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ASHEBORO — If preliminary studies are positive, Randolph County could see an expansion of services at the Daymark Recovery facilities at 110 W. Walker Ave. in Asheboro that could double the number of people working there and significantly increase the services offered.

On Monday, Victoria Whitt, Sandhills Center CEO, and Billy West, Daymark Recovery CEO, came before Randolph County commissioners to ask for their endorsement of the proposed expansion. The board voted unanimously to signal support.

Whitt is proposing to to create a facility-based crisis service center that would provide an alternative to hospitalization for adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis, 24 hour a day, seven days per week. The current operation in Asheboro provides services, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Daymark Recovery already provides an array of outpatient and psychiatric services in Randolph County at West Walker Avenue for the treatment of mental illness, substance abuse and developmental disabilities with a staff of 30, West said. This expansion would include more 40 staff such as psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, a licensed clinical staff and peer supports.

West said the county could see an increase of $3.5 million in federal Medicaid and state funding for the service.

Whitt said Randolph County is an ideal location for the expansion for Sandhills’ nine-county Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organization (LME-MCO). LMEs are regions set up by the state beginning in 2001 in an effort to control the rising costs of providing mental health and substance abuse services in North Carolina.

Randolph County is centrally located to the other counties in this LME, Whitt said. The existing facility is convenient to U.S. 220 and U.S. 64, she said.

Whitt said she and the center’s board members found it significant that Randolph County has made addressing health issues a major part of its Strategic Plan for the next 20 years.

Whitt said the center’s board selected Daymark Recovery to operate the services because it is already an established crisis provider within the Sandhills Center area. Daymark also has a relationship with Randolph Hospital and Therapeutic Alternatives, and a track record of offering facility-based crisis services in Cabarrus, Iredell, Union and Wilkes counties.

Whitt said, ideally, Sandhills Center would like to purchase the building at West Walker Avenue. She said an architect will visit the building Tuesday to do a preliminary assessment of its feasibility for expansion.

If for some reason the architect finds the building at West Walker Avenue is not suited for the expansion, Whitt said her board still wants to make the expansion happen in Randolph County. The goal, she said, would be to have an expanded facility open by the summer of 2017.

Article Reference: Commissioners endorse Sandhills Center proposal