October 15, 2001 11:00 pm

By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

A list of recommendations for changes within the Center for Human Development will remain on the shelf, at least through October.

The Union County Health and Human Services Advisory Committee decided Monday to delay public discussion on an analysis of CHD prepared by Marion County Health Department Director Jeff Davis at the request of the Union County commissioners.

CHD is the corporation that delivers public and mental health services to Union County.

Only four of the seven advisory committee members attended Monday nights meeting. No decision was made about a time and place for further discussion of Davis report, but committee Chairwoman Nancy Anderson asked the members to read the report and be prepared to discuss it by the end of the month. All committee discussion is open to the public.

Committee member Jerry Buzzard suggested that no formal public hearing will be necessary.

I dont know how much more input the community wants, he said.

Davis, who summarized his evaluation of CHD in a letter, wrote, I did not find that the service system is bad. I did not find that any services harmed residents of Union County. I did find relationship issues among providers and perceptions generated by CHD missteps early in their transition to a non-profit agency.

Davis recommended that the health care providers in the county improve their cooperative efforts, and he suggested that a facilitator be hired to work with the providers.

County Commissioner Steve McClure said Monday that the advisory committee may want to appoint a facilitator.

Former advisory committee chairwoman Jean Rogers submitted a written comment in which she suggested that the committee help CHD improve our knowledge of the positive and communicate that knowledge.

I have felt several times that people from CHD did not want to share what they are doing and that lack of communication led to a lack of trust and looking for things that were wrong. Other people in the county feel the same way , she wrote.

In addition to providing health care, CHD is the public and mental health authority for Union County. There has been discussion about the importance of separating the two. Davis recommended that about 10 percent of CHD Director David Stills time be specifically set aside for health authority


He also wrote that as the public health authority, all of their (CHD) functions, budgets, etc., are open for public scrutiny (this is not to say that more openness isnt needed).

La Grande resident and former public health nurse Laurie Burelle submitted a written comment that stated she is disappointed in Mr. Davis review and report. She wrote that the report appeared to lack thoroughness, and she said she found Davis somewhat biased in his view of CHD services and felt that he was overeager to dismiss controversial views of CHD performance.

During his evaluation of CHD, Davis spent about three days with the agency and interviewed more than 50 people, inside and outside CHD.