Commissioners hear from health department at weekly meeting

The Marion County Board of Commissioners met on Monday for their regular weekly meeting. They spent the morning working on the budget and then opened up their regular meeting with administrative business.

Deidre Serene, Marion County Health Department Administrator, gave a few updates on what the department is working on including a community health needs assessment which will allow them to serve the community better.

“The Community Health needs assessment provides a way for community members to evaluate their health care system. The community engagement process/information resources assist in fulfilling requirements for tax-exempt hospitals. Should the health department look toward accreditation this would be a requirement,” said Serene.

She went on to explain that the last community health needs assessment was done in 2013. At that time the priorities identified were:

·Priority #1: Promote health, wellness, and chronic disease prevention

·Priority #2: Improve communication and collaboration between healthcare providers, other essential local institutions, between providers and the community, and within the community.

·Priority #3: Enhance access to health resources and assistance for all county citizens.
“The annual health fair was started because of the 2013 assessment. If you have not filled out the survey, please do so. The current survey count is at 132 replies, with hopes of reaching a statistical valid number of 250. This is a chance for community members to be heard. The survey can be found on the county website under the health department,” said Serene.

According to Serene, as of 7:30 a.m. on Monday morning, KDHE has Marion County at 47.2% of people greater or equal to 12 years of age vaccinated with at least 1 dose. 42.8% of individuals greater or equal to 12 years of age with completed Vaccine series.

The breakdown is as follows:

Moderna: Prime 2066, Boost (fully vaccinated) 2023

Janssen: 421

Pfizer: >17: Prime 131, Boost (fully vaccinated) 120

Pfizer12-17: Prime 118, Boost (fully vaccinated) 93

Serene reminded the commissioners that the department is continuing to vaccinate for free until the end of the month. Beginning in August, there will be a charge for the vaccination applications.

Serene reported that there have been no cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Marion County yet but all of the surrounding counties have reported at least one case of it.

Sheriff Rob Craft gave a department update.

Craft thanked the board for taking action to increase wages by adopting the new pay plan.

He talked about the big white truck that is sometimes used to pull the Marion County Health Department command trailer that was bought with COVID-19 funds. The truck was purchased by the Homeland Security South Central Region 9 and has to be available for certain emergency situations. Craft said that the county departments can use it if needed, but any of those requests need to go through him. He also turned in a vehicle damage report for minor fender damage on that same vehicle.

Craft informed the commissioners that Sergeant Larry Starkey has been promoted to Undersheriff.

Due to the upcoming Marion County Fair, the Sheriff’s department will have staff increased and assigned accordingly.

Craft explained to the commissioners that the upcoming Father Kapaun events will require a lot more staff than the department has available. He stated that volunteers may be needed. He also said that the vigil and mass falls on the same weekend as Marion’s Old Settlers Day.

Craft answered a question that had come up earlier and let the board know that the Sheriff’s Office no longer has the ability to issue citations when trains block street crossings for long periods of time due to interstate commerce laws.

In other business, the board:

n saw plans from County Engineer Brice Goebel that KDOT had proposed for the Highway 50 project to extend the passing lanes near Peabody which would impact Kanza and Limestone. New entrances will be built along US 50 at Kanza and Limestone. Goebel said Road and Bridge would like a side road access which is paved at Kanza and only a field entrance which is at Limestone. Goebel explained that KDOT tries to eliminate or at least limit any slowing down of passing lanes so Goebel is working with KDOT on that.

n approved Road and Bridge to purchase two motor graders using local purchase lease agreements

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