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The County Public Health Department relies on grants to provide important services


September 19, 2019

Lane Gwinn

Hayleigh Pearson (l) and Kori Pearson (r), along with Bitsey Harshman are shown preparing last Tuesday's lunch; chicken salad sandwiches, bell peppers and cucumbers, and fruit cocktail. DGH Dietary Manager Janean Struckmeier said thirteen Columbia County Health System employees are contributing a total of $102 per pay period to the program. In addition, one employee has made a one-time contribution of $1,000. Another employee has made a one-time contribution of $100, she said. Donations are being accepted at: The Starbuck School District Lunch Fund, 717 Tucannon St., Starbuck, WA 99359

DAYTON-Columbia County Public Health Administrator Martha Lanman said $1500 is all it would take for 28 students enrolled in the Starbuck School District to have lunch prepared by the Dayton General Hospital dietary staff and have them delivered four days a week for the entire 2019-2020 school year. That number is based on a cost of $3 per child, and all lunches meet the state requirements for nutrition, said Lanman.

Last year lunch was delivered to Starbuck schools, twice a week, and this was largely due to the efforts of the Columbia County Health System, and its employees, who donated to the program, as well as the public health employees who have been working with the Starbuck School District to secure funding for the program.

The public health department has also been working to meet deadlines to apply for possible state school lunch funding for next year, Lanman said.

She said the Starbuck School District recently received a $5,000 award from Columbia REA to make some needed repairs in the kitchen so it can be used by the school, and by the community.

Lanman said the goal is for the repairs to be made by March 2020, when the next round of grant funding for the school year 2020-2021 begins.

Other public health news

Lane Gwinn

Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties have received a combined total award of $92,000 from the Washington State Health Resources and Services Administration for planning in the areas of telehealth and care coordination, Lanman said.

Blue Mountain Counseling, Dayton General Hospital, Garfield County Hospital, Quality Behavioral Health, in Asotin County, and Tri-State Hospital, in Clarkston, would benefit from the grant, she said.

"The big picture is to see what telehealth services would work in all three counties, and to fill the gaps in care," she said.

Lanman said Jan Strohbehn has been hired by Columbia County Public Health Department as the project coordinator. Strohbehn will be looking into telehealth services as well as making services more efficient.


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