Agan provided the Health Board a map from the Iowa Department of Public Health website, which displays all of the WIC agencies in Iowa. Many of them have general names to cover multiple counties, such as “Hawkeye Area” and “Mid Iowa.” Counties with their names on the program include Marion, Johnson, Pottawattamie, Scott and Webster.
Goff works for Broadlawns Hospital, which used to administer WIC services. She was working with the WIC program in Marion County, before the state mandated that Marion County join with others for the program. Broadlawns used to administer the services for Polk, Warren and Marion, but according to Goff, Polk asked to drop Warren and Marion. Marion County was asked by the state to administer the service for Lucas and Monroe counties. Most counties can’t afford to administer the program, and the state cannot afford to pay for 99 administrators. Marion County does not have the population to stand alone in administering the WIC program. To receive WIC funding, Marion County has to assist other counties, and Public Health is currently in the third year of a five-year agreement.
Public Health employee Diane Ellis told Agan that WIC clients who come to Marion County for services compliment the department for the job they do.
“I think it’s administered well here,” Ellis said. “Don’t fix it if it’s not broken.”
IT contract issue
A contract was up for an agreement between Public Health and an information technology provider, which also raised issue with Agan. Agan believes the $32,000 cost for the agreement was too much for one department, and he did not want the department to enter into a long-term agreement, as the supervisors hope to have an IT audit performed to try to improve this in all areas.
“This seems like a really high cost for information technology,” Agan said. “I think this is the most expensive contract in the county.”