April 21, 2015

Multnomah County

Mental Health and Addiction Services Division

Transferring to Multnomah County Health Department

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Effective July 1, 2015, the Mental Health and Addiction Services Division (MHASD) will move from Department of County Human Services (DCHS), under the direction of Liesl Wendt, to the Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD), under the direction of JoAnne Fuller. David Hidalgo, Mental Health and Addiction Services Division Director will transition to Multnomah County Health Department as the Deputy Director of Mental Health.

This document serves to provide guidance and answers for clients and community members to frequently asked questions throughout the transition process. The included questions were compiled from feedback gathered from employees and MHASD advisory groups. Serving as a living document, questions and answers will be updated and/or added over time. Realizing the document may not address every inquiry, County leadership is committed to supporting a seamless transition process for all affected staff and community members. If you have additional questions not already included, please email them to jill.m.bradford@multco.us and your questions and respective answers could be incorporated in an updated version published and reposted every month on /dchs.

While any organizational shift can be challenging and stressful, leadership in both departments are committed to making this a smooth transition for clients and employees. We are dedicated to public service supporting a healthy and thriving community in Multnomah County.


1. Why is this change happening?

Multnomah County seeks to develop an integrated community health system that achieves the best care and the best behavioral and physical health outcomes through improved care coordination and collaboration for the Medicaid population and the larger community. Aligning the behavioral and physical health programs advances the County’s goals associated with health system transformation. The transition of MHASD to MCHD lays the groundwork for future collaboration and alignment.

2. Which Department of County Human Services employees are moving to the Multnomah County Health Department as a result of this change?

All MHASD employees will become MCHD employees, including Business Services employees who are primarily performing duties in support of MHASD. All DCHS staff will receive communication regarding Business Services staffing prior to July 1st, 2015. DCHS Business Services will be fully staffed to continue DCHS Business Services functions.

3. Will clients see any changes in service?

Clients should not see any changes in services.

4. I want my mental health services to continue in the same way. Do I have to do something special for this to happen? How do I make sure that I keep my current provider?

Nothing in the administrative transition of MHASD to MCHD should impact getting a mental health specialist or continuing with care that you have already arranged and authorized through your insurance.

5. How do I get the mental health specialist and/or services I need to have?

Just as you would today, please contact or follow the instructions for accessing a mental health specialist through your insurance. The County's Mental Health Call Center at 503-988-4888 can also assist if you need to locate a county contracted provider agency.

6. Will this change how or where MHASD staff provides services?

There are no immediate plans to change what is currently in place.

download FAQ pdf