Animal associations

Saginaw County Chairman Highlights 2021 Achievements for Health Department and Animal Shelter

SAGINAW, MI – Carl Ruth, Chairman of the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners, reflected on 2021 and discussed his expectations moving forward during the county’s 2022 state address on Thursday, February 3.

His remarks were delivered virtually via Zoom, the online video conferencing program.

During her remarks, Ruth highlighted county departments that faced some of the toughest challenges in 2021, including the Saginaw County Health Department.

The department has been one of the region’s leading agencies in the response to the pandemic. Ruth spoke to the virtual audience about the department’s work coordinating clinics for COVID-19 vaccines throughout 2021. Vaccines have proven critical to public health; the vast majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths last year were among unvaccinated people, the data shows.

The vaccine rollout and COVID-19 response in Saginaw County involved the department partnering with area organizations and businesses, Ruth said. For example, staff served as a consultant for K-12 school leaders as they prepared for the return to classroom learning in the fall.

“Collaborations formed during the pandemic have tremendous potential to impact countywide health outcomes,” he said.

Not all affiliations were directly related to the COVID-19 response, he pointed out. For example, the health department announced in November a 5-year affiliation agreement with Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine to target health issues such as obesity, behavioral health, and pediatric health. and maternal.

Ruth also highlighted the 2021 performance of Saginaw County Animal Care and Control, which endured outbreaks of COVID-19 among staff members while providing services at its aging headquarters at 1312 Gratiot in Saginaw.

The council chairman said construction of the new animal sanctuary, which is slated to open in December 2022 in Kochville Township, remains on schedule. Officials broke ground on the $8.5 million construction project in October 2021.

Ruth also outlined other county projects that are expected to catch the public’s eye this year, including the following:

  • County leaders will strategize how to spend the $37 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act stimulus funds provided to the community. Saginaw County has received 55 spending idea submissions from regional organizations and community members in the past few months, Ruth said.
  • Crews will continue renovations to the roof and parking ramp at the Dow Event Center. The work was funded by a 2020 voter-approved mileage.
  • The county will add a $900,000 splashpad to Haithco Park in Saginaw Township by Memorial Day 2022.
  • The county’s 30-year-old central computer continues to undergo an overhaul, which will provide county staff with access to modernized computer systems by September 2022.

Ruth’s discussion followed the virtual State of the City address presented by Saginaw Mayor Brenda Moore.

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