Gates explores leaving health agency

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 4, 2003

GATESVILLE – A Study Committee formed after talks about a possible merger with Gates County and the Albemarle Health Agency is scheduled to meet again next week to look at all aspects of a possible merger with the Elizabeth City Health Agency.

Talks in recent months have centered around the disassociation of Gates County with the Hertford-Gates Health Agency. The Gates County Board of Commissioners decided not to go with the merger agreement during this fiscal year but decided to form a committee to study the possibility of the merger during the next fiscal year.

The Study Committee is looking at a work plan and also looking at the services available in the event of a merger.

The committee is also identifying staff needs and have plans to talk with directors from both agencies and share their concerns. The committee is hoping to establish a timetable at their August meeting and plan a meeting with the board’s from both Health Agencies and the Boards of Commissioners.

The disassociation with the Hertford-Gates Health Agency will end a long association between the two counties when it comes to health services.

Health Agency staff came to a recent commissioner’s meeting to share their concern about a merger and to talk about the number of services which might not be available in the event of a merger.

The Committee is anticipating looking at all the aspects brought to their attention in the recent months.

The Study Committee consists of Commissioners Marsha Langston and David Brown, County Manager Mark Biberdorf, Department of Social Services Director Colleen Turner and Gates County Medical Center Manager Sylvia Boone.