New Health Department Should Not Be ‘Bare Bones,” Councilwoman Says

David Bjorkgren

Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer urged her colleagues not to go cheap when it comes to creating a new health department for the county, writes Katheleen E. Carey for the Daily Times.

The council unanimously approved hiring IHS Markit for $75,000 to conduct an economic impact study looking at the costs of setting up and operating a health department.

IHS offered them three scenarios: a minimalist health department, an average department and a very comprehensive office.

“I would say, if I were designing this, I’d say, ‘Skip the bare bones.’ I don’t envision us cheapening out on this and delivering a health department that’s not at least competitive with our peers, if not more,” Schaefer said.

The county would save on costs like those incurred during the pandemic, when it’s had to outsource COVID-19 care and services to the Chester County Health Department. 

The economic impact would also be reduced for negative health outcomes caused by county residents not having access to a health department. 

The economic impact study is part of a required application process to the state before a county health department can open in January 2022.

Read more at the Daily Times about the economics of creating a health department.