Dr. Harrison Pierce Re-Elected Chair of Health & Human Services Commission

Members of an advisory town body that helps oversee New Canaan’s Health and Human Services Departments last week re-elected a prominent retired pediatrician as their chair. Dr. Harrison Pierce, who took on the role of chairing the Health & Human Services Commission weeks amid some controversy and weeks prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, was unanimously re-elected at the appointed body’s Jan. 5 meeting. Asked by Commissioner Peter Campbell to discuss his priorities for the next year, Pierce said the group would “continue pretty much as we are,” while also noting that the Commission also was seeking to define its role. “I know there are some varying sentiments,” Pierce said at the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

ARPA: Health and Human Services Commission Should Advise Town on Future Allocations, Members Say

An appointed body that oversees New Canaan’s Health and Human Services departments should be doing more to help the town set priorities on spending what remains of $6 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, its members say. The Town Council last month approved about $2 million in “ARPA” spending, including allocations for “premium pay” for school and town workers, greenlink sidewalks, year-round public bathrooms, a generator and marketing. Yet the Health and Human Services Commission “should be giving more assistance and support to our elected officials on priority funding,” Russ Barksdale Jr., a member of the Commission, said at its Jan. 6 meeting. “I did not see any priority funding given to our local or town Health Department, as an example,” Barksdale said at the meeting, held via videoconference.

Health Director: 1,000 Kids Aged 5 to 11 Registered for Nov. 11 COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic [CORRECTION] 

More than 98% of 12- to 17-year-olds in New Canaan have been vaccinated against COVID-19 virus, according to the town’s health director. And 100% of town residents aged 18 to 44 also are vaccinated, Jenn Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting, held Thursday via videoconference. 

The 45- to 64-year-old age bracket stands at about 89%, while 100% of those aged 65-and-over are vaccinated, Eielson said during an update to the Commission. “The percentage of the total population with at least one dose—this includes those that re not currently eligible, is 80.12%,” she said. Eielson added that 72.9% of the total population is fully vaccinated. 

The town’s Health Department was scheduled to run a booster clinic Thursday of Moderna and Pfizer shots, she said, and 350 people registered for that. A booster clinic for teachers will be held Nov.