County board reorganizes Public Health Department

The Waushara County Board voted unanimously to reorganize the county’s Public Health Department during its April 21 regular meeting.

The reorganization removes a vacant Public Health Nurse position and re-allocates funds to add a Public Health Educator to assist with planning and implementation of the Community Health Improvement Plan, the Preparedness Program, the Tobacco Prevention Program and further development of public health infrastructure related to national accreditation and strategic planning. 

The board also heard a presentation regarding changes to long-term care included in the proposed 2015-17 state budget. The changes would permit the Department of Health Services to contract with private entities to perform duties currently handled by Aging and Disability Resource Centers and eliminates ADRC governing boards. 

The budget proposal also includes several changes to the Family Care program, including elimination of the state’s self-directed long-term care program IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct), and removal of local administration and oversight by limiting the number of managed care organizations to four statewide operations. 

Waushara County Department of Aging Director Debbie Paavola is concerned the current system, which she said is good, will become fragmented. 

Human Services Depart-ment Director Dawn Buchholz said the proposed changes lack input from local stakeholders, moves from a person-centered model to a medical model and won’t result in cost-savings.

Supervisor Bernadette Krentz said the changes will confuse clients and they won’t know where to go, while supervisor Barry Mastricola said he doesn’t understand where reform is needed.

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