Council approves CEA

By Tonja Myles
Chair, Community Relation Committee

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On March 13, 2019, the metro council approved a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City-Parish and Bridge Center for Hope. This CEA will allow the Bridge Center access to tax funding approved by the voters in December 2018. As such, the Bridge Center can now work to finalize the details around implementation of the Center, including the identification of a clinical provider and coordination with local entities along the behavioral health continuum. This CEA also requires transparency from the Bridge Center in terms of its financials, meetings, and public records. The Bridge Center began complying with these requirements following the metro council meeting.

Over the last month, the Finance Committee began meeting with third party firms to provide accounting services to the Bridge Center. A firm will be contracted to serve as an outsourced Chief Financial Officer and assume responsibility for daily accounting duties of the Bridge Center to ensure accountability and efficiencies.

Separately, the Operations Committee began finalizing the details of a Solicitation of Proposals (SOP) for a clinical provider for the Bridge Center’s proposed services. This is in keeping with national best practices around the provision of crisis stabilization services. The Committee anticipates finalizing, approving, and releasing the SOP in the second quarter of 2019.  This SOP will be distributed publicly to both local and national behavioral health providers.

Finally, Gwen Hamilton, Angie Clouatre, and Denise Dugas each resigned from the Board last month due to potential conflicts of interest. We thank them for their service and wish them the best as they continue to serve as advocates for access to robust mental health and substance abuse treatment resources. The Nominating Committee will be meeting in April to make recommendations to the Board of Directors for new board members. Newly appointed board members will be announced in our next monthly update, as well as their qualifications and credentials.

 We look forward to seeing the Center come to fruition in early 2020 and will continue to keep you updated along the way.