“We’re still considering it.” That’s what Centre County administrators are saying about the long-discussed idea of the county, along with State College Borough, developing a county-wide health department.”
Earlier this year, in a report on the feasibility of a new health department in Centre County, the consultants stated, “when it comes to health-related assets, Centre County is resource-rich and coordination poor.”
Talk of a new health department came to the forefront during the pandemic, specifically that a county and borough governed health department could not only transfer more funding and authority from the state to local control, but that it could enhance the ability to attract more health-related resources to county communities.
For example, during the pandemic, counties with individual health departments were able to set up COVID-19 testing programs quicker than counties that relied on the state.
In recent months, there has not been much discussion on the county health department idea, but on Thursday, we were told that the county and State College Borough is still considering it.
“There’s going to be an additional joint meeting to continue the discussion on that. There’s been no final determination as to what direction that will go.”
The consultants recommend the headquarters for a county health department be located in Bellefonte, but one huge factor involved in the proposal is the cost involved, expenses for personnel, and whatever else is required.