The City of Piqua is evaluating the best option for providing Health Department services in the future. Several factors have forced the city to take a look at the long-term ability to maintain all of the services provided by the city health department. The state legislature adopted a provision in the state budget bill in July 2021 that will require the department to complete a feasibility study; the study is to determine if it would be more effective to provide services through the county health department.
Currently, the city contracts with Miami County Public Health for all medical services, including all clinics, nursing services, immunizations, and disease investigations. Contracts are also in place for plumbing inspection services, well permits, and private sewage system permits. The city health department maintains the environmental health programs focused on business licensing and inspections for restaurants, public swimming pools, school buildings, and tattoo operations. In addition, the department houses the vital records division and handles code compliance issues, mainly high grass and nuisance issues such as trash on properties.
In addition to the pending feasibility study, the health department is also under a state mandate to attain national accreditation. The department has completed some of the criteria to meet the accreditation standards, but would need to hire a full-time staff person to complete the endeavor.
“At this time, it is in the city’s best interests to look at what will provide the citizens of Piqua with the services they need in the most efficient manner” said Amy Welker, Director of Health & Sanitation. The health department has determined it will cost an additional $114,000 per year to attain accreditation. There will also be additional costs associated with a feasibility study that is likely to be based on the accreditation standards.
Under the direction of the city manager, Paul Oberdorfer, each department is being evaluated for opportunities to be more efficient and effectively focused on their core mission. The city is committed to providing the services that the citizens of Piqua need to live healthy and productive lives, whether that be by providing the services in house, or looking at alternative methods.
The state budget bill is available for review at: https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA134-HB-110