Lorain, OH (April 30, 2019) – The Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County (ADAS) and the Lorain County Board of Mental Health (LCBMH) have taken a major step toward merging organizations, announcing Monday, April 29, their recommendations for members of a new combined Board (listed below).
“Though we are separate organizations today, the people we serve have a common goal, and that is recovery,” said Elaine Georgas, Executive Director, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board. “Consolidating the county’s addiction and mental health organizations will strengthen our ability to coordinate treatment and recovery services, which will not only improve our clients’ lives, but also improve the lives of their family members.”
“We are stronger together with the power of our combined expertise,” said Dr. Kathleen Kern, Executive Director, Lorain County Board of Mental Health. “Our boards already have a history of working together on a number of initiatives. So joining forces makes a great deal of sense in terms of the services we can deliver together, and in the impact that can bring to the community.”
Lorain County Commissioners last month voted to merge the addiction and mental health boards. Reappointments for the merged Board of Directors were chosen by an ad hoc committee consisting of leadership from each Board, using criteria that included:
Board nominees must reflect the community’s demographics and demonstrate their understanding of the community and its needs
Board nominees’ experience on their respective Boards must reflect knowledge of operations, history, and strategic priorities of the mental health and/or substance use systems serving Lorain County
Ohio Revised Code requirements for Board appointments (Section 340.02 is specific to Boards)
The recommended reappointments were unanimously chosen by the committee.
The new board will be comprised of 18 members. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) will reappoint eight members, which represent: a person who has received or is receiving addiction services, a person who has received or is receiving mental health services, a family member of a person who has received addiction services, a family member of a person who has received mental health services and two professionals: one with an addiction background and one with a mental health background. The County Commissioners have indicated they will interview the remaining members who have been recommended for reappointment in order to decide the final 10 appointments.
“We’re proud of the careful due diligence and collaborative work of our boards in this recommendation process and believe the recommended slate of reappointments reflect a diverse, involved and competent group of people with a passion and history of serving their community,” said Dr. Kern.
Ms. Georgas added, “We believe that the OhioMHAS and the Commissioners share our vision that the new Board remain an independent public body of citizen volunteers who serve the interests and needs of all residents of Lorain County, as the previous two Boards have been. The appointing authorities’ approval of our recommended candidates will affirm their confidence in, and commitment to, success of the merger and the important missions of both organizations.”
Final Approved List of Members for Reappointment:
Kara Keating Copeland*
Dr. Denise Eacott*
Dr. Tracey Frierson
Dr. Hope Moon
*Recommended for reappointment by OhioMHAS. All others have been recommended to the Commissioners for reappointment.
It was also recommended that Diamalen Bermudez and Dr. Regina Costantino from LCBMH and Margaret O’Bryon from ADAS have their names submitted as alternate reappointments to the Commissioners.
About the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County
The Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board of Lorain County is a special purpose governmental agency charged with planning, evaluating, coordinating, funding and contracting for the delivery of alcohol and other drug addiction education, prevention, treatment, recovery and problem gambling services for the benefit of Lorain County residents. More information can be found at lorainadas.org.
About the Lorain County Board of Mental Health
The Lorain County Board of Mental Health (LCBMH) is the local public agency that plans, funds, monitors and evaluates a system of services for residents with mental illness in Lorain County. Community agencies are contracted by LCBMH to provide an array of mental health services, including counseling, peer support, community support programs, prevention, consultation, crisis intervention, housing development and management, and vocational employment support. More information can be found at lcbmh.org.