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The employees of the Public Health Department show off their new accreditation to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors. Pictured from left: Supervisor Michael Sanchez, Melody Bennet, Assistant Director Zach Revene, Lori Beatley, Director Andrew Woodruff, James Wilson and Supervisor Lori Simpson. Photo by Carolyn Shipp

Public Health gets accreditation and board keeps working on budget

Plumas County’s Public Health Department was rewarded for its desire to be transparent and accountable to the community. The department was the first “frontier” designated county in California to achieve accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB).

Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff announced the accomplishment at the Board of Supervisors’ regular meeting Sept. 4.

Woodruff reported that the set of standards was established by the Centers for Disease Control and the PHAB. Of the 3,000 public health departments in the nation, less than 200 have received accreditation. Only nine counties in California are accredited.

“We are just so thrilled,” said Woodruff, adding that the process has lasted more than five years.

Assistant Director Zach Revene said PHAB accreditors where especially impressed with the strong community partnerships that were established.

“Overall we are very proud,” said Revene.

Budget discussions continue

Department heads continue to make requests to the board for funding for new positons, equipment and projects. The county’s budget is slated for approval at the board’s Sept. 18 meeting.

County Budget Consultant Susan Scarlett reported the budget is in good shape. Most budget requests are processed through the board and many already have a funded revenue source, through grants or reserved funds.

What is not funded through those reserved funds can still be funded through the unreserved fund balances, such as the general fund. This means that though there is an approximate $3 million shortfall when the expenditures and revenues percolate, the financial state of the county is healthy enough to accommodate the expenses without having to dip into reserves.

The board met during an afternoon session Sept. 4 and for a special meeting Sept. 6 to hear more requests from department heads. Some notable requests include more money for Veterans Services and Senior Nutrition through the Public Health Agency, and a new Management Analyst position in the probation department.

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