Commissioners discuss Health Department staffing

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times
The Leavenworth Times

When county commissioners met Wednesday, the chairman inquired about the state of the staff of the Leavenworth County Health Department during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Are they getting by or do they need more staff to get through some of this?” Commission Chairman Doug Smith said.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said Health Department employees have had a “pretty rough nine months or so.” He said it has been stressful for multiple reasons.

“They are working a lot of extra hours,” he said.

Loughry said it is difficult to find the necessary medical professionals for the area in which the Health Department needs help.

“Those people are in high demand and in short supply apparently,” he said.

Loughry said the Health Department director, Jamie Miller, has not presented a plan with a request for adding temporary staffing.

“He knows that he has the support of the board,” Loughry said.

Smith said he believes it is up to commissioners to make sure Miller receives whatever he needs to get through the pandemic.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz said the Leavenworth County Council on Aging has had a significant increase in transportation requests for medical appointments.

Smith asked if the Council on Aging needs additional help.

Loughry said the Council on Aging has been advertising open positions, especially for drivers, but other positions have been filled.

He said the Council on Aging, so far, has been able to meet needs.

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