The Hopkins County Board of Health has named Denise Beach as its new public health director. Her appointment awaits approval from the state, but she says her tentative start date is June 24.
Beach is taking the position after Jack Morris, who announced his retirement in April.
“Because I’m waiting on appointment from the state we haven’t really started doing much yet in transitioning,” Beach says. “But he and I have worked closely together for the 12 years that I’ve been director of nursing.”
Beach has been with the health department for 13 years and has worked in health education as the Health Access Nurturing Development Services supervisor.
At the board meeting the members also approved the proposed 2013-14 budget, which included a 2 percent raise for health workers. Beach says that raise is the first in two years.
However, even with the raises, the health board is continuing to cut its budget.
“We have one of the MCO providers who has not been paying public health departments,” Beach says. “So we tried to scale our budget back even more because we have no knowledge of when we are going to receive the funds from the work that we’ve already done for Kentucky Spirit.”
The budget shows the health board expects to generate more than $3.5 million in receipts with almost the same amount in spending. Beach says the department cut the budget by reducing expenditures and looking for more inexpensive vendors.