The four “Care Coordinators” will work with community members that are dealing with a multitude of issues.
“We’ve already seen dividends from this where we’re able to go out and make contact with people that our patrol deputies have been with the night before,” Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said. “And just recognize the need, refer that to our care coordinators.”
Each Care Coordinator has a different specialty. The specialties include mental illness treatment, general welfare, substance abuse, and juvenile probation.
“I’m in contact with seven people in the last week and all seven have inter-care coordination, they have all accepted services,” Care Coordinator Mckenzie Galbreath said.
Florida Health Network officials said that they believe the partnership, which started two months ago, will advance the Bay County Sheriff’s Office goals.
“(Sheriff Ford’s) vision absolutely aligns with our philosophy and our mission to work with law enforcement. Instead of taking away resources truly putting resources into law enforcement,” Northwest Florida Health Network Chief Operating Officer Courtney Stanford said.
Ford said that his department has become increasingly frustrated with how often they have to respond to overdose cases.
“Sometimes there’s some frustration that when we’ve got somebody that we want to help, that sometimes we don’t really know what resources are out there,” Ford said.
Now the Care Coordinators will help find people intent on receiving help find treatment.