The Douglas County Commission is scheduled to receive an update Wednesday on a new $400,000 behavioral health program it agreed to fund this year at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
At the meeting, Assistant Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky and Bob Tryanski, Douglas County director of behavioral health projects, will present a status report on the multiagency integrated crisis team now being put in place at LMH. Commissioners made $397,000 available this year to hire a multiagency team that is to provide intensive case management for patients admitted to the three behavioral health beds in the LMH emergency department.
Tryanski said the update would provide commissioners with an overview of how the team would be structured, the agencies involved and their responsibilities.
After the County Commission’s funding commitment, LMH helped the county’s investment go further with its decision to hire and compensate the integrated crisis team’s director for three years and provide a home for the team at a former ambulance station at the hospital.
Last month, LMH hired Derrick Hurst to serve as the team’s director. Hurst said he previously worked for 12 years as senior director of clinical services for KVC Hospitals, which provide acute psychiatric care units for children in Hays and Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City hospital also works with the state to provide crisis psychiatric care for adults.
Hurst said he was now interviewing candidates for the team's behavioral health crisis clinicians, who will provide 24-hour coverage in the three LMH emergency rooms set aside for behavioral health patients. Although Hurst will supervise the clinicians, they will be employees of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and compensated with part of the $397,000 of county funding.
Hurst said the number of clinicians would depend on how he decided to schedule shifts, but he has funding authority for 4.2 full-time employees.
The team will also include members from Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center, which will coordinate further drug and alcohol treatment for patients leaving LMH; Heartland Community Health Center; and DCCCA. Tryanski said DCCCA was already offering drug and alcohol detoxification treatment at LMH but more staff members would be hired for that function.
The County Commission will return from a recess of its 4 p.m. meeting at 6 p.m. to recognize students from the Baldwin City and Eudora school districts who participated last month in a Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge on the Baker University campus.
The Douglas County Commission meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. To view the complete agenda, visit douglascountyks.org.