July 17, 2009
A Department of State Health Services official confirmed on July 10 that Texas will pay to continue the work of two STD prevention specialists whose jobs had been targeted for elimination by Lubbock city staff. While the two positions themselves may still be cut, the work of the STD investigators will be picked up by four health staffers already working in 35 counties regionally. "It's an increase in our workload," said Bob Martinez, communicable-diseases manager for DSHS Region 1, adding, "If the city doesn't do it, we will." If Lubbock City Council decides to stop supporting the Health Department's STD clinic, the state will pay for that as well, Martinez said. It will not, however, pay for two administrators and two health educators who work with school children and the community. The local health department faces the loss of $946,000 under the budget proposed by City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld.