The Cherokee County Board of Health had a polite exchange of ideas with representatives of the Cherokee Regional Medical Center and the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors at a special BOH meeting on Thursday May 10th.
What was discussed was conversion of programs previously operated by the Public Health Department, which will no longer have employees as of July 1.
There are two programs that state regulations make under the direct oversight of the BOH and two that are under the direct oversight of the county supervisors. These will be assigned to oversight by the CRMC as a subcontractor for public health services.
There are four other grant programs, previously overseen by the Public Health Department, which haven't been assigned to specific oversight.
John Comstock, CEO of CRMC, said that of these four areas, the hospital is ready to take over operations of three of them, all but the lead grant program. In the past, the county has shared the program with Pocahontas County, both because the minimum service area for the grant requires a population of 15,000 and because there is no one available in Cherokee County who is certified to operate the program.
Pocahontas has withdrawn from the program and CRMC is unable to operate it at this time. Comstock was referred to someone in Clay County who might be interested in sharing the program.
Comstock said that the CRMC intends to go slow in making the conversion but expressed optimism on its success.
"Things are clearer to us than they were two weeks ago," Comstock said.