County Health Nurse Nicole Rowe spoke at the County Commission meeting Sept. 3, saying it was her understanding that the contract between the School District and the health department called for the school district to provide an administrative assistant to the health department.
Rowe told Commissioners at the time, the school is has not been doing that and she thought they should because she needed an assistant in her office to handle the workload.
At the Sept. 16 meeting, school superintendent Nykki Holton said the district does pay the health department $4,788 a year, $399 a month. “It is paid directly to the state, which goes to the salary of the County Health Nurse. We have a two-year contract with them.”
Holton noted the contract does say the school district will provide clerical, secretarial and administrative duties in an assigned clinic. “We don’t deny that,” Holton said. “Where we run into a problem is our fiscal and financial situation.”
In turn, the health nurse is to provide health screenings, immunizations, HIV awareness, puberty classes, and other health matters.
Holton said she felt the problems, if any, between the school district and the health nurse, should be handled between the two agencies, and not before the Board of County Commissioners.
She said the school district does not have any more money, and the board would not approve, to give to the health department to hire clerical services, but she said the district could possibly outsource the job and assign one of the office secretaries to help out with health department clerical duties.
She said, “We can work out just about anything in a cooperative manner, are open to suggestions, but can’t provide staff right now because of money issues.”
Rowe said in the contracts she had with the County and the school district, it does say both will provide her with a secretary, but was she was willing to talk further with Holton about the offer, similar as to what is done in Nye County, but using Lincoln County School District staff.
“I can free up some of their time, or I can add a couple of hours, easier than I can hire another person,” said Holton.
Commissioners Donohue said the possibility might even come about of moving the health nurse into a different, larger, location where they would not have to pay for rent or utilities and then the state might be able to used that money to hire more clerical help for the health nurse. He thought the idea was workable, but nothing was settled.