NC cuts funding for mental health

Update 2 –  As we appear to be stuck at the level of the Lt Gov office (as the governor and Odom are hiding somewhere), the Lt Gov person who is gathering info is:   

Update – 

From ACT:

Mental health services providers and advocates are organizing to fight the state’s reduction in the rate it pays for services known as community support.

A coalition of groups plans to be in Raleigh today to appeal to legislators and Gov. Mike Easley to rescind the cut. They will hold a news conference in front of the legislative building at 11 a.m.

“We have a permit for 100 people, but I think we’ll go way beyond that,” said Karen McLeod, executive director of the Children and Family Services Association of North Carolina. “This is not just a cut to a program. This is the core of mental health reform. If this stays, there will be a cascade effect. Everything could fall apart.”

Those involved in the event include the N.C Mental Health Association, National Association of Social Workers of North Carolina, Children and Family Services Association of North Carolina, N.C. Providers Council, N.C. Council for Community Programs, Covenant with North Carolina’s Children and the National Alliance on Mental Illness of North Carolina. (more…)

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  1. Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Licensed Psychologist e mail:

    April 12, 2007

    I had an interesting conversation with NC State Senator Martin
    Nesbitt April 11, 2007 re: cuts and Carmen Hooker Odom has made, retroactive
    to April 1, 2007, pertaining to Community Support, the lynch-pin
    service associated with mental health care reform.

    You may know that Senator Nesbitt is one of the two state legislators
    (he and Verla Insko) were the creators of the mental health care
    reform bill.

    He is very concerned about what has been taking place and has been
    for about three years. He spoke very frankly.

    He stated that Odum exhibited the following behaviors:

    **as the LME’s were being organized, she pitted the LME’s against
    each other;
    ***did what she wanted re: suggestions that the state legislative
    overview body recommended(they had recommended that re: Community
    Support, that Endorsed Provider agencies be paid on a 30%/50%/80%
    scale—-in order to address the issue of Medicaid ‘overspending’
    ***approved/ created the unstable situation in Buncombe County re:
    the ‘one-provider’ that collapsed about 6 mos ago
    ***dismissed the recommendations of the legislative oversight
    committee on a repetitive basis.

    He outlined a woman who cannot be worked with and who will not listen
    to the experts around her. Online research reveals even more.

    He stated there is nothing legislatively he can do. He stated that
    the governor’s office is the one to be consulted.

    I called the governor’s office. I am waiting for a call back. I
    intend to speak to him.

    I called Odum’s office today also. Her secretary stated that she had
    been advised by Ms. Odum that concerned citizens could call 1 800 662
    7030—as associated with it being a ‘citizens’ service’ line. I
    called it. It was dead busy. I called back to Odum’s office. The
    secretary gave me this number: 919 855 4400. It is an information
    line for: Medicare/ Medicaid/ social security/ and, Health Choice.

    There’s a possible Pulitzer for some intrepid reporter.

    Here is what Hooker Odum stated she would do as per a January 17,
    2003 letter:

    “In 2001, I established the elimination of health disparities
    as one of the top four priorities for the Department. This
    declaration signaled a new era for the Department, and challenged
    fourteen Divisions and Offices to identify solutions to the
    persistent health and service disparities in the state.”

    She asked for an audit in 2004 as associated
    with ‘misapprorpriattion of funds. A reporter outlined that matter : “The first
    nomination for “Spin of the Week” comes from the Department of
    Health and Human Services Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom. She is now
    blaming the state auditor for her department’s failures in accounting
    and misappropriations..

    Then Odum got into a fight with the state IT
    director pertaining to this—-a matter which was linked to her
    husband serving on the board of the hospital which was associated
    with this mismanagement. The news services picked it up and
    then ignored it. As associated with the audit of Community Support
    and her ensuing slashing of one-third of the funding—–this is
    again a mismanagement of funds and the private providers (Endorsed
    Providers) are being expected to pick up her slack when she has not
    paid attention to what is taking place—-instead preferring to
    sacrifice NC citizens to her petard of perpetual mismanagement. The
    citizens of NC picked up the tab the last time around.


  2. Thanks, Errington, for covering this important story.

    The powers-that-be have crawled into their bunkers and plan to ride out the storm. However, we have plans to triple the public pressure next week through a massive campaign of emails, phone calls, faxes, letters, lobbying, Letters to the Editors, and blogs.

    On Monday, get back on the horn to Hooker Odom, Perdue, and Easley. This mountain isn’t climbed yet.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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