Why have two health agencies?
It is not too uncommon to have two separate agencies that perform similar functions. The fact that they are under the same roof is a little more unusual.
But that is exactly the scenario with the Ironton Health Department and the Lawrence County Health Department, both of which share space in an Eighth Street building.
In recent years, these two agencies have done a tremendous job of partnering on key health issue like flu vaccinations and health screenings.
Both have dedicated staff who truly try to serve the community well.
The problem remains that this arrangement is confusing to the general public and could likely be streamlined to save money yet still ensure all needs are met.
Although there are some functions that each does independently of one another, many of the services are duplicative.
With local governments struggling financially with ever-increasing expenses and dwindling local, state and federal revenues — a huge problem for the Ironton and Lawrence County governments — now would be perfect time to take an in-depth look at exactly why these two agencies are separate and what could be done to bring them together.
Logic would tell you that there would have to be some cost savings in staffing and administration but, even if there wasn’t a penny saved, it would still make this entity more accessible and understandable for the public.
Health departments are important to any community and vitally important here in Lawrence County.
It makes the most sense to pool resources and have one agency serving all our needs.