Freeholder Ronald G. Rios
Chair, Public Health and Education Committee
Middlesex County, Piscataway Township Enter Shared Services Agreement for Health Services
SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 – Middlesex County Freeholder Ronald G. Rios and Piscataway Township Mayor Brian C. Wahler have announced that the Township will contract with the Middlesex County Public Health Department to provide public health services to township residents.
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer Middlesex County Public Health Department, said “Under this Shared Services agreement, the Middlesex County Public Health Department will provide services and programs that are offered through its divisions: Epidemiology and Public Health Preparedness, Hazardous Materials Unit, Health Education, Inspections, and Nursing.”
Services include flu and other health clinics, cancer screenings, educational courses for first responders, food safety courses and the services of the Hazardous Materials Unit.
“Through this joint effort, we are able to eliminate duplication of services and provide quality, cost effective, community-based programs,” said Freeholder Rios, chair of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee. “Our residents expect and deserve the best programs at the most affordable costs. Shared Services agreements – this one in particular -- help us meet those twin goals.”
The Piscataway Township Council passed a resolution at its regular meeting Tuesday night to enter into the agreement. The Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized the agreement at its regular meeting Thursday night. The contract period begins Oct. 1.
The County has entered into a number of Shared Services initiatives over the years to reduce operating costs, while not sacrificing the level and quality of services. One recent example includes an agreement in which the Middlesex County Medical Examiner now oversees the Monmouth County Medical Examiner Office.
With this public health agreement, Piscataway Township becomes the 21st municipality to contract with the County for Public Health Services. It is estimated that the County and the Township will have a shared savings of $250,000 through this agreement.
“Our Health Department director is retiring, and the fact that the County Public Health Department is very capable of handling all the issues that a municipal department would handle, it seemed to us that this time would be the right time to consider an inter-local service agreement with Middlesex County to provide Public Health Services to our residents,” said Piscataway Township Mayor Wahler. “Also during these challenging economic times, it will save the Township money. We will however maintain a Registrar of Vital Statistics in Piscataway as well as an Animal Control Officer.”
Freeholder Rios concluded: “The Middlesex County Public Health Department has a proud tradition of outstanding service to all of our residents and this tradition will continue with the addition of the Township of Piscataway.”