Health Dept. to consolidate substance abuse- and suicide-prevention money

May 16, 2012


Despite opposition, the Wyoming Department of Health announced today that it will go ahead with its new plan to have one management organization handle and distribute substance abuse and suicide prevention money across the state. 

Currently, 52 different agencies distribute the prevention money, and State Health Officer
Dr. Wendy Braund said that leads to administrative costs of between eight- to 11-percent at each agency.  She says that is a problem, as fewer prevention dollars are available to states.

“The program has had to re-evaluate how to most effectively spend those dollars and so this concept of going to a single fiscal agent and the decrease in administrative resources that could be dollars that could be repurposed directly into community activities has been a discussion that has been going on for some time,” Braund said.

Despite her comments, some Wyoming agencies say they were caught off-guard and contend that this will actually cost some jobs and could decrease prevention dollars to some communities. 

But Braund says the goal is to get the money where it is most needed.  She says there has been a lack of communication about what the department is doing, and they will be having regular conversations with stakeholders to try and address their concerns.