Ventura County Committee Hears Proposal For Tobacco Settlement Fund Expenditures
Ventura County public health officials yesterday made the first "pitch" to the new committee overseeing the appropriations of the county's tobacco settlement funds, the Ventura County Star reports. Officials "outlin[ed]" several plans to improve health care for the 22% of Ventura County residents who are uninsured. At the top of Health Care Agency Director Pierre Durand's "wish list" is the construction of two outpatient centers that would provide a host of "low-cost" services, including vaccinations, prenatal care, outpatient surgery and mental health care. The centers would cost an estimated $1.5 million to build. In addition, county officials want $500,000 to fund a residency program that will "cross-train" future doctors in psychiatry and family practice. The Star reports that other proposals include spending $1 million annually to expand tobacco education programs and $30 million over "dozens of years" to retrofit Ventura County Medical Center. Since 1998, the county has accrued $23.3 million in tobacco settlement funds and expects to receive between $10 million and $12 million a year into the future (Koehler, Ventura County Star, 4/10).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.