City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir announced the formation of the Special Committee on Health Department Operations. This committee consists of Mayor Weir, At-large Councilmember Karen Deluccie, 4th District Councilmember Daniel Hobart; Board of Health members Dr. Ralph Ruckman, Terry Morris, and Jason White; and Health Director Christina Heinen, Assistant Health Director Diane Egger and Legislative Affairs Officer John Mayfield.
“The last year has shown the tremendous importance of Public Health and we are committed to ensuring the newly recognized Independence Health Department provides the services most needed by our community,” Mayor Weir said. “While the pandemic continues to be a top priority, we now must look to the future of health in our community and how we will fund the varied services and needs we have.”
The purpose of this committee is to make recommendations to the Council for future operational funding for the Independence Health Department, Local Public Health Authority. The Special Committee will convene in July to determine the scope of work and duration of the assignment.
The Independence Department of Health and Animal Services was recognized as a Local Public Health Authority (LHPA) by the State of Missouri in December 2020. Since this time, the City has been incrementally adding staff to the department heavily focused on pandemic response and vaccinations. The Department is now onboarding critical staff positions such as an epidemiologist and public planner to assist with community care.