Lake County’s Board of Commissioners recently approved a new psychiatric consulting contract that will double hours of service provided locally.
The action, taken during the Commissioners’ June 19, regular session, accommodated for an increase from $25,000 to $50,000 in cost to the county, according to County paperwork.
The County had budgeted for $30,000 in the new year’s budget, but paperwork indicated that a greater-than-anticipated beginning fund balance would afford the needed $20,000 increase beyond what was budgeted.
Interim Lake County Mental Health Dir. Ben Paz said that the new contracting Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Andrew Vilius replaces predecessor Colin McInnes, who took a full-time position elsewhere.
Vilius will be available six hours per week, a doubled capacity from previously, Paz said. Two to three times a year, he will make site visits to Lakeview, but Lake County Mental Health also provides telepsychiatry services, which affords services via computer/internet connection.
Scheduled services will be Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Paz said, and Vilius’ primary specialty will be in medication.
The increased hours will afford greater access of services, and provides another experienced individual offering insight on treatment of individual patients, Paz said.