Greufe selected to lead county in public health transition

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


Paul Greufe, Henry County human resources director, will lead the county?s effort in the transitioning of county public health from the Henry County Health Center (HCHC) to the county.

County public health has been under the wing of HCHC for at least 35 years, but the county will assume control of the service July 1, 2018. Although public health is currently administered by the hospital, it is well-funded by the county. In fiscal 2018, public health will receive $300,000 from the county.

Greufe said he would welcome being the county?s ?point person? in the transition. ?If the board (of supervisors) wants me to take a lead in this, I will,? he said during Thursday?s supervisor meeting. ?In these situations, there are a lot of little pieces. I want to make it a seamless transition and get working on this as quickly as possible.?

Transparency is paramount is such a transition, Greufe noted. ?We want to be as transparent as we can and make decisions as quickly as possible.

?For employees, there will be a million questions, a lot of them regarding benefits,? Greufe continued. ?If we don?t do a good job with transparency, we will lose employees. If I do my job well, it will be a team approach.?

Rose Lauer, chairwoman of the Henry County Board of Health, agreed with having Greufe leading the county?s efforts. ?I would like you to take the lead on this because none of us have human resources experience.?

For decades, Henry County?s administration of public health has been a rarity as the vast majority of public health departments are under the county?s umbrella.

?Speaking for myself, I feel comfortable in you taking the complete lead on this,? Marc Lindeen, chairman of the supervisors, told Greufe.

Supervisor Gary See said the board of health will play a key role in the transition and after it. ?We want to keep the board of health as a strong, independent unit.?

Supervisors also received an update on the county law enforcement center/county jail project and reviewed a set of architectural plans with Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee and Mike Adkins of Midwest Construction Consultants, the project manager.

Adkins said the plat for the center has been completed, and the City of Mt. Pleasant Board of Adjustment will be meeting Dec. 19 to consider a special use permit for the law center/jail.

The plans viewed by the supervisors were for a 60-bed jail with expansion possibilities for an additional 36 beds.

McNamee said his staff has given its input into the new center. ?Everyone in my department has had the opportunity to offer input.?

Supervisors meet again Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 9 a.m. in the courthouse.