The Hillsdale Council decided during their meeting last week that they would let the Board of Health hire a new public health nurse and not go to an outside agency for the service.
Officials had been considering using a new service set up by Bergen County or another from the Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission, which the borough already uses for some services.
The public health nurse performs many duties for the borough, according to Board of Health President Barbara DeCaro. The nurse is responsible for numerous state-mandated health functions and also organizes various programs like flu, rabies and skin cancer clinics and the anti-smoking poster contest in the local schools, which usually include doctors and other health care providers coming in at no charge to the borough.
The nurse also works with other officials in the police department, ambulance corps and building department when they find a borough resident in need of care, DeCaro said.
"We strive to serve the town, in collaboration with the mayor and council, with the best possible public health services," DeCaro said.
The functions of the public health nurse will likely become more important as Hillsdale's population grows older, according to DeCaro. About 25 percent of borough residents are already senior citizens, she said.
"I want to save money anywhere I can... but I don't think [the public health nurse is] an area to consider," Mayor Max Arnowitz said.