The Maine Department of Health and Human Services yesterday announced a proposal to consolidate programs and reduce staff to better integrate services, according to a press release. The move would result in a loss of 47 positions, many of which are currently vacant.
Developed over the last several months, the restructuring plan would merge the Offices of Substance Abuse and Adult Mental Health, as well as merge the Offices of Elder Services and Cognitive and Physical Disabilities Services, which would become the Office of Aging and Disability Services. The Office of Child and Family Services would be reorganized to spread services department-wide. Contracts would be consolidated to reduce administrative costs and improve efficiency, according to the release. The restructuring would eliminate 91 positions and create 44 new ones. Affected employees were notified yesterday.
DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the restructuring is "not about closing a budget shortfall," but about improving delivery of services. She told the Portland Press Herald the savings are estimated at $500,000. The restructuring will be proposed in a bill expected to be submitted by Gov. Paul LePage later this week.