I have been a Juneau resident since 1988 and am a former SEARHC employee. Like others in our community, I am saddened to hear about SEARHC's decision to eliminate its social work department. Over the past year, Juneau has seen shifts in the provision of social services, including the closing of the city's mental health center. As I recall, the city made some effort to keep the community informed of its decisions. It also assured consumers of social services that they would not "fall through the cracks."
Why did SEARHC decide to drop social work from its range of services? Don't health care organizations in our community have an obligation to keep us well informed about the services that they provide? Did the SEARHC management team determine that SEARHC beneficiaries no longer have social service needs? Of the thousands of SEARHC beneficiaries, how many were involved in the making of this very important decision? Does the organization have a new plan for providing social service assistance? And for now, where are SEARHC beneficiaries to turn when they need help?