The Department of Health and Human Services, formerly the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services, previously the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, aka the Department of Mental Health and Corrections has been under fire recently, Commissioner Mary Mayhew in particular.

Even the multiple reorganizations and name changes reflect the complexity of the issues the commissioner is expected to address.

Without question, DHHS is the largest agency of Maine state government, the most costly and the most controversial.

The struggle to put a computer system in place that will produce accurate bills and track eligibility has been going on for 20 years.

The growth of MaineCare and the number of people who depend upon it is also something that has developed over many years.

This is not the first Legislature, governor or commissioner to wrestle with health and human services problems. Mayhew is new; she will need a lot more time and the help of everyone who cares about social services to manage this department.

We have faith in her intelligence and the wisdom of experienced legislators and staff. We hope she will be given the time and the support she deserves as she takes on this difficult job.

Dennis Fitzgibbons

Executive director, AlphaOne

Carol Carothers

Executive director, Maine

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Augusta


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