A recently completed legislative audit of Davis Behavioral Health criticizes aspects of the mental health care provider's operation in Davis County since 2004 and urges changes.

But DBH officials say they've improved and streamlined the nonprofit's operation since 2007 and have secured a path to make the nonprofit more viable.

Davis Behavioral Health, which was organized by the Davis County commissioners, is charged with substance abuse and mental health treatment in Davis County, and employs three psychiatrists.

Between 80 percent and 85 percent of DBH's revenue comes from government sources, and the audit states that when DBH reorganized in 2004 and set up five affiliated corporations to oversee various DBH missions, it was a poor use of $840,000.

But DBH's president and CEO Maureen Womack, said the reorganization happened with the blessing of Davis County commissioners and that the audit is silent on the benefits the sister organizations generated.

Between 2005 and 2007, DBH's employment corporation served 1,100 people by helping them find meaningful employment and job training, one of the key factors in helping address mental health, Womack said.

During that time, services increased, so costs increased, she said.

The reason for creating the sister organizations was to facilitate accounting so private money wouldn't get mixed with Medicaid and other government money. It is a practice followed by similar organizations, Womack said.

Since that time, the school of thought has changed, and DBH reorganized again in 2007 by dissolving the other organizations and bringing their missions back under the umbrella of DBH.

DBH recently secured more than $1 million in employment contracts from outside sources to offset internal costs.

The audit also criticized DBH's current organization, stating that DBH's clinical operations should oversee counseling, as well as employment.

But William Wingo, who oversees DBH's corporate integrity, said different relationships are needed when helping someone overcome mental health challenges.

A clinical-trusting-friendly relationship is needed for counseling situations, he said, while a boss-employee relationship is needed for the same people, relative to employment, Wingo said. He added that's why DBH's human resources director oversees employment for the 56 people in DBH's care who currently work as janitors or food service workers.

DBH's consumers need to learn workplace responsibility, as well as how to better their mental health, Wingo says.

Though DBH officials disagreed with many of the audit's findings from the chapter criticizing the creation of sister nonprofits, they have begun implementing recommendations from other parts of the audit.

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