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NOVEMBER | Print |

 

TRANSITION NEWS: FULTON CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER & PERSONNEL DIRECTOR DISCUSS 2018 BUDGET WITH STAFF

Staff Meeting

(ABOVE: Todd Long, Fulton County Chief Operating Officer (Left) & Kenneth Hermon, Director of Personnel, discuss the 2018 budget at the all staff meeting for the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities employees)    

Since employees were first notified that behavioral health services were being outsourced, the Department  has committed to being transparent with the process by  holding regular meetings with those staff who will be  impacted. Fulton County Chief Operating Officer Todd  Long and Ken Hermon, Director of Personnel, began  meeting with staff about the changes in July 2016, and have attended All Staff Meetings intermittently to discuss Fulton County Personnel policies regarding reorganizations.

At a meeting held on November 8th, both men attended to discuss the 2018 Fulton County budget, and how it relates to vacant positions. Mr. Long said that  Fulton County had a budget shortfall of between $10 million to $15 million; therefore, all departments have to cut their budgets by five percent.

He added that department heads were  meeting that goal by eliminating vacant positions, which limits the number of job vacancies that  will be available. “Taking vacant positions is the least painful way to balance the budget,” Long said. Hermon  said that there should be positions available to place  people who wish to stay with the County; however, the  number of vacancies are limited.

LaTrina Foster

Meanwhile, LaTrina  Foster (Left) has been appearing in television public  service announcements to discuss the upcoming changes.

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JULATHRA SMITH HAD SENIORS ENGROSSED ON THE IMPACT OF OPIOID ADDICTION & ITS DEVASTATING EFFECTS!

Julathra Smith

(ABOVE: Julathra Smith gives an opioid presentation at the HJC Bowden Senior Multipurpose Facility in East Point)

The opioid and heroin epidemic continues to take a devastating toll on the lives of millions, including people here in Georgia. According to the Substance Abuse Research Alliance, (SARA) in 2007, healthcare costs in Georgia associated with opioid misuse were estimated at $447 million dollars. Given the deaths associated with the use of opioids and heroin, SARA says those costs have risen by 80 percent.

Hospitals have admitted over 520,000 people in Georgia because of opioids, and the epidemic is now costing the state and insurers over $15 billion. To increase awareness of the opioid epidemic, the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (BHDD) has launched a year-round educational initiative the features a PowerPoint presentation titled: “Opioid Addiction: What You Don’t Know May Kill You!”. LaQuesha Agnew, Wajeehah Jefferson, and Julathra Smith kicked off the educational series by giving presentations at the Fulton County Senior Multiservice Facilities. “I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot,” says Clara Colbert, who attended a presentation given by Julathra Smith at the HJC Bowden Senior Multipurpose Facility in East Point. “I really learned how to deal with my pain without taking a lot of medication. I don’t want to get addicted to anything,” she added.

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THE SPIRIT OF FELLOWSHIP WAS ON DISPLAY AS SOUTH TRAINING CENTER STAFF BREAKS BREAD WITH CONSUMERS

Center employees

(ABOVE: South Training Center employees serve a delicious Thanksgiving lunch to consumers and their family members)

The minute you walked through the doors at the South Training Center, a wonderful aroma from the kitchen welcomed you to the building. The sounds of laughter were everywhere. There was a warm feeling of cheer in the air, that usually reflects family and friends uniting to celebrate a special occasion.

Thanksgiving lunch

(ABOVE: An assembly line of employees & volunteers prepare lunches for consumers at the South Training Center)

On Tuesday, November 21st, that occasion was the Center’s annual Thanksgiving Lunch for its consumers, fam-ily members, and staff. Over a hundred people came together for fellowship. “We have been working on this for two weeks,” says Stephen Pullie, Skills Instructor. “We are very excited, especially when it comes to putting on events for individuals who come to our center,” he said. South Training Center hosts many events year-round for their individuals and family members. During the first week of December, they are hosting Holiday Spirit Week.

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