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Cass County Board: Veterans service officer to seek grants for equipment storage

WALKER—Veterans Services Officer Jeff Woodford obtained Cass County Board approval Thursday to apply for a $10,000 National Joint Powers Alliance grant in 2018 to purchase a storage shed, which would be located on the county highway garage property at Hackensack.

It will house durable medical equipment such as hospital beds, lifts and wheelchairs.

Until now, that equipment technically has had to be stored at a veteran facility at Bemidji, but in practicality, has been stored on volunteers' properties in Cass County to make it more convenient, Woodford said.

The board also authorized him to spend $75 per month the first three months of 2018 to advertise for outreach to veterans through on-screen advertising at Bear Pause Theater in Hackensack.

In 2017, Cass used an NJPA grant for $5,000 to re-level, repair and clean veterans' grave markers in the Pine River and Backus cemeteries, Woodford reported. Those were the only two cemeteries in the county that responded to an offer to do this service, he said.

In other Health, Human and Veterans Service reports at Thursday's Cass County Board meeting, Jeri Seegmiller noted HHVS will offer free home radon testing kits to all county residents.

Kits can be picked during regular business hours at the main HHVS office in Walker or at Family Centers in Pine River, Remer and Pillager. For more information, contact Seegmiller at 218-547-1340, ext. 223.

Minnesota Department of Health estimates two of every five Minnesota homes have high enough radon levels to potentially put families at risk for lung cancer, Seegmiller said. It is an odorless gas that comes up through the ground under homes and into the house, she explained.

The board approved an agreement with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program to provide services in 2018 to help people in the Minnesota Family Investment Program and the Diversionary Work Program to find and maintain employment, so they can work their way off benefit programs and continue working at least 30 hours a week for three years after beginning the programs.

The commissioners approved for 2018 a contract with Pequot Lakes Physical Therapy Inc. to provide patient evaluations, care plans and training for home care services to clients in the county at $55 per hour. They also approved an agreement with Teresa Watson for the same services at $51 per hour.

They approved a contract with MDH to receive up to $118,799.50 in grant month to offer free child and teen checkups to children receiving Medical Assistance. These services provide well child physical exams, dental and vision checks. It is available to MA eligible children and to eligible young adults up to age 21 including pregnant mothers.

Cass County also offers to children not enrolled in Medical Assistance partial payments on a sliding fee scale for child and teen checkups if they are uninsured or underinsured. People who think they might qualify can contact HHVS at the HHVS offices in Walker and Backus or call Jenny at Cass County Public Health at 218-547-1340 ext. 311.

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