Memo for fiscal year 2017, updated 2016-03-30

[Archived] Why invest in Health Department staffing?

Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has experienced numerous long-term, difficult to fill vacancies, as well as excess turnover in recent years. These vacancies are to the extent that AHD is not expected to be able to reach many of its FY 2016 AlexStat performance targets. Addressing these vacancies is critical to assure the provision and delivery of essential public health services to City residents including: appropriate preparation for, response to, and recovery from public health emergencies; clinical and case management services to reduce teen pregnancies, improve birth outcomes, and prevent childhood nutrition-related diseases and developmental delays; investigation and case management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and immunizations for children and teens. Analysis revealed that AHD has difficulty recruiting and retaining staff due to compensation that is not competitive, particularly for the State temporary and grant funded positions that have not receive City salary supplementation in the past. Additionally, another City position, which is not full-time, has been difficult to fill. Five local jurisdictions, including the City of Alexandria, provide various supplements to their local-state health departments. Additionally, the Fairfax and Arlington County health departments are locally administered and their salaries are determined by their respective general salary schedules. The FY 2017 budget (excluding this initiative) contains $4.7 million in City funded salary supplement for State Health employees. 

As a result, the following pay adjustments were included in the City Manager’s FY 2017 Proposed Budget:

  1. Extend salary supplementation to eighteen non-supplemented AHD positions (in Public Health Emergency Management; Maternal & Childcare Services; Nutrition Program for Pregnant Women, Infants and Children; Immunizations; and Communicable Disease) 

  2. Convert one Maternal & Childcare Services part-time, direct service position (nurse practitioner) from 0.8 full-time equivalent to a full-time position 

Providing a City salary supplement to eighteen non-supplemented state positions and converting one part-time City position to a full-time position will cost approximately $190,000 of the $200,000 proposed in the budget for FY 2017. Attachment I details these expenditures.

The following is a summary of services provided in the programs affected by this proposal as well as the anticipated impacts that salary supplementation will have on services:

Attachment I – Alexandria Health Department – FY 2017 Budget Proposals – Impact on Positions, Programs and City Budget

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