The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Health Department asks County to help keep them afloat

By Sally Day for the Quill

Lynne Haase, CEO/Administrator of the Henderson County Health Department addressed the board at their October 14, 2014 meeting, stating, "We are asking the county to pick up our insurance costs to help us stay afloat." Haase noted that because the Health Department is a government entity, they are extremely limited to fund raising. The program being effected the most is their meals program. The Health Department offers once a day meals to home bound seniors five days a week. Haase said that some of their clients only have this one meal a day and cannot afford any more. Sometimes they cut the meal in two and save half the meal for later in the day.

Haase stated that these meals average $13 apiece. This amount includes the food, preparation, and delivery, and may be higher or lower, based on where they have to deliver the meals.

"We are appealing for help because we don't want to see any of these programs go away," Haase stressed as she pleaded for the help.

Board Chairman Marty Lafary said, "We need to look on the side of the elderly and their needs." The board seemed to be in agreement that this need is important and necessary. Board member Albert Renken, who is on the Budget Committee, noted, "Our resources are dwindling."

"We owe Lynne an apology," said board member Mark Lumbeck, "we were going to hold a meeting a couple of a months ago, addressing this situation."

Chairman Lafary said, "Let's get our heads together and come back next month with a solution." The matter will be tabled until next month.

Henderson County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Donnie Seitz spoke to the group about the Ambulance Service. He explained that he had asked all the law enforcement agencies and ambulance personnel to attend a meeting last week to discuss the Ambulance Service. He noted how difficult it was to get a crew together to respond to ambulance calls in the county. This effects all villages in the county. He said, "It is not just one service, but all sometimes have difficulty getting a crew together." Seitz continued, "We want to help get the patient to the hospital faster than it is being done now." He told how difficult it is to get people to volunteer. Board member Curt Eisenmayer said, "This is a nationwide problem, getting voluteers."

Chairman Lafary said we have very good people helping with the ambulances, but when it takes 20-25 minutes to answer a call, that is ridiculous. "They are all great fire and ambulance departments," he said. "Let's help ourselves."

Serving as secretary for the Ambulance Service, Diane Seitz told board members how they were going to try to get a program started in the schools. They believe this would be very beneficial and that these young people might continue their volunteer work in local communities.

Chief Deputy Seitz went on to say, that now, when a patient is experiencing chest pains, the Advanced Life Support is called out. This will save precious moments in the case of heart attacks. Two communities which help out Henderson County are Burlington, Iowa and Monmouth. Both of these departments have said they don't mind if they are called out, and are in route, even if they are turned back Chief Deputy Seitz told board members that he was telling the board this now because he is going to come back next month to request the board pay for perhaps as many as 30 people to take the First Responders Class.

The ambulance group will meet again November 5, at 6 p.m. at the Biggsville United Presbyterian Church.

Board member Mark Lumbeck opened envelopes containing bids for Jail Meals. The bids were from the Village Hub, Godfather's, the Oar House, Tharp's Subway, and the Diner. A discussion ensued discussing the bids, and board members agreed that they should continue with the good service the Sheriff's Department has been getting. The board agreed to accept the bid from the Village Hub.

Keith Krohe was present at the meeting to explain the insurance contract and where it will stand going into the next year. He will return next month with a renewal to be voted on by the board.

In other business, the board: