© 2024. Randolph Hub. All Rights Reserved.


No seat for Randolph on new mental health agency board

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


A new board has been announced for the consolidated agency that will cover mental health, intellectual, and behavioral health services in Randolph County.


At the Board of Commissioners meeting on Jan. 2, Commissioner David Allen provided an update on the merger of the Sandhills Center. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) consolidated Sandhills, Eastpointe and Trillium Health Resources into one Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) at the beginning of the year.


According to Allen, Eastpointe appointed a new board comprised of 22 representatives. Eleven are from Trillium's original catchment area along the North Carolina coast, six are from Eastpointe's catchment area east of Raleigh and the other five are from Sandhills' catchment area in the North Carolina Piedmont. Two of those five will go to Guilford County, none to Randolph.


"I feel that Randolph County has been slighted in this process, subverted essentially," Allen said. "We are the second largest county in the catchment area. With Trillium, we would be the sixth largest. None of the Eastpointe counties that got six seats on that board are as large as Randolph County. In fact, three Sandhills counties that were appointed — Anson, Lee and Polk — do not, when combined, equal the population of Randolph County."


Allen said he reached out to NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley who authorized the merger, and that his response was that he did not have authority over the board. He also contacted State Senator Dave Craven.


"It is important because a lot of what we've been talking about — Project Invictus, substance abuse, behavioral health issues, the opioid settlement — is all intertwined with these LME/MCOs," Allen said.


The new LME/MCO covers care in 46 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. According to Trillium, providers are scheduled to be rolled into the new system by Feb. 1.