Mental health board selection hurried - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Mental health board selection hurried

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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 6:56 am | Updated: 8:09 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The private firm that won a lucrative deal this month to take over Maricopa County’s embattled mental health system wants nominees for a new governing board.

But in a news release late Tuesday, Magellan Health Services gave those interested just a day to apply.

The 12-member governance board, to include the seriously mentally ill and their families, is required under the $1.4 billion three-year contract awarded June 12 by the state Department of Health Services.

Mental health advocates were generally pleased that Magellan won the contract over ValueOptions, which had managed care for the county’s 70,000 poor and mentally ill since 1998.

The new contract makes significant changes in how services are delivered and paid for, including a broader choice of providers and the governing board.

“It’s something that the community has been asking for years,” Sherri Walton, executive director of the Arizona Mental Health Association, said of the board’s composition.

But Magellan’s news release calling for nominees didn’t go out until 5 p.m. Tuesday and said completed applications are due today, including letters of support from at least two people or organizations. Applications were available at an open house June 15, hosted by the state health department at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix. But no further public announcements were made by Magellan or the state, which oversees behavioral health care.

The company wants to put the board together by mid-July, including three people who receive services or their family members. One of their first tasks will be to finalize a transition plan to Magellan from ValueOptions, which operates most of the county’s clinics.

For information or to download an application, go to news/content/governance.asp.

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