Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: MDC was there for Cecil

Letter by Lisa S. Edwards, Tacoma on Nov. 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm | 9 Comments »
November 28, 2011 9:13 am

Thank you for the article profiling Cecil Leading Horse (TNT, 11-20) and his courageous road to recovery. The article aptly explains the support services provided by the Metropolitan Development Council.

However, there are several important details that were not provided to News Tribune readers: MDC’s Behavioral Health and Recovery program serves more than 4,500 Pierce County families annually and operates the only acute detox facility and sobering center in the county.

The calculated return on investment of this program is a 12:1; for every $1 spent, $12 of future services are saved for use elsewhere in our community for police, fire, medical or incarceration costs.

It is easy to become fixated on the $2.1 million cost and lose sight of the fact that when Leading Horse was ready, the MDC was there with cost-effective treatment and wraparound support services at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room visit or jail.

The unsung heroes in this story are the MDC staff who every day quietly go about their work serving thousands in the community. A dedicated group of professionals, faced with ongoing reductions in funding, the MDC staff regularly scrutinizes operations to ensure each dollar is stretched to serve as many in the community as possible.

(Edwards is MDC board chair.)

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