Medical contract for jail weighed
Although he was not on the agenda at last week's Douglas County Board meeting, Sheriff Troy Wolbersen went before the commissioners with two issues.
His first issue was to ask the commissioners to approve a $500 donation to the sheriff's office from Rick and Connie Rosengren. Wolbersen said the donation was earmarked for water safety equipment.
The board approved the donation.
The second issue was to have the board approve a nursing contract for the jail with a new company - MEnD Correctional Care.
The company, according to jail administrator Jackie Notch, offers everything the jail needs.
Dr. Todd Leonard, who is the doctor/owner of MEnD Correctional Care, would do a clinic at the Douglas County Jail at least once a week, which would mean that inmates wouldn't have to be transported out of the jail for doctor appointments, according to Notch.
In addition, Leonard would take care of the majority of mental health needs for the inmates.
Leonard would be the jail's medical director, which he currently is for both the Sherburne County Jail and the Mille Lacs County Jail.
Wolbersen told the commissioners that by having a contract with Dr. Leonard, it would be a cost-savings to the county.
The cost for the new contract with MEnD Correctional Care would be $142,500, noted Wolbersen, who also added that the company wants a four-year contract, but that he could maybe negotiate a two-year contract.
Commissioner Norm Salto said that he attended the interview with the company and was impressed.
"After what he presented, there could be a considerable amount of savings here," said Salto.
After a lengthy discussion about the issue of the new medical contract for the jail, the commissioners accepted the proposal - on a 3-1 vote - with a contingency to negotiate the contract. Commissioner Jerry Johnson voted against it.
The contract will be brought back to the commissioners for approval at their Tuesday, January 5 meeting.