Coastal Health District Health Director Dr. Diane Weems told members of the Long County Board of Health on March 7 that the governmental sequestration will affect services in the state, but she wasn’t sure to what degree it would hit local offices.
During the board’s quarterly meeting, Weems said that with approximately 80 percent of the funding being funneled from the federal government to the state and then to local health districts, there would have to be some effect. She said that some of the areas that probably will be most hit would be Women, Infants and Children (WIC), HIV-treatment programs and temporary aid to needy families.
She said that at a recent legislative-session update it already had been reported that there would be an anticipated 3 percent reduction in the fiscal year 2014 budget. This cut primarily would affect the district infrastructure, and service cuts to local customers are not likely. She added that this cut was anticipated by the local health departments.
Weems said all the news wasn’t bad. The state has had 31 months of increased revenue, but added that despite the increase, it still is below the state’s budget.
She also said that with the new formula for calculating grant and aid, Long County would see an increase in this funding from $75,000 to $150,000 by 2014.
Chief Nurse Kathy Rowell reported that in a partnership with Liberty County, the Long County office received a Susan G. Komen grant that would fund a mammogram check-up station in the Sand Hill community and also a women’s mini health fare in Ludowici.
Deatre Denion of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs gave a presentation covering on-site disposal systems. Some of the points she covered in the presentation included strategic planning and best-management practices.
Environmental-health officer Fredrick Walton reported that during the previous three months, “everything had slowed down” in Long County. He reported there were approvals of 50 on-site sewage sites, 32 residential installation inspections, nine food-service permits established and 16 water-supply systems issued. He also said there were four complaints filed, investigated and resolved.
Weems added that she and Chairwoman Rosezena Baggs would attend a workshop in April on BoH training provided by the Georgia Public Health Association.