Health department, CDC Foundation project set to proceed

Judd Weil
Special to Dodge City Daily Globe

At the Dec. 21 Ford County Commission meeting, an addendum was unanimously approved to a still-pending subcontractor agreement between the Ford County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation for $112,500 to fund several projects.

These projects include expanding COVID-19 testing in identified areas with at risk populations and providing public education about COVID-19 and how to continue staying safe during the pandemic.

The full subcontractor agreement is not fully filled out yet and will be presented to commissioners upon completion, Ford County Health Department administrator Angela Sowers told commissioners.

The addendums were made due to provisions in the original agreement that the Ford County Health Department could not agree to as explained by Ford County legal counsel Glenn Kerbs.

“For instance, if there was a dispute it would be resolved in Georgia, and we said Ford County can’t do that,” Kerbs said. “They wanted to limit their liability to us, and we said we can’t do that.

“They wanted us to indemnify their agreement so if there were any issues that happened out here with us doing this and they become a part of it, we would indemnify and pay their attorney fees and any loss that could happen.”

Kerbs said that Ford County Health Department communicated that they do not follow these provisions to the CDC Foundation, to which the latter agreed and further agreed to waive any other undesirable provisions within the agreement.

The health department told the CDC Foundation that they would require addendums to supplant the disagreed-upon provisions if they were to move forward with the subtractor agreement.

“I’m not making any kind of light of them (CDC Foundation), I think they really want to push these funds out, so they are used in various communities that they have identified that they want to help with projects,” Kerbs said. “I think they like the project that Angela has identified for them.”

Sowers, who has been communicating these projects with the CDC Foundation since summer 2020, said, “They want to help us.”

The Ford County Health Department also presented a Tuberculosis Control Program agreement that helps ensure people at risk for tuberculosis can go to a doctor and get a TB skin test and be provided with the proper medication should they test positive.

The health department follows direct observed therapy when monitoring people taking that medication, as well as makes sure they meet their appointments, including with specialists should that be necessary.

All the facilities that participate with the Tuberculosis Control Program agree to take a reduced rate, which is like a Medicaid rate, according to Sowers, but about 10% lower.

Commissioners passed 3-0 to fund the program.

Ford County Sheriff's Office request to solicit bids for four patrol vehicles was approved 3-0.

The final Ford County Commission meeting for 2020 will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday.