PAXTON — After being reassured that other agencies are available to serve the remaining clients of the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department's home health care program, the Ford County Board agreed unanimously this week to accept the board of health's recommendation that the deficit-plagued program be discontinued, effective Oct. 1.
The Iroquois County Board also supported the move when it met this week, voting 15-3 in favor.
"It's with a lot of regret from the board and the (program's) staff," said Ford County Board member Elynor Stagen of Gibson City, who also serves on the board of health. "I mean, the staff has done great. I appreciated their input into this decision because ... it's a tough thing to do."
The board of health voted 8-0 in August — with support from the home health care program's staff — to recommend the two county boards end the program based on the fact it has lost an average of $240,000 annually over the past six years.
Board of health members also mentioned that the health department has been competing with several other agencies in the area to provide home health care services in Ford and Iroquois counties.
Jeanne Snyder, the health department's interim home health care coordinator, told the Ford County Board that all of the program's remaining clients have been notified of their options to receive home health care from other agencies.