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Lyon County Public Health contract future still uncertain; discussions to continue over coming week Featured

Lyon County Public Health contract future still uncertain; discussions to continue over coming week Tagan Trahoon/KVOE News

Lyon County Commissioners held their first public conversations regarding its public health contract for 2021.

As KVOE News has reported in recent weeks the county chose not to renew its contract with Flint Hills Community Health Center for the coming year. The contract had been in place since 2015 providing FHCHC with $450,000 per year for public health services.

During their weekly action session Thursday morning, commissioners spoke with representatives of both FHCHC and Newman Regional Health -- the two agencies that have submitted requests for proposals for the contract. Newman's proposal came in at $450,000 per year with the request that Newman would have the ability to negotiate with the county for additional funds based on increase of cost according to Newman CEO Bob Wright.


Additionally, Newman's request stated that if it were approved for the contract it would prefer to begin on Jan. 1 of 2022 rather than 2021. Wright says this is to allow time for FHCHC to continue its public health services amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and provide the hospital with ample time to apply for state grant funding.

FHCHC's proposal came in at $650,000 with no major changes or adjustments to the previous contract agreement. Health Center Director and CEO Renee Hively declined comment Thursday, however, recently she has stated the entire process has been a shock to the health center as no prior indications of dissatisfaction from the county had been made known.

Chairman Rollie Martin says the county's decision had nothing to do with dissatisfaction in FHCHC's performance, but rather a desire to improve certain aspects of the Public Health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. He says the main focus needs to be what is best for the community at this time.

A decision on the public health contract may be reached during the commission's regular meeting next week.

In other business, commissioners approved a proposal from the Lyon County Economic Development Relief Committee for disbursal of CARES Act funding within the county. With the approval, 45 local businesses and four non-profit organizations will now each receive a share of the $816,000 in CARES Act funds.

The Lyon County Commission will reconvene for its weekly action session next Wednesday at 9 am inside the Lyon County Courthouse.

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