Health department issues service data

Thursday, January 22, 2009

On Jan. 15, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees released information about services the department provided throughout the county last year.

Overall, the health department collected $1,408.87 less in 2008 than in 2007. This year, the health department collected $54,081.13 in service fees. The Cassville office generated $29,196.13 and the Monett office generated $24,885.

"We dropped around 2.5 percent from last year," said John Starchman, board chairman. "In 2007, we had such a great year. Then the last quarter of 2008 was a disaster for everyone."

"We don't deny services to people who can't pay," said Kathleen King, health department administrator. "We also provided a lot fewer services in November (of 2008)."

In December of 2008, the department provided 1,697 services, which was nearly 3 percent lower than the number of services provided in December of 2007.

The Cassville office provided 970 services, and collected $1,820.07 of the department's total $3,272.07 in general medical and family planning fees last month. Over 700 services were provided at the Monett office, which collected $1,452 in medical and family planning service fees.

In addition to the general and family planning fees, the department collected $32,421.70 in general flu fees last year.

Although the health department's environmental public health specialists were busy, they permitted 90 fewer wastewater systems in 2008 than in 2007.

Environmental specialists provided 162 wastewater permits and conducted 266 routine food service, 30 annual childcare and 20 lodging inspections. The specialists also provided over 400 water sample evaluations and accepted two rabies specimens.

In other business, the Barry County Health Department Board of Trustees:

* Approved an emergency response memorandum of understanding that states the health department will share its resources with other agencies in the event of an emergency.

* Voted to lower the department's mileage rate to 40 cents and adjust the rate monthly in accordance with local fuel costs.

*Tabled a decision to purchase a telephone call recording system.

*Approved the adjusted 2008 budget.

* Heard that the majority of the Health Education Literacy Program surveys have been returned. Project Coordinator Grace Grebel is working to identify the most suggested health literacy topics.

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