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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission member apologizes to head of health department

MOUND CITY – On Tuesday, Feb. 21, after coming out of an executive session, Commissioner Jim Johnson gave the following apology to Linn County Health Department Administrator Missy Lancaster.

Johnson said, “I’d like to make a comment about a statement I made last week. It was taken out of context, I guess. I don’t mean anything that Missy did that was out of line, that I questioned her integrity and what she did. It was a misunderstanding as far as over the speakers, and I want everybody to know that’s my stand on it. I don’t want anybody to think that Missy did any thing wrong as far as her integrity.”

Johnson may have been referring to his statements last week during the Feb. 13 meeting when he questioned the $1,500 expense for having speakers installed in the health department examination rooms.

In last week’s meeting Lancaster had explained to the commissioners that the speakers were installed to protect confidentiality since the health department walls are not insulated, and conversations can be heard between rooms and from the hallway.

In different places in the Feb. 13 meeting when talking about the speakers, Johnson said, “I don’t think that’s is the whole reason we got the speakers” and “I’m not sure we got told the whole story on the speaker system.”

During that meeting, Johnson did not elaborate on what he thought the speakers were for.

Following Johnson’s apology on Tuesday, Lancaster gave the commissioners printouts of the people served in 2022 and in the past week.

She told the commissioners that it took some time to go back and get the numbers because the electronic medical records system (EMR) reports did not start until Feb. 1, 2022, so they had to do some hand counts.

She reported that the health department served 2,270 people in the clinic and reached 986 people in outreach contacts for a total of 3,256 services provided in 2022.

The numbers for the week of Feb. 13-17 are 32 people served. There was one car seat installation, one charting, one COVID immunization, six COVID tests, 10 follow-ups, one home visit, one immunization, and 11 phone contacts.

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