County creates combined human services agency, board

Feb. 19, 2013 @ 07:05 PM

The Union County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a resolution that creates a Consolidated Human Services Agency to carry out the functions currently performed by the Union County Department of Social Services (DSS) and Health Department, a Consolidated Human Services Board, and the position of Human Services director to be appointed and supervised by the county manager. The two departments currently report to separate appointed boards.

“This consolidation will benefit both agencies in terms of efficiencies, as well as better serve the clients in both those departments,” said Chairman Jerry Simpson.

At a special meeting on Oct. 30, commissioners instructed Union County staff to begin the process of combining the Union County Health Department and Union County Department of Social Services into a Consolidated Human Services Agency with a separate Consolidated Human Services Board.

During the 2012 legislative session, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted legislation amending statutes authorizing county governments to consolidate human services. The goal of consolidation is to integrate business processes, budgets, capital projects and support functions when possible to sustain efficient and effective human services program delivery. Based on these statutory changes and goals, commissioners were presented with options and staff recommendations regarding consolidation. Commissioners directed staff to pursue the Consolidated Human Services Board governance method as outlined by statutes.

Before a Consolidated Human Services Board can be established, North Carolina law requires the formation of a nominating committee comprised of members of a county’s current Health and Social Services boards. It is the nominating committee’s responsibility to submit nominations to commissioners to be considered for appointment to the new board. At its Nov. 19 meeting, commissioners named Dr. Nancy Randall, Evelyn Blackley, Dr. Michael J. Johnson and James Struve (alternate) to the nominating committee. The nominating committee met in three public meetings and considered 33 applicants, of whom 27 were recommended for the board.

Individuals appointed by commissioners to the board are:

Consumers of Human Services:

Lori Clark  1-Year TermSteven Godfreyb  3-Year TermTammy B. Millward  2-Year TermMelinda Plue  4-Year Term

Required Professionals:

Psychologists, Carlton Aldrich  3-Year TermPharmacist, Evelyn Blackley  4-Year TermEngineer, James N. Struve   2-Year TermDentist, Dr. Robert Bookholt  3-Year TermOptometrist, Dr. Michael Johnson  4-Year TermVeterinarian, Brenda D. Yercheck  2-Year TermSocial Worker, Eunice McGee  1-Year TermRegistered Nurse, Patsy Curry  1-Year Term

Psychiatrist and Physician:

Psychiatrist, Dr. Deanna Cornelius  4-Year TermPhysician, Dr. Chandra Hollier  4-Year Term

County Commissioner:

Jonathan Thomas  1-Year Term

Other Persons:

Gary Ritandaro  1-Year TermLouis Philippi  1-Year Term