The Harvey County Health Department has had a problem, one that administration believes they may have found a solution for. 

Lately, the department has not been able to recruit an RN to fill a part-time position. According to director Lynette Redington, the department has advertised the position three times — and not found anyone take it.

"We have a position that has been open since September," Redington said. "We have not gotten adequate candidates. We have gotten one candidate each time."

Redington approached the county commission March 12 with a possible solution — changing the position to a full-time position and splitting it with another organization. In this case, the position would be split with Marion County — which has also struggled to fill a part-time position. 

"They have advertised two times and not gotten adequate candidates," Redington said. "We started talking each other about ... sharing of positions. ... The Kansas Health Institute and the Kansas Association of Health Departments has promoted these."

Through either a contract or an interlocal agreement, the two departments could share one full-time position. Redington said the desire is for that person to spend 60 percent of their time in Harvey County and 40 percent of their time in Marion County.

The position, at this point, would pay about $20 per hour. The standard benefits package, including health insurance, would cost and additional $13,000 to  $20,000. All of those costs would be split 60/40 between the two counties.

Marion County agreed to the arrangement at a commission meeting last week.  The Harvey County Commission agreed to the concept but took no formal action.

"There are a number of steps to take to formalize this," said Anthony Swartzendruber, county administrator. "We can start advertising this right away. We also need to start working on an agreement between Marion County and Harvey County so when we are ready to hire a person we have all of that detailed."

The county commission will have to approve any agreement.

The position can be funded, this year, by some grants already acquired by the health department The position would have to be budgeted by Harvey County in the next budget year.


In other business the commission:

• Learned that aerial photography of the county is complete.

• Approved paying about $500 in legal fees for the county fair board as it incorporates into its own entiity.

• Approved an interlocal agreement to formalize the Harvey County Drug Task Force.

• Discussed a contract with Motorola for equipment repair and maintence for the dispatch radio system.