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BLOOMINGTON — A longtime employee of the McLean County Health Department was selected as interim health department administrator to lead the department as a search is conducted for an administrator to replace Camille Rodriguez.

Tammy Brooks, director of the health department's community health services division, was approved by the McLean County Board of Health, effective June 1, at its meeting on Wednesday night.

The board also approved a timeline for a search for a new administrator. The board hopes to select a new administrator in September.

"The board recognizes we have a strong management team," Board of Health President Judy Buchanan said after the meeting. "We looked at all the strengths and needs of the department going forward. We felt that Tammy has the ability to take the lead and work with her colleagues to move us forward and keep the momentum going."

"I'm very honored that the board would have the confidence in me," Brooks, 47, of Bloomington, told The Pantagraph. "I'm excited to continue what Camille and the staff have been building over the last year and a half. I'm confident in the leadership team that's currently in place and confident that we will continue to move forward."

Rodriguez, who became health department administrator in January 2018, was selected by the County Board as county administrator in April and begins that role on June 1.

While she is interim administrator, Brooks will continue as director of the community health services division, whose responsibilities include the communicable disease program, the dental clinic, nurse home visiting and immunizations.

While Brooks is interim administrator, she will receive a 10 percent salary increase, bringing her hourly salary up to $38.96, which equates to $75,981 a year, Rodriguez said.

The health department has 85 employees and a budget of $9 million. Responsibilities include restaurant inspections and communicable disease control.

Brooks, who worked as an outreach worker/in-home counselor for PATH (Providing Access To Help) from 1996 to 1999, has been with the health department since then, serving as a family case manager, medical case manager and Women Infants and Children (WIC) program supervisor.

Earlier in the meeting, Rodriguez reported that, after weeks of meetings, the board has signed a contract, through the end of the year, with the McLean County Center for Human Services (CHS) to help to fund CHS's psychiatric and emergency crisis intervention services through the end of the year.

Funding had continued on a monthly basis as the board and health department staff negotiated with CHS staff and its board after CHS suspended accepting new clients into its psychiatric program in December because of declining support from the state and United Way of McLean County.

As a result of negotiations, CHS has compromised and agreed to accept 40 additional clients into its psychiatric program by the end of December, Rodriguez said. The Board of Health, in turn, approved $222,000 for the psychiatric program for the final eight months of 2019 and $254,667 for crisis intervention for the final eight months of the year, she said.

But the health department and Board of Health still want more information from CHS, including billing information, Rodriguez and several board members said.

"The signatures are dry and we will continue to move forward with conversations with this agency (CHS)," Rodriguez said.

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Contact Paul Swiech at (309) 820-3275. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_swiech

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Health Reporter

Health reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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