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NCHD receives infrastructure grant for rural health care PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Due to an award from the Colorado Rural Health Care Grant Program, the Northeast Colorado Health Department will be able to make much-needed upgrades to several of their facilities.

The grant is aimed at funding projects that support Colorado’s rural health infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of rural entities to provide outpatient primary care services. Trish McClain, NCHD’s director of client health services, informed members of the Northeast Colorado Board of Health during their June 22 meeting that the agency had received their full request of $46,718.52.

McClain applied for the grant this past March with the hopes of funding several physical plant improvement projects, including an upgrade to the Fort Morgan building’s entrance and lighting system and the replacement of old windows in the Sterling office, as well as the purchase of six automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be housed in each of the agency’s six offices.

“The improvements to our office buildings will make clinic visits more accessible and more comfortable for our clients,” said McClain. “In particular, our office building in Fort Morgan will be more easily accessed by our families with strollers, individuals with disabilities and the elderly by expanding the existing single-door entryway.

“Also, the addition of the AEDs will provide potential life-saving intervention should a cardiac arrest occur in one of our offices. In the buildings where we have fellow tenants, those devices will be centrally located so that access would be readily accessible regardless of whether NCHD staff is present.”

According to McClain, NCHD will need to provide just over $10,000 in matching funds to receive the grant award. After discussion, the board passed a motion to approve an amount not to exceed $10,349.98, to be spent from the agency’s building maintenance fund to provide the match.

The board also reviewed a letter sent by Morgan County Treasurer, Robert Sagel, regarding the statutory treasurer’s fee that can be collected on all non-federal monies run through the treasurer’s department.

As NCHD is a special district, they are required to run all received moneys, other than taxes and federal money, through the treasurer of the largest county they serve for a small administrative fee, which is equal to one percent of the agency’s total deposits for the year. According to Sagel’s letter the fee is expected to be just over $33,000 for next year’s budget.

In other business the board:

—discussed options for replacing NCHD’s attorney as their current attorney, George Monsson, is leaving the area.

—heard an update from Carmen Vandenbark, NCHD’s environmental health director, regarding the hiring of two new environmental health representatives for her department. Amber Donovan will be based out of NCHD’s Holyoke office and will begin work June 29, and Pam Lindenthal will be based out of NCHD’s Akron office, beginning work July 1.

Holyoke Enterprise June 30, 2011