You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Sequester cuts leave local health departments in limbo


The Ohio Department of Health Thursday told its partner agencies throughout the state to expect an average 8 percent cut in the federal grants for public health programs as a result of the federal government’s across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration.

While cuts to individual programs may vary widely, ODH officials offered the 8 percent estimate — based on government cuts elsewhere — as a guideline for state agencies since they have received little or no guidance from the government, said ODH Chief of Staff Tim Adams.

“Since early March, we have all been waiting…to learn exactly what the sequestration budget cuts and program impacts will be from each of our federal funders,” Adams told the leaders of several state agencies during a conference call. “To date, we have received final sequestration budget cut information on only a small fraction of the nearly 100 federal grants that are administered by our department.

“We at ODH, as I’m sure is the case for many of you, are becoming increasingly concerned with our ability to quickly shift our service delivery models within the ever-shrinking timelines that exist to implement these cuts,” Adams added.

Earlier this week, the ODH — which receives about 70 percent of its funding from the federal government to provide services to about 11.5 million Ohioans — sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, requesting “an accelerated effort be made to provide Ohio-specific funding information.”

So far, the ODH has been able to mitigate the impact of known cuts resulting from sequestration.

Ohio’s WIC Food program, for example, was cut by $6,201,657 as a result of sequestration, but ODH was able to completely offset those cuts as a “result of efficiencies we have adopted over the past several years,” Adams said.

Sequestration has not become a major issue yet for most local health departments. But they’re still operating in limbo.

“Right now, we have not been impacted,” said Jim Gross, Montgomery County Health Commissioner. “If we do receive (cuts in funding) we will look at those on a case-by-case basis and act in the best interest of Montgomery County citizens.”

Local counties would be in much better position to reduce if not eliminate the negative impact of sequestration if they knew what to expect, said Duane Stansbury, Warren County Health Commissioner.

“I have a number of folks who work for me who are exclusively paid out of a grant,” he said. “So, if I don’t know what I’m going to be getting in the grant, I have no ability to plan what to do with this person.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Video shows woman kidnapped as infant in Florida joking about getting kidnapped
Video shows woman kidnapped as infant in Florida joking about getting kidnapped

A Facebook live video shows the young woman who was snatched from a Jacksonville hospital as an infant joking about getting kidnapped. In the July 2016 video, she does not hint that she knew she really was a kidnapping victim. Gloria Williams is still in a South Carolina jail cell, accused of kidnapping Kamiyah Mobley as a baby in 1998 and...
Security experts warn about possible violence at inauguration
Security experts warn about possible violence at inauguration

As the nation's security agencies gear up for President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday, some experts in the field are warning of the potential for volatility. >> Read more trending stories  "Unlike previous inaugurations in presidential history, this is predicted to be the most volatile," said Ross Bulla, a security...
President Obama welcomes Chicago Cubs to White House
President Obama welcomes Chicago Cubs to White House

For the last time in his tenure as president, Barack Obama welcomed a championship team to the White House. This time it had a special meaning to the outgoing commander-in-chief, as he spent much of his life in Chicago (though he is a White Sox fan). When Obama took to the microphone to address the Cubs fans and legions of reporters, his first words...
Dr. Bernice King: ‘My father would meet with Trump’
Dr. Bernice King: ‘My father would meet with Trump’

As a war of words plays out between President-elect Donald Trump and Georgia congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, one is left to wonder what MLK Jr. would have done in the wake of the 2016 election. >> Read more trending stories  Two days before her famous father's birthday, the daughter of the civil rights icon answered that question...
Dems call for county commissioner in Georgia to resign after John Lewis comments
Dems call for county commissioner in Georgia to resign after John Lewis comments

Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter waded into controversial territory over the weekend when he wrote a Facebook post calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis -- a civil rights legend already locked in a war of words with President-elect Donald Trump -- a “racist pig.” The reaction to Hunter, a Republican, taking on Lewis a few days before...
More Stories