05/15/14 — Board eyes Health Department needs

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Board eyes Health Department needs

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 15, 2014 1:46 PM

The Wayne County Health Department building "doesn't even come close" to the quality of facilities in counties of comparable size, several Board of Health members said at a meeting Wednesday.

Discussion about a recent tour of Health Departments in other counties was tabled in the interest of time, but it still drew comments.

"I'm embarrassed by the facilities we provide," board member Joe Daughtery said.

"I'm looking forward to bring Wayne County Health Department into the 21st century," board member Bob Cagle said.

Members of the board, along with Health Director Davin Madden, recently toured facilities in Harnett, Duplin and Sampson counties.

The group was out "getting ideas," Cagle said. "We're in the early stages of formulating a plan for potential new Health Department facilities."

The commission has led the discussion in recent years on finding a suitable site to house the Health Department, which now occupies the former hospital at the corner of Ash and Herman streets.

"We have an excellent staff at our Health Department," Cagle added. "We need to give them 21st century facilities to help our people."

Daughtery said afterwards he hoped maybe there could be some movement toward funding the move to a new site.

During the meeting, Madden presented an update on the number of patients served by the Health Department.

For the period of July 2012 to June 2013, approximately 10,000 unduplicated clients were served, he said.

"We had over 26,000 unduplicated visits for that year," he said. "If you add in WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Environmental Health, that don't report, it looks like we served close to 20,000 people in Wayne County in that 12-month period.

"That's nearly 20 percent of the county's population."

The maternity program also continues to have a busy schedule, Madden said.

From July 2013 to date, 455 deliveries at Wayne Memorial Hospital were Health Department clients, he said. While he has not received the total number of deliveries for the county, he said the previous year the number of deliveries for clients of the Health Department comprised 40 percent of the total.