By Nancy Schaar
Very little was said about the $400,000 tab in the health department budget during the Dec. 20 Carroll County Board of Health meeting.
Health commissioner Leann Cline reported her daily work activities for the last month, mentioning she and Dr. W. Scott Stine attended a commissioners meeting Nov. 30, seeking $70,000 to balance the budget for 2018, one day prior to the deadline to file the budget.
Commissioners were able to pull together enough funding to balance the budget, but learned the next morning from Cline there was a “hidden tab” on the computer spread sheet and she was able to access $400,000 in grant money.
During the health department board meeting, Cline spoke of the shortfall and finding the funds needed.
“This was an error in my insight,” said Cline.
No comments were made by board or staff members regarding the situation.
In new business, the board agreed with Cline’s recommendation that she be appointed vital statistics registrar to replace the retiring Thomasine Moore. She will not receive additional compensation for the duties.
The board also approved hiring Hether Hawk as administrative clerical specialist in the administration division. She replaces Moore and will work part time Monday, Wednesday and Friday for a total of 28 hours per week at a rate of $16.00 per hour.
Julia Keeder, was hired as the full time director of nursing at a rate of $20 per hour. She replaces Marcie Greaves, who resigned Nov. 8.
The board previously hired Adam Litke, finance and human resources director for Lake County General Health District, to handle the department’s finances. He will be paid $100 per hour. Cline said that is the same fee paid to the department’s previous accounting firm.
Visitor Gordon Warner expressed his concern for the decline in services offered in the nursing department.
“There used to be a director, two full time nurses, a full time medical assistant and a full time receptionist. Now there is a brand new director, a part time PRN and a part time receptionist,” stated Warner.
Warner felt there has been a break down in communication between the department and the public.
Warner also criticized the Carroll County Health Resource Guide produced by the health department that lists services available at numerous locations in the county, but fails to include even a phone number for the health department.
“Perhaps the extra “discovered” money could help sustain the nursing division,” said Warner.
Warner also said that with a new director, it implies she would have a staff to direct.
Warner continued to say that he has been in the upper level of the health department many times, and has not been able to find a person. The frosted glass windows are closed with a friendly sign stating do not knock on the window. He has tried calling the health department while he was in the upper level and couldn’t get an answer to his phone calls.
“A good PR campaign is really needed,” concluded Warner.
In other business the health board:
– LEARNED 2017 had the most recorded home births in many years. Moore reported there were seven home births this year.
– READ long listings of current fees charged by the county and the state and read the increases for the fees for 2018.
– APPROVED the meeting schedule for 2018. The board meets the third Wednesday of each month at 8:30 in the lower level of the Health District building. May’s meeting was set for May 23 due to a scheduling conflict.
– REPORTED 175 immunizations were given in November.