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Long Board of Health approves 2015 budget

The Long County Board of Health recently approved $460,000 for its fiscal-year 2015 budget.
Coastal Health District Administrator of Finances Brent Jordan said there were no cuts to the budget, as a result of state revenue having increased for the fourth year in a row. He said Long County will see an increase of $13,000 for the upcoming year from the state grant and aid funding. Though the state revenue increased, Jordan said there still was a concern that federal money could drop because he did not know how the Affordable Care Act will affect federal funding. Budget figures are conservative because of that, he said.
Jordan also said that health-care employees across Georgia will see an increase in the percentage that is contributed to their pension accounts, from 18.64 percent to 22 percent.
BoH member Florence Baggs told the group that a new pediatrician is available for appointments at the Diversity Health Center in Ludowici. She said this is a big plus for the center, and that the pediatrician is at the office one day a week.
Long County nurse manager Kathy Rowell said the health department will hold its Back-to-School Fair, which runs from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at 584 N. Macon St., according to She said health screenings and school immunizations will be available for all children.
Rowell said that human papillomavirus (HPV) immunizations also will be provided to girls and boys to help prevent head and neck cancers as well as cervical cancer.
District Health Director Diane Weems said that even though the HPV vaccination series isn’t required, she recommended that both girls and boys receive it. She said that it is a three-shot series for those between the ages of 11-26.
Weems told the board that she and Chairwoman Rosezena Baggs attended the recent Georgia Public Health Conference in Brunswick, and that it was the best one that she has ever attended.
She said Baggs gave a presentation during the conference with Glynn County Board of Health Chairwoman Debra Reiner. At the conference, Baggs gave information on how a smaller health department operated, while Reiner did the same from the angle of a larger department. Weems said both women gave excellent information, and that Baggs represented them well.
The board also approved its new by-laws and changed future quarterly meetings to the second Thursday of the month beginning in September.
Other members in attendance at the meeting included school Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters, area health consumer Teresa McGowan and consumer advocate Kathy Stapleton. Long County Commissioner Gerald Blocker and Ludowici Mayor James Fuller were not in attendance.

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