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Multnomah County Health Department Embroiled in Dispute

That conflict, between health officials and its advisory council, gets played out at a meeting held next Monday evening.
November 6, 2015

Confidential sources have told The Lund Report about a confrontation brewing between the Multnomah County Health Department and its Community Advisory Council that could come to a head Monday evening.

According to our sources, the council is at odds with Vanetta Abdellatif, MPH, who’s in charge of integrated clinical services for the county.

Apparently the dispute boils down to a power struggle between Abdellatif and the council over its authority to oversee the physical, dental and mental health services of people receiving county services.

Her staff had attempted to close Monday night’s meeting to the public and take disciplinary action against one of its members until word leaked out. Now the meeting will not be behind closed doors. It gets underway at 6 p.m. in the Multnomah County Health office located at 421 SW Oak St.

A federal audit conducted recently determined that this council should be a governing board, rather than serve in an advisory capacity, and that decision seems to be at the root of the ongoing conflict.

“Tension has existed for some time ever since that audit because officials do not want the advisory council to have governing powers,” according to a source close to what’s happening. “Up until now the advisory committee hasn’t had any true power. But now things have changed and the council is strong enough to challenge what’s going on.”

County officials could not be reached for comment at press time.

Diane can be reached at [email protected].