Outside consultants to review programs, performance of Williamson County’s health district

WCCHD vaccination drive
The Williamson County and Cities Health District helped lead the response to the coronavirus pandemic in the county, including vaccination drives. (Courtesy Williamson County and Cities Health District)

The Williamson County and Cities Health District helped lead the response to the coronavirus pandemic in the county, including vaccination drives. (Courtesy Williamson County and Cities Health District)

In a move that Williamson County officials said will increase communication between agencies, the makeup of the Williamson County and Cities Health District board of directors will be adjusted to include designated staff members from municipalities.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court voted July 20 to change the language of the cooperative agreement between the county and the WCCHD’s membership cities. The amended language changes the composition of the WCCHD board of directors from a Commissioners Court appointee to a designated staff member of Williamson County, according to a July 20 news release from the county.

The other member cities of the WCCHD—including the cities of Georgetown, Round Rock, Taylor, Cedar Park, Leander, Hutto and Liberty Hill—are expected to vote on the amended language of the mutual agreement in the near future, according to the Williamson County news release.

“If a majority of those member governments choose to approve the new [cooperative] agreement, then the board representative would be a staff position which would help with the conduit of communication directly to that member government,” said Kathy Pierce, executive assistant to Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long, at the July 20 Commissioners Court meeting.

County commissioners will appoint two county staff members to the WCCHD board, according to the news release.

If the new agreement is approved by the membership cities, it will allow the city managers from each respective government to designate staff members to the WCCHD board, per the Williamson County news release. Previously, the position was appointed by the city councils of each member city.

Commissioners on July 20 also gave the WCCHD approval to pursue an outside consultant agency to analyze the health care district. The firm will review the programs offered by the WCCHD as well as the performance of different departments, according to the county news release.

The WCCHD was formed between Williamson County and cities in 1989 with more members being added in 1992, 2007 and 2013. The health care district provides services to the county’s residents and businesses, including mosquito surveillance, some clinical services, food inspections and the county’s responses to outbreaks of disease, such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A request for proposals from potential consultants is expected to be released in August. The selected agency would then be expected to make findings and recommendations available to the Williamson County Commissioners Court early next year.

“Our community is growing tremendously. We often assess where we’re at and look at where we may need to go. I think these changes are healthy. I also think we have to be visionary in where we’re going as a health district,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said July 20.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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