Child development center overwhelmed by demands PDF Print E-mail
Written by HAROLD BROWN Sentinel City Editor   
Friday, 10 May 2013 10:04
File photo. Dr. Sherri Thomas working with Sebastian Farley, 5, at her office in Bowling Green. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Demand has overwhelmed the Center for Child Development at Wood County Hospital.
Developmental Supervisor Beth Instone Thursday night told members of the Wood County Board of Health that as of this week no new referrals will accepted until Nov. 1.
"We are at a saturation point and had to sit down this week and redefine our policies. We will not be able to accept new patients until November and in January 2014 we will reduce by 50 percent the number of new patients we will take," Instone said.
"We are getting five or six referrals a day. We had five today. It is really hard to tell parents we have no spots. Parents are crying but we have no spots," she said.
The center was opened two years ago and serves a wide area of Northwest Ohio. Between now and November parents will have to contact centers in Toledo and Columbus to try to gain services, Instone said.
"We've become a regional center. Most of our referrals come from Wood, Lucas, Seneca and Hancock counties. We have some who come from almost as far away as the Indiana state line. There is nothing else in the area," she said.
Board President Fleming Fallon asked Instone to prepare information for the next meeting about ways the board might be able to help. "I can't promise you anything but the information will be a place for us to start."
The center had 24 new patients in April. Instone said nearly all patients have multiple diagnoses. Most common among the April patients were sleep disturbance, autism, ADD/ADHD, lack of coordination, global developmental delay, language delay, intellectual delay, hypotonia, staring spells and post traumatic stress disorder. There were 30 different diagnoses listed on the April report.
Instone said each assessment is intensive and all require follow up visits.
The board also:
• Discussed concerns about turnover among newer staff members. Board member Richard Strow said the health department has many staff with 10, 20 and 30 years of experience but very few that have joined and stayed five years. "We've got to have that pipeline filled."
• Learned that 32 restaurants received the Clean Plate Award this year, double the number of a year ago. "They seem happy and pleased to have won the award. They have low violations and many have repeated as winners," Environmental Director Brad Espen said.
• Heard Health Commissioner Pam Butler report that Ohio House Bill 5 has been changed to lower the number of required continuing education credits for board members and that the plan to establish regional boards has been moved to a separate bill.
• Discussed changing the monthly meeting date to better meet the monthly deadline for getting bills approved for payment by the county. No action was taken.

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