Dental recruiting difficult for Community Health Center

More aggressive job recruitment activities were approved by the Wood County Health Department’s Board of Health at the regular meeting on Thursday.

Health Commissioner Ben Robison has requested the hiring of a medical encoder, as a temporary contract staff, in order to exercise immediate support for the billing department.

In an effort to speed up the billing process, the board approved a $25,000 resolution to cover six months of additional billing support.

It is unclear if the problem is due to increased billing requirements or if it is a billing automation system problem. But, as the software issues are looked at, the additional help would allow the department to catch up. Currently the billing is approximately two weeks behind. Current staff have been pulled from their regular duties to help catch up.

Postings for positions with the Community Health Center have gone unfilled for both a dentist and dental hygienists.

“It’s very competitive out there, “ Community Health Center CEO Diane Krill said. “Filling dental (positions) has been a struggle for us.”

The center has been using traditional posting methods of advertising for job openings without success. She has proposed using a recruitment company. In the past Krill has worked with Elevate recruiting, but there are costs.

She has been speaking with Elevate simply because of familiarity, but will look at other recruiting company options.

The search process has extended parameters out of state and has been using the Handshake recruitment system associated with higher education.

Board member Bob Midden said that he also wants speed in hiring, but did also ask for further research in recruiting companies.

Krill said that they are also considering opening a new sterilization assistant position, which would be a lower level position working under the hygienist, in order to relieve some work from that role.

New office chairs with local manufacturer BioFit were approved. Robeson said that 27 are needed, because of general wear and tear they have operational problems. They are typically $700 each, but will be at an approximate 50% volume discount.

The board approved an order for 29 chairs, at a total not to exceed $21,000.

Partnering with Gallup, the health department has issued the Q12 Employee engagement survey to staff.

“This year we partnered with Gallup, to not only get anonymized results, but the results are also linked to a library of resources to help us to make investments in our staff and our processes, once we get our results,” Robison said.

In other personnel committee related business, the board accepted the resignation of Vielka Cover, full-time dental hygienist, effective Jan. 20.

Madeline Dyer and Ambrose Amoako were appointed to the full-time environmental health specialist in training position. They will be paid at Grade 7 Step 2 at the rate of $23.45 per hour.

Kaitlin Denison was appointed to the full-time nutrition director position. She will be paid at Grade 17 Step 3 at the rate of $38.98 per hour.

A pay step increase for completion of a Ph.D. program was approved for Ishmael Tagoe. The new rate will increase from step 6, $29.24 per hour, to step 7, $30.19 per hour.

The board approved the 2023 annual membership dues of $5,000 for the Public Health Services Council of Ohio. Dues will be paid from levy dollars.

Also approved was the motion for updated sliding fee scales for the Wood County Community Health Center and the Reproductive Health and Wellness program. The sliding fee scales have been updated to reflect the 2023 poverty guidelines by the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The new scale will be effective March 1.

A memorandum of understanding between Wood County Health District and Nagle Companies in Lake Township was approved for use of their facilities, grounds and equipment as a local or regional drop site to receive medical countermeasure supplies from the state, federal or regional sources including the Ohio Department of Health.

This is at no cost to the health department and shall automatically renew following the initial 12 months.

The Nagle Companies received shipments for the health department throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the MOU will continue procedure.

Out-of-state travel costs were approved for two events.

Anticipated costs totaling $3,214, including salary/benefits, for William Bryant-Bey, Northwest Ohio regional public health coordinator, to attend FEMA advanced-level training at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Sept. 11-14 were approved.

Anticipated costs to the agency, to be covered by grant monies, for Robison, Pat Snyder and Bryant-Bey to travel to the 2023 Preparedness Summit in Atlanta were approved. The summit is being held the week of April 24, and will focus on recovering from the pandemic and returning to all-hazards preparedness. All three have or will apply for scholarships.

The meeting closed out with an executive session for discussion of personnel related reasons.