Polk County ends contract with mental health manager
Polk County supervisors on Tuesday terminated a 45-year contract with a nonprofit that oversees the county's mental health services.
What's happening: Polk County Health Services (PCHS) will cease its work with the county government by July 1, supervisors said Tuesday.
Why it matters: Thousands of residents with mental illness, intellectual or other development disabilities depend on services managed by PCHS.
- Governance and management replacement plans haven't been formed yet and the county's takeover could leave people with inadequate service, warned Matt McCoy, the only supervisor to vote against eliminating the contract.
Catch up fast: PCHS was created in 1976 by Polk supervisors. The group was tasked with development and oversight of a network of mental health services that today includes dozens of providers.
- Lawmakers last year shifted mental health funding to the state’s general fund, gradually eliminating county taxes for mental health services by the fiscal year that starts July 1.
By the numbers: PCHS had a budget of more than $3.1 million in the 2019 calendar year, according to its latest tax filings.
- Its top four paid positions had a combined compensation of almost $481,400.
What they're saying: County management will provide better oversight and input into the health care it provides to residents, Supervisors Chairperson Angela Connolly said during Tuesday's meeting.
- No service disruptions will occur as a result, Connolly said.
PCHS Board president Michael Dayton said in a statement that the group's future is unknown, but its members remain committed to serving the community.
What's next: A transition team will be formed in coming days.
- The Iowa Department of Human Services must still approve the plan to ensure it meets state service requirements.
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