RCHSC announces major changes

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2006

AHOSKIE – Effective January 31, 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Human Services Center (RCHSC) will no longer be a provider of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Disability Services.

This will include all of its direct services such as outpatient, community support and medication management.

“We have worked very closely over the past several years to ensure that we can offer an array of services and choice of provider through our provider community,” said RCHSC Director Joy Futrell. “As we continue our final steps of transition to a local management entity (LME) as required by State legislative mandates, these services will be delivered through our private provider community.

Futrell said she and her staff were aware that all of the changes occurring in the Mental Health System may cause confusion and insecurity for many of its stakeholders. She stressed that RCHSC will remain a support for its consumers and continue to work closely with providers within the local communities as they continue to develop and strengthen.

As part of their LME functions, Futrell said RCHSC will continue to provide a 24/7 access line for consumers.

Any consumers or family members wishing to access mental health, developmental disability, or substance abuse services should call the toll free access line at 1-877-685-2415 or they can be reached locally at 332-4442.

The access line is answered 24/7 by licensed trained clinicians who are able to assess the individual’s situation and triage the consumer to an appropriate provider in our community.

Futrell said other changes were on the way.

Under the same legislative mandates, a merger is planned for July 1, 2007, which will include the Roanoke-Chowan area counties (Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton) merging with Pitt County Mental Health and Neuse Center.

Neuse currently manages services for consumers in Craven, Jones and Pamlico counties.

The eight counties will form a LME under the new name of East Carolina Behavioral Healthcare. A physical presence will be maintained in each of the three existing areas, including the current RCHSC office location at 144 Community College Road near Ahoskie.

“As an LME, we will continue to work with our community and valuable stakeholders to ensure all consumers with mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse needs are appropriately served throughout our four-county area,” Futrell noted. “We will be holding public meetings throughout the month of January to receive local input into our three-year strategic plan. We look forward to continuing to work in our community in our new role as a LME.”