The Pulaski County Health Department will be able to step up community Narcan training and distribution efforts, after a release of funding by the state. Office Manager Terri Hansen told the county commissioners last week that the Indiana State Department of Health recently opened the portal that holds health departments’ leftover grant money, making $94,000 available to Pulaski County.
“The reason the portal opened is because the drug use in Indiana is terrible, and so they are hoping that we’ll do Narcan programs,” Hansen explained. “We did just receive several doses of Narcan. [Health Nurse] Andrea [Keller has] been getting Narcan for the last few years. I know the Sheriff’s Department has it. She’s already trained the fire departments, the local police departments.”
But Hansen said that training needs to continue, and the additional funding includes money for employee overtime, to let the Health Department do that.
She also has some other plans for the newly-released money, including the hiring of a new part-time employee. Hansen told the commissioners that she already had someone in mind, but since that person already works part-time in another county department, County Attorney Kevin Tankersley didn’t believe Hansen could legally hire that person without offering full-time benefits. “You can’t work for Pulaski County in any two capacities and exceed 28 hours without subjecting us to having to make them a full-time employee,” Tankersley said.
Other planned uses include a new phone system, new laptops, a new projector, and new data loggers for the Health Department’s refrigerators.
In all, Hansen plans to spend $39,500 of the funding this year. The commissioners agreed to let the Health Department use the money as requested. She had already discussed the matter with county council members, and they will consider finalizing an additional appropriation in March.