April 1, 2023 2:08 am

The Geauga Board of Wellness has voted unanimously to enter into a cross-jurisdictional agreement with the Lake County Basic Wellness District to serve as a staffing agency for Geauga Public Wellness.

The agreement will save Geauga County residents as a lot as $600,000 annually in wellness solutions fees, though preserving all the solutions they at present get at Geauga Public Wellness, according to a news release.

“This is not a takeover and it is not a merger,” Geauga Public Wellness Board President Richard Piraino stated in the release. “Lake County Basic Wellness District will serve as a staffing agency for Geauga.

“Our agreement with Lake is the very best way for Geauga to preserve handle of the wellness solutions we offer our residents though saving these residents substantial income each year.”

The agreement requires impact on April three. Simply because Lake County Basic Wellness District will be supplying staffing going forward, 17 Geauga Public Wellness staff will be laid off as of March 31. They will be capable to apply with Lake County Basic Wellness District to provide these staffing solutions, but no one particular is assured a position, the release stated.

“We know this is painful for our Geauga Public Wellness staff, and we’re definitely sorry for that. GPH is facing a spending budget shortfall of more than $500,000 in 2024, and we had to make a quite tough selection,” Piraino mentioned in the release. “We have worked diligently to locate the very best option, and we are getting into this agreement to assure we can continue supplying the folks we serve in Geauga County with the solutions they will need and deserve.”

All Geauga Public Wellness representatives, no matter if GPH staff or contracted Lake staff, will continue functioning on behalf of and at the path of the Geauga Board of Wellness, according to the release. The Geauga Board of Wellness, appointed by elected Geauga officials, will continue to handle GPH policies, applications and solutions and will continue to concern its personal permits, preserve its cars, workplace, web site and its identity.

“Geauga residents will continue to go to the exact same areas to get the exact same solutions,” Piraino stated. “None of that will alter.”

Simply because of the agreement involving the wellness districts, the combined populations of the two counties will open the possibility to apply for bigger grants, which are vital for funding wellness departments, unavailable to Geauga or Lake on its personal, the release stated. And the efficiencies that will be gained provide positive aspects to the two wellness departments and residents of each counties.

The positive aspects, according to the Geauga Board of Wellness, consist of:

• Gaining access to extra applications such as outreach solutions since of improved access to grant funding sources

• Cutting the expense of public wellness solutions to residents by funding some existing applications via qualifying grants

• Sharing specialty employees, such as in the places of information evaluation, accreditation, neighborhood requires assessment, emergency preparedness, finance, and grant writing

• Improved coordination for emergency response and public wellness emergencies.

“It is clear that we can be stronger collectively and additional fiscally accountable to Geauga County residents,” Piraino stated.

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