A new group to discuss mental health care options in Lawrence will have its first meeting this afternoon.
Members of the group formed by the Community Health Improvement Project will meet at 4 p.m. today in the ground-floor conference room of the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, 200 Maine.
Janelle Martin, executive director of CHIP, said the 16-member group was expected to discuss establishing a date for a public forum to receive comments on the issue of inpatient mental health care. The group was formed after Lawrence Memorial Hospital closed the last vestiges of its inpatient mental health unit.
Members of the new group are former state senator Mark Buhler who will serve as the group's facilitator; Vivian Caughey, Lawrence school district; Darryl Crape, community volunteer; Frank DeSalvo, Kansas University Counseling and Psychological Center; Marcia Epstein, Headquarters Counseling; Sarah Hastings, Baker University Counseling Center; Mayor Boog Highberger; County Commissioner Bob Johnson; Nancy Jorn, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department; Suzanne Lange, Haskell Health Center; Ken Massey, Douglas County sheriff; Debbie McQueeny, Christian Psychological Services; Alan Miller, community volunteer; Diana Robertson, KU Student Housing; the Rev. Verdell Taylor, CHIP leadership group; and Lori Winfrey, Health Care Access.