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County Departments Merge to Create Health and Human Services

By resolution of the Door County County Board, what was formerly two separate county agencies – the Department of Human Services and the Public Health Department – officially became the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on January 1, 2019. In addition to the name change, the Public Health Division within the department has new leadership. Sue Powers has been named health officer/public health manager and reports directly to Director Joe Krebsbach. Why the change? There is substantial crossover in the mission and goals of Public Health and Human Services: Both have at their core an interest in the health and well-being of our community. Both have programs and services aimed at early-childhood intervention and prevention. Both provide benefits to low-income families. And both are concerned with improving mental health, reducing substance use and preventing the abuse and neglect of children and adults at risk. Human Services and Public Health have always collaborated across program lines. Staff have consulted on shared cases, teamed up on home visits and worked together on numerous community work groups and committees, but the  new organizational structure will further reduce barriers, build relationships and bring about the potential for even more robust partnering. Although DHHS is forging ahead with a unified mission and leadership, all of the services the community has come to expect will remain the same. In addition, there will continue to be “two front doors” to access services. The Public Health Division will continue to have a separate reception desk and maintain a designated phone number: 920.746.2234. To reach all other DHHS divisions in the Government Center, call 746.7155. “Of course, we also like to say there’s no wrong door,” Krebsbach said. “If someone happens to call or stop in at the ‘wrong’ desk, we will absolutely help them to get where they need to be.”