Health Department to be Restructured

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Residents seeking the town’s health department will soon find it restructured and renamed the Office of Public Health and Social Services.

Tuesday night Town Manager James McKenna told the town council that is was time to reorganize the health department due to the expanse of what it has to cover. Health related licensing and enforcement will be with the Office of Commission of Inspectional Services.

Under the new administration there will be a new director of public health to oversee the department.

Included in this reorganization are the town’s recovery coaches for the CLEAR program. The new office will oversee this program. The new person will oversee the Substance Use Disorder Program, the public health nurse, coordinate the annual flu clinic and other health clinics, disease monitoring and control services, mental-health disorder monitoring and services, and collaborate with the town’s public safety team as needed. Also work with the new director of the Regional Health Initiative with Revere and Chelsea.

Inspectional Services will continue to inspect: restaurants, trash, sanitation and housing codes, swimming pools, beach testing, burial certificates, farmer’s market, tobacco, mosquito control, vermin control, bed-bug inspections, hoarding, blasting and environmental health.

McKenna proposed funding a supplemental budget for fiscal year 2018 and transferring $18,000 from the Town Council Reserve into the budget for programs.

As for staffing, there will be a clinical administrator (nurse manager) who reports to the town manager. A clinical social worker (10 hours a week, funded by a grant), a per diem public health nurse, a recovery coach supervisor, and two recovery coaches (male and female).

The new department will partner with CASA, North Suffolk Mental Health and CAPIC to support social services.

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