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County Health Department Not Spared From Budgetary Reductions

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Sonora, CA — When it comes to the Tuolumne County Health Department, it´s become a double whammy regarding budgetary reductions.

Initially the department has been hit by increases in payouts to support services such as jail healthcare and paying for the Sheriff´s Office dispatch service. But according to Dr. Todd Stolp, that´s not all in the gloomy financial picture. Stolp says a number of programs funded by the state have been eliminated and more may be on the way with the current $11.2 billion deficit.

Should more cuts come Stolp says Pregnancy Prevention Services may have to be eliminated. He adds that those services have prevented almost 50 pregnancies in just the last three months.

Due to reduced funding Stolp admits that the Health Department has turned to grant writing in order to fund basic services for the community. While Stolp is extremely thankful for organizations like the Sonora Area Foundation, he quickly admits that grants are a very inefficient way of operating a public health department. He said that grants have a beginning and an end and usually demand an excessive amount of monitoring and paperwork. He says that this is not the case with the Sonora Area Foundation, but it holds true with many other grant providers. Stolp labels using the grant funding method to operate a public health department as “burdensome and inefficient.”

Written by Bill Johnson