Scott County health officials close to finding new location for - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Scott County health officials close to finding new location for 'one-stop-shop' services

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The Indiana State Department of Health says it's time to give local health officials more control. The Indiana State Department of Health says it's time to give local health officials more control.
AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Health officials say 170 people have tested positive for HIV in small, southern Indiana community. In the wake of this health crisis, state resources have flooded into Austin over the past few months to help manage the outbreak. 

"We knew all along at one point, it would be turned back over to us, which is what it should be. It is our county, It's our community." said Scott County Health Department Preparedness Coordinator Patti Hall. 

The Indiana State Department of Health says it's time to give local health officials more control.  

"We are ready to take the bull by the horns," Hall said about the transition. "We are anxious to be able to set our hours that we want and to work it the way that we're ready to start working and make it our own now." 

One of the first orders of business is figuring out where to set up the one-stop-shop since officials plan to move out of the Community Outreach Center at the end of the month. Scott County health officials say no county tax dollars will be used - grants and donations will pay the rent. 

"It will be, hopefully just right here on Main Street to where it's gonna convenient for the people to come," Hall said about the location. 

She says the same services will be available but it will be supported by local staff. The goal is to have it open once a week. 

LifeSpring will also have a bigger presence downtown. We're told the location for a satellite office still isn't final yet but it'll likely be up and running by July 1. 

"The services there will be specialty services," said Beth Keeney, LifeSpring Senior Vice President for Community Health Initiatives. "They will be specifically for people that have mental illness or substance use disorders, or both." 

These HIV cases have largely been tied to people sharing needles while using the painkiller Opana. Hall knows there are still people they have yet to reach. 

"The main goal is to continue the services, to continue fighting the fight that we've been fighting now for several months," she said. 

Local officials say they will still have the state's support and they are already planning to have monthly policy meetings. 

More on the southern Indiana HIV outbreak here

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