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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

County funds pay for one-third of health department salaries

MOUND CITY – A report by Linn County Public Heath Department Administrator Missy LanCaster to the Linn County Commission on Monday, March 6, revealed that the county pays about one-third of the salary and benefits of the department's employees. About two-thirds of those costs are paid by several grants.

That was the information presented by LanCaster to commissioners with statistics on grant renewals, percent of employees wages paid by grants, and the weekly work report.

The health department Employee Salary Cost Analysis showed that salaries and benefits for the health department employees totaled just over $412,400 per year. Actual salaries were nearly $288,000 and benefits were about $124,400. This is for 6.25 employee positions.

Linn County’s share of the $412,400 cost was nearly $139,500, or about 34%. State funds and six grants paid for the remainder of the costs. The women, infant and children’s (WIC) grant alone pays for more than $72,000 of the salaries.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website, the WIC program origins date back to the 1960s when the nation began to realize that many low-income Americans were suffering from malnutrition, and pregnant women and pre-school children were specifically targeted for the program. In 1972, WIC was formally authorized by an amendment to the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 as a two-year trial program, and it was established as a permanent national health and nutrition program in 1975.

Three other grants received by the health department pay for approximately $43,600 of the salary expenses. The state of Kansas pays about $5,100 and the other grants pay the rest.

LanCaster’s weekly log showed 108 activities recorded. They were

• One blood pressure

• One blood sugar check

• Two breastfeeding consultations

• One case management

• 21 COVID cases routed to the state

• Three COVID immunizations

• Two COVID tests

• One followup/outreach

• One G/C Urine Culture

• Three grant work

• One height/weight check

• One hemoglobin

• Four immunizations

• Two info and referral

• Two meetings

• 39 Phone contacts

• One pregnancy test

• One strep test

• One TB/Chest

• One urinalysis

• Eight virtual trainings

• Two virtual webinars

• One webinar

• Two WIC contacts

• Two WIC Midcert

• One WIC nutrition education

• Two WIC recertifications

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