UNC Health Care will soon provide primary health services for mental health patients at WakeBrook.
On Monday, the Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a lease amendment, allowing primary care services to be offered at the WakeBrook facility.
“What they’ve found is that a fair number of patients do not have a primary care physician,” said Assistant to the County Manager Denise Foreman.
Many patients require physical health care in addition to the mental health care received.
Minor facility upgrades, such as adding sinks, will be required in order to offer primary health care. No county funds will be used for the upgrades or for the primary care services.
The program will serve as a pilot and may be discontinued at the discretion of UNC Health Care.
Wake County entered into a partnership with UNC Health Care to provide mental health care last year. State law dictates that the county cannot simultaneously provide and fund such services.
New Hires in County Departments
The Active Routes to School (ARTS) project and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program will be adding full-time positions in the next fiscal year.
Commissioners appropriated $79,014 from the general fund for one full-time public health educator.
The ARTS program aims to create pedestrian and bike-friendly routes to schools to encourage children to be more active.
“These dollars are actually coming from Public Health and the Department of Transportation,” said Sue Lyn Ledford, Department of Health and Human Services. “It’s an effort to increase and make safer more active routes to school.”
Commissioners also appropriated $571,163 to hire five full-time employees for the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program.
The positions include four deputies and one sergeant. They will be a part of the DWI Task Force focusing on urban areas.
Social Services Positions Re-Established
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be re-establishing seven full-time Social Services positions that were lost due to a federal administrative cost review.
“Wake County responded to that loss of revenue in three ways,“ explained Warren Ludwig, the child welfare administrator for Wake County. “We had eliminated or abolished 8.75 positions; we had reduced some other operating expenses, and we found ways to increase some program revenues.”
The total cost of these positions is $406,869 for the next fiscal year.
The positions include three CPS in-home services positions, two positions to provide foster care services and two positions to improve overall quality to help the department better prepare for federal reviews.
County Buys Park Space
Eastern Wake County will soon have a new park.
Commissioners approved the purchase of a 49-acre property near Buffalo Creek for $500,000. It is near the recently acquired Mill Pond property.
Staff estimates that the total cost of acquiring the property, which includes inspections, surveys and appraisals will come to $510,000.