Saline City Council Approves Extension of Health Care Task Force through March 2024
At its last meeting of 2023, the Saline City Council voted to approve the extension of the city’s Healthcare Task Force to March 31, 2024. The extension was made at the request of the Healthcare Task Force members and its chairperson, Kaitlyn Schaible, who gave a short presentation at the meeting. According to Schaible, the task force faced several challenges this year that, together, nearly brought progress to a halt.
“We met some challenges this year. One of the biggest ones was attrition. Several people stepped down, and we did unexpectedly lose a member of the task force a few months ago, which has dwindled the number of people on the committee to about six, plus our interns. We've had difficulty meeting quorum on a monthly basis, which means that we could meet and discuss things but no major decisions were made. And we had some communication failures,” said Schaible.
Despite the challenges, the committee is nearing completion on something Schaible called “a healthcare resource repository” that, when finished, will be a valuable source of local and regional healthcare-related information for Saline community residents. The goal of the repository, she says, is to provide a “robust picture of the resources that are available to meet the health and wellness needs of the community.”
Established roughly two and a half years ago, the task force’s initial focus was to increase brick-and-mortar healthcare options within Saline, according to Schaible’s comments at the meeting. However, along with delivering the healthcare resource repository, the task force is also expected to present recommendations for broadening its mission, goals, and scope to cover overall community health and wellness.
“There is an interest in a broader health and wellness approach,” said Schaible. “There's a lot of grant funding available for a lot of the initiatives that have come up and been discussed. So laying the foundation and creating a path for longevity and sustainability will give us an avenue to look into that grant funding and…maybe be successful in bringing in some additional funds to support a lot of the fantastic ideas that have come out of the task force thus far.”