Two Edwards County residents through their support for the possible change from of the county’s health office into a health department during Friday’s Edwards County Board of Commissioner’s meeting.

Valerie Krajec of West Salem and Arlene Tippy of Albion put together a presentation for the commissioners urging them to move forward with the transition toward a health department. Tippy was unable to attend the meeting, leaving Krajec to address the board.

“(We) lend our support to the expansion of the current Edwards County Health Office to a health department in partnership with the Wabash County Health Department,” Krajec noted. “ Construction of a new building to house public health services provides the opportunity to consider the full range of benefits offered by a health department in Illinois.”

The West Salem resident pointed to grant funding available to health departments as an example of opportunities the county is missing by not upgrading their health office to a full department.

“Edwards is one of only two counties in the state that does not have a health department,” said Krajec. “The county loses state funding each year we do not have a fully functioning health department.

“Wabash County received $214,000 and $128,000 through the formula-based, non-competitive Local Health Protection Grant and $35,000 in COVID-19 Crisis Grant funds, per Illinois in the most recent funding cycle.”

She then referenced the information and services available through a health department as crucial tools to have at a community’s disposal, particularly during a pandemic.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.