Douglas County Commission to consider providing $100,000 for psychiatric residency program
County leaders will soon consider repurposing $100,000 in behavioral health funding toward a residency rotation program that will bring four psychiatric resident physicians to the community mental health center.
As part of its meeting Wednesday, the Douglas County Commission will consider repurposing up to $100,000 in psychiatric infrastructure supplemental funds to support a partnership between Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and the University of Kansas Medical Center to host a psychiatric resident clinical rotation in Douglas County.
Bob Tryanski, behavioral health projects director for the county, is recommending the county approve the funding for the program, which will be repurposed from a previously funded position that was not filled amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo to the commission. The residency program will host four psychiatric resident physicians, which Tryanski said is a cost-effective project.
“This partnership with KU’s psychiatry program will be a cost-effective means to meet both short- and long-term goals in providing the community with greater access to psychiatric care,” Tryanski said in the memo.
If approved, the partnership would be between Douglas County, Bert Nash and the University of Kansas Medical Center. The four psychiatric resident physicians, in their third or fourth year of training, will each work one day per week to provide psychiatric evaluation and treatment of patients as part of a clinical rotation in community mental health. The program would start in July of this year and continue into 2022.
The funding for the first year of the program would come from unspent funds that had been previously allocated for a psychiatrist at Heartland Community Health Center. The memo states that Heartland had a successful hiring process in October 2020, but the applicant withdrew their contract in January. A long-term funding source for the resident rotation has yet to be identified. The memo states the Behavioral Health Leadership Coalition partners and the Psychiatric Infrastructure work group endorse the repurposing of the funds to support the residency project.
In other business, as part of the commission’s study session, the Mobile Access work group will present a proposal to fund a pilot of a mobile mental health crisis team using the behavioral health sales tax that voters approved in 2018. The work group was set up as part of the project to improve crisis services in Douglas County, and it has three goals: provide care coordination post-crisis; create a model to coordinate crisis calls; and pilot the use of mobile crisis services. The proposal relates to the latter goal, according to a county memo. The memo does not state how much funding the pilot proposal would need.
The County Commission will convene at 4 p.m. Wednesday for its study session and 5:30 p.m. for its regular business meeting at the county courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. Residents can participate in the meeting in person or virtually, and a link for the public to watch live online is available on the county’s website, douglascountyks.org. Residents may also call in and listen by phone by dialing 1-312-626-6799 and entering meeting ID 954 5982 2038.