Health Board Recognizes Retiring Staff, Talks Finance & COVID

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The Bond County Board of Health met recently and recognized health department employees Cindy Burge and Terri Links, who will be retiring at the end of the month. Both Burge and Links have served Bond County through their roles at the health department for 4 decades, Burge having served for 43 years and Links for 39. Administrator Sean Eifert shared that although arrangements have been made to fill their roles; their work ethics, extensive knowledge and commitment to the citizens of Bond County will be missed.

Eifert reported the department ended the month of February with a cash balance of over $1.5 million. He stated the department remains fiscally strong and the new grant season is now underway. One program of concern discussed was the Healthy Families Program, which serves at-risk children and their families and has been in existence for many years. Due to a change in funding requirements, the department is at risk of losing this program in July. However, the department intends to move forward with its grant application and aggressively pursue a funding renewal, despite the more restrictive criteria. Awards are expected to be announced sometime in May.

The COVID-19 metrics for the county and region were all reported to be good, indicating a lowered risk of transmission at the current time. Unvaccinated individuals remain the population at greatest risk and the Bond County Health Department continues to encourage and offer COVID vaccines for all who are eligible. Potential surges due to variants remain a concern and the health department has maintained resources in the event of a COVID surge.

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