Yates and Schuyler Counties will share a Director of Public Health and Deputy Director of Public Health.
Plans started to unfold after Schuyler County officials learned of the pending retirement of public health director Marcia Kasprzyk. Both county legislatures have approved resolutions that will see Yates County Public Health Director Deb Minor oversee both departments, while Sara Christensen will serve as Deputy Director of Public Health for both counties.
The agreement calls for Schuyler County to reimburse Yates for a portion of the costs of the two positions.
Yates Chairman Doug Paddock commented “As we continue to seek efficiencies for our residents and taxpayers, this most recent move exemplifies the commitment of both counties towards improving service delivery while lowering costs.”
Schuyler Chairman Dennis Fagan added, “While we continue to struggle with unfunded mandates and their associated escalating costs, it is great to be able to partner with our neighbors to the north, to achieve real savings for our residents.”
According to Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn while the combined savings approach $100,000 annually, the move will actually provide increased levels of service as each county shares departmental resources.
By combining some resources, functions, and staff in their health departments, the two counties provide services that enhance their role as public health facilitators and educators in their respective communities, including:
· Public health education
· Emergency preparedness
· Childhood Early Intervention Programs
· Residential sanitary inspections
· Flu clinics
· Rabies clinics
O’Hearn stated “I commend both Marcia and Deb for their initiative in bringing this recommendation to their respective Legislatures. It is not often in government that such a collaborative and non-parochial approach to administration is achieved and this is a testament to their professionalism and dedication to public health!”
This is the latest shared service initiative between Yates and Schuyler, who currently share a Director of Weights and Measures and Code Enforcement responsibilities.
Both Counties have long recognized that intermunicipal cooperation can help local governments increase effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of services and is encouraged by the New York State legislature via broad statutory authority. Here, the counties are taking advantage of legislation passed in 2011 that allows up to three county public health offices in counties with a combined population of less than 150,000 to share staff and services under the management of one public health director.
A County Health Department’s mission is to protect and promote the health of its residents through prevention, science and the assurance of quality health care delivery.