County approves health services
Tuesday morning the Hays County Commissioners Court voted to approve a Health Services Agreement between the Hays County Juvenile Center and Wellpath, LLC to provide health services to the facility.
With a vote of five in favor, the court made the decision to approve a contract between the two entities that will provide the juvenile center with needed health services. According to Brett Littlejohn, administrator for the Hays County Juvenile Center, the facility has been unable to fill a nursing staff position, which led to the request.
“This is a contract, or potential contract, with Wellpath to provide services for us that are sorely needed that would give us basically 16 hours a day of nursing services and then three hours a week of doctor services at the facility,” Littlejohn said.
Along with approving the health services agreement, commissioners likewise approved the elimination of two full-time licensed vocational nurse positions within the juvenile center in order to move to the new contract.
“As Brett explained, we will be having an LVN and an RN and a physician which I don't think has ever been on staff at the Juvenile Detention Center,” Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said. “And so it's not that we're totally eliminating the services of the nurses; that we're providing those services through a nurse and physician and an LVN.”
Judge Ruben Becerra conveyed his support for the agreement and said that he has heard from Littlejohn about the agreement on several occasions.
“It seems like a very good move forward so that we can fill a longstanding void that's just been hard for the County to have, no matter how hard you try, it's been a deficiency that Brett is addressing, and I feel in an intelligent manner,” Becerra said.
In other business, Becerra read a recommendation from the Fire Marshal's Office that proposed the county not hold a burn ban this Fourth of July holiday. According to the recommendation, weather conditions include chances of rain for Wednesday, making the fire danger low for Independence Day.
“So it sounds like a safe time to do the tradition,” Becerra said.
The court also authorized funding for four replacement hazmat suits for the Office of Emergency Services. Kharley Smith, Office of Emergency Management Director, said hazmat truck and responders are typically deployed on a weekly basis.
“Right now we have a hazmat truck and the firefighters in these suits out on a spill and a leak as we speak,” Smith said.