Somerfleck, Kiffer Agree DMHSA Money Will Be Found, But Don’t Agree on How It Should Be Spent

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Guam – The Federal Management Team and the Attorney who launched the original suit against the Department of Mental Health are confident that GovGuam will come up with the funds to pay for the court ordered improvements. But they continue to disagree over the details  and the costs of the court approved “plan of action” aimed at bringing changes to the troubled Department.

          

Although $2 million may  have been appropriated in the 2011 budget for court orders affecting the Department of  Mental Health, no money is available to fund what the appropriations bill calls for. And BBMR Director Bertha Duenas says the Administration doesn’t yet know where it’ll come from.

But both the Attorney who brought the original suit against Menal Health, Dan Somerfleck; and one of the 2 Federal Managers, Dr. James Kiffer, are confident the funding will be found to satisfy the Court’s payment schedule.

Federal Judge Consuelo Marshall issued the payment scheduled last Tuesday. $15.9 million must be deposited over the next 3 years, $12.2 of it within the next 12 months.

Somerfleck however is relieved that the Judge has apparently taken into consideration some of the communities concerns about the proposed new Mental Health Center, specifically, she did not order funding for it. The tentative price tag on teh Center is about $10- million dollars.

Kiffer still hopes funds can be found for the Center because otherwise they’ll have to rent and renting will cost GovGuam more.

Buts it’s the emphasis on the concept of one Center to provide all the Mental Health needs for the island that separates Somerfleck and Kiffer most.

Somerfelck feels it will segregate the clients who need to be integrated into the community. Kiffer responds that it will not segregate but only serve as a central evaluation and training center prior to integration of the clients back into the community.