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Osage County

Posted: Nov 13, 2017 11:52 AMUpdated: Nov 13, 2017 11:53 AM

Health Department Administrator Discusses Furloughs

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Bill Lynch

This week the Osage County Health Department Administrator Larry Bergner presented information regarding the current state of the Health Department in Osage County specifically in reference to funding and the ongoing budget shortfall at the state level. Bergner built on a discussion which began last week regarding the use of taxpayer funds and ongoing furloughs throughout the department due to state budget issues. Bergner said that Osage County is still good on funding for health department services with the exception of salary which is paid by the state. The county health department is sitting on approximately 3.3 million dollars which has been generated by the county's sales tax allotment. However, those funds cannot be used towards employee salary, therefor the County is reliant of the state for salary funding. Berger discussed the states misrepresentation and mismanagement of funds with regards to the current furloughs.

 

The furloughs add to the already existing issue of keeping qualified and certified medical practitioners and educators on payroll. Bergner said though he is optimistic that with the change in leadership, with the resignation Dr. Terry Cline and the appointment of Preston Doerflinger as the Interim Oklahoma State Department of Health Commissioner, that the Osage County Health Department will be able to utilize their funds for more County projects such as a Health Annex in Skiatook and more involvement in Community Projects. Dr. Cline was oppose to a Skiatook annex and tied the County's hands each time the discussion was brought forward. Bergner continued to discuss how the department continues to help the county including educational outreach and health programs, and answered questions from the board and audience. The next meeting of the Osage County Commissioners will be next Monday at the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska.

 

Listen to Larry Bergner's Complete discussion by following the link.


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