Saturday, Apr 19, 2014
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County health administrator wrapping up extra duties


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BROOKSVILLE - Robin Wright is wrapping up her duties in Putnam and Citrus counties and will soon be able to devote more time to her job as health department administrator in Hernando County.

Wright, hired last December, has said it took her longer than expected to divest her responsibilities as interim health director in the other areas.

The Florida Department of Health named Mary Garcia the new Administrator of the Department of Health in Putnam County, according to an email sent by Ann-Gayl Ellis, public information officer for the Hernando County Health Department

Garcia began her career in public health as the director for finance and accounting at DOH - St. Johns in 2007. She joined DOH - Volusia in December 2008 as the director of finance and accounting and was promoted to financial administrator in 2009.

Ellis said she anticipates a similar announcement soon about the appointment of a permanent Citrus County administrator.

Ellis said she believes a job offer has been extended to an individual in Citrus County. But because that person is not a Florida Department of Health employee, Wright would have to spend about two months mentoring that person.

So Wright will not be able to devote 100 percent of her time strictly to Hernando County, she said.

Wright told Hernando Today last month it was taking longer than estimated to find permanent administrators in those two counties.

Wright makes $98,261 annually in Hernando County and an extra 10 percent, or about $9,800, for those extra job responsibilities.

Wright told Hernando Today last month she spends an average of at least one day a week in Citrus County and takes care of business in Putnam County via teleconferencing or telephone.

When she's not able to be here, Wright said her leadership team is competent to look after operations, and if an emergency arise, she is only about 30 miles away from the Citrus health department office in Lecanto.

Not only that, but she, like all Florida health department administrators, are required to be on standby around the clock, she said.

In related news:

Al Gray, environmental manager for the county health department, said he expects to save $500-$600 annually in postal costs now that the Florida Department of Health has launched a new online billing system for environmental health-related permits.

About 150,000 permit holders will now be able to use a secure online system to pay permit renewal fees for swimming pools, biomedical waste facilities, food hygiene facilities, onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems, tanning facilities, migrant labor camp housing, limited-use public water systems, body piercing facilities, community-based residential facilities, tattoo establishments and mobile home parks.

Gray said his department inspects and permits several of those establishments, including pools at motels, campgrounds and mobile home parks, food services at private and public schools, civic and fraternal organizations as well.

"It's beneficial for both the state and for the licensee to do it online (and) it will actually save money instead of mailing out all the invoices."

Current Florida permit holders will receive a printed invoice this year, but will be encouraged to pay online and create an account so that future invoices can be emailed to them directly. Permit holders can create their account online at www.my floridaehpermit.com.

For more information on the number of environmental health permits issued (by type), visit www.myfloridaeh.com /ephdata/index.html.

mbates@hernandotoday.com

(352) 544-5290

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