Letter to the Editor

Staff seeks response on county health department

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dear Editor,

On Dec. 17, 2012, the Director of the Red Willow County Health Department submitted her resignation to the Red Willow County Board of Commissioners. Her resignation was to be effective January 31, 2013 in order that she would be able to train the new Director that was to be hired.

On Dec. 31, 2012, the Red Willow County Commissioners (Earl McNutt, Vesta Dack, and Steve Downer), voted not to hire another full time Director for the Red Willow County Health Department. It was stated at that time, that the current employees would be allowed to continue operating the Red Willow County Health Dept. through the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2013. Discussion followed concerning the possibility of closing Red Willow County Health Department.

We at the Red Willow County Health Department have requested that we be allowed to keep our department open as it is, while streamlining our budget and services to be most beneficial for the people of Red Willow County. Additionally, our health board has voted to appoint Patricia Powers as an interim Director. This appointment has been approved by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Our staff has an average of almost 20 years of experience and expertise. Patricia Powers, our Office Manager, has been a part of the Red Willow County Health Department for 18 years; Terri Stevens, our Immunization Data Coordinator, for 22 years. Pam Klug, RN, has been one of the immunization nurses for a total of 21 years (12 of those as a volunteer, and the past 9 as a paid employee), and Peggy Everitt, RN, our recently hired nurse, had worked for the Red Willow County Health Dept. from 1976 to 1994 and has just returned to work with us once more.

For the year 2012, we gave more than 3000 immunizations to more than 1800 clients. We also offered many other health care services to people of all ages. These included Blood Pressure Clinics, Affordable Lab Testing Clinics, Foot Care, Paternity Testing, Lead Screening, School Health Checks, Well Baby Visits, Senior Fitness, Day Care Provider Screenings and many other services all at a very reasonable cost.

We want to continue to provide these services that are so valuable for the overall health of our community. If you find our services to be valuable to you and your family, please contact the Red Willow County Commissioners and let them know your thoughts:

Earl McNutt: (308) 345-3692 Email: emcnutt@q.com
Vesta Dack: (308) 345-6818 Email: vdack@mccooknet.com
Steve Downer: (308) 692-3242 Email: sdowner@atcjet.net


Pam Klug, RN;

Peggy Everitt, RN;

Patricia Powers & Terri Stevens

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