level budget cuts hits home
State budget cuts will impact Ripley County residents who have been
getting their Hepatitis A&B vaccines from the county health
At the quarterly meeting of the Ripley County Health Department
held Tuesday, December 4 nurse Vickie Powell explained that the
department will no longer be getting the vaccines for free from
the state. This is unfortunate because weve done a lot
of these, noted Powell.
Powell has been advising those who mostly benefit from the shots,
fire department members and EMS employees, that they can contact
their own physician to order the vaccines and then the county can
administer them, but it will cost them to buy the product from the
The school vaccination clinics will continue as usual.
Flu vaccines from the health department for 2011 may cost the consumer.
It was noted that unless a recovery fee (which could cost up to
$12) is charged, the county health department may have to discontinue
providing adult flu vaccines. Those for children ages 6-months to
18 are still available for free.
Pat Thomas said the county paid for 350 doses last year at a cost
of $10-$12 each. She explained the health department isnt
allowed to use grant monies for the vaccines. There were 656 flu
vaccines administered for the final quarter (October, November,
December) of last year.
Powell reported 23 immunization clinics held with 1465 immunizations
administered for the final quarter of 2010.
Andy Bryant, environment division of the health department, requested
approval from the health board for an onsite sewage disposal system
This ordinance update will mean fluid filters on tanks would be
mandatory. Bryant explained this would impact those with new installs
or tanks that need to be replaced. The filters will now come on
all tanks from the manufacturer due to the new state law that became
effective January 1, 2011.
The filters will be an additional cost and will have to be cleaned
periodically. Bryant said homeowners can clean them or hire a septic
hauler to do it. If the filters are not cleaned, it will cause a
serious septic backup inside the home.
Bryant said the new mandate has been coming for years and some counties
have already embraced it, such as neighboring Dearborn County.
He advised the board they cant go less than state code. The
board unanimously voted in favor of the ordinance, which will now
go before the commissioners for their approval.
A copy of the 43-page ordinance was submitted to the board.
Sherri Schmidt brought the problem of some swimming pool operators
not submitting their weekly sample reports. There are 13 public
pools in the county required to submit weekly samples to the health
According to state code, if the pool operators do not comply it
can result in immediate shutdown. When asked who the frequent offenders
were, Schmidt noted they are Comfort Inn and Stonebridge Inn, both
located in Batesville.
Susann Abdon of the vital records division, told the board the electronic
system to record deaths is up and running and going well for the
department. She noted the new system is more efficient.
The vital records division is now taking appointments for paternity
affidavits and to record home births because the process requires
two staff members to be in the office. Charlene Keck noted that
recording home births is a lengthy process with more coming in now
that the Amish community has expanded in the area.
There were 77 new births recorded in the last three months of 2010
in Ripley County and 70 deaths recorded in the same time period.
There were 217 birth certificates issued and 266 death certificates.
Harley Robinson, DVM, president of the health board, presided over
the meeting and was elected to continue in that position for 2011.
Also to remain as vice-president is Bill Hisrich. David Welsh MD
is the health officer for the board. Board members present for the
meeting included: Michael Parker, Mary Schmaltz, RN; Jim Hollis,
DVM; and Pat Thomas, EHS, PHC health department administrator.
The next regular scheduled health board meeting for the county will
take place April 5 at 5 p.m. in the EMA office, Versailles.