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Friday, November 2, 2012

Human Service Programs Public Meeting Nov. 8

Human Service Programs Public Meeting Nov. 8

November 1st, 2012
people-circleHundreds of people are directly affected by programs offered by Potter County Human Services (PCHS), but few take the opportunity to provide input on how those services are delivered. An organization that’s in place to accommodate public comments and suggestions will hold its next meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 pm in the PCHS building at Roulette. PCHS operates programs for victims of alcoholism and other drug abuse, older citizens, the mentally ill, children who are at-risk, and the intellectually disabled. Members are appointed by the Potter County Board of Commissioners. They are Anne Nelson (chair), John Moshier (vice chair), Charles Wicker, Susan Valentine, Cameron Kockler (youth representative), Linda Swift, Dr. Victor Brown, Kassie Irwin, Gail Allen, Gary Perkins, Denise Minderler (consumer), Michele Mather and Dawn Deiter. Anyone interested in being considered for appointment to the board should contact the Commissioners Office at 274-8290, extension 207.
During the board’s most recent meeting, PCHS Administrator Jim Kockler presented a summary of the impact that the state’s fiscal 2012-13 budget will have on the agency’s programs. While demand for many services is growing, state funds were cut for some programs.
Commissioner Susan Kefover reported on criminal justice initiatives, including a long-term “specialty courts” project that will be implemented incrementally through the local court system and the Potter County Criminal Justice Advisory Board.
Departmental reports were as follows:
  • Colleen Wilber, director of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services,  discussed steps being taken to educate the public on the growing problem with synthetic drugs in Potter County, notably products being marketed to addicts under deceptive names such as “bath salts.” Wilber also commended case management specialist Crystal Thomas on her work with clients.
  • Children and Youth Services recently went through required licensing review and received full accreditation.
  • Intellectual Disabilities is undergoing licensing review.
  • Sherry Hoffman, director of the Area Agency on Aging, reported that Sue Lush is the new waiver program supervisor.
  • Coordinated Services‘ food program is beginning operation. A limited sum of money has been put aside for emergency transportation situations while state funds are awaited.

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