Porter Health Care
Systems will continue to be the wellness and clinic provider to Porter
County government as the Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement for
next year, 3-0.
The County switched
its clinical services agreement to Porter at the end of 2012, ending a
partnership with HealtheACCESS.
President John Evans, R-North, said a higher percentage of employees are
utilizing the service now than when it was run by HealtheACCESS.
principal with Anton Insurance, agreed that was “basically true” with 20 to
30 visits per month with HealtheACCESS and about 50 or so visits monthly
with Porter Health.
Porter CEO Steve
Lunn said the service saw 656 County employees last year and this year it’s
expected to be more with approximately 667.
The agreement will
be the same for next year with the County paying $20 per visit and the
employee contributing $10 out of pocket. There are three CareExpress Urgent
Care clinics open currently in Chesterton, Valparaiso and Portage.
Evans praised the
fact the clinics are equipped with diagnostic equipment such as x-ray
machines, saying he’s heard “nothing but very good things” about the
Anton added, “Every
time we have someone who goes to the urgent care clinic, we’re going to save
dollars,” and it improves the overall health of the employee.
Shelter site to be
In other business,
the Commissioners asked the Highway Department to begin clearing the site of
the future County Animal Shelter facility on a five-acre parcel between the
County Fairgrounds and the Sheriff’s Department on Ind. 49.
The request was
made after Commissioner Jeff Good, R-Center, announced the technical review
committee is ready to start its Request for Qualifications process. The
responses will be reviewed after Jan. 1 and the committee will narrow its
consideration to three firms and will then proceed with a Request for
Proposals, Good said.
The hope is to
start construction next spring. “Stay tuned. There will be more updates, but
we’ve lit the trail so we’re starting to move forward,” Good said.
Evans said since
there is no snow now and temperatures continue to stay mild, there’s no
reason the work can’t begin now.
“It’s our property.
I don’t know why we are waiting,” Evans said.
Superintendent David James said he will set up a meeting to see what needs
to be taken down. The property contains a vacant home that the County has
used in the past for several purposes and a few outbuildings.
Good said that soil
borings will need to be conducted prior to leveling the buildings.
In other matters:
-- Matthew Stechly
will be the County’s new facilities manager, succeeding former maintenance
director Jerry Bryan, after being offered the position prior to the start of
the Commissioners’ meeting. His first day will be Jan. 4, Evans said, and he
will deal with the heating and cooling of all County facilities. “He’s got a
pretty tough job,” Evans said.
Commissioners will pay $200,000 and the Sheriff’s Department $100,000
towards a new lease with VideoTec for the new integral security system at
Porter County Jail. The Commissioners also agreed to use $4,500 in its
budget for the extended service agreement on the Jail’s kitchen dishwasher.
The Department said it will pay for the services later on.
-- The route for
the Ringing in the Spring 5k/10k walk in Valparaiso was okayed by the