Johnson County officials approve an agreement to regionalize mental health care

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 5:00 AM

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Johnson County officials have decided to adopt an agreement that will regionalize mental health in Iowa.

At a Thursday morning meeting of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, the supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the agreement. The resolution was proposed by Supervisor Terrence Neuzil and seconded by Supervisor John Etheridge.

Supervisor Chairwoman Janelle Rettig was the only one to object to the resolution, saying she believes it will be bad for local residents.

“I’m very worried about how it could be detrimental to the people of Johnson County,” she said.
Now that the resolution has passed, Rettig said, she will try to make the best of this agreement.

The new plan will form regional hubs that will provide mental-health care. Each of these regions will pool resources from all of the member counties. These resources will be divided by a board consisting of one supervisor from each county that is part of the region.

As part of the resolution agreed to on Thursday, Johnson County will be represented by Supervisor Rod Sullivan. However, he wanted a provision added to the agreement that will allow Supervisor Pat Harney to represent the county if Sullivan is unable.

Johnson County will be part of a region including Benton County, Bremer County, Buchanan County, Delaware County, Dubuque County, Iowa County, Jones County, and Linn County.

This resolution follows discussion that took place at the supervisors’ meeting last week. Rettig expressed the same concerns at last week’s meeting.

This agreement has been in the works since February, when the supervisors first discussed it.

— by Daniel Seidl

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