News

Health department topic of workshop

CAMERON—Milam County Commissioners met in workshop session Thursday to discuss how involved the commissioners court should be in the Milam County Health Department.

Discussion centered on the department’s acquisition and use of state grants, including paying salaries with some.

Patsy Gaines, Health Department director, said some salaries are paid with grant money.

She said the process can change from year to year.

“I may pay a nurse $5,000 out of a grant, but the next year the grant may be gone and so she will lose the $5,000. If we don’t use the grant money it goes back to the state and we can be out on future grants.”

County Judge Dave Barkemeyer said commissioners were not trying to interfere with the department’s operations. “The question is ‘how much do we (commissioners) want to get involved’?” he said.

“I think we need to be involved enough to know what’s going on,” Barkemeyer said.

He said all grant requests should come before the commissioners.

Gaines said she was “up front” when hiring nurses. “(Telling them) this is what you will be paid with county salary, and if there is a grant, this money may be here today but gone tomorrow.”

Dr. Sidney Richardson of Cameron said he believed the county health department was “five star.”

“We are a good rural health department with good people working,” he said. “I don’t think there is a need to overburden the court when there is other important business.”

Barkemeyer asked that the health department submit quarterly reports. “I think it would be good to know what’s going on,” he said. “No problem to go ahead with your business, just keep us updated.”


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2014-05-08 digital edition



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