Sunday, September 08, 2013

Would Sharing Services Solve BOH Problems?

Bloomfield's recent disconnect between its Health Department, Board of Health, Neighbor to Neighbor Network, and Animal Shelter has many causes. Among them are the elimination of their most experienced volunteers, the attitude of unaccountability to the town council, and the alienation of overpaid directors who live many counties away from the communities they serve.

During his presentation to the BNAC last month, our new Town Administrator suggested that increasing our level of shared services may be the only way to reduce expenses in future budgets.  Diane Lilli recently reported some of the details on how Montclair and Nutley are successfully sharing their health departments, allowing for a wide range of health services including nursing services.

The Nutley Health Department, in partnership with the Greater Montclair Health Reserve Corps, is creating a Nutley Chapter to train and supplement the existing emergency services in responding to public health and other emergencies. The new chapter will be known as the Nutley Public Health Reserve Corps.

Sharing services has saved both towns significant amounts of money, while also allowing both towns to maximize available services and continuing to meet the healthcare needs of residents.

Animal control for both towns is run by the Montclair office. Many of the Montclair Shelter's most experienced volunteers are "exiles" from Bloomfield's shelter.

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