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Drug Program Re-Funded

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday renewed a $1.1-million contract with the Watts Health Foundation, which runs one of the largest anti-drug programs in the county, despite past concerns about the agency’s finances.

The board approved a Department of Health Services agreement with the Watts foundation as part of a $15-million package of contracts for countywide anti-drug programs. Supervisor Pete Schabarum had expressed reservations about the foundation, which filed last year for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Code.

But Schabarum and his colleagues on Tuesday voted to renew all 84 agreements after directing county health officials to evaluate those programs in the next three months.

The Watts foundation had filed for protection after problems with the foundation’s prepaid health services plan. But Dr. Clyde Oden, the foundation’s president and chief executive, said Tuesday that the agency is rebounding. “We’re off the critical list, and we soon will be rated financially sound by everyone looking at us,” he said.

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