Colorado

Sep 21, 2009 10:02 PM by David Ortiviz

Pueblo health department faces funding crisis

The Pueblo City-County Health Department says it may be forced to cut basic health services for the public. The City of Pueblo has proposed slashing its funding for the health department by 90%.

Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods says that amounts to about a $900,000 dollar loss for the health department. Dr. Nevin-Woods says with less funding, the health department may be forced to lay-off 25% of its workforce. Also, basic health services such as food inspections could go away.

"We are 1% of (the city's) budget. To cut a vital service like us, which is 1% of your budget is unbelievable to me knowing how important public health is and that we're just about to go into an H1N1 outbreak," said Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods, Executive Director of the Pueblo City-County Health Department.

"To undercut that new facility with lack of funding from the city, I think it just unconscionable," said Jeff Chostner, Pueblo County Commissioner.

"We want to make sure everybody is protected, but at the same time we have other responsibilities in our budget that we have to address," said Vera Ortegon, Pueblo City Council President.

Pueblo City Council will hold its regular meeting at the health department on Monday night starting at 5:15 p.m. Health leaders will give a presentation on how the city's proposed cuts could affect them.

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