The Riley County-Manhattan Health Department will drop it’s association with the city of Manhattan and become a county agency as of January 1, 2012. This evoked an emotional discussion at the health board meeting held Wednesday.
County appointee to the health board Debbie Nuss voiced her opinion on the city’s decision.
“My view of the health department is one of consolidated government,” Nuss said. “Are there things that could have been done better? Sure. But the city’s decision to abandon a model that’s been in place for over 50 years is putting the health department in an awkward position going forward.”
The city’s decision to withdraw had health board president Brady Burton wondering about the future…
“We just aren’t sure about whether or not there will be a health board anymore,” Burton said. “All we know is that we’re function together for six months. After that, we really don’t know.”
The withdrawal will shift a funding obligation of over 300-thousand dollars ($311,997) to the county.
The process of replacing the Riley County-Manhattan Health Board Administrator is underway. County appointee to the board of health Debbie Nuss (Nuh-ss) has more details…
“The position announcement, which is being handled by the county human resource department, has been posted on the county’s website,” Nuss said.
Several individuals have expressed interest in filling the position for the upcoming year…
“We have received seven applications, three of which are considered complete applications,” Nuss said. “Seven were initially done through career builder, they needed to go back and complete the county’s application. The deadline for applying for the position is July 30.”
The application can by found online by visiting WWW-DOT-RILEYCOUNTYKS-DOT-ORG and searching ‘Health Department Administrator’. Current administrator Charles Murphy will hold the title until the end of the calendar year.
The Manhattan City Commission’s choice to withdraw from health department funding wasn’t the only topic of discussion at Wednesday’s health board meeting. Assistant administrator Susanne Kufahl told KMAN about one of the department’s new undertakings.
“There’s a public health advisory committee that started out initially as a partnership effort between the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation and the Riley County-Manhattan Board of Health,” Kufahl said. “The foundation was able to secure a grant opportunity that does a variety of great things for the community and one of them is to establish an endowment for public health.”
Kufahl elaborated on the impact of the endowment.
“It’s just new within the last few months, but it shows great promise to bring everyone in within the community,” Kufahl said. “We’re trying to see what we can do to make access easy and fun to activities as well as good nutrition choices.”
For more information on services of the health department, visit WWW-DOT-RCMHEALTH-DOT-ORG (www.rcmhealth.org)