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Southern Illinois health department receives financial shot in the arm

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Ullin, IL -

Five months into the ongoing Illinois budget impasse, many state-funded agencies are feeling the pressure of financial constraints.

Southern Seven Health Department has laid off 30 full-time employees and was forced to cut hours.

"Southern Seven depends on state and federal grants for 75 percent of our funding,” said Executive Director Nancy Holt. “We provide a lot of services in our seven counties, and the community depends on us."

After weeks of nothing but bad news, Holt says her budget has finally received a much needed Band-Aid.

"Our federal funding started coming through,” said Holt.  “We called back 13 of our staff starting today full time.”

Holt says she hopes to call back all her full-time employees once a budget is reached at the state level.

In the meantime, the federal funding will allow Southern Seven to expand coverage to three days a week in Alexander County.

Hardin, Pope, and Pulaski counties are only open to patients on Wednesdays, unless special arrangements are made in advance.

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