Slightly more than $5.5 million for behavioral health-related contracts for the new fiscal year starting July 1 were approved April 14 by the Four County ADAMhs Board.
Contracts were approved for Maumee Valley Guidance Center; $1,557,550; Ohio Guidestone (formerly known as A Renewed Mind), $1,355,550; Recovery Services of Northwest Ohio, $950,000; Health Partners of Western Ohio, $540,000; and New Home Development Company, $490,500.
Also: The Center for Child and Family Advocacy, $175,000; the Williams County Health Department, $115,000 to support two education programs in all four counties– 4 Your Mental Health and an elementary nutrition program called “My Plate;” and drug-free coalitions in Swanton, Defiance County, Fulton County and Williams County, $25,000 each.
The board also approved a contract with Toledo attorney Carla Davis to represent the board at probate hearings at the rate of $135 an hour.
Additional contracts for the new fiscal year will be awarded in May and June.
The board agreed to provide $50,000 as the local match for a pilot grant that the Henry County Transportation Network plans to submit next month for an Ohio Department of Transportation grant to provide transportation for behavioral health clients in all four counties.
According to Rob Giesige, ADAMhs Board CEO, if the grant is approved it would provide transportation for behavioral health clients in any county needing to get to a medical appointment or some other basic need. However, the service is not expected to start before Jan. 1.
A contract for up to $50,000 with Ascend Innovations, a company based in the Dayton area, was approved. Giesige explained that the company would gather aggregate behavioral health information from a variety of sources to determine how many people receive behavioral health-related services or have a behavioral health-related encounter with law enforcement. Some of this data the board is currently unable to gather on its own.
The board would then use the aggregate data to determine if there were any behavioral health service or prevention gaps that need to be addressed.
Tonie Long, the board’s quality improvement director, reported that the number of youth crisis screens has increased significantly during the current year.
Specifically, during the first quarter, 56 screens were completed. The number increased to 129 screens during the second quarter, but dropped to 101 during the third quarter. In comparison, about 180 adult crisis screens are completed each quarter.
As part of his report to the board, Giesige announced that Patrick Henry Local Schools has received funding from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to support a two-year pilot program for a school-based behavioral health and wellness coordinator. The school district will receive $89,500 each year through the Four County ADAMhs Board to fund the position.
The ADAMhs Board and agencies funded by the board will work with the coordinator as district needs are identified.
According to the grant’s stated expectations, the coordinator will develop a plan that focuses on five elements:
– Promoting social and emotional learning and development,
– Promoting mental, emotional and behavioral health,
– Identifying and implementing prevention strategies and early interventions for behavioral health and substance use problems,
– Connecting family, schools and communities, and
– Creating safe, violence-free schools.
Giesige added that a pilot program that the board has supported this year at the Independence Educational Center has worked very well. That program provided a state-funded grant for the school to hire a navigator who helps staff and student families throughout the four county area link with existing community services.
The board also received updates on two behavioral health initiatives that will soon impact the area.
The national 9-8-8 Crisis Hotline is scheduled to start accepting calls on July 16.
Giesige reported that most of the rural northwest Ohio calls will be directed to a Lima-based call center. However, it has not yet been explained how those callers will be directed to the appropriate ADAMhs Board crisis hotline.
Finally, Giesige reported on the Ohio RISE (Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence) initiative that established regional centers throughout the state to serve Medicaid eligible youth who have complex multi-system needs, such as mental health and developmental disabilities, that cannot be met locally.
He explained that eight rural northwest Ohio counties (Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Williams, Putnam, Paulding, Van Wert and Mercer) have been paired with Lucas County and a provider based in Lucas County for services. The system is scheduled to become operational July 1; however, he said it isn’t clear how it will coordinate with local providers and systems.
The next board meeting will be held Thursday, May 12 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the board office on State Route 66 south of Archbold.