Letter confirms Ford intent to withdraw from health agency

Letter confirms Ford intent to withdraw from health agency

SPRINGFIELD — A letter written by an attorney hired by the Ford County Board confirms the board's unstated intent to withdraw from the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department and establish an independent health department serving Ford County.

Attorney Deanna S. Mool of Sherman, who once served as legal counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health, sent a letter to Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, the state health department's director, on Oct. 18, seeking his "advice and concurrence" with the Ford County Board's plan.

The letter was obtained by the Paxton Record from the state health department on Thursday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

"The Ford County Board seeks to end Ford County involvement in the Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department effective June 30, 2014," Mool wrote. "Upon receiving notice of your concurrence, we will take the formal action anticipated by (state statutes)."

The Ford County Board hired Mool recently to handle the legal process of dissolving the bi-county health department. Chairman Rick Bowen said at the time that the move was being done in case either the Ford or Iroquois county board would decide to withdraw their county from the health department — not because the Ford County Board was planning to.

The Ford County Board then authorized Mool on Oct. 14 to seek approval from Hasbrouck to withdraw Ford County from the health department. The board took the action without publicly discussing the reasons for doing so.

Board members still have not revealed why they think the bi-county health department can no longer exist, but Mool's letter to Hasbrouck does confirm the board's intent.

Mool's letter also requests, on behalf of Ford County, Hasbrouck's "assistance to transition all of the previously shared grants to a new Ford County Health Department for the fiscal year beginning July 1,2014."

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