Health and Human Services



Budish Administration Unveils Five-Year HHS Strategic Plan
By William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate and Community Advocacy
September 25, 2017

The first Health, Human Service and Aging (HHSA) Committee meeting in several months took place on September 13, 2017, with a presentation from Tom Pristow, director of the Department of Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services, unveiling the Cuyahoga County Health and Human Service Strategic Plan. The plan is a result of legislation pushed by Cuyahoga County Councilman Dale Miller, which proposed a five-year HHS strategic plan, similar to the five-year economic development plan already enshrined in the county charter.

In partnership with The Center for Community Solutions, the county hosted a series of focus groups that requested input from county residents, as well as briefed them on the current service and direction of the department. The final report, available here, includes several goals, including the “No wrong door” policy, where citizens will be able to go into any county building and be able to access services that they need.




Read More



New ADAMHS Board CEO Testifies to HHSA Committee
By William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate and Community Advocacy
September 25, 2017

The September 20, 2017 meeting of the Cuyahoga Council Health, Human Services and Aging Committee, was attended by all members of the committee and Council President Dan Brady.

The meeting featured a presentation by Valeria Harper, the incoming chief executive officer of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction, and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board. She was joined by Chief Financial Officer Frank Brickner; Scott Osiecki, Chief of External Affairs; and Chief Quality Officer John Garrity, Ph.D. Ms. Harper opened with remarking that she is in her 52nd day as CEO, though she previously served as Chief Operating Officer and has been involved in the work of the ADAMHS board for many years.




Read More



Bi-partisan State Representative Discussion Draws Largest HSAN Audience to Date
By William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
August 30, 2017

On Friday, August 25, 2017, approximately 50 people attended the third meeting in 2017 of the Human Services Advocacy Network (HSAN). The meeting was held at Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, and featured State Representatives Sarah LaTourette and Emilia Strong Sykes. The meeting afforded the Representatives the opportunity to reflect on recent health-related legislative issues in the just-passed state budget, including the proposed Medicaid expansion freeze and the legislative vetoes, as well as increases in spending on community health issues such as the opioid epidemic. Representatives LaTourette and Sykes then transitioned to important issues that they hope to address between now and the end of the legislative term next year.

Representative LaTourette talked about the Multi-System Youth policy recommendations, which were developed with feedback from The Center for Community Solutions. The policy proposal seeks to assist and support children in the welfare system who are at-risk and need of comprehensive support, instead of being passed along from one agency to another. Additionally, Representative LaTourette spoke of her interest in palliative care, a type of medical care for those with serious illness, which treats the symptoms to increase comfort and may be used along with treatment of the illness.  Representative LaTourette specifically cited her own interaction with palliative care, where she saw the positive impact of palliative care for her late father, former Congressman Steve LaTourette, as he battled cancer.  Her interest includes the creation of a palliative care advisory board that would advise ways for the state to better educate the public on palliative care issues, as well as promote better understanding of palliative care referrals when made by a physician to patients and their families.




Read More

 

HHSA Committee Approves Revised Homeless Service Contract
By Adam White
Graduate Assistant
May 23, 2017

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, the Health, Human Services, and Aging (HHSA) Committee of the Cuyahoga County Council approved three resolutions regarding various human service contracts, recommending them for passage by the full council. Continuing a debate from previous meetings, the decision to award a renewed contract to Frontline Services for the operation of the Norma Herr women’s shelter was the sole focus of public comment, as advocates made heard their grievances about living conditions at the city’s only shelter for single women.

In its May 3 meeting, the committee approved the Office of Homeless Services’ (OHS) contract with Frontline, despite the fact that Frontline’s bid for the contract did not meet OHS’ minimum score requirement established in the RFP process. Frontline scored the higher of the two bids received for the Norma Herr contract, and was less than a point away from the minimum requirement. The renewed contract, however, was shortened by the committee to one year, rather than the three-year contract initially recommended by OHS. The contract was on the full council meeting agenda for consideration of adoption on May 9, but was referred back to the HHSA Committee for further review by Council President Dan Brady.




Read More




State Budget Update:
Departments of Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services Testify before HHS Subcommittee

By Adam White
Graduate Assistant
March 3, 2017 

The House Finance Subcommittee on Health and Human Services heard testimony Thursday (March 2, 2017) morning from the directors of the Ohio departments of Health (ODH) and Mental Health and Addiction Services (ODMHAS) as it convened for its fourth hearing of H.B. 49, the executive budget proposal for fiscal years 2018-2019.

ODH Testimony






Read More


Re-entry, Homelessness, and Children Healthcare Tops HHSA Committee’s Agenda 
By William Tarter, Jr.

Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
February 14, 2017
 

January 18, 2017



Read More



Fathers Matter: An Update on Cuyahoga County’s Fatherhood Initiative
William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
June 17, 2016

Fathers play an important role in our culture and our society. There are good programs across the country that are aimed at supporting fathers in helping them to be strong role models and examples in their family. However, there are not many public sector entities in which there is an entire division where the sole purpose is to support Fathers. Cuyahoga County is one of the few in the country to offer that support.  The Fatherhood Initiative helps fathers meet financial and emotional needs of both their children and themselves through programming and events, including the Annual Fatherhood Conference, as well as highlight the good relationships that don’t get publicized in the media. At the June 8, 2016, meeting of the Health, Human Services & Aging Committee of the Cuyahoga County Council, Al Grimes, director of Cuyahoga County Fatherhood Initiative, provided an update and overview of his department, as well as a preview of his programming for the coming year. 

In his testimony, Director Grimes told to the Committee that Fatherhood Initiative was not seeking an increase, but rather to convey all of the things that his division has done throughout the past year and the hope that he can continue those efforts into 2017. His department gets the message out to county residents by advertising on radio and television stations across the county. One of the programs that has been highly successful is Daddy Boot Camp, a one-day, free seminar that educates dads on the dangers of shaking a baby, as well as proper diaper change techniques and other important health information. The Boot Camps are hosted at sites across the county, including MetroHealth, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Center in East Cleveland, Southwest General on the west side, and Hillcrest Hospital on the east side. 



Read More

Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee Meetings
William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
June 6, 2016

April 20, 2016


Read More



Cuyahoga County Health and Human Services Update
William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate & Community Advocacy
April 26, 2016

On March 31, 2016, Daphne Kelker, Contracts Administrator of Cuyahoga County Job and Family Services testified in front of Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services & Aging Committee. The testimony surrounded the approval of several contracts.  One was a master contract for agencies to support the Cuyahoga County Tapestry System of Care program. The mission of the Tapestry program is “to enhance the lives of children with significant behavioral needs, who are involved in multiple systems, through family-focused, child-centered, strength-based, and culturally competent care in the community.” It was built on a 2003 grant from the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Tapestry Contract was originally with 8 agencies; four mental health agencies and four community organizations also known as Collaboratives. [1]

     1. Catholic Charities Community Services Corporation dba St. Martin de Porres Family Center-$1,244,830.20
     2. East End Neighborhood House-$1,315,749.08
     3. University Settlement, Inc.-$178,943.45
     4. West Side Community House-$1,575,632.62
     5. Applewood Centers, Inc.-$1,461,787.77
     6. Beech Brook-$2,366,762.92
     7. Catholic Charities Services Corporation-$2,656,388.75
     8. The Cleveland Christian Home-$1,556,720.40

This year Cuyahoga County proposed to reduce the number of contracts to six mental health agencies. This was done in order to maximize Medicaid reimbursement. The community organizations who previously had separate contracts with the county, to provide the community advocacy component, will now only be engaged if contracted as a subcontractor by one of the mental health agencies. 













Read More

The Social Services Block Grant is under attack. What does this mean for Ohio?
By Rose Frech, Research Fellow
March 18, 2016

The House Ways and Means Committee announced last week that Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) is sponsoring legislation that would end the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), a $1.7 billion dollar grant allocated to states to fund numerous critical social service programs. And on Wednesday, this bill was one of several that passed through the Committee, in an effort to create budget savings. The other two pieces of legislation that the Committee passed include changing the refundable child tax credit to require a Social Security number, and a bill that would require those who receive overpayments of ACA exchange subsidies to repay them.

Read More

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish Poised to Introduce His First Two-Year Budget
By John R. Corlett
President and Executive Director

October 5, 2015

At the end of this week, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish will be submitting his first two-year budget to Cuyahoga County Council for review. This will mark Executive Budish’s most significant opportunity to date to put his stamp on what county government does, and does not do. Many observers argue that how public policy makers propose to raise and spend tax revenue is the most accurate reflection of their values and priorities.


Read More