Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 19, 2013

Subgroup to help guide future of Marion County Public Health

Knoxville — A subgroup, comprised of members of the Marion County Board of Supervisors and Public Health Board, is expected to be formed soon to answer questions and provide direction for both boards into the future. 

The boards met this morning in joint session to discuss the future of what services Marion County Public Health (MCPH) will continue to administer in the future. Supervisor Craig Agan, who represents the supervisors on the Public Health Board, has expressed concern that Marion County taxpayers are paying for services provided to those in other counties. This morning's meeting was intended to try to inform and educate both boards regarding concerns with Public Health's operations. 

"We're not here to micromanage Public Health," Supervisor Mark Raymie said. 

Public Health Board Chair Pati Van Zante indicated that providing health care, overall, is changing across the state. The state is asking Public Health to try to form a medical home model, due to the increasing demand for services. Van Zante also said it is important for all members of the Health Board to stand behind board efforts.

Kim Dorn, Public Health Director, met with Iowa Department of Public Health Administrator Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks. Dorn shared what she learned from Miller-Meeks, and indicated that, while Miller-Meeks does not support regionalization or centralization of Public Health services, changes do have to be made. Services in some rural areas may not be available, due to a lack of funding or personnel. 

Public Health is also trying to understand how it will be further impacted as the "Affordable" Care Act is fully implemented. Public Health hopes to work with community partners to not lose a step during the transition, and to continue to provide services while the availability of grants becomes more scarce. 

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