Mchenry county mental health board met may 8. mchenry times data recovery options

Connee called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone. The Board members introduced themselves and mentioned their background work experience. Connee then turned the meeting over to Scott Block for the opening remarks and a presentation.

Scott welcomed everyone and thanked the Mental Health Board members for their time and dedication. His Power Point presentation included: the Mental Health Board mission, duties, role of services, and mental health board related statistics. FY17 Local Mental Health Funds, MHB Recent Accomplishments (including increased IDD Day Programming including Clearbrook’s Choice Program, Providing a CILA Award, Support of Pioneer’s ME Program and Before/Aftercare, stabilizing Brain Injury programming, increasing use of telehealth technology, and reduction of MHB expenses were covered as were the 2018-2020 MHB 3 Year Plan 5 goals:


In conclusion, community voice includes public comment at our Mental Health Board meetings, local committees and taskforces and tonight’s town hall meeting. The Mental Health Board, Board of Directors looks forward to hearing your comments and suggestions as well as hearing of the needs and service gaps.

Carol Pietsch – Emily’s mother spoke in support of the Epilepsy Foundation. She was referred by a school nurse and has used telemedicine program. She appreciates not driving to Chicago to see Dr. Rossi. Her daughter’s Vegas Nerve Stimulator is also adjusted locally at the Epilepsy Foundation.

Scott Block noted that it is heartening to hear the positive testimony regarding the telemedicine and tele- psychiatry program. Statistics show that sixty percent of psychiatrists are 60 or older and only about 2% of residents are going into this form of healthcare practice.

Michelle – a mother of 3 children, her first child passed away after many trips to Chicago for services. Telemedicine is used for their 8 year old son who uses services of NISRA. She thanked NISRA for their service but does not like tele-med for therapy as her son is not able to focus on the screen and does not take the session seriously. She would like to discuss financials as far as how much is allocated for parents with insurance and resources for working families with the expenses of care.

Nancy Monica, Epilepsy Foundation – spoke of nurse practioneers who, at this time, will see patients at no charge for services thanks to the Mental Health Board funded services. The Epilepsy Foundation can assist those clients on the Autism spectrum and those at risk for seizures.

Scott Block noted that the Mental Health Board is set apart from other local funders because of their understanding and knowledge of benefit involved services and what they cover. The coordination of benefits limits duplicative payors of services for coverage. Private insurance is difficult to use with local funds. The MHB looks at how we use local dollars to complement what other payor sources will cover and works to fill in the gaps. Many insurance companies are not adequate in what they cover. If citizens can’t get services paid for by insurance plan there may be an opportunity to use MHB local funds.

Ron Lewellyn – present with wife and adult son spoke of their history of dealing with medical issues and learning from the Epilepsy Foundation support groups about the VNS therapy. He wished to underscore the compassionate care provided by the Epilepsy Foundation.

Ron Schroeder – present with wife and son Ryan who had a snowmobile accident causing TBI. He told the families story and would like to applaud the Mental Health Board, Donna Rasmussen and all others that work to help. It means a lot to clients and their families.

Mike Johnson – former owner of contracting company told the story of his life after a car accident. He was diagnosed with a concussion that has put life on hold. He was later referred to the Brain Injury Health Management. Their groups, case managers and the center have been invaluable to him.

Donna Rasmussen, Brain Injury Health Management (BIHM) Case Manager – read statements from clients: stroke victim in support of BIHM, client born with heart condition and special education needs and another letter in support of Epilepsy Foundation.

Donna Kurtz – spoke of her stepdaughter with DD issues and seizures and of finding a sense of community in McHenry County. The Board needs to know that the time they give to serve and the services provided are extraordinary. The providers couldn’t give services without the tax dollars of the Mental Health Board. She applauded the services of O&A, NISRA, Pioneer Center and Epilepsy Foundation. All have provided her stepdaughter with an amazing life. Tele-med provided by Epilepsy Foundation allows for her stepdaughter’s mother to attend the meetings as she faces her own health problems as well as to bring world class service to the County and enable many to participate remotely. She thanked the MHB and Providers for all their work.

Maureen Wagner – former hospice nurse suffered TBI a year ago. Cognitive skills group, yoga, work group are all very helpful. She told her story and of the difficulty navigating life and the system. She thanked the Board for all the work that they do.

Ryan Schroeder – spoke in support of NISRA and Epilepsy Foundation. He is pleased with the services provided. A choice of assisted living did not work for him and both parents are doing cognitive therapy at home. Donna Rasmussen of BIHM is working to find him a job.

Sheila Lullo, Clearbrook – explained the program startup, expansion and future needs of Clearbrook. They are looking to respond to the needs of the community as they become aware of them and they appreciate the partnership with the Mental Health Board.

Scott Block noted that the Mental Health Board is currently involved in completing an Autism Assessment Survey and hopes data will guide the County into the future. Over 70 families have provided information and results will be available in soon. The IDD Task Force is relied on for provider comments to find service gaps and needs. If anyone has feedback during the year feel free to contact the MHB and attend Board meetings.

Nancy Monica talked as a parent about her adult daughter who doesn’t want to live at home anymore. She met with Sam Tenuto of Pioneer Center, who provides the same services. Pioneer is servicing the same clients as Epilepsy Foundation and MHB dollars are going to Clearbrook. All these agencies work together to create a sense of community.

Maria, Rehab Nursing and R&R – lives in McHenry County and works with an agency outside of the County that provides case management and a certified guardian program. She would like to talk with MHB to see if they can provide services in McHenry County. Scott asked that Maria provide contact information and meet with the IDD task force. Mike Baber spoke of guardianship services costs and issues.

Cindy Sullivan, O&A – Looking forward to data from Autism Study but is faced with funding needs for adults with autism needs. The MHB Warrant of Needs (WON) funds are critical and they need more of this funding for adults who could get work with additional support and training. O&A is grateful for the MHB funding for CILA homes, has a great relationships with Clearbrook and Pioneer Center and noted this makes McHenry County a unique community.

Jim Wiseman, NISRA – appreciates the local tax dollars from the Mental Health Board that provides stable funding. He mentioned the great dialogue shared at the monthly Network Council that allows all providers to get together. The MHB facilitates this meeting and serves as a beacon for service providers to meet and share dialogue.

Citizen – as a parent of a child with special needs, she goes to therapy once a week and is on medications because she lives in constant fear of issues and mountain of paperwork for her children with disabilities. It is very difficult to navigate every day and she is overwhelmed. She knows that there are support services and is excited to learn more but is seeking a solid support system for the parents.

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