Funds to boost basic health services in Jefferson Co.

April 02, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

BARDANE, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Health Department is waiting for more state funding before it performs basic services that currently are not provided, officials said Wednesday.

Jefferson County Health Department Administrator John Cooper said the state will provide an additional $50,000 sometime after July 1 as part of a $4.3 million legislative package to health departments across the state to help them provide more services.

He said some basic services are not provided because of a lack of staff.

The health department would like to do more inspections of mobile home parks, said Randall C. DeHaven, sanitarian supervisor.

The department does some inspections at the trailer parks, but not as many as required, DeHaven said. About nine working days are spent inspecting the parks, but about 20 days are needed, he said.

The health department also is not inspecting motels, public sewage systems, public restrooms or checking for pest eradication.


Inspections are important because they can prevent health problems, Cooper said.

People may not realize how important inspections are "because they don't see what is prevented by testing," Cooper said.

Much of the health department's time is spent inspecting individual sewage systems, restaurant and school cafeterias, training food service workers and monitoring diseases.

The county health department will not duplicate services such as testing for AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, which are available in Martinsburg, W.Va., Cooper said.

DeHaven said the health department also would like to do more educational and prevention programs.

Cooper said the state is expected to send guidelines on how the money is to be spent.

The health department currently has one full-time nurse, two part-time nurses, six school health nurses, one clerk for personal health, two clerks for environmental health and five sanitarians, Cooper said.

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