Lehigh Valley Health Network dodged a bullet recently when Lehigh County jurist Brian Johnson decided that it's doing enough - $354 million worth - to satisfy its charitable mission. The person who thought differently, Robert Young, is himself a retired judge. He's not alone. Community organizer Alan Jennings, helmsman at CACLV, said the hispital has a moral, of not legal, obligation to do more, especially for those in the throes of mental illness or a heroin addiction.
“Behavioral health problems impede every aspect of our region’s quality of life,” Jennings said. “They impair worker productivity, destroy families, fill our jails, cost infinite amounts of money and diminish the success of even the best healthcare in the Lehigh Valley. LVHN CEO Brian Nester, an extraordinarily gifted entrepreneur and physician, has an historic opportunity and obligation to lead the way.”
Coroner statistics, which show a marked increase in drug overdose deaths, do not lie.
Also, does anyone really disput that mental illness has more than a little to do with recent mass shootings?
Jennings reported that he has met with dozens of representatives of non-profit organizations and spoken with countless people in the region, all of whom have stories to tell. “Every one of us, while still sensitive to the stigma attached to mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction, has a friend, a family member or a coworker who struggles to cope,” Jennings said. He offered CACLV’s assistance in the endeavor to Nester.
I'm sure that went over well.