The Four County ADAMhs Board approved spending up to $180,000 to provide preventive health services, including routine screenings, in area schools at its Feb. 8 meeting.
The services will be provided by Health Partners of Western Ohio, a federally qualified health center provider that has been an ADAMhs Board provide for several years. Health Partners provides integrated physical and behavioral health, dental and pharmacy services through its Bryan and Defiance Community Health Centers.
“This is a natural progression of what the board is already doing,” Les McCaslin, the board’s CEO, said. “Ultimately, just as our current contract with Health Partners has saved the board tens of thousands of dollars annually in medication costs, I expect the mini-health clinics that will be offered to area schools will also save the board money.”
As an example, he explained that the board had recently funded services for an adolescent client who appeared to have behavioral health issues that were creating problems for multiple systems. However, when a complete physical assessment was done and the client was treated for extreme hypertension, the behavioral issues were minimized and expensive behavioral health treatments, including hospitalization, were no longer needed.
As part of the $180,000 contract, Health Partners will also begin to provide alternative therapies for pain management for clients who have legitimate pain issues, but who are also battling addictions to pain medications.
The additional funding covers an 18-month period – Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
McCaslin reported on the number of overdose (both drug and alcohol) and suicide deaths in the four county area in 2016 and 2017. Based on confirmed health department reports, overdose deaths totaled 30 in 2016 and 8 in 2017 while the official number of suicide deaths totaled 23 in 2016 and 21 in 2017. However, Tonie Long, the director of quality improvement for the ADAMhs Board, added that last year’s suicide deaths will probably be about 26 once the official reports are completed.
Long is also the director of the Four County L.O.S.S. (Local Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) team. She reported that two mini-grant applications have been submitted to the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation to support the L.O.S.S. team and to purchase resource materials for distribution to survivor families.
Last year, the team responded to 17 calls requested by law enforcement when a suicide was suspected.
Over the coming weeks, Long expects to distribute 2,400 targets to area gun dealers. The national suicide prevention lifeline number is printed on the targets.
McCaslin updated the board on the closing later this year of an ADAMhs Board funded agency — Family Service of Northwest Ohio, which operates Four County Family Center and Comprehensive Crisis Care. He said the agency will close by the end of the fiscal year (June 30).
Well before closing, the agency will help its current clients transition to another service provider of the client’s choosing. McCaslin said that Four County Family Center will make the initial appointment with the new provider and transfer client medical records before Family Service closes.
He also said that the board will make sure that the 24 hour crisis hotline and mental health crisis assessments continue without interruption as well as the 2-1-1 information and referral service that Comprehensive Crisis Care has operated.
McCaslin said that many of the services provided by Comprehensive Crisis Care will be transfered to A Renewed Mind Behavioral Health, another ADAMhs-funded agency.
“While the agency is closing, the services will continue to be provided,” McCaslin said.
Following an executive session at the end of the board meeting, McCaslin was authorized to negotiate, in the board’s best interest, the possible purchase of the Comprehensive Crisis Care building owned by Family Service of Northwest Ohio that is located at 600 Freedom Drive in Napoleon.
In other action, the board approved $2,000 expenditures for each of the four Family and Children First Councils. The money is to be used to help cover administrative costs.
The board also approved up to $11,000 for Maumee Valley Guidance Center for the cost of a group home placement.