Health Dept. provides range of services to county residents

By Sarah Hawley - [email protected]

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a three part series on the Meigs County Health Department’s annual report. Today, we look at several of the programs and services offered through the health department. In an upcoming article to appear on June 14, we look at additional programs at the health department and the services provided. The first article in the series on June 9 provided an overview of the department’s milestones and achievements, as well as the steps taken toward accreditation.

POMEROY —The Meigs County Health Department provides many vital services to local residents, including immunizations and other nursing services, services geared toward women, infants and children, and children with specific medical needs.


Highlights of the nursing services at the health department in 2016 include Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone), immunizations, head lice checks, reproductive health and wellness clinics and tobacco cessation efforts.

The Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone) (intranasal Naloxone) Program officially ended with the last kit issued to a community member during May 2016. The MCHD was also able to provide specific law enforcement kits to at least 14 law enforcement individuals, including the Sheriff’s Office, Syracuse PD, Middleport PD, Racine PD and Rutland PD. In October 2016, the MCHD was able to write a grant proposal and received 100 donated Evzio kits (injectable Naloxone) from Kaleo. A total of 15 community members were served with either Project DAWN or Evzio kits during 2016.

Weekly in-house immunization clinics were offered (52 in total) with 1,927 vaccines administered between both sources of vaccines offered through the MCHD, which include the Ohio Department of Health Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program and vaccines provided to the health department through VaxCare.

Additionally, the MCHD was able to add several additional adult vaccines, which are specifically limited to those aged 19+ years who are uninsured or underinsured, to its list of available immunizations through the Federal 317 Vaccine Program, including Tetanus, Tdap, MMR, Varivax, Prevnar-13, Pneumovax-23, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Menactra and Zostavax.

Shot clinics are offered every Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.; otherwise immunizations are offered on other weekdays by appointment.

Staff offered weekend flu shot clinics at the Pomeroy and Tuppers Plains Farmers Bank, Racine and Syracuse Home National Bank, Reeds Country Store and the Rutland Department Store. Additional outreach clinics were conducted at the Meigs County Courthouse and at the Ohio Valley Bank. 77 community members took advantage of these outreach flu clinics.

A total of 716 flu shots were given between August and December 2016.

Nursing staff, along with Meigs County Job and Family Services, and in conjunction with Probate Judge Scott Powell and the local school districts, were able to reinstate school-based head lice checks in September 2016. A total of 1,835 preschool through 8th graders heads were screened. Schools and the public were informed of the results of these screenings through various MCHD social media sites and newspaper articles. Plans are to have these conducted three times each school year during fall, winter and spring. In addition to those performed within the schools, 44 head lice checks were completed at the MCHD.

2016 saw the final Reproductive Health and Wellness Program (RHWP) Grant clinic. Due to unfunded Ohio Department of Health mandates and a lack of clients keeping their appointments, the MCHD was forced to make the decision not to reapply for this grant. The program ended March 31, 2016. Staff was able to serve 57 clients by providing 6 clinics, 40 blood pressure checks, 34 breast exams, 8 PAP Tests, 28 Body Mass Index Screenings, 58 Depo Provera shots and 70 other birth control options prior to end of March.

In collaboration with the Government Resource Center (GRC) and The Ohio State University during 2015 and 2016, Director of Nursing Leanne Cunningham spearheaded a local team to participate in the Smoke Free Families (5 A’s) Program, which is a 5-step approach to assist clients to stop smoking. This project served not only as a pilot project for the 5 A’s Program statewide, but also served as one of the MCHD’s first official Quality Improvement (QI) projects.

QI is essential, not only to ensure quality nursing services offered at the health department, but also for meeting standards of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) (the Accrediting body for state and local health departments).

“As a result of study participation, in which we exceeded our 50 percent goal by having 62.5 percent of women of childbearing age willing and contemplating quitting smoking through individualized education, as well as knowing that Meigs County had been identified as having 40 percent adult smoking rate in 2015 and 23 percent adult smoking rate in 2016 (according to County Health Rankings through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation),” the annual report states.

The MCHD decided to implement Tobacco Cessation Services by sending Sherry Hayman, RN, to become a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS). This service is available to anyone who desires to quit smoking and served four clients during its short time of availability during 2016.

No cases of SIDS were investigated during 2016.

In other services, five adults were provided with vision assistance; two children were provided with vision assistance; three lead and hemoglobin tests were provided; 82 pregnancy tests were provided; 120 walk-in blood pressure checks were provided; eight HIV tests were administered; seven Hepatitis C tests were administered.

Children with Medical Needs

CMH, the program for Children with Medical Needs, previously known as BCMH is a comprehensive health care program funded in part by the Ohio Department of Health. The program connects families with quality providers and assists in obtaining coverage for medical cost related to an eligible condition.

The MCHD-CMH program served 67 families in Meigs County during 2016. This means that 67 families utilized the additional health care covering medications, copays, diagnostic procedures, physician visits and even equipment that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.

In addition, MCHD-CMH had 12 families participate in additional county service coordination through the Family and Children’s First Council (FCFC).

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

WIC served 476 local participants in 2016. The program provided nutrition education classes twice each month for postpartum women and children ages 1 to 5, as well as pregnant women. There has been an increase in the number of women breastfeeding.

WIC staffed a breastfeeding and diaper changing station at the county fair. Outreach was also provided at the station. In conjunction with MCHD Creating Healthy Communities program, WIC established a breast feeding room at Meigs High School for use by students and staff.

WIC utilized the expertise of Ellen Mingus, License Dietician/Registered Dietician to provide special health needs reviews for high risk clients.

Fifty WIC participating families were provided with vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at any Ohio Farmers Market.

Maternal and Child Health Program (MCHP)

The Maternal and Child Health Program (MCHP) is an organized community effort to eliminate health disparities, improve birth outcomes and improve the health status of women, infants and children in Ohio.

Cribs for Kids Program provided safe sleep education and cribs (called a Safe Sleep Survival Kit) to 18 Meigs County families in 2016 who did not have a safe sleep surface for their new baby. The program also conducted safe sleep outreach including presentations at local meetings and health fairs and via billboards, social media messages and public service announcements to promote the safe sleep message.

Veggie U is a nationwide program that allows students to learn about the importance of good nutrition, the concept of sustainable agriculture, and how vegetables are grown.

The program provided garden projects in all three county schools districts (Eastern, Meigs, Southern) and Mid-Valley Christian School. The program reaches approximately 200+ students every year.

Fighting Food Insecurity partnered with all three county school districts to begin expanding their weekend food backpack programs. Approximately 350 local children, many of which are in food insecure households, receive a weekend food pack to take home every Friday afternoon. The majority of food items are purchased locally.

By Sarah Hawley

[email protected]