Illinois county health department considering salary raise to recruit dentist

The Edgar County (Ill.) Public Health Department is considering raising the starting pay to fill a vacant dentist position, The Prairie Press reported May 22. 

The position has been vacant for several years but finally has a candidate after a Colorado dentist expressed interest in the role. The starting salary for the role is $155,000.

Monica Dunn, the health department's administrator, told the department's board May 17 that the candidate has previously worked in public health and is interested in moving to the area. However, Ms. Dunn said during an April meeting that the candidate is seeking a salary of at least $180,000 because the current salary offer is too low by professional standards. 

Ms. Dunn gave a financial presentation during the May meeting indicating that the department can afford to pay the higher salary. She added that having a dentist will increase the number of cases the department can submit for payment because of the high demand for services.

Board member Rodney Wolfe was cautious of paying a higher salary because the department will also have to pay more in benefits such as health insurance, retirement and Social Security. Board member Jason Graham, DMD, was reluctant to lose out on the candidate by not raising the salary.

No final decisions were made during the meeting because the board lacked a quorum.

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