City Council Considers Joining Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Dateline: August 24, 2017 - At its October 10 work session, Shaker Heights City Council will begin to consider a recommendation to contract with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) for state mandated health services to residents effective January 1, 2018. Public comment will be accepted at this meeting.
The recommendation to make this change results from a requirement from the State of Ohio that all city health departments become accredited by the federal Public Health Accreditation Board by July 1, 2020 or lose necessary funding from the Ohio Department of Health. Shaker’s Health Department cannot achieve public health accreditation without substantial additional resources and reorganization.
Shaker Heights has been one of only two cities in Cuyahoga County with its own health department. The other is the City of Cleveland. Fortunately, the CCBH, which has two facilities, one in Lyndhurst and the other in Parma, offers nearly identical public services. In fact, 19 of the 20 services offered by Shaker’s Heath Department are also offered by CCBH.
“We are sorry to lose the convenience of a locally based health department,” says Mayor Earl Leiken, “but the lack of local resources to comply with the new state accreditation requirements and the large financial savings make a case for the change. Further, with the increase in neighborhood mini-clinics and other means of obtaining services, we believe there are now good alternatives. Our highly respected and dedicated department staff have provided these important services to our residents for many years. They have also served Shaker’s city employees with tremendous professionalism and kindness.”
Outside funding for the department’s services has decreased over the years and jail medical calls have been reduced significantly since the City transferred the housing of prisoners to the City of Solon jail. Additionally, fewer than four percent of Shaker residents use the department’s services. The City will save more than $200,000 annually because of this change.
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