Katy Nesbitt
The La Grande Observer

ENTERPRISE — With less and less state funding for the county health department, Wallowa County Commissioners will soon be handing off most of its public health authority.

County Commissioner Susan Roberts said the state once mandated counties to oversee about a dozen public health services. With those mandates came funding. She said modernization and restructuring make it no longer feasible for the county to staff its own office.

Roberts said when state funding decreased to where the county could no longer fund two full-time positions, it made sense to let the county’s primary care providers take over most of the public health functions.

Winding Waters Clinic in Enterprise will lease the public health office at 758 NW First Street and provide immunizations and birth control in the county’s stead.

Nic Powers, chief operating officer for Winding Waters, said, “We are already a nonprofit community health center. We want to at least maintain these services and hopefully grow them.”

See complete story in Monday's Observer