BISBEE — Cochise Health and Social Services (CHSS) is getting some help in dealing with people who present behavioral health issues and require an assessment under Title 36.

Board of Supervisors Peggy Judd, Ann English and Tom Borer approved entering an agreement with Palo Verde Behavioral Health in Tucson to provide medical services for $25,000 annually through June 30, 2021 during Tuesday’s meeting.

“Title 36 is an involuntary process for evaluation, care and treatment of persons with a mental disorder,” according to documents submitted by CHSS director Carrie Langley. “At any time during the process, the patient may choose to accept care and treatment voluntarily. If the person can and accepts voluntary treatment, the involuntary Title 36 process stops.”

With few resources within the county to provide these services, “Securing placement for Title 36 patients can be a long process, often resulting in limited options for care. It is essential CHSS find as many partners as possible.”

The two-year contract will provide a reliable backup to access care and treatment in a timely manner, Langley said.

The supervisors also approved a $4.614 million multi-county contract with the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) service delivery area which will run through June 30, 2021. The Cochise Private Industry Council, Inc. (CPIC) provides adult, youth, and dislocated worker training programs in Cochise, Graham, and Greenlee Counties. CPIC is reimbursed for their allowable expense through DOL and the State.

The WIOA programs are funded through the Department of Labor contracts which come through the state. Cochise County acts as a pass through, so there is no fiscal impact to Cochise County.

The University of Arizona South is seeking a grant from the National Science Foundation to be used for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum development and teacher training, and now has the support of the county.

The Cochise Conservation Network (CCRN) could offer teachers the opportunity to study the existing recharge projects and riparian ecology of the area to develop STEM-based curricula for students.

“A grant from the National Science Foundation would enhance the ability of our teachers to take advantage of the county’s rich natural history and assets and translate those assets into STEM-based learning materials for our county’s students. In a time where youth are becoming more disconnected from nature, opportunities like this are critical in fostering future generations of stewards and advocates for the environmental assets we are charged with protecting in Cochise County,” the letter stated.

The county, The City of Sierra Vista, The Nature Conservancy, The City of Bisbee and the Hereford Natural Resource Conservation District collaborate on plans, designs, engineering, construction and monitoring of aquifer recharge projects near the San Pedro River. Such efforts are modeled and designed to support the stream flow of the river and the riparian habitat of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, a nationally recognized and important protected area in the heart of Cochise County.

The county, as a member of the CCRN and administrator of the project sites, welcomes relationships and agreements with the local school districts for the use of one or more of these project sites located in the Sierra Vista sub-watershed for educational purposes and teacher training, according to the letter.

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