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Columbia Co. getting public health app

Sep 05, 2019 3:00 pm
Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Columbia County Board of Supervisors last week authorized a contract to purchase a public health app to provide public access to information by cell phone or other mobile devices. A state grant will cover the app’s $13,000 startup cost, and there is also the possibility of additional grants to cover the annual $5,000 maintenance cost. Public Health Educator Victoria McGahan said she expects “a pretty quick turnaround” with the app all developed and ready to use in “a few weeks.” The resolution was approved August 16, with six supervisors voting in opposition. Supervisor Michael Chameides, a Democrat who represents Hudson's Third Ward, said the health department has “important information,” but it already has a website accessible by cellphone with the same information the app will have. Chameides said the proposals considered did not specify how the mobile phone application would be better than just using the existing website. Even with the mobile app, the Health Department should also “develop direct outreach,” Chameides said. McGahan said the app will present information in a form different from the website, and that some people will find the app’s form easier to understand. “It’s not costing us anything,” said Hudson Fifth Ward Supervisor Richard Scalera, who voted for the app. “It was: take it now or lose the grant. If it works out, fine. If not, after a year, we can just end it. So, why not give it a try?” Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.
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