News Article Details

Eaton named to state mental health and disability commission

Newton Daily News - 4/4/2018

April 04--Jody Eaton was named to a second term on the state's Mental Health and Disability Commission on Monday. Eaton, the CEO of Central Iowa Community Services (CICS) will serve a second three-year term on the board that will begin May 1.

As the CEO of CICS Eaton has worked on the frontlines of mental health care for years. On Tuesday, she said she's excited to continue her role with Mental Health and Disability Commission.

"I'm really honored and really grateful to be able to serve in that capacity," Eaton said.

On the Mental Health and Disability Commission, Eaton will be responsible for guiding the state's policy on mental health by submitting regular reports to Gov. Kim Reynolds. The commission will also work to create policy to back a newly enacted mental health bill.

Last week, Reynolds signed HF 2456 into law, a bill that will create sweeping reforms in mental health services across the state. The legislation will create six new access centers, located across the state, which will offer short-term treatment to Iowans facing a mental health crisis.

The broad scope of the bill will create changes across the board, dealing with commitments, licensing of subacute mental health facilities, disclosure of mental health issues to law enforcement, video conferencing of hospitalization hearings, transportation service contracts, mental health and disability services quarterly reports, regional core services, reduction of fund balances from mental health regions, commitment process report and a tertiary care psychiatric hospitals report. Eaton and her fellow commissioners will be tasked with creating a policy system to put those new regulations into action.

"If legislation passes the house and the senate and is signed by the governor there's still the process of crafting policy to implement those laws," Eaton said. "In my mind, it really will make a difference coming up with these administrative rules, I feel like the commission does a great job of reporting the state of the mental health services to the governor."

Local legislators praised Eaton's commitment on Monday following her confirmation. Sen. Chaz Allen, D-Newton, said he believes Eaton's long history of working to improve services and provide access for Iowans facing mental health issues have given her a proven track record of success.

"Jody Eaton has been a great leader in our region working with the issues of mental health and people with disabilities and will continue that leadership throughout the state," Allen said.

Like Allen, Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, said he's seen Eaton's dedication to improving the lives of Iowans as he's worked side by side with her. Breckenridge said working with Eaton to improve mental health services in Jasper County has been a pleasure.

"I've been very pleased with her knowledge and expertise and she's been very helpful to Jasper County," Breckenridge said. "I think she would do an outstanding job on that board, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience, she's very passionate and someone who would do a great job."

Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or ddolmage@newtondailynews.com

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(c)2018 the Newton Daily News (Newton, Iowa)

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