Interagency Council Hosts Annual State of the County Event

The discussion panel included DSS Program Manager Jessica Ford, Catawba County Sheriff Don Brown, Public Health Director Doug Urland, Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare Clinical Director Tim Lentz, Partners Behavioral Healthcare Housing Specialist Teena Willis, Integrated Care of Greater Hickory CEO/Clinical Director Corey Richardson, Area Agency on Aging Director Tina Miller, and County Commissioner Randy Isenhour

The importance and impact of collaboration was an overall theme during the recent State of the County panel discussion hosted by the Catawba county Interagency Council at the county Library’s main branch in Newton.  More than 100 representatives from nonprofit and community service agencies throughout the county showed up to listen to a discussion covering issues such as homelessness, public health, child welfare, and affordable housing.

Ford addressed the issue of services for children.  She said there are currently 329 children in foster care in the county, which is a record.  The DSS program manager said there is no clear reason for this, but her agency is working hard to recruit more foster families.  She mentioned Foster Care Sunday on May 19 as an upcoming promotional event, with 45 churches signed up to participate.

Lentz highlighted the importance of organizations working together to meet community issues.  He used the example of Catawba Valley Behavioral Healthcare working with Partners Behavioral Healthcare to reduce redundancy and get help for people faster.  “I think that collaborative nature of being able to say this is not my specialty, so how can we work together to help this person, improve what’s already out there is key,” Lentz said

–excerpts from Hickory Daily Record