FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
August 1, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – Like agencies across the state, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is taking steps to restructure its programs and reallocate resources to ensure that critical public health needs are met for residents throughout the state despite budget cuts.
DPH will meet a budget reduction of $20 million over two years through a combination of staff layoffs/retirements, eliminating vacant positions, program cuts and improved efficiency. DPH is also streamlining its contracting process to award grants faster and more efficiently.
“We are committed to minimizing the impact of these reductions and ensuring that core public health services continue to be available to people who need them the most,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “These changes are unfortunate, but DPH is working to be more effective and efficient, focusing our resources on services that best serve the people of Connecticut.”
DPH will no longer license funeral homes, funeral directors and embalmers, college infirmaries, and certain types of clinics. Licensed employees who work at facilities no longer licensed still remain subject to DPH regulations and enforcement.
DPH will continue to provide blood lead testing for uninsured children, but children with private insurance will now test through private laboratories. Several community-based programs funded by the department must implement additional efficiencies to address reduced funding availability.
New community drinking water well applications and water supply plans will require a longer time for review; however, this change will have no impact on the safety and quality of existing public water supplies. Regular inspections of day care centers and group day care homes continue to meet the statutory minimum requirements for regular inspections. All complaints will continue to be investigated in a timely fashion.
DPH recently migrated the day care licensing database into the state eLicense system, continuing progress toward a single licensing system for all licensed providers. An integrated, single professional licensing system for the more than 200,000 health care, environmental, and community-based professions licensed by DPH is expected to yield efficiencies and savings in data management costs, and make more information available to the public about licensed professionals.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the Department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.