LIBERTY –– The NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) has announced that their new field office, located within the Sullivan County Public Health office (Gladys Olmsted Building) at 50 …
LIBERTY –– The NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) has announced that their new field office, located within the Sullivan County Public Health office (Gladys Olmsted Building) at 50 Community Lane in Liberty, is now open.
The new office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
“Establishing a new field office in the Town of Liberty will strengthen our ability to provide environmental health services to the residents of Sullivan County,” Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “Having state health department staff available locally further enhances our ability to protect public health and meet the needs of the local community. I thank the County Legislature, the County Manager, County Commissioner of the Division of Health & Human Services, and the County Attorney for working to ensure a smooth transition by assisting us in identifying this new space in Liberty.”
In January 2022, it was announced that the NYSDOH would be moving their Monticello location (which had a little over 20 employees) to Middletown due to “difficulty in finding adequate office space in the Monticello area.”
Uproar from members of the public, as well as elected and local officials, would follow, advocating for them to stay.
Last August, county legislators unanimously agreed to let the NYSDOH lease a portion of the County-owned Public Health building in Liberty, where NYSDOH would have 4-5 employees to handle walk-ins.
County officials were also reassured that services wouldn’t be diminished.
According to the NYSDOH, department staff have been actively performing inspections and other field work throughout Sullivan County during the entire transition “to ensure there has not been an interruption of services.”
A variety of environmental health functions will continue to be carried out by the field office staff, including checking children’s camps, restaurants, and public water supplies, as well as conducting investigations into childhood lead poisoning and many other public health activities.
The new field office, in coordination with the Middletown District Office, will also offer all the services previously available at the former Monticello District Office, including drop-off of permit applications and fees, engineering plan submittal, and face-to-face meetings with inspectors and engineers.
NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther said that keeping the Monticello Department of Health field office open and operating in Sullivan County “has been of paramount importance to the residents of Sullivan County.”
“The announcement today that the field office will be open and staffed should ensure that residents and business owners in our community can rely on the services provided by this office to be accessible, timely and local,” she said. “While I was not happy to see the full office move out of the County, I am encouraged that a presence will be maintained. The important work of those staffing this office will continue to keep the residents and visitors of Sullivan County safe.”
Sullivan County Health and Human Services Commissioner John Liddle said the County values their partnership with the State Department of Health and “appreciate the balance they’ve struck” in opening a field office in Liberty in addition to their District Office in Middletown.
“Having members of the NYSDOH located in the same building with Sullivan County Public Health will improve cooperation between the two staffs and enhance our ability to respond together to any future public health emergency,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to build an even stronger relationship with the DOH environmental health team as we prepare together for another busy summer in the Catskills.”
“The Sullivan County Legislature is pleased we were able to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution that keeps the NYS Department of Health’s office presence here, which is a critical imperative,” said Sullivan County Legislative Chairman Rob Doherty. “As a Legislature, we deeply value the DOH’s local efforts, resources and staff, and having them next door to our Public Health team will ensure year-round coordination, to the benefit of our residents and visitors.”
Residents can contact the Department’s Liberty office at 845-794-2045 or by emailing email@example.com.
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