Public Health, HCHC enter into business associate agreement

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News


Public Health and Henry County Health Center are entering into a business associate agreement to continue a free flow of information now that the two entities are no longer under the same administrative roof.

This will allow both entities to continue secure messaging for the transition care program, which follows up with people for 30 days after they are discharged from the hospital. Public Health also will have access to information about newborns to follow up on mothers and newborn care.

Another benefit is following up on mental health clients discharged from the Emergency Room or other clinics who could use added help from Public Health.

Additionally, now that Public Health is under the county the board voted to have two members sign off on expenses each month. While Board of Health chair Buzz Bezoni was concerned this wasn?t enough accountability, vice chair and Henry County Supervisor Greg Moeller assured this was how many county departments operate.

Bezoni added he will send an itemized list of expenses to all board members before board meetings for additional accountability.

The expense report will then be approved by Henry County Supervisors.

Moeller stressed that as it was up to Shelley Van Dorin?s discretion as Public Health director to spend the money as she saw fit. ?You?re still the head of the department,? he said.

In other news, Dr. Thomas Bainbridge, retired HCHC doctor, will be taking over as Public Health medical director following Dr. Kent Metcalf?s resignation. Bainbridge also will be the health officer.

Metcalf has sat on the Board of Health since 2001. He is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

The next Board of Health meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 21.