08/25/04 — Eastpointe nearing certification

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Eastpointe nearing certification

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on August 25, 2004 1:57 PM

CLINTON -- Eastpointe mental health agency has nearly resolved two concerns raised by a top state mental health official, the agency's director said Tuesday night.

Within weeks, Eastpointe should be approved as a local management entity, Director Jack St. Clair told the agency's directors. That status is required as part of the state's mental health reform plan.

Mike Moseley, director of the N.C. Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, noted two concerns about Eastpointe in a July 29 letter to St. Clair.

Eastpointe has not done enough to encourage the input of patients and their families, he said. Moseley also worried about the controversial plan to split off a nonprofit organization.

Moseley asked for answers by Aug. 30. Barring that, the state would withhold its decision of granting the local government status until January 2005, he said.

St. Clair said that he has now notified the state of the decision to discard plans for the nonprofit.

Eastpointe has struggled to form a consumer and family advisory committee, but the group has been meeting regularly this year. St. Clair expects the committee to approve bylaws and elect officers by the end of the year, after which it will operate independently of Eastpointe, he said.

State officials have informally accepted the agency's plans, which puts Eastpointe back on schedule, St. Clair said. A formal statement is expected within the next few weeks.

The Eastpointe board met on the campus of Sampson Community College. It has been rotating its monthly meetings in the four-county area where Eastpointe provides mental health, developmental disability and substance abuse services.