Work on the transition of the Winona County Home Healthcare Services to the private sector has begun following the County Board's decision last month to approve the change.
County Community Health Services Director Merilee Hazelton told the board nearly all of the county's seven private providers have responded to invitations to meet with the county in order to gauge the provider's interest in taking over the program.
Hazelton said the chief concern being voiced by the county's clients is whether the level of services will remain the same. Hazleton also told board members information is also being provided to the county employees who will be impacted by the change with meetings being scheduled to help them deal with possible job cuts.
Hazleton said in other counties where the transition was made, many county employees were able to also transition to the private providers. There has been no timeline for the completion of the transition. Winona county has handled the program for 40 years but stopped accepting new clients in early 2011.