COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - We now know exactly how the 51 jobs cut at the Collier Department of Health will affect you. The cuts are to balance the budget and save nearly a million dollars. Of those jobs lost, 25 are layoffs, leaving some programs and services cut too.
WIC and Healthy Start programs help hundreds of new and pregnant at-risk moms make sure their baby will be healthy and fed.
"We just won't be able to see them as often. We'll have less case workers, less staff working with these folks," Deb Millsap with the Collier Department of Health explains.
Appointments will be spread out and less at-risk moms may be moved to the back of the line. However, they can expect the same financial help with food packages and vouchers for food in grocery stores.
The same goes with a program that helps people who are a high-risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease like HIV and Hepatitis. Less outreach means not as many people may get tested, which could affect the community's overall health.
"It may change the health of the community a little bit, not dramatic, but enough that we'll probably have more outbreaks," Millsap says.
Flu shots are also cut this fall. The department can't afford to fund it's six mobil clinics. People will have to travel to the Department of Health or find something closer. Millsap tell WINK News, most pharmacies near residents offer flu vaccines as well.
A program scaled back, that many may not have been aware the department even did, is checking migrant housing.
"We did find several years ago we had problems in Immokalee where there's a lot of people saying oh I have this trailer, I'll charge people to live in it. And there might be 10 or 12 people living in it," Millsap explains.
The people laid off received notices weeks ago their jobs may be cut. Their last day of work will be August 29th.