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C.O. groups form mental health council

The Accountable Behavioral Health Alliance was formed in 1997 as a collaborative effort to aid and enable its member counties -- Jefferson, Benton, Crook, Deschutes, and Lincoln counties -- to fulfill their obligations to assure access to mental health services under the Oregon Health Plan.
   Member counties continue to position themselves to be successful and essential partners as Oregon transforms its healthcare system.
   A key element of this transformation is the creation of regionalized healthcare systems. All five ABHA counties are actively involved in such efforts.
   To that end, ABHA's three Central Oregon counties have realigned their healthcare system through a newly formed Central Oregon Health Council and have made the decision to transition out of ABHA.
   It is anticipated that this transition will be completed in the latter half of 2012. The transition will be transparent and create no disruption in service delivery.
   These changes reflect a natural evolution of ABHA and are consistent with the organization's continuing efforts to make its services relevant and of value to the communities it serves.
   ABHA Governing Board Chairman Mike Ahern said, "Our three Central Oregon ABHA counties have appreciated ABHA's support over the last 14 years. ABHA will continue to offer valuable services in a dynamic health reform environment. We're confident a progressive ABHA organization and our emerging Central Oregon Health Council will both play essential roles in improving the health of Oregonians."
   "ABHA and its partner counties will be supporting each others' efforts to play meaningful roles in creating organizations and delivery systems that achieve the goals of healthcare reform for our communities. We continue our commitment to the provision of services that help people recover from behavioral illnesses," he said.
   For additional information, contact Seth Bernstein, ABHA's executive director, via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 541-753-8665.