A Special Business Meeting on Sept. 7 was the setting for the Board of Douglas County Commissioners’ unanimous adoption of a resolution withdrawing from the governance of the Tri-County Health Department and establishing its own single-county public health agency.
By state law, Douglas County has the authority to withdraw from Tri-County Health by resolution at least one year after written notice to the District if its intent. The County provided the necessary one-year notice of an intent to withdraw from the Tri-County Health Department in a letter dated July 10, 2020.
With this action, the County’s governance over public health in Douglas County will not be effective until the appointment and first meeting of the new agency’s public health board by resolution.
Earlier on Sept. 7, during a posted work session, the Board of County Commissioners agreed they would consider on Sept. 14, the initial appointment of five members as the Board of Health. The resolution regarding the formation of the County’s new board of health will propose initial membership of Commissioner Lora Thomas, Commissioner George Teal, Dr. Linda Fielding and Kim Muramoto – currently seated as Board of Health members representing Douglas County – and Doug Benevento, who has specific environmental health expertise and is a member of the County’s Public Health Advisory Committee.
By creating its own, single-county public health agency that provides or contracts for public health services, Douglas County will create a new, localized public health governance model, while maintaining continuity of core public health services for Douglas County.
Douglas County, County has been exploring options and opportunities related to alternative means for the delivery of public health services for the County for several months, working with public health experts, an internal working group, as well as community members appointed to a new Public Health Advisory Committee.