Clinton County Health Dept. looks forward to added staffing


WILMINGTON — The Clinton County health commissioner is excited that the next anticipated allocation of the Workforce Development Grant will enable the local health district to add at least one new staffer with the funds.

“For us to get this first-hand to beef up the staff is fantastic, especially at this time, coming off of COVID,” said Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Walker-Bauer at this week’s regular Board of Health meeting.

“What it means for us is $180,000 [annually] to spend on the workforce through 2027. This is very exciting,” Walker-Bauer said of the five-year duration of the grant funding.

She added she’s never seen anything like this in her 26-year career in public health.

“To have anything like that, it’s always gone to universities or to other organizations,” said the health commissioner.

This year prior to the five-year funding model, the Clinton County Health District mostly used Workforce Development Grant dollars to pay for continuing education for the staff. A couple staffers are studying for their master’s degree in public health, plus there’s staff working to obtain various other certifications.

Meanwhile, the latest COVID case numbers in Clinton County show 400 new COVID cases reported during the whole of August, while as of Monday morning, September 26 there had been 230 new cases reported thus far in September.

Last week’s drive-thru clinic held outside Expo Hall on the Clinton County Fairgrounds was described as very successful. During the two-hour clinic, the health department administered 176 vaccination shots counting both COVID and flu injections.

Other drive-thru clinic dates, for which you should pre-register, are Wednesday, Sept. 28; Tuesday, Oct. 4; Wednesday, Oct. 12; Wednesday, Oct. 19; and Tuesday, Oct. 25.

In other news, Clinton County Board of Health member Carla Raizk has resigned her position on the board after two decades of service. The Clinton County Health District Advisory Council (DAC) will need to hold a special meeting to appoint a new member to fill the unexpired term.

If a county resident is interested in being considered for the vacant seat on the five-person board, he or she can email Administrative Clerk Misty Hamilton at [email protected] .

The open spot does not have to be filled by a medical professional. There is some compensation for serving on the board.

The DAC is comprised of the presidents of Clinton County’s 13 boards of township trustees, the mayors of Wilmington and of the seven incorporated villages, and the president of the county commissioners.

Members of the Clinton County Board of Health include Chair Terri Thobaben, Dr. Janet Gick, Registered Nurse Jane Vandevort, and Brian Larrick.

During the board meeting, WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) Director Renee Quallen reported her division has a volunteer on Wednesdays from Wilmington College who plans to further her education after earning her bachelor’s degree by pursuing a master’s degree in public health.

The college student is very interested in the areas of children’s health and childhood obesity, said Quallen.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]

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