If you asked someone 30 years ago, “What does the health department do?” Most responses would include: serve the underprivileged and uninsured, and provide free services. We are still happy to do those services, but we provide so much more today.
Thirty years ago, the state provided funding to fully support local health department. Like all things, time changed this. Local health departments now must receive funding from multiple sources. A new funding formula based on population directed more state dollars to counties with larger populations. This funding formula reduced the Clay County Health Department’s state funding by 47 percent. This funding formula took effect in 2013. With the state economic woes came a 24 percent funding reduction to all local health department in 2016. These issues have led to local health departments in small counties to struggle.
Clay County Health Department felt it was important to keep the health department local and provide as many services as possible. Instead of laying off staff and cutting services, we decided to expand. Expanding services meant expanding our billing capability and providing more to our community. We value local people, local business, and a feeling of home. Clay County Health Department does this by supporting local businesses, hiring local people, and identifying needs and addressing them.
Our goal in the next few weeks is for each Clay County citizen to know the Clay County Health Department- to know our staff by name, to ask questions and provide us feedback. Each week, we are planning to introduce a Clay County Health Department employee and service offered. So look for our article in the future newspapers.
Each week you will meet a staff member and services provided, including Leela Patel, MD-Health Officer; Angela Brown, Nurse Practitioner and Administrator-Acute Care, DOT Physicals, Women’s Health Services; Judy Buzzard, RN-Right From The Start and Epidemiology; Robin Boggs, CMA-lab services, pre-employment drug screens, immunizations; Kari Osborne, TP & SAPT Coordinator-Threat preparedness and Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment; Courtney Holcomb-Bennett, Sanitarian-food inspections, water testing, septic permits, and much more; Kay Hubbard & April Lloyd-WIC services; Robin Childress-supporting all staff and programs; and Jack Fields-supporting all programs and staff while ensuring a clean and healthy environment to provide these services.
Please feel free to reach out to us anytime with suggestions or questions at 304-587-4269, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are located at 452 Main Street, Clay WV 25043. We share a building with Clay Ambulance Service.