Kudos to Sullivan County employees

The Sullivan County government, with some 1,200 employees, is one of the largest employees in the county, and a number of them have recently been named as being among the best in the state.

First the Sullivan County Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) program was ranked number one in the state for “providing nutrition services 100% of the time by qualified nutritionists. The ranking was determined by the NYS Department of Health’s Division of Nutrition Services, WIC Program.”

The Sullivan WIC was also ranked at number six for the percentage of children who are breast fed exclusively at six months of age.

“I’m thrilled with this news and give credit to the dedicated folks who run WIC with complete compassion and concern for those they serve,” said District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, chair of the legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee. “They, as much as the program itself, are number one!”

“It is really gratifying to see so many more women continue to exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least six months. Breast milk contains antibodies that help babies fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies” explained Nancy McGraw, public health director.

She credits the hard work of the WIC staff in promoting breastfeeding, quality nutrition counseling, and implementing monthly breastfeeding support groups under the direction and leadership of Lynn Guiser, MS, RDN, LDN and WIC Coordinator.

WIC staff provide nutrition education, breastfeeding support, vouchers for nutritious food, and healthcare referrals to approximately 1,600 eligible pregnant and post-partum women, infants and children up to age five.

It’s a credit to the Sullivan employees who staff WIC that, at a time when the administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to slash other federal program such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, they demonstrate how federal programs can play a vital and productive role in the community.

The other area where Sullivan County employees were recently recognized for outstanding performance was at the Care Center at Sunset Lake (CCASL) in Liberty, formerly the Adult Care Center. In early May, administrator Frank Murphy learned that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were upgrading the facility’s rating from three stars to five stars—the highest rating available.

Once again, Rajsz reacted to the honor at a rebranding ceremony where the name change was made official. “This is an exciting and long-awaited day here in Sullivan County,” she remarked. “The employees are the heart and soul of this place. They are professional and dedicated. It’s tough, demanding work, but under the team approach of our administrator, Frank Murphy, they raised our federal rating from three stars to five.”

“I could not be prouder of this place,” said Frank Burbank, a representative of the independent Family Council (which advocates for residents and the center) and a former short-term resident of CCASL himself. “People coming here get care from people who care, and that comes from the top down.”

Some six years ago, the Sullivan County Legislature made the decision not sell the county-owned nursing home, but instead improve and upgrade it. The employees of the Care Center at Sunset Lake helped to make it happen.

The county employees in both areas deserve to be commended for a job well done.


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