PLATTSBURGH — A community’s health department plays a vital role in bringing a variety of health-care services to all members of the community, young and old alike.
The professionals who provide services, manage programs and distribute information to the public aim to ensure the community’s overall health and wellness continues through good times and bad.
But the myriad of nurses, technicians, scientists, administrators and staff members who carry out the daily operations of the local health department are aided by another group that often sits behind the scenes — professionals in their own sense.
“We have a diverse membership on our Board of Health,” said Jerie Reid, executive director for the Clinton County Health Department, as she discussed the Board of Health’s role, “with a broad base of expertise that allows them to look at issues from different perspectives, different experiences.
“They’re engaged, they’re helpful and they’re tied into the community.”
ONE EXTRA MEMBER
According to Clinton County Board of Health bylaws, the body must have at least seven members appointed by the Clinton County Legislature.
Three are physicians licensed to practice medicine in New York state, one is a member of the County Legislature, and three represent the public at large and are presented to the board by the city mayor or other administrative head of the city.
“We’ve added one extra member (to the eight they traditionally carry) so we can be even more diverse,” Reid said.
The board has three registered nurses — Ginny Hay, who has experience in infectious disease; Lynn Howard, with a background in serving people with special needs; and Kathleen Kazprzak, who has experience in health administration and in education as the director of the Nursing Division at Clinton Community College.
Two local business leaders also serve.