Thursday, March 1, 2012
Region IV helps with court-ordered care
By SUE WATSON
When a family has a member who has mental health and chemical dependency issues but refuses help, families often turn to Chancery Court to seek an order to send the loved one to a rehabilitation facility.
Until recently, many of these patients were held in jail while awaiting a room at an inpatient facility.
But that is changing, according to chancery clerk Chuck Thomas, who said Region IV Mental Health Facility in Tupelo has helped this county so most patients do not have to languish in jail while awaiting a room at an inpatient facility.
“We were holding mental patients in jail at one time, but we are now sending them to Region IV,” he said. “We have had no clients turned down.
“It is a plus for everyone who has a mental patient in their family,” Thomas said.
Families do not have to be indigent to get this service. The program gives a patient inpatient care while they are being detoxed or their mental condition is stabilized. It is a tool where patients can get help with mental conditions or addiction. The programs offer short-term intervention. Outpatient follow-up care is available in Holly Springs at Communicare.
“Chancery court handles about 50 cases a year where the patient is ordered to get inpatient treatment,” Thomas said.
In health department matters, Dr. Roma Taylor, district health officer with the State Department of Health office in Tupelo, visited the board of supervisors. She asked the board to appoint her as county health officer for legal reasons.
Taylor thanked supervisors for their support of the health department, explaining that state money is tight and reserve funds are down since former Gov. Haley Barbour instituted agency budget cuts in 2011. Taylor said she expects another round of budget cuts this year but hopes the Health Department can maintain core services such as safe drinking water standards, the WIC nutrition program, family planning services, etc. Taylor said cuts to Medicaid reimbursements are one way her agency lost lots of funding.
“This district, District 2, was one in the state generously benefitting,” she said.
Taylor asked that supervisors wash the exterior of the local health department building and spray for bugs at the Health Department. She was accompanied by chief nurse Sheila Walton with the local department.
Next, supervisors discussed letters of credit used to guarantee that developers of new subdivisions will keep their promises on roads they build. The county takes over the subdivision roads after they have been built by developers. Some developers have provided performance bonds while the county had also accepted letters of credit as proof of ability to complete projects.
However, in strained economic times, some subdivision developers have abandoned their projects because of inability to sell lots.
A few developers have laid the first inch and a half of asphalt, then have abandoned subdivision road completion. County regulations require the developer to put down the first inch and a half of asphalt when they begin development and the second inch and a half in two years or after 70 percent of the lots have sold.
But as some developers fail to meet their promises, the county has been left holding the bag, so to speak. Homeowners expect their subdivision roads to be kept up by the county before the county has assumed the road.
This has caused supervisors concern and they are tracking performance bond and letter of credit due dates. If the subdivision roads are not completed, a developer is required to renew his bond.
Three developers have letters of credit that are about to expire and the board of supervisors is seeking to solve the problem by not allowing any more letters of credit.
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