No Contract for Sunderland - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

No Contract for Sunderland

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- New information about the Benton and Franklin County mental health contract, county commissioners have decided not to renew Sunderland Family Services' contract.

Among the commissioners, Benton County's Claude Oliver was the sole 'no' vote for the new contract. Sunderland executive director John Simpkin says he just doesn't understand why the provider's contract wasn't renewed.

He says rankings of all of the five mental health providers in the running show Sunderland's success. Simpkin says that Sunderland was rated among the top two in both care and cost. And now that commissioners have agreed on a new contract, Catholic Family Services replaces Sunderland.

Sunderland has filed an appeal, saying the bidding process for the new contract wasn't done properly.

Sunderland's contract is set to run out at the end of September and officials don't think the transition to a new provider will be easy for its 1,100 patients. But, Benton County Commissioners believe the county is ready for the change.