Commissioners select new provider for healthcare services at Van Buren County Jail

Paul Garrod -

        PAW PAW - Jail health services provided in the past by the  Van Buren/Cass District Health Department, will now be provided by Advanced  Correctional Healthcare, following action taken last week by the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners.
    On Tuesday, Aug. 27, commissioners approved the bid from Advanced Correctional Healthcare for an annual cost of $378,446, 24, with an additional charge of $19,510.04, and a 10 cent per diem to add Electronic  Medical Rec-ords (EMR) software that integrates with the  county’s jail management software. Commissioners said the difference is approximately $120,000 from the existing, and has been budgeted for the new fiscal  year.
    Commissioners approved a request to create a fulltime position of assistant director of Office of Dom-estic Preparedness (ODP). Due to a recent retirement, the regional planner duties are no longer funded.
    Commissioners noted that ODP duties have increased substantially because of local unit of government needs, private sector needs and most recently, the board’s strategic initiative of Continuity  of Operations Planning. Because of the countywide use of this position, commissioners plan to  use an Entergy grant to be supplemented with extra-voted Public Safety Millage funds.
    Commissioners approved a request to submit  an application for the annual recurring grant for the Secondary Road Patrol and Traffic Accident Prevention Program for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
    The state-funded grant award of $76,585 is for the county to provide a uniformed officer who patrols secondary roads, monitors traffic violations,  enforces criminal state laws, with violations observed while patrolling for the sheriff’s offices, investigates crashes involving motor vehicles, and provides emergency assistance to persons on a near a highway or road patrol.
    The board also approved a  three year extension of the contractual agreement with Market Van Buren (Kinexus), with an option to extend the agreement  for an additional three years to expire Sept. 30, 2025.
    In 2016, the county  entered into a one-year contract with Kinexus to provide economic development service for the county. The original agreement was extended in 2017, and expires this year. During this time, Kinexus  has worked to develop a county-wide economic development organization, Market Van Buren.
    Commissioners approved a request to utilize existing general fund dollars and grant funds to create a fulltime Victim Rights coordinator position and a fulltime legal secretary/tech position.
    Currently, there is a fulltime victims’ rights coordinator/legal secretary that is funded 50 percent grant and 50 percent general fund. There is also a parttime tech support position funded by the general fund. The grant will now pay for all of the victims’ rights coordinator. The remaining 50 percent general fund dollars will be combined with the existing parttime general fund dollars to create a new legal secretary/tech support position.

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