Curry County on course for mental health service crisis

Curry County in far southwest Oregon has given up attempting to manage its public health, addiction health, mental health and developmental disability departments. Commissioners are seeking a independent nonprofit organization to manage the state contracts currently managed by the Public Health Department and Mental Health Departments.  Several other Oregon counties are in similar distress, including Lane, Josephine, Klamath, Coos, Douglas, Polk and Coos.

No prospective vendors for these services have been publicly acknowledged. The State of Oregon’s office of Addictions and Mental Health does not provide county-based service contract oversight.

County OKs tentative health budget – Curry County Pilot 4/17/2012

The Curry County Budget Committee has approved a tentative budget for the Health and Human Services Department, which the county hopes will not be used.

“The budget for Health and Human Services Department is a space holder,” Jan Kaplan, director of the department, told the committee last week.

The county plans to spin off the department to a nonprofit agency, hopefully by July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

“We may not make that date,” Kaplan said. “But our future budget changes depending on the organization we become part of.”

Commissioners consider closing Curry health – Coos Bay World 4/1/2012

Commissioners told Health Department Administrator Barbara Floyd the news last Monday, when it was her turn to present her department’s plan at a budget meeting.

“I had no idea the commissioners were entertaining this idea,” said Floyd, who has managed the department for 13 years.

Floyd believes that no matter how the issue ultimately is resolved, residents will receive fewer health services.

“People need to know what is going on,” Floyd said Thursday. “This is about every single person who lives in this county.”

Curry County Rejects State Plan For Financial Stability – OPB.org, 4/19/2012

Curry County Commissioners have rejected the state’s plan to help put the county on a path to fiscal stability. The Commissioners say they can’t support spending $75,000 to pay for the committee that would work out a restructuring plan.

County Chair David Itzen says Commissioners aren’t denying the urgency of the situation. Round after round of layoffs have gutted basic services like public safety and the health department.