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Salem health board revises pay, duties for nurse position

SALEM — The city health board during a special session Wednesday approved a revised job description and increased pay for the public health nurse position.

The board accepted the resignation of nurse Karlyn Cast at the regular meeting last week and was preparing to advertise for a new nurse with some additional duties and additional pay.

City Health Commissioner Alanna Stainbrook, who also serves as Director of Nursing, explained that the job description needed revised to reflect that the new public health nurse can back up the registrar for handling birth and death certificates or answering the phone regarding vital statistics at times when the registrar or assistant isn’t available. The language also needed to note that at those times, the public health nurse would answer to the registrar as head of the vital statistics department.

For the hours, she said she plans to increase the range. Instead of a range of hours from 14 to 21 hours per week, the range will be increased to 20 to 28 hours. She said she wants to have the person work four 5-hour days and then 7 hours on Fridays. The public health nurse also will help with contact tracing.

Stainbrook requested the pay be increased due to the added responsibilities, saying she already spoke to city Auditor Betty Brothers and she was ok with it.

“I think we’re within the pay scale already set up,” Mayor John Berlin said.

Berlin serves as health board president by virtue of his position as mayor. He questioned whether the registrar would be the boss, but she explained if the nurse is performing vital statistics work, he or she would answer to the registrar as head of the vital statistics department.

Board member Judy Sicilia suggested that the job description should also note reporting to the health commissioner besides the director of nursing and to note the need to generate reports related to immunizations and disease reporting.

Berlin said maybe the line regarding answering to the registrar can say while performing vital statistics duties.

Stainbrook said that would be fine. She said the department has an organizational ladder and she doesn’t want employees bypassing their supervisors and going straight to the commissioner.

The board agreed to the language changes for the job description.

The board also agreed to the new pay scale. The wage will be increased to $17 per hour from $14.53 per hour.

The next regular meeting of the health board will be 2 p.m. July 15.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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