During the November 16 Nodaway County Health Center board meeting, Administrator Tom Patterson reviewed the budget.

The health center has received less income than the budget for the year due to not needing and receiving COVID-19 funds compared to the previous year. Expenses are also less than the budgeted amount because of less COVID-19 expenses. The health center will finish the year with approximately $75,000 in reserve.

Patterson always budgets expenses high and income low to help keep the health center within the budget confines.

Linda Shelby, Arnold Insurance Health Insurance, updated the board on the employee health insurance renewal. There will be a 5.5 percent increase. There are four full-time employees on the insurance. The policy was approved. Discussion was held on whether the area health departments could band together to get a group policy. Patterson will look into it.

There were 151 cases of COVID in October; 15 cases of influenza A and three cases of influenza B. The health center is going to continue giving vaccinations throughout the winter season.

Patterson attended a fall regional meeting with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). It is applying for a federal public health workforce development grant to improve programming and workforce development. It will help to improve Missouri’s position near last place among states in public health funding, $7 per capita, 51st. The grant involves a five-year, multi-phase initiative.

Local public health agencies will have access to programs and funding. Patterson hopes Nodaway County can do more chronic disease prevention education.

DHSS grant strategies include: new section for public health nursing; new public health workforce commission; bring back leadership academy; increase internship programs; new MO Healthcare Workforce Project collaboration with MU to collect public health infrastructure date; improve public health education through learning and development redesign; new mental health wellness project; improve the grant management system and consolidate electronic inspection and data systems.