Yesterday a Metro IAF ally, Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon and State Rep. Ann Moeller of Elgin helped broker a meeting with Governor Pritzker and IL Metro IAF organizations.
Illinois Metro IAF team members were:
- Rabbi Ari Margolis, Congregation Or Shalom, Lake County United,
- Yvonne Smith, St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Evanston, United Power for Action and Justice,
- Rev. Mike Solberg, Union Church, DuPage United and
- Adrienne McCauley, Lead Organizer, Fox River Valley Initiative
The sole focus of this meeting was the reimbursement rate for crisis stabilization units (CSU). Establishing a CSU is part of LCU's 3 point mental health strategy. Different than an in-patient behavioral hospital, a CSU allows for police drop off, detox and stabilizing when in-patient is not needed.
Now that almost 600 police have been training in Crisis Intervention Team Training and 395 will be trained by next year, having a place for police to drop off as an alternative to jail and hospital emergency departments is critical.
In this meeting Governor Pritzker initially said the issue should resolve by July. But, after hearing the urgency from IL Metro IAF team, directed a follow-up to take place immediately with Illinois Metro IAF; States’ Attorney McMahon; Department of Healthcare, and Family Services Director Theresa Eagleson; Deputy Governor Sol Flores; and key healthcare providers to get a resolution of this issue as soon as possible. (We have already heard from the staff person assigned to coordinate this.)
MORE GOOD NEWS:
Last Friday Lake County United invited the CEO of U.S. HealthVest (parent company for Lake Behavioral Hospital, Waukegan); Sandy Hart, County Chairwoman; Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department; Amy McEwen, Interim County Administrator; and Wayne Walles, Waukegan Chief of Police/ President of the Lake County Chiefs of Police Association to meet and discuss how to address the gaps in order to establish a Crisis Stabilization Unit
This was a very productive meeting with US. Healthvest committing to provide space, staff, medical clearance, detoxification and police drop off regardless of their ability to pay. LBH Commitment Letter
The meeting with the Governor was critical to this effort since public and private healthcare providers are NOT able to run and sustain a CSU without Medicaid reimbursement. If we have success with reimbursement we now have 5 providers (public and private) across the 5 county regions that have committed to run a CSU.