working hard to minimize any negative impact to clients and providers.  If you have questions about services, feel free to contact Cook County Human Services Department at 387-3620.

Futterer and Parish gave an update on Edocs and Caseworks (two potential vendors for providing software services for the on-going Redesign efforts within MN Counties), the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Master Contract, and NACo Prescription Drug Discount Card Usage.