After 37 years leading the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, Director Charlotte Craig is retiring. She says she has fond memories of working hard to establish the service since February of 1975! They were originally in the old Coca Cola building in Jackson giving shots in a vault! She says it took four attempts to get voters to approve the health center! Since 1986 they have grown to a full scale and well renowned health service with twenty programs and thirty-three full time employees. Craig says they began with a budget of 13-thousand-dollars which has grown to 2-million!! Jane Wernsman, the assistant director, who has worked side by side with Craig since 1989, will take over the top seat. Craig tells KZIM KSIM what she feels will be the biggest challenge in the coming years…She sees a potential lack of funding. Though Jane is great at grant writing the state has cut some of the core public health funding to put it in federal entities instead. The funding is based on population and poverty rates. What was 83-thousand dollars is now below 50-thousand dollars. That reflects necessary equipment and a few salaries! Craig’s last day is September 30th. She says she is going to take a few weeks to vacation in Colorado and continue working with the Humane Society and as a part time nurse at the Health Center. Among her last projects Craig assisted with a community assessment which showed Cape County’s top three significant health risks. They include: Childhood obesity, increased smoking by pregnant women, and kids under the age of two not being immunized.
Return to: Local News Blog