By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
The Oakland County Board of Commissioners and the Oakland Community Health Network (OCHN) are reimbursing medical expenses of Oxford High School community members.
Announced in a March 14 OCHN press release, the program will reimburse up to $2,000 for mental health care copays and deductibles for services rendered after the Nov. 30 shooting. The program is open to OHS students and their families, along with Oxford Community Schools administrators and staff.
Eligible individuals can apply through bit.ly/OCHNOxfrdGrntApp or call 248-464-6363. Information required includes proof of payment, the affected person’s name, age, grade (if applicable), parent or guardian name (if applicable), mailing address and a signed consent form accessible through the application. Some of the services eligible for reimbursement include psychiatry, psychological testing, psychological assessment, family therapy, individual counseling and psychotherapy.
The Board of Commissioners wanted to do something to help with medical costs following the shooting, and unanimously passed a resolution at its Feb. 24 meeting allocating $570,000 to fund the program.
“We knew we had to establish a solution quickly, and working closely with OCHN we were able to create such a program,” Commissioner Michael Spisz (R-Oxford), author of the resolution, said. “No victim from this incident should have to go untreated or stop treatment due to healthcare costs.”
The Feb. 24 resolution authorizes the OCHN to handle the distribution of funds.
“It is a real honor for OCHN to be entrusted with the important responsibility of helping to provide mental health payment relief for Oxford students, families, and school personnel,” OCHN Executive Director and CEO Dana Lasenby said. “I applaud Commissioner Spisz and the entire Board for taking quick action to ensure those impacted by this devastating incident have access to quality mental health support.”
The board reserved $5 million for Nov. 30 related expenses including prosecution efforts, counseling for community members and sheriff’s office personnel. Spisz informed the Oxford Township Board of Trustees on March 9 that $100,000 was allocated for grants reimbursing Oxford and Orion area businesses for their donations and work carried out in the wake of the shooting.
“We, as a community, need to rally behind each other and continue to help where we can,” Spisz said in the March 14 release. “I must thank the entire Board of Commissioners and the Executive Office for their support and working with me to fill a very important need in our community.”
By Dean Vaglia