CLINTON – The Eastern Iowa Mental Health Board on Friday changed its contract with the Robert Young Center to include a role as coordinator of behavioral health services for children.
The region’s board of directors unanimously voted to amend the contract for fiscal 2022 to provide $ 200,000, including salary and benefits, travel, mileage, computers, and phone, for a child coordinator.
When the Robert Young Center began working with the region to develop a crisis system, it always had large budgets and bills for real costs, said region chief executive officer Lori Elam. “We always stayed under budget,” said Elam. “And that’s another example of that.”
The Robert Young Center has appointed Christine Gradert as the coordinator of behavioral health services for children. Gradert launched the adult system in 2016, said Mary Petersen, chief operating officer of the Robert Young Center and director of Behavioral Health Services, last week.
Board members Dawn Smith and Jack Willey were both on the board when Gradert ran the adult system and both assisted Gradert in running the child system.
“I think if we do that with Robert Young we will be so far ahead of what we could be,” said Willey on Friday. “And I’m really impressed with what we heard today, and I’m excited to see it all done and started and on its way.”
Smith is glad Gradert is coordinating the child system, she said.
“Jack (Willey) and I know Christine and how she put things together in 2015 when we first started down this path,” said Smith on Friday.
“And I have all the world’s trust in her that she can do that, if someone can coordinate this, then she can do it and the plate in good time.”
Clinton County Board Representative Jim Irwin Jr. is excited to add a position as coordinator for children, he said Monday. He said that 20% or more of the area’s patients are already in the children’s age bracket.
“That could be a lot bigger than we expected,” said Irwin on Monday. “So this is going to be another learning curve for everyone in the state of Iowa because this all fits together,” he said.
âBut I’m glad we look at it that way and just put our feet up and stick our toes in and see what comes out of it. Who knows where this is going and how big it will be? “