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Gains noted in county public health services

Wyoming County Public Health officials told a County Legislature panel Tuesday that they have been able to increase services to residents.

Public health officials said the average number of home visits by a nurse per day in Public Health's Certified Home Health Agency has increased to between four and five patients from two to three patients daily. They reported that a typical nurse's work week has also increased to 40 hours from 35.

They told members of the Public Health Committee that services aimed at promoting healthy living are continuing while county contributions to the department's overall annual budget decreased from 15 percent three years ago to 5 percent this year.

Department officials did not provide a dollar amount for the savings, but said improved billing efforts to insurance providers have resulted in savings to county taxpayers.

Dr. Greg Collins, public health director, credited department members who helped him after he took over in 2003 for the changes. They included: Lori Roche, director of nursing; and Laura Paolucci, administrative assistant. He also thanked Janis Cook, county fiscal officer.

"We assembled an administrative team," Collins said. "That had not been done before."

Paolucci praised supervisors for maintaining department staffing levels of 43 full-time and part-time employees.

Residents interested in upcoming wellness programs can call 786-8890 for more information.

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