The board has been asked numerous times why it has taken so long to dedicate the building.
"We wanted to get it right," said Board Member Stephen Allegri. "We've tripped and skipped along the way. We now feel like we got it right."
Allegri said success couldn't have been achieved without the staff at the department.
"It's you people that make it work," Allegri said to staff members present at the dedication. "You make the board look good."
Transforming the SCHD from a health office to a public health department that serves all people was a big job, according to Allegri.
During the regular board meeting, Saline County Health Department Administrator Lisa Thomas brought some ideas to the board about employee health insurance. She spoke with them about continuing a group plan or switching to a health debit card. The debit card would give the employees a set amount on the card per month to pay insurance premiums, co-pays, prescriptions or anything medical related. The amount would be equivalent to what it would cost for the department to purchase health insurance for the employees.
"We are not required to provide health insurance," said Thomas, because the department doesn't employ 50 people.
The static amount on the debit card could only be used for health and would build up if they don't use it.
Allegri voiced concern if there was a catastrophic event, if an employee didn't purchase insurance or the amount on the card wouldn't cover it, they would be saddled with a huge expense.
"I don't think anyone knows where things are going," said Allegri, in reference to the Affordable Care Act.
Allegri asked Thomas to look at some other company options and suggested Duncan Group Insurance Service, of Brunswick. Board President Sara Kirchhoff suggested contacting Group Benefit Services Inc., of Springfield.
The board would like to have someone explain the options in depth.
In other business, Thomas reported the number of birth certificates printed had doubled and death certificates had tripled from a year ago in August. Also, the amount of immunizations given had more than tripled.
She also reported the health department had been approached by Walmart to provide flu clinics at the Marshall store. The board echoed unanimous excitement about the partnership.
Six months ago, the board approved a contract with Nancy Clements as a life/wellness coach.
"I think its really starting to pick up," said Thomas. "I think she does a really good job."
The board discussed changing the commitment for more than one full day a month, but decided to stick with what they were doing to provide services elsewhere. They did approve extending Clements' contract another six months.
Contact Rachel Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org