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Officials Eye 2012 Merger of Health Departments

Retaining a village health services office is recommended as part of merger.

Consolidation in the North Shore has been a popular concept lately — especially in light of proposed cuts to state aid.

, the Village Board approved the taking its plans for consolidation to the North Shore Health Department.

Plans are for the two departments to develop a program and discuss financial specifics, with an eye on a 2012 implementation.

The two-month analysis included gathering public input, through three public input sessions and a survey of residents. Survey results show 42 percent of the 506 survey participants favor a merger of the North Shore’s health services.

"What we didn't have before was a set of recommended criteria from the  point of view of village residents on the value of consolidation," Trustee Patrick Linnane said.

Resident concerns noted in the survey include that a Brown Deer location, where the North Shore Health Department is located, is too long a haul to visit their health department. A task force studying the issue recommends a health services office remain located in Shorewood, with two full-time public health nurses at a minimum.

The Shorewood/Whitefish Bay Health Department had $221,793 in expenses in 2010, with revenues of $214, 093, most of it from federal grants. It remains unclear how much the merger may save  Shorewood or Whitefish Bay.

The North Shore Health Department serves the city of Glendale and villages of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point and River Hills.

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