Friday, December 9, 2011

Health Board Report



WEDNESDAY, October 26, 2011

I was unable to attend the October Board Meeting and unable to find a substitute. However, I think that in the interest of completeness, I would like to report that the Board at that meeting offered the position of Administrator of the Health Department to Susanne Kufahl, present Assistant Administrator, at a salary of $94,000, replacing present Administrator Charles Murphy, who is retiring December 31, 2011. Also, Clancey Holeman, Riley County Counselor, spoke to the Board concerning the charter resolution that will establish the Riley County Public Health Advisory Board. Further discussion of the charter for the new Board will be held with the Kansas Health Institute at the next meeting.




At the public input portion of the agenda, Tex Morgan from the Flint Hills Human Rights Project presented a check for $456 to the Health Department for the HIV Clinic Food Pantry. Appreciation for this donation was expressed by Brady Burton, president of the Board, noting that this time of year there would be many needs, and this check would be very helpful.

Brady Burton announced that there would be a reception on Dec. 14th, in the Board meeting room, 4 - 5 p.m., to acknowledge 32 years of service of retiring Administrator Charles Murphy. Mr. Burton requested that anyone who wanted to speak at the reception e-mail him in order to organize for the reception. The Board also offered their appreciation for the service of Dr. Herl, who is the physician for the Primary Care Clinic for this year.

The rest of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the plans for the structure of the new Advisory Board of Health. Catherine Shoults, M.P.H. from the Kansas Health Institute, led the discussion. She referred to a memo for the Board and the County Commissioners concerning public health governance in Riley County, which the Institute had prepared and which was handed out to each member. She noted that there was nothing in the Kansas statutes about advisory boards. First in importance to understand is that the Board is not about conflict, and its intended purpose is to give information and make sure information is correct, that the major purpose of the Board is indeed to advise and not to make policy, though it certainly can and should make recommendations for strategies. Having members of the Board from many health related backgrounds is extremely important, and she noted that the present Board make-up is perfect. There is no need to “re-invent the wheel,” as there is ample information concerning advisory boards. It will be a question of making the by-laws of the Board fit Riley County. Lauren Palmer pointed out that the charter is doing that, but that it can be amended. One question that came up was whether the Board should adhere to the “Open Meeting” designation. Ms. Shoults thought that this should be stated in the charter.

Brady Burton thanked the members of the Board for their service and noted that this meeting was the last for this Board in its present status.

Submitted by Sue Cohen, Observer

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