CC Health District moves
By Matt Echelberry
The Crawford County General Health District has moved to a new location at 1520 Isaac Beal Road. It opened there on Sept. 4.
“The first week was chaotic,” Health District Director Scott Kibler said with a laugh. “But it went fairly well overall.”
Employees were still unpacking boxes and getting used to the new facility during its second week at the new location, but Kibler said their response to the change has been overwhelmingly positive because of the extra space they now have.
The CCGHD formerly shared a building with the Board of Elections in downtown Bucyrus (across from the county courthouse). However, the BOE needed more space in order to meet new state regulations for elections.
Kibler said moving to a new location had always been something he thought about, but never came to a point where an alternative location was found that worked for the needs of the health district or was affordable.
However, because of the BOE’s needs for more space and the county continuing to charge the district more for renting the space, it was time for a change. Kibler began discussing the prospect of moving his department with the county commissioners in June of this year.
Commissioner Jenny Vermillion noted that both the CCGHD and the BOE had outgrown their share of the building. Because the state took away county governments’ responsibility of health districts and the CCHD was so spread out, it made more sense to move it and consolidate the different programs it offers.
The BOE will not be using the entire building now, but only what it needs to comply with state regulations. Vermillion explained it is now required to have a room for absentee voting during elections and more voting machines. She noted that the county will keep one section of the building open in case an office needs to be placed there in the future.
CCGHD’s board of trustees gave approval for the move in July and, after shopping for a new location, a lease agreement was signed in August. Kibler said both the City of Bucyrus and the county were very helpful during the transition process.CCGHD now offers all of the nursing services it had in its previous location, as well as several associated programs.
On the first floor, offices for the Women, Infants and Children program can be found. It is a federally-funded service intended to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants, and children (up to age 5) who are at nutritional risk . WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating and referrals to health care.
The second floor contains all of the administrative offices as well as nursing stations and Help Me Grow, a state program for expectant parents, newborns, infants and toddlers. It provides health and developmental services so children start school healthy and ready to learn.
“This gave me an opportunity to have everything in one place…If somebody needs more than one service, it really helps out,” Kibler stated.
He said it was an opportunity to resurrect the old Baja facility and also give CCGHD the space it needed. The site, which had been empty for almost five years, did not require major renovations and few places like it were available.
Parking at the previous location was bad because the lot was small and served as courthouse parking as well. Kibler said the new location eliminates the parking issue entirely.
Also, it is more centrally located in the county, which Kibler explained was better overall because CCGHD completely services Crestline and provides some services to Galion.
There is also room for expansion if necessary, which Kibler said is important because the state is looking to regionalize public health in the future. “We’ve kind of positioned ourselves to hopefully be a regional center.”
The City of Bucyrus will place directional signs for CCGHD on state routes 19, 4 and 30. Kibler said he is trying to advertise about the move but has a limited budget. Public service announcements are being run on the radio and the website is being redone to promote the new facility.
The Crawford County General Health District’s new location is 1520 Isaac Beal Road, south of Bucyrus. It can be reached at 419–562-5871 or visit its website at www.crawfordhealth.com.