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A Word From The SIOUX RIVERS Regional CEO...

May 10, 2022

As I write this update, the sun is shining, the grass is turning a deeper shade of green and the trees are beginning to fill out – FINALLY!  We’ve been laboring under a long, long, long chilly spring so it’s nice to feel the warmth of the sun for a (welcome) change. With just two Governance Board meetings remaining in Fiscal Year 2022, we are scrambling to get things wrapped up. 

The May Regional Board agenda will include approval of a new 28E which will reflect changes in the way funding is provided to the Region, as well as changes in the way staff relate to the Region. We’ll also approve a memorandum of understanding between the Counties and the Region for the provision of General Assistance, Substance Abuse, Juvenile and similar services on behalf of the Counties by Regional employees. The Regional Management Plan, amended to reflect legislative changes will also be presented to the Board for their endorsement. 

We continue the Strategic Planning process, the Double Bottom Line, with providers staff and Board members participating in the survey process in an effort to guide future funding and service decisions, so a big thank you to those that participated!

It was gratifying to approve one-time funding last month for provider employee appreciation incentive payments as well as a contract with GoodLife Innovations for longer term consultation designed to improve DSP (direct service personnel) scheduling. This should help with attracting and retaining direct service staff. The Region will also consider one-time funding for various provider improvements – the last of this fiscal year – at the May 23rd Governance Board meeting. 

On the new services front, we have stepped up our efforts to identify options for expanding Intensive Residential Services Home, or IRSH, within the region and are on track to open our first IRSH Home in June.

After a number of discussions with regional providers regarding funding needs for FY23, we will be asking the Regional Board to approve contracts and rates for the next fiscal year at our May Governance Board meeting as well.

Furthermore, we will be considering changes to the way we handle transportation for commitments and crisis related services, as well as the way we fund crisis evaluation services.

As always, we’re here to further improved access to mental and behavioral healthcare for people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities through local resources, which includes our provider agencies, so your input into this endeavor is invaluable. Please contact me with your thoughts, concerns or input. Thank you for your support.

Shane Walter, CEO
Sioux Rivers Regional MHDS

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