San Diego County Supervisors Vote to ‘Split Up’ Public Health Service Contract
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to "split up" the county's public health contract and solicit competitive bids to administer eight health programs, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. County officials hope that the move will improve the county's health programs, "all of which are now being handled" by the San Diego State University Foundation. However, county supervisors said that the "move was not prompted by any unhappiness" with the foundation's performance. The vote Tuesday extended the contract with the foundation, set to expire in June, until the end of December to "allow for a smoother transition." Under the new system, the county will solicit competitive bids for eight programs, and the foundation will continue to administer four programs. County staff will operate eight other programs. In addition, the county will eliminate five programs -- child health and disability prevention, dental services, perinatal outreach, public health training and a one-time evaluation of the county's drug court program -- "because funding has dried up or the program goals have been reached." Although county supervisors said that the new system will not impact the county's ability to respond to public health needs, nurses and other public health employees that said the move may serve as a "detriment" to public health. Mary Grillo, executive director of the Service Employees International Union/Local 2028, said, "We are cutting costs in the public health area of this county" (Rother, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/14).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.