Orleans-Genesee partnership with public health highlighted at NYSAC conference
Press Release, Nola Goodrich-Kresse, public health educator for the Orleans County Health Department
Delegates from all 57 counties and the City of New York recently convened in Albany at the Legislative Conference of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).
Hundreds of county officials attended meetings, educational forums, keynote addresses and state budget presentations over the course of the three-day conference on Jan. 30 to Feb. 1.
At several breakout sessions during the conference, Orleans and Genesee County representatives had the opportunity to showcase their innovative public health shared service model to attendees. Dave Callard (chairman of the Orleans County Legislature), Paul Pettit (public health director, Genesee and Orleans County) and Matt Landers (assistant county manager, Genesee County) all participated in panel discussions highlighting the project over the past four years.
Dave Callard commented that “Counties across New York State continue to face unprecedented fiscal pressures under the tax cap without significant mandate relief. These burdens are continually pushing Counties to cut services and be creative in how to deliver the remaining essential services in a cost effective manner.”
In response to the current environment, Genesee and Orleans County began a strategic Cross Jurisdictional Services (CJS) PILOT project in October of 2012 to study and assess the merits of sharing Public Health Services.
“This project started as a shared senior administration model that immediately allowed both counties to experience financial savings while enhancing service delivery. This initiative and integrated relationship was the first and still the only of its kind in New York State,” stated Paul Pettit.
In four and half years, Genesee and Orleans Counties can attribute a return on investment of over $1,000,000 in combined savings from their CJS efforts.
The cross jurisdictional project in public health services has both regulatory and logistical complexities and the success is the result of significant hard work, flexibility and forward thinking of both counties administration, boards of health and health department staff.
The counties continue to proactively respond to the difficult fiscal environment being faced by working through differences and understanding that working together, within and across county lines, results in fiscal savings and enhanced services for their residents.
“Both Orleans and Genesee Counties are very proud of the results from the project and couldn’t be more pleased to share our success story with the other counties across the state so that they may benefit from what we have learned,” added Callard.