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The Boston Globe


After failures, DPH seeks 30 new staffers to boost inspection ability

FITCHBURG — Interim Commissioner of Public Health Lauren Smith said Thursday that when she took over the depart­ment, following a deadly meningitis outbreak and the closure of a crime lab that shook confidence in the regulators, she engaged in a “frank and brutally honest introspection” with her staff.

One result of that introspection is a proposed $32 million budget increase at DPH, bringing the total amount to $549 million, which would allow for increased inspections and oversight of health care, hazardous material, and substance abuse facilities. That would fund 30 new ­positions and send $1 million to the Board of Registration in Pharmacy, Smith said.

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