Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Pioneer Center Tells Mental Health Board "Earn Our Trust"
"McHenry County doesn't have a large enough population to accommodate multiple providers," charged Pioneer Center CEO Patrick Maynard opposing a plan to send some of the Illinois Department of Human Services SASS mental health services for children and youth program to Rosecrance Health Network. Rosecrance is a Rockford non-profit that's taken over some other Family Services programs and its McHenry headquarters building as well.
Maynard said at MHB's urging Pioneer Center had added five new SASS staff to the seven it already had "to accommodate an impending rush of new clients," but MHB had changed horses in mid-stream and now planned to send some of the SASS business to Rosecrance. "This would be an incredible waste of time energy and resources," said Maynard.
"We trusted you," complained Pioneer Center Board Member Dick Draper. However, "barely three months after you asked us, you're about to approve another agency to open a SASS program."
MHB Executive Director Sandy Lewis said there was plenty of SASS work to go around, especially since there'd been a recent increase in requests for services. "If the perception for Pioneer Center at the time...was misconstrued as us always saying 'You're the sole provider', I apologize," Lewis said.
Maynard was unmollified. "At the time the crisis occurred the MHB offered us complete control," he said.
MHB member Brett Wisnauski attending via telephone observed the argument was really going on in an information vacuum. "Pioneer Center did step up and we're only three months into that. We don't know what the demand is yet. I would recommend we table this and watch Pioneer Center," he said. That's eventually what the Board agreed to do, postponing consideration of the Rosecrance contract until December.
In other action the MHB approved putting Crystal Lake's Advantage Group chemical dependency center on a list of possible providers for the coming year. TAG's Director had charged last month MHB was trying to shut down the agency. Board Attorney Frank Gosser said MHB left TAG off the list because "staff thought they were not going to apply."
In the pic: Critic Dick Draper from Pioneer Center told the McHenry County Mental Health Board scrapping a plan to send troubled kids and teens to another agency would be "a golden opportunity to earn our trust."