County to get seat on Centerstone board

Bartholomew County government will have a representative on the board of directors of Centerstone, the mental health care provider, to advocate for more services and value for the community.

County officials including members of the County Commissioners and County Council have expressed frustrations in the past over the money the state requires the county pays to Centerstone, and the services that are being offered in exchange. Commissioners said the county pays about $800,000 a year to the agency.

Commissioners appointed Commissioners President Tony London to serve the three-year term on the board yesterday. He said that not every county gets to place a representative on the board, which meets every other month. The board position is the result of new legislation that allows counties to get a seat on the board, he said.

Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz stressed that the goal of the county is not to investigate the provider, but rather to advocate to get the most services possible for those suffering with mental illness in the community.

London said that his nomination still must be approved by the Centerstone board at its October meeting.

Doug Leonard, former Columbus Regional Hospital executive, also currently serves on the Centerstone board.