Two programs geared towards helping low- to moderate-income people were the topic of discussion at the July 25 meeting of the CC Board of Commissioners.

The board first heard about a new prescription assistance program that has come to Carroll County.

Carol Risaliti, executive director of the program, along with Job and Family Services Director Kate Offenberger and Health Commissioner Leann Cline, presented information about the Prescription Assistance Network, a collaborative, non-profit pharmacy program with professional pharmacies in Columbus, Cincinnati and Canton.

Risaliti said the program aims to help people who fall into the “doughnut hole” of prescription assistance because they are not eligible for Medicaid but are low-income and have high-deductible, low-coverage health insurance.

“The working poor is a big part of the population that we serve in Stark County,” said Risaliti. “Do they have insurance? Yes, for a catastrophe, but many of them just can’t afford to make it to that $5,000 or $7,500 out-of-pocket.”

She added that individuals whose insurance plans do not cover their medications might also benefit from PAN’s program.

Last year, PAN distributed $2.3 million in medications to Stark County residents at a cost of less than one percent of the organization’s budget spent on drugs, according to Risaliti, who added that PAN operates on a budget of about $400,000 per year.

The program provides eligible individuals with access to prescribed medications at PAN’s Canton pharmacy for a donation starting at $2 for one medication and $3 for two medications.

PAN operates using donated medications that Risaliti said come from manufacturers and other health care suppliers.

The benefit card lasts for one year but can be renewed, according to Risaliti.

A list of prescriptions that PAN can provide is available on the organization’s website: Risaliti noted that PAN cannot fill prescriptions for painkillers, such as Percocet.

To qualify, a one-person household must make a yearly income of less than $29,700, while a two-person household must make less than $40,050. A household of three must make less than $50,400.

PAN also provides its customers with access to consultation from its professional pharmacist and from NEOMED pharmacy students who work in the Canton pharmacy.

Discussion with commissioners took place regarding how Carroll County residents could more easily access medication through PAN’s program if they cannot travel to the Canton pharmacy.

Risaliti said if enough individuals sign up for the program, PAN can send medications for distribution to the Carroll County Health Department on Moody Avenue in Carrollton.

Offenberger added that individuals who receive Medicaid could also be eligible for transportation assistance to PAN’s pharmacy.

Individuals who would like to apply for the program are asked to call PAN directly at 330-445-1087.

Commissioners next selected contractors for the county’s septic repair and replacement program.

The program, which is funded with a $300,000 grant from the Ohio EPA’s Water Pollution Control Loan Fund, aims to help low to moderate-income residents as part of the EPA’s efforts to bring old and failing septic systems in-line with new codes that went into effect last January.

Scott Lenigan, environmental health director with the Carroll County General Health District, said regulations now mandate evaluations by soil scientists and approval of designs for all new septic systems. However. older septic systems must also be in compliance with current regulations.

“A lot of people are under the assumption that their systems are already grandfathered, but they’re not,” Lanigan stated.

The board accepted quotes for septic system designers from Coogler Excavating, of Carrollton, at a cost of $545 for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and $945 for a leech field system; Accurate On-Site LLC, of Wooster, $1,050 for a mound system, $850 for a leech field; and On-Site Design Solutions, of East Liverpool, $1,500 for a mound system, $450 for NPDES, and $850 leech field.

Quotes for excavators were accepted from Bridges Excavating, of Urichsville, $325; Coogler Excavating, of Carrollton, $345; and Dayton Excavating, of Salineville, $445.

A quote for soil evaluation from Hawkhaven LLC, of Wooster, for $550 was also accepted.

Board of Commissioners Clerk Janice Leggett said a separate bid phase for the septic program will invite vendors to submit quotes for septic tanks.

In other business at its July 25 and 21 meetings, the board:

HEARD the County Dog Pound report for July 18 / 23: 11 dogs impounded, nine adopted, five redeemed, none euthanized, one citation for no license and no citations for running at large.