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County Executive Falk Announces New Funding Source to Support Unique Program That Meets Elder Hmong Mental Health Needs

For more information contact:

Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 8/16/2005

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Madison -- Kajsiab House, a program that provides mental health services and other support to senior Hmong individuals and families in Dane County, is getting a much needed new revenue source to continue operating, County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today.

“I am pleased that our Department of Human Services budget for 2006 includes funding through the Medical Assistance Mental Health Crisis program to continue funding many of those services at Kajsiab House that are currently being supported by a key Federal grant that will be ending soon, “ said County Executive Falk. “We will be able to claim these funds with no additional county tax investment by leveraging the more than $9.6 million that Dane County already invests locally in Mental Health programs.”

Falk said that the Mental Health Center of Dane County, who operates Kajsiab House, should be able to start claiming these extra funds to support services currently being provided to around 180 consumers at Kajsiab House and that this funding source could generate up to $475,000 to support Kajsiab House in 2006. “I am delighted that everyone’s efforts have come a long way to preserving this unique and vital service. I hope they are successful in acquiring the other funds needed to keep the program whole.” said Beth Gross, Dane County Board Supervisor and Chair of the Health & Human Needs Committee.

Kajsiab House was founded by Dane County and the Mental Health Center in 2000 as an adult day-care facility, providing day services including physical therapy, recreation and socialization, and mental health treatment for Hmong participants. Many of these participants have had traumatic or trying experiences fighting for the United States in Southeast Asia or during the time spent in the refugee camps to which they were forced to flee and live in, some for the past three decades.

In 2000 and 2001, Dane County earmarked $145,000 per year in W-2 “community reinvestment funds” to help Kajsiab House get up and running. However, these funds were subsequently eliminated by the State of Wisconsin. Since then, the Mental Health Center of Dane County has operated Kajsiab House with support from State, Federal and private grants. Dane County has been working with them to help find new funding sources. Falk said Dane County will continue to support the Mental Health Center and Kajsiab House in its quest for additional outside funding.

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