Utah officials plan to merge health agencies

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Utah officials have submitted a proposal to combine the state's health and human services departments, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Dec. 1.

The proposed merger would create a department with over 5,600 employees and an annual budget of $5.5 billion. Officials hope the merger will streamline services, eliminate redundancy in overlap and increase efficiency. They consulted numerous work groups and held town halls to answer questions and build a consensus for the plan. 

"We need to invest in prevention strategies that are proactive and focused on the whole person, integrating a more complete approach with physical health and behavioral health, and providing improved direct services and care," Tracy Gruber and Nate Checketts, executive directors of the state human services and health departments, wrote in the Tribune.

The plan has been submitted to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and the legislature for review. 

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