The Dale County Health Department had an open house Monday for its new facility.
The old Dale County Health Department building served the health needs of residents for over 30 years. But time and change made it obsolete.
Pamela Newman, with the Nutrition Associate WIC Program said, “Since that building was built, we've incorporated so many different programs, and the capacity as far as providing the services for the people, we just outgrew that building.”
And, changing laws mandated a change in facilities.
One of the most important aspects of the new facility is that it meets the requirements of the HIPA laws for privacy and confidentiality by having individual interview rooms.
A bond issued by the Health Care Authority provided around $1.8 million dollars toward building the facility.
Local officials feel the new location at 532 Roy Parker Road in Ozark is a convenient choice for the public. Acquisition of land was key to getting a new building quickly.
Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting said, “Those counties or cities that could come up with the land first would get their building first. So, we immediately gave them a couple of locations to pick from. This is the location they chose and I think it's a great location; it's so easy to get to.”
Administrator Ron Wheeler said, “We really appreciate the assistance given to us by the city of Ozark, Mayor Bunting, and the city council, [who] provided the land for this facility and we certainly appreciate that.”
In addition to more space, the building has a new lab, which is a new feature to the center.
Besides flu shots and family planning, administrators say the new facility will allow them to be better prepared for pandemic outbreaks and other future health issues.
The Dale County Health Department officially opened to the public back on October 1st.