Friday, January 04, 2008

Dempsey Benton gets DHHS to actually answer pertinent questions! Smoky Mountain Center LME actually put CFAC minutes online !

State DHHS secretary announces changes to fix state hospitals
by Leslie Boyd

RALEIGH – , N.C. DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton announced at a press conference Thursday afternoon that he would remove management of the four psychiatric hospitals – Broughton, Cherry, Umstead and Dorothea Dix – and 10 other state facilities from the Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services and take direct responsibility for their operations.
Dempsey Benton has sent a clear message to consumers, citizens, and providers: the Department of Mental Health under Mike Moseley and Leza Wainwright, Moseley's deputy, is on the carpet.

He has taken over the management of the state psychiatric hospitals from the Department of Mental Health, which is under DHHS. This is a positive step.

DHHS and the Department of Mental Health, actually answers my letters and e mails now!

Benton directed Wainwright to answer my e mail associated with my concerns about not being able to get in touch w/ any of the Smoky Mountain Center LME CFAC. Shortly after my letter was received by Mr. Benton, SMC LME set up an e mail address with which to correspond w/ the CFAC and they placed more recent minutes online.

You will notice that Western Highlands LME CFAC minutes have been online since 2005. They can be obtained here:

What is the CFAC (which is associated w/ every LME) ? : Consumer and Family Advisory Committee.

By law, the LME must assist the CFAC to function.

While mental health advocates have sighed and assumed that the LME CFAC's are toothless, perhaps we are moving into a new era wherein they are functional and responsive.
Each LME has a CFAC and it is a formalized group of consumers and family members appointed in accordance with the requirements of NCGS 122c-170.


And if you look at the SMC LME CFAC minutes, you will see that volunteers who can make the meetings are needed!

The purpose of the CFAC is to ensure meaningful participation by consumers and families in shaping the development and delivery of public mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services for each LME.

You can contact the state CFAC here:


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