The Wyoming County Commissioners returned from the annual County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania conference and trade show with fresh ideas for Wyoming County.
Since the conference ran from Aug. 4 to 7, last Tuesday’s commissioners meeting was rescheduled to Thursday morning.
Reflecting on the conference, Commissioner Tom Henry said he was most impressed by a meeting about medication assisted treatment for individuals with substance use disorders in state and county correctional facilities.
Steven Seitchik, MAT statewide coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, led the meeting.
“It was interesting to listen to him speak about what’s happening,” Henry said.
Presently, there isn’t one program that the entire state uses, but Henry said Seitchik believes this will eventually change.
If an individual is on MAT before going to prison and the prison doesn’t offer it, it could be grounds for a lawsuit, which has been happening in some cases.
“Most times though, when someone is going into the prison, they don’t have a treatment plan in use yet,” Henry said. “They’re wanting to start some kind of assisted treatment and there’s so many different types of treatment out there.”
For instance, he said a shot of Vivitrol lasts for 28 days and blocks opioid receptors in the brain.
“That gives somebody a 28-day period to get a program together where they can’t use no matter what,” he said.
The commissioners have a meeting with PrimeCare soon to discuss setting up similar programs in the Wyoming County Correctional Facility.
“The hardest thing I see is the cost,” Henry said. “Even with insurance, it’s about $1,000 a dose. So it’s really an expensive endeavor… There’s a lot for us to learn and I’m willing to learn it.”
With this upcoming meeting, Henry said he hopes PrimeCare representatives can have answers about possible reimbursements to avoid huge costs to the county.
Also during the conference, Henry applied to serve on the Committee on County Criminal Justice System Best Practices, which will review recommendations that a prison overcrowding task force made and develop different strategies for county jails.
Commissioner Judy Mead attended meetings during the conference as well, including those regarding community and economic development, tick borne disease and emergency medical services.
“All emergency services are going to be in crisis soon, with the volunteers, with the time, with the money it takes, so that is one of the things all the counties are talking about, is how are we going to handle this crisis,” Mead said.
Many counties have also had issues with tick borne diseases, Mead added, and she has been in contact with Wayne County about the work it has done to combat this problem.
On Tuesday, Commissioner Michael Stabinsky said phase 1 of the courthouse’s active shooter training has been completed, so the next step is to plan the actual drill.
Now that all county employees have received education on what to do during the event of an active shooter situation, he hopes to hold the drill some time in October.
The commissioners also approved adoption assistance agreements for two individuals, but tabled ratifying a risk pool ordinance until later this month.
The commissioners granted a request from the judge’s chambers to withdraw up to $1,500 per year from the pre-September 2000 funds starting on Oct. 1 for individuals who cannot afford to attend the Kids First program.
The program educates families on how to help their children cope with parental breakups and familial conflicts.
Recycling Coordinator and Waste Director Mike Rogers was also present on Tuesday to remind the public of an electronic recycling event coming up at the Wyoming County Recycling Center on Saturday, Sept. 14.
From 9 a.m. to noon, Wyoming County residents and small businesses can drop off electronics such as batteries, televisions and light bulbs, some for a fee.
For a complete list of acceptable items and their costs, visit wycopa.org and click on “Recycling Center.”
The Wyoming County Commissioners are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m.