CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Half a month into the city becoming the sole operator of the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District, and City Manager Peter Zanoni says the transition is going well.
“We hit the ground running on March 1," he said. "We’re cognizant of the need for better health services for the community. And that happened on March 1, and that's continued over the past two weeks. And more improvement will be coming each week as we progress forward.”
One of the requirements the city instituted when taking over control of the health district was that all employees would have to reapply for their jobs.
That led to concerns that people might end up out of work even after performing potentially dangerous duties — like testing for and vaccinating against COVID-19 — for the better part of two years.
Zanoni's update might ease those concerns.
“A hundred-percent of the frontline employees were brought back to the new department — or organization," he said. "Ninety-percent of the mid-level manager positions have been brought back."
Zanoni says they're looking to fill the remaining 10-percent of the mid-level positions with "other qualified persons".
The search continues for a permanent director and assistant director.
“We’re interviewing candidates right now," Zanoni said. "We’re using a recruiter that we use, so we’re confident that soon we’ll be making an announcement for a director.”
The location of the health district remains the same, even though Zanoni says the building at 1702 Horne Road needs some work.
“We’re doing a thorough assessment of the building from the roof to the foundation to the interior," he said. "And we’re going to be doing some emergency repairs to shore up some areas in the building that need immediate attention.”
Zanoni says the city is also working with Nueces County Commissioners to get a mobile clinic up and running for people who live in unincorporated parts of the county.
They're also trying to establish a twice-monthly clinic at the Johnny Calderon Building in Robstown by August.
Zanoni's last update was actually an announcement — a new partnership with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
“Their School of Nursing is a very important asset in the community that hasn’t been utilized," he said. "So we’ll be working with them. The nursing students will do their clinicals at the health building.”