Anka Behavioral Health was contracted to provide services after Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital closed last year. Assertive Community Treatment teams, comprised of a team leader, psychiatrist, a nurse, three case managers, an addiction specialist, a certified peer specialist and a program assistant, were working in the community, providing care in patients’ homes.
Highland Rivers Community Service Board will be providing the services.
“They (Anka) have a contract running through the end of the year,” said Tom Wilson, a spokesman for DBHDD. “We were not satisfied with the quality of services.”
Wilson said the Anka team was not building relationships with those who also deal with the mentally ill, including police, emergency room workers and other mental health professionals.
“Clearly we are very unhappy with what transpired,” said Naja Boyd, chief operating officer for Anka.
According to Boyd, it usually takes a year to firmly establish a program in the community. There was some staff turnover that affected the program, according to Boyd. About 10 people are continuing to work for Anka in Floyd County, she said.
Highland Rivers is preparing for the transition and is staffed at about 60 to 70 percent, according to Jason Bearden, executive director of the organization.
Rome is already the biggest service area for Highland Rivers, which serves 12 Northwest Georgia counties, according to Bearden. And because Highland Rivers is already seeing patients here, having the contract here creates a “continuum of care,” he said.