County hires care coordinator for SNBC program
The Wadena County Social Services Board hired financial worker Colleen Berttunen to be the care coordinator for the county's Special Needs Basic Care program, contingent on her passing her boards to become a registered nurse. Social Services is r...
The Wadena County Social Services Board hired financial worker Colleen Berttunen to be the care coordinator for the county's Special Needs Basic Care program, contingent on her passing her boards to become a registered nurse. Social Services is receiving a $5,000 grant for the SNBC program and hiring will help the county secure additional grant money, according to county officials.
Commissioner Lane Waldahl expressed concern that hiring Berttunen for the new position would be hard for County Human Resources Consultant Mike Gibson to justify during wage negotiations with other employees because the county has talked about wage and hiring freezes.
Gibson said he did not think so.
"It seems to me this is very defensible," he said.
Berttunen obtained further education and is already a county employee, Gibson said.
SNBC is a source of revenue for the county, according to County Human Services Director Paul Sailer. The care coordinator position is also an important part of potentially receiving additional grant money.
A portion of the grant will go toward the $1,000 cost of creating an office in the lower level of the new addition at Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Menahga, Sailer said. Rent for the office will be $240 a month. Berttunen will use the office one of the three days she works. The county's chemical dependency assessor will use the office two days a week and a child protection worker will use it one day a week, he said.
As of Sept. 16 the county had 113 enrollees in SNBC, said Social Services Supervisor Lori Miller. There are approximately 100 mailed letters that haven't been checked on yet. Social worker Linda Kirk is maxed out with 70 enrollees, she said. SNBC generates an average of $7,500 a month in revenue.
Berttunen was hired at grade 53 step 4 at $20.35 per hour. Sailer said he proposed step 3 at $19.47 on the RN step table, a 43 cent per hour raise from her current position. Berttunen requested a raise to step 5 to put her more in line with other RNs in the area, but the county negotiated her down a step, he said.