Health Board reviews policy, insurance changes

Matt Echelberry

February 16, 2014

During a Feb. 11 meeting the Galion Board of Health discussed what to do about its outdated personnel policy. Since the last update in 2011, Galion’s form of city government has changed, and revisions to state law and employment law were also a consideration.

Health Department Commissioner Dr. Steve Novack pointed out the policy also needs to be updated as part of the accreditation process. After some discussion on how to proceed, Board members consented to requesting Clemens-Nelson (the law firm that the city contracts with for the personnel policy) to go through the lengthy policy in detail. After an up-to-date draft is sent back, the Board and staff will then go through it to make further changes.

The Board also went into executive session regarding the new AFSCME union agreement. When it reconvened, the Board tabled the issue.

A contract with Smartronix was approved for computer replacements and two new laptops. The Windows XP operating system will also be replaced with a system that was copyrighted in this decade.

In addition to the new machines and software, six new computer monitors were included in the estimate, which made up $1,014 of the cost. The staff uses 17-inch screens now; the replacements would be 21.5 inches.

Board member Dennis Long asked why new monitors were needed, when the current monitors would still be compatible. Board member Doug Schilling argued that a larger display could increase productivity, and old monitors could be kept for staff to use a double screen setup.

The Board agreed the 7.5 percent sales tax, which added 632.40 to the cost, needed to be taken out of the estimate, making the total cost $8,432.

The ongoing discussion on rationalizing nursing functions continued that morning. New state mandates may increase the demand on school nursing, for which the department has contracts with Galion and Crestline schools. These mandates may require a nurse in each school building and place an emphasis on meal plans for diabetic students.

Also, the Health Department will continue offering immunization clinics to the community. Director of Nursing Sandy Crossland noted there are still flu vaccines available. The next immunization clinic is Monday, Feb. 24, between 9 and 11 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m.

In the commissioners report, Novack informed the Board he is in talks with Jobs and Family Services about enrolling customers in Medicaid. The enrollment is online, so he asked for feedback on creating a kiosk at the office that will allow customers to sign up.

The main concern raised was whether or not they had the staff resources to handle the task. It may be an area where the Health Department could consider partnering with Avita Health System.

There were 33 births at Galion Community Hospital in the month of January. Deaths for the month totaled 18, with an average age of 69.5. Most common causes were diseases of the circulatory system, neoplasms and diseases of the digestive system. There was one possible drug overdose death, which is pending with the county coroner.

Galion Board of Health’s next meeting is March 11 at 7:30 a.m., at the Health Department.