With word last Friday (3/20) that the State of Iowa would be making $2.4 million in Community Development Block Grant money available to public health agencies, Mahaska Health is making a request for $85,692. Mahaska County Economic Development Director Tom Flaherty tells us the grant money would be used to offer telehealth services for hospital patients.
“Fifty laptops, that’s $48,592. Fifty laptop headphones, $10,000. Four conference rooms for virtual meetings, $6000. Ten room speakers at $1100. And 20 iPads at $20,000. And why is economic development involved? This is workforce. We’ve got a real workforce challenge here. Anything we can do to get our health care workers back in to our hospitals, (it’s) better for our community.”
Flaherty points out that Mahaska Health is the second largest employer in Oskaloosa and that 16.3 percent of Mahaska County’s population is aged 65 or older. The Mahaska County Board approved the block grant request at an emergency meeting Monday afternoon (3/23).