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News and Press

New Location Planned For Chattooga LMCS

Published in The Summerville News

Lookout Mountain Community Services (LMCS) will move to a new temporary location by July or August at the latest. It will be located in the Save-A-Lot Shopping Center in Summerville. LMCS is currently located in the Downtown Shopping Center across from DFCS.

LMCS has been in its present site since 1998. They have been in the county since 1965 in other locations.

We are looking forward to the move,'" Tom Ford, Chief Executive Officer said. "Temporarily, what we are looking at is working with the Primary Health Care of Dade and Walker and they are looking at putting some primary healthcare services in Chattooga County.

He said that the big thing now is primary health care and its integration with mental health.

"Hopefully in the next nine months, we will be in the same space, working together," he added.

There will be nurses and doctors and the local mental health clinician in a space next to the Boys and Girls Club in the Save-A-Lot Shopping Center.

In the short run, they will be moving up to Dr. Caron's old offices in the Save-A-Lot Shopping Center.

"That will be a temporary location at least on our mental health side, within the next 6o to 90 days," Dr. Ford said. "We will be in the old Center for Hope space next to it also."

The Developmentally Disabled program will move there, also, probably next to The Well in the same center. They are currently located next to the Lookout Mountain Community Services site.

"The good thing is the Boys and Girls Club is there and we will be working with them," Dr. Ford said.

Juvenile Justice will be moving in an adjacent space there, also. 'We work with a lot of their individuals," Dr. Ford continued. "That is going to be for us very helpful and much more accommodating for parking and staff and we will be more visible up there."

Once the program gets in the new "big space,'' a grand opening will be held.

The LMCS had shortened its hours during the recession and now they are back to five days allowing people to walk in anytime between 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

"Basically, we have the only psychiatr,ic services in the county," Dr. Ford said.

"A lot of people don't know that," Janice Sabo, Director of Human Resources added.

"We accept all payers - insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and people with no income, they are on a sliding fee scale," Dr. Ford said.

Someone "'With no income at all, could havetheir fees as little as $5 a session.

"You can't get that anywhere else," he said. "We are not state employees. We contract with the state to provide services to the uninsured, but basically, we accept all types of payments."

LMCS provides substance abuse services at the site, anybody with mental health issues, doctors and their own pharmacy that provides medications at reasonable prices.

The program serves about 6o people a year from Chat-tooga County.

There are around 500 people in open cases at any one time in Chattooga County, Dr. Ford explained."We probably serve around 2,000 in the county," he said. "The DD program has around 40 and those people stay with us basically forever."

"It is amazing that we serve that many in the county but there are so many that still don't know about our services and that these services are even here," Theresa Varos, Director of Marketing and Pubic Relations said.

"People typically work well with us if they know about the program," Ms. Varos added.

Varas said the Lookout Mountain Community Services office in Dade County is already set up with the primary health care like there will be here in the future.

"It is like a one-stop shop, they have the dental, doctors and nurses and we have the psychiatrists and therapists," Varos added.

"We're looking to do that here," Dr. Ford said.

LMCS wants to begin working closer with the school systems in the fall.

"Our budget has grown from a $9-million budget when I came to a $23-million budget this year," Dr. Ford said.

TRANSPORTATION

"If individuals can't get to their appointments with us," Dr. Ford explained. "Chattooga has public transporta­tion for those with Medicaid but for individuals without Medicaid that need our services, they can call our transportation program and we can pick them up and bring them in. There is no charge and they don't have to worry about paying for that."

LMCS transports to its outpatient services about so clients a month. All of the individuals in the DD program are transported every day to that program.

LMCS has a new website which was launched last month - LMCS.ORG

"The site has everything about anything about us and every one of our services, photo galleries, and a really awesome resource section so people within the four counties as well as statewide can access food, clothing, shelters and all differ-ent types of support services they need," Varos said.

SERVICES

Services offered include: adult services, individual and group counseling, case management, peer support, residential services, supported employment and psychiatric services; substance abuse, group counseling and intensive outpatient therapy; child and adolescent services, individual counseling, family counseling, in-home programs, psychiatric services and foster/respite care and development services, day programs/supported employ-ment; residential, respite services, nursing and family support services.

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