Health department considers joining coalition

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The board of the Saline County Health Department met Monday, Feb. 9 to hear reports from Acting Administrator Russ Donnell.

Donnell told the board about an invitation he received from the Health Care Coalition of Lafayette County. Members of that organization have offered to help start such a coalition in Saline County, which would serve "to provide leadership in securing comprehensive services across the continuum of care," and have asked the health department to be involved.

Board members were enthusiastic about participating in the project, especially once they found out it would cost the health department nothing.

"This is exactly the kind of thing we've talked about," Roberta Griffitt said.

Board President Stephen Allegri suggested that the new administrator, when chosen, should help in the coalition-building process.

In other business, Donnell asked the board to approve an increase in liability insurance for the department to cover a cache of medical supplies stored in the basement by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Insurance coverage will be increased by $21,000, and the department will pay $94 more annually.

By the numbers, business was down at the health department in January compared to the same month in 2008: 2,422 versus 4,792 total contacts. But most of the difference has to do with the new way of counting contacts for clients with special health care needs, Donnell said. The busiest areas in January 2009 were family planning, 116 contacts; special health care needs, with 419 contacts; and WIC clients, at 797.

Donnell told the board that the health department will be closed Feb. 12 for Abraham Lincoln's birthday and Feb. 16 for President's Day, which was also the day applications for the position of department administrator were due. The board changed the due date to Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The board adjourned into executive session to discuss matters of personnel. Other members present were Sara Kirchhoff and Virgie Simmerman.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 9 at 7 p.m.

Contact Sydney Stonner at marshallbusiness@socket.net

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