Committee has an axe to grind

June 23, 2008 12:00 am

To the editor:

On Tuesday (June 17) the front page of the Baker City Herald featured an article concerning Mr. Dielman and how his advisory committee rated Mountain Valley Mental Health. As I am the retiring chairman of the MVMH Board of Directors, I thought I couldn't pass up this opportunity for a "final shot" at this worthless evaluation, and the paper, for that matter, for printing such drivel.

The purpose of the Mental Health Advisory Committee is to inform the county commissioners concerning the needs of the community. Mental heath agencies are evaluated by the state of Oregon Mental Health Division. Why Mr. Dielman, who has no mental health training, believes he has the expertise to evaluate MVMH is incomprehensible. It is well known that Mr. Dielman has always been antagonistic toward MVMH. Furthermore, there is a member of his committee who is the spouse of an individual who was fired by MVMH. Certainly this creates a conflict of interest, and an atmosphere where any evaluation of our services would be suspect.

Recently MVMH was evaluated by GOBHI and by the state of Oregon. While there were three areas involving internal documentation which need some work, the state warded MVMH a two-year certificate, and interestingly, the surveyors commented on the quality of care provided at MVMH.

Until the county commissioners appoint an advisory committee with a serious interest in mental health and not just a political agenda, we will look at the group as merely an inconsequential irritant.

Laurence W. Levinger

Baker City