Subject Matter Expert - Opinion Article
By Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director
Health and Human Services: 
A Path Forward
How to realize system alignment for clients within 
challenging budgetary times

"More than ever, we must once again bring our combined resources to bear and help catalyze the critical healthcare needs of our regional clients."

While Louisiana legislators and state administrators are addressing the $750 million fiscal 2015-16 budget shortfall in Louisiana, and as we plan for the upcoming fiscal 2016-17 $1.9 billion budget deficit, Northeast Delta HSA will manage these resources in a responsible fiscal manner.
In northeast Louisiana, NE Delta HSA is making some extremely tough budget decisions now, which are strategic and judicious. Our goal is to lessen the negative impact these cuts will have on our most vulnerable citizens. We are being keenly intentional in minimizing cuts that impact our own agency's clinical services. We have scrubbed our organization from top to bottom to find additional administrative cost savings in our already-lean organization.
As we outlined last summer, the integrated network model through which we work is built upon a strong collaborative foundation. We all must work in concert to meet our citizens' complex behavioral and primary healthcare needs, especially in times of budget challenges. Only through a collaborative, integrated network of services will we come through this fiscal crisis and prevent our most vulnerable citizens from falling through the cracks.
All agencies must come together to better understand the available resources among us. With this approach, one agency can pick up and provide a service that another agency is no longer able to furnish due to budget reductions. We must communicate with each other and understand how all of our existing programs, services and providers will be impacted.  We must plan how to innovatively fill the widening gaps this budget crisis will likely bring.
This approach will not only help catalyze positive behavioral and primary healthcare outcomes, but it will also help address serious quality of life barriers that prohibit our citizens from realizing their human potential. We encourage law enforcement, primary healthcare providers, hospital systems, faith-based groups, community and business leaders, public health entities and our legislators to continue fostering the collaborations we have all already set in motion together.
People throughout our region have historically demonstrated a willingness to come together and solve problems. More than ever, we must once again bring our combined resources to bear and help catalyze the critical healthcare needs of our regional clients. On behalf of NE Delta HSA, we highly recommend that regional thought leaders assemble soon to further plan around the challenges that our citizens will face. Difficult times demand innovation and collaboration.

-Dr. Monteic A. Sizer, NE Delta HSA Executive Director
Jill Hirsekorn
Northeast Delta HSA Public Information Director
2513 Ferrand Street, Monroe, LA 71201
Phone 318-362-5482