CHD SEEKS BOOST IN COUNTY FUNDING

April 17, 2001 12:00 am

By Alice Perry Linker

Observer Staff Writer

The Center for Human Development is asking Union County to come up with more than $300,000 next year to help fund programs.

The county currently budgets $194,070 to support public health, alcohol and drug services and veterans programs administered by the private corporation.

Of the $300,873 requested, $75,620 is earmarked for a school-based health center at La Grande High School and a school nurse at La Grande Middle School.

CHD Executive Director David Still presented the budget Monday to the Union County Health and Human Services Advisory Committee, which agreed to write a letter of support to the county commissioners, who make the final decision on all county spending.

The advisory committee said the La Grande School District should support a portion of the in-school clinics and nurses, as the rural elementary schools do. The committee will write to the school district and request financial support. Most rural school districts allocate about $3,000 annually to the Health Network for Rural Schools for an in-school nurse.

Still said that the high schools health center had been partly funded from state money but is not included in the governors budget for the upcoming biennium. CHD is asking the county to budget $55,620 for the high school center. He said he has not asked the school district for financial support. If the Legislature restores funding for the clinic, the request will be amended.

The high school and middle school provide space for the nurses and the clinic and some phone services, Still said.

Last summer, a new clinic was built inside La Grande High School. Still said the funds to build the clinic came from CHD and special grants.

The schools provided only the labor, he said.

According to Stills budget request, the high school clinic is projected to provide 2,000 patient visits. The high school enrollment is about 800.

This service is often the primary medical resource for many of our students, he said.

According to the budget request, county funds will provide $130,164 for public health, $38,048 for alcohol and drug services and $32,040 for veterans services. CHD is asking the county to add another $25,000 to alcohol and drug services to help pay for a new intensive in-home rehabilitation program for four teen-agers who would otherwise require in-patient treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

Although Still said the in-home intensive treatment program does not exist anywhere else,

he said it was based on best

practices.

The drug treatment program plans to expand its services to eight teen-agers in the upcoming year. The program provides in-home and in-school intensive services to help drug- or alcohol-addicted teen-agers. The total budget for the program is $83,000, Still said, and includes private pay and insurance payments. Many insurance companies will not pay for intensive in-home care, but Still said the new program hopes to provide information that could lead to insurance support.