Health department to receive large grant



Marion County Health Department Director Krista Schneider informed the Marion County Board of Commissioners that the department will be awarded a KDHE Workforce Development Grant for $76,507.92.

“Back in January, I was asked to be on a KDHE committee where they select a couple of people from two small health departments, a medium health department and a large health department to be on their local health department support team. And so with that we spent two days in Topeka and we helped develop requirements for this grant,” Schneider said.

She explained that how the money is designated is based on the social vulnerability index and population size. Marion County will be awarded $76,507.92 based on these designations.

“This grant is to be used for retention activities, recruitment activities and training. Last year we sent a good portion of our staff for the governor’s public health conference which we haven’t always done because it’s expensive with lodging, meals and registration. But our employees are learning and they need to. They’re going to sessions where they learn public health initiatives to better your health department and toward behavioral health learning opportunities,” said Schneider.

She explained that the grant money will be available starting Dec. 1 and the period will go through Nov. 30, 2027.

“So while we’re losing the COVID-19 funding that we’ve had for the last few years, we’ll be getting this grant, which is not the same amount, but it feels good,” said Schneider.

She also explained that the reason they started this grant is that nationally from 2017 to 2021 they have found that there has been a high turnover in local public health with 40-46% leaving the workforce during that time period. And the numbers were even higher for Marion County.

Schneider said, “And then our health department specifically had over a 62.5% rate in the last couple of years.”

In other business, the board:

  •  signed an agreement with the League (of Kansas Municipalities) Executive/Administrative Position Search (LEAPS) program to assist Marion County in the search for a new County Administrator. The next step is for the board to fill out the Administrative Questionnaire to get the search started.
  •  made Road & Bridge Superintendent Steve Hudson Interim Director effective July 5. Former County Engineer Brice Goebel left at that time leaving an open position.
  •  heard an update from Hudson. Commissioner Jonah Gehring told Hudson that he had heard multiple thank yous for road work done on 220th.
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