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Humboldt supervisors approve DHHS contract with recruiting agency

EUREKA- The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services will now move forward on a $3.5 million contract with a physician recruiting agency.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the contract with Traditions Behavioral Health, a Napa base recruiting firm. Starting April 10 the organization will begin recruiting the equivalent of 5.6 FTE psychiatrists to work in all areas of the mental health branch.

Gary Hayes, president of traditions behavioral health spoke before the board Tuesday, explaining that his organization is most effective at recruiting because they can bring in "a different kind of doctor." The organization specializes in W2 benefited employees and says they can provide the North Coast with stable and permanent doctors within a year.

This type of contract isn't new to the county. DHHS worked with Traditions Behavioral Health back in 1999 to recruit doctors before buying out the contract soon after.

Under this new contract, the recruiting agency is responsible for managing the new employees and providing benefits. The agency says out of every county the operate in, Humboldt County has been the only one to ever discontinue their contract.

DHHS says they are also working with eight other counties to develop better recruitment and retainment strategies but plans to use traditions' services for the next one to three years.