Deschutes County to take part in behavioral health pilot program

Will expand services to veterans, seniors, others

BEND, Ore. - Deschutes County announced Monday it has been selected to participate in a two-year, federally funded behavioral health pilot program.

The new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) program is designed to increase coordination of care and other treatment services for individuals with the most serious, complex mental illnesses and addictions.

The additional funding will enable the Deschutes County Health Services Department to expand behavioral health services provided to veterans, seniors who are enrolled in Medicare, and other underserved groups. It will also allow for increased collaboration with agencies serving veterans.

Oregon is one of eight states that were selected for the pilot program, which is part of a two-year $1.1 billion federal investment in mental health and addiction treatment at the community level. Deschutes County is one of 13 Oregon counties that will be participating in the pilot program.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to increase our ability to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Deschutes County Commissioner Tammy Baney. “It’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along every day and a commitment that we don’t take lightly.”

To adequately staff the CCBHC program, Deschutes County will hire 29 limited-duration employees. New staff members will be hired on a temporary basis and include counselors, case managers, and peer support specialists.

The initial wave of recruiting to staff the pilot program begins this week. Interested applicants can view available openings at Deschutes County anticipates that the CCBHC pilot program will begin work in April. Additional job openings will be posted in the coming weeks.

“Deschutes County Health Services has a long-standing community-based service model,” said Deschutes County Health Services Director Dr. George Conway. “This project provides our community with an excellent opportunity to extend services to additional persons in need.  It will also improve coordination of care with our community partners and primary care providers.”

For more information on CCBHCs, visit:

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