Part I: GCPH in the 1990s


By Melissa Howell



Howell


Editor’s note: This is Part I of this month’s Centennial Celebration series covering Greene County Public Health in the 1990s.

On the business end

During this decade, the health district budget was slightly more than $2 million dollars annually. The board of health requested the district submit a refined budget at the end of each calendar year that updates the budget proposed by March 1 of each calendar year in accordance with Ohio law. Although the initial date for the “Health Coalition” was not found, in June 1992, the county administrator was instructed to reconvene the “Health Commission” to obtain funding for health and social service agencies in Greene County. According to Health Commissioner Mac McCullough, Greene Memorial Hospital had problems getting their levy passed and therefore the health coalition was needed.

In 1990, local health districts began paying dues to the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners. The county commissioners in Ohio originated the Public Entities Pool and the health district decided to join in September 1990.

A section 125 plan was included as an employee benefit to pay healthcare premiums with deferred tax dollars. Dental insurance for employees was added in 1990.

During 1993, the health district began charging $2.50 for burial permits per Sub. HB 733 with $0.50 being retained by the health district.

The health district accepted responsibility for payment of utilities at the Fairborn office location. The first Family and Medical Leave Act policy was approved.

The board passed a motion linking the vending fees to the consumer price index.

The levy passed in November 1993.

The health district purchased a new telephone system expanding the number of telephone lines from 16 to 50.

H.B. 117 amended ORC Section 145.012 excluding members of general and city health districts from Public Employees Retirement System membership for board member attendance payments.

The health district received the Ohio Public Health Awareness Award from the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners.

On Oct. 7, 1999 McCullough notified the board of his expected retirement date of May 31, 2000. The board established a search committee.

The health district was awarded a plaque of appreciation for services provided by Greene County Combined Health District during a flood in Adams County in 1997.

The health district implemented a seat policy in response to a requirement of the Ohio Department of Transportation for the Safe Communities grant.

Board of Health activities

The board voted to approve mileage rates at the current IRS rates.

The board authorized the health district to purchase or lease four vehicles to be utilized by the plumbing inspection program.

The board approved a “Client Rights” document.

The board approved the regulations for installation, maintenance, testing and inspection of plumbing in the Greene County General Health District.

The board added “No person shall operate a food establishment without a valid food establishment permit. No permit shall be granted until all of the provisions of this regulation have been met” to the Food Establishment Regulations.

Wage scale was expanded from seven to 10 steps.

The board implemented a step increase system giving increases on anniversary date of hire or subsequent promotion date.

The board moved to turn the Solid Waste Program over to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency effective April 1, 1996.

The board approved the replacement of the Columbus Day holiday with the day after Thanksgiving to follow Greene County’s lead.

The board approved the use of credit cards for purchases.

The board approved membership in the National Association of Local Boards of Health.

The board approved a sick leave donation policy.

In January 1997, the board approved membership in the Ohio Association of Boards of Health. The board approved a sexual harassment policy for inclusion in the Personnel Policies Handbook.

The board adopted a resolution declaring an insufficiency of funds for public health services within the 10-mill limitation and requested the Greene County Board of Commissioner to place a .3 mill replacement levy on the Nov. 4, 1997 general election ballot.

Great Wall restaurant was closed by the board of health for one week beginning May 14, 1999 and placed on a one-year probation. The board also granted the health commissioner authority to close Great Wall with the first subsequent violation. Great Wall was closed again on Aug. 4, 1999 for a period of one month due to several repeat critical violations.

The board moved to make the position of division directors salaried, exempt and new directors will be required to serve a one-year probationary period.

The board voted not to allow compensatory and overtime compensation to director level employees.

The board suspended the food license for the China Wok, 1306 N. Fairfield Road, Beavercreek, for one week and placed it on probation for one year granting the health commissioner the authority to revoke the food license if the facility is non-compliant.

After being notified by Ohio Department of Health that the funding for the Immunization Action Plan project would be terminated in 1998, the board voted to continue to fund the program out of health district funds.

The May 7, 1998 meeting of the board of health was interrupted by a tornado warning sending the board to the basement for safety.

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Howell
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By Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell is the health commissioner for Greene County Public Health. Laurie Fox, public information officer for Greene County Public Health, contributed to this column.

Melissa Howell is the health commissioner for Greene County Public Health. Laurie Fox, public information officer for Greene County Public Health, contributed to this column.