MOUNT GILEAD — As part of the Morrow County Commissioners’ response to the recommendations of the Morrow County Health Citizens Advisory Group, Commissioners will dedicate $25,000 to the Morrow County Park District for construction of high-quality trails at the new Flying Squirrel Preserve in Chester and Franklin townships.
The announcement was made at the July 28 meeting of the commissioners after they approved a resolution to accept the recommendations of the Morrow County Healthcare Advisory Group (MC-HIC).
“We appreciate the tremendous support of the commissioners in making this contribution,” Park Board member Dixie Shinnaberry said.
Commissioner Tim Abraham said, “We are looking forward to working with the park board in making improvements.”
In their resolution to accept the Health Advisory Group recommendations, commissioners went point by point to acknowledge each recommendation. They noted that some areas would be specific suggestions for the Morrow County Hospital Board and some would be areas where the Commissioners could take an initiative to make improvements in county residents’ health and wellness.
Some areas would call for the collaboration and cooperation between hospital board and commissioners.
• One other initiative commissioners took at the meeting was to create a seven-member Morrow County Wellness Committee. This new committee is per the recommendation of the Advisory Committee “to activate and coordinate public and private resources to focus on health.”
The committee will be tasked with an overall look at healthcare and wellness in the county. Their role would be educating and informing county residents of available health and wellness services.
Another task of this committee would be to identify and promote available opportunities for recreation and fitness activities. Commissioners will be accepting applications for this committee.
• Commissioners stated that they support and recognize the role of the county hospital board members. They also support returning to the custom of quarterly meetings with the hospital board as in past years.
“It is our goal to go forward in a positive way and not look backwards,” said Abraham. “We look forward to meeting with the hospital board and moving forward.”
• The health advisory committee made the recommendation that access to healthcare in the county can be improved by increasing access to public transportation and broad band in the county.
Commissioners said they are already working on both public transportation and broadband improvements. They will continue to review opportunities for grants and funding for those projects.
New RFP process
• The Commissioners final point was the acceptance of the majority of the healthcare advisory committee to issue a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Morrow County Hospital.
Commissioners believe a new RFP process will lead to more competition in healthcare, which will lead to expanding healthcare, more jobs in healthcare and keep more healthcare services in the county.
Commissioners are open to collaboration in working with the RFP process as well as any sale/lease, or long-term operation of the hospital.
Commissioners thanked the MC-HIC group for their dedication and hard work over the past six months in making their recommendations. The full text of the commissioners’ resolution to accept the recommendations is available on their website.
Commissioners said they welcome the public response to their initiatives as well as any suggestions. Their meetings are open to the public every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m.