Renewal fee for the Ministry of Health during the November ballot |


One of two county-wide issues on the Nov. 2 ballot for Henry County voters is a five-year 1.2million renewal tax for the Henry County Department of Health.

The levy for the Department of Health, also known as the Henry County General Health District, accounts for 28.8% of the Department of Health’s annual revenue. In 2020, the Department of Health received $ 831,132 in levy collection. The current direct debit expires at the end of 2021, although collections will continue until the 2022 schedule. If the renewal direct debit is approved, the renewal withdrawals would begin in 2023.

These levy funds are used for programs such as immunizations, communicable diseases, vital statistics, administrative functions of public health nursing, environmental health, general administration, community health services. , marketing, car seat program, breastfeeding program, and community health workers.

Henry County Health Commissioner Joy Ermie explained that while some of these programs come with a fee and the department seeks grants where possible, the health department is keen to provide all of its services to all residents of the county.

“In doing so, we have to subsidize that and that’s what about a quarter of our budget helps us do,” Ermie said, adding, for example, the fees charged for environmental health services do not cover all costs. associated with these services.

Ermie noted that there may be a misconception that the health service only serves the poor, the uninsured or underinsured.

“It’s not true,” Ermie said. “We are the only comprehensive vaccination clinic in all of Henry County. If there are any vaccines you need, this is the place where you can get them all. We will take people regardless of their insurance status.

The levy also helps fund community health assessment and community health improvement plans, a process that is facilitated by the health department. Community partners are invited to participate in the process, which includes working groups that focus on the specific needs of the community.

“We wouldn’t be able to facilitate these groups without the general fund, and we’re really proud of a lot of the work we do,” said Ermie. “It is through these groups that we have had drug drop boxes, that we are working to improve and increase mental health programs in the community (and) access to health care.

“It was our task force that played an important role in reestablishing Napoleon’s dental clinic to community health services,” she continued.

The department was one of the first in Ohio to be accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and is currently seeking its five-year accreditation.

“The (accreditation) board reviews all of our operations (…) says Ermie.

Overall, Ermie noted that the Department of Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is not funded from the department’s general health fund. This is funded by grants from the state health department of the federal government.

“No other program has suffered financially from COVID,” Ermie said.

If the tax is not passed, Ermie said the Health Department would likely return to the ballot next year, but cuts to programs could be possible if subsequent attempts fail.

“The last thing we want to do is cut back on essential services for the residents of Henry County,” she said.

This five-year levy of $ 1.2 million was first adopted by voters in March 2012 as a replacement levy following the defeat of a replacement levy of $ 1.4 million over 10 years in November 2011. The 1.2 million levy was renewed in November 2016, with collections starting in 2018.


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