Graham Board OKs change for Health Department power back-up

Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas, left, addresses the Board of Supervisors during Monday's meeting. - Contributed Photo

SAFFORD — The Graham County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to move some money originally designated for the pandemic into an emergency back-up for the Health Department.

The board approved the request of Health Department Director Brian Douglas to use $44,178.13 furnished by the United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties to COVID, and another $4,647 from the Emergency Management Fund, to purchase a permanent emergency generator for the Health Department building.

“On the fiscal year 22-23 budget, we originally had this project allocated for funds on a COVID Ideal grant to pay for this generator, because they would pay for a generator,” Douglas said. “Then we later found out they would only pay for a portable generator, not a stationary generator.”

Douglas said the need for a permanent back-up generator is due to have upward of $60,000 worth of vaccines in the Health Department building at any given time, and an extended loss of power would result in the loss of those medicines.

United Way has agreed to the change of use of funds.

The board also approved an agreement with the Arizona Partnership for Immunization, to coordinate billing with private insurers. The agreement will allow the Health Department to provide immunizations to all children in the Gila Valley, not just those without health insurance coverage.