POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department provides numerous services to residents across the county each year, and 2017 was no exception.
The health department’s recently released 2017 annual report details some of the services provided throughout the year, as well as details on programs and funding.
The 18 employees of the Meigs County Health Department provide services through public nursing, vital statistics, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), environmental health, cancer care coordination and mobile clinics, Medical Reserve Corp, Children with Medical Handicaps, Creating Healthy Communities, Maternal and Child Health, and more.
In addition to providing services on a daily basis, the health department is continuing its work toward national accreditation which must be completed by July 1, 2020.
Highlights in 2017, as detailed by Administrator Courtney Midkiff, included:
- Obtaining a grant from the Ohio Department of Health to complete the Meigs County Community Health Improvement Plan. The plan will be used to guide the collaborative efforts toward addressing five priority areas of concern for Meigs County: Substance Abuse, Maternal and Child Health, Workforce Development, Chronic Illness and Healthy Behaviors;
- Advancing the state-mandated requirement to apply for an achieve national accreditation to continue to be eligible for ODH funding (around $500,000 annually). This goal must be achieved by July 1, 2020;
- Maintaining WIC participant benefits at the current level following a budget decrease and other challenges;
- Receiving grant funds to assist eligible Meigs County residents with needed repairs/replacement of failing household sewage treatment systems;
- Initiating in-county ServSafe food safety classes which are required for operators of food service operations and retail food establishments. The classes were able to be offered at discounted rates for Meigs County operators;
- Receiving grant funding to provide mosquito control activities in the county, as well as hosting a community educational event on tick safety;
- Working with a local church to provide needed home modifications for a child and his family served by the Children with Medical Handicaps Program;
- Assisting eligible students benefiting from the Blessings in a Backpack and other weekend food programs thrugh the Maternal and Child Health Program;
- Assisting with modifying or establishing recreational areas to meet resident needs and to promote residents’ health and well-being;
- Obtaining an economic development grant to establish a Community Health Worker Porgram to assist high-risk Type 2 Diabetic patients;
- Providing families in need with a safe sleep surface for their infants and toddlers to prevent/reduce infant mortality via the Cribs for Kids program.
- Continuing to provide free training and doses of Narcan to residents, law enforcement and EMS staff via grant funding to reduce the number of opioid overdose deaths;
- Participating in emergency preparedness events with the BluMed mobile hospital and the Meigs County Medical Reserve Corp;
- Hosting interns and students from area academic institutions;
- Working with Ohio State University, Ohio University and University of Rio Grande on research projects and workforce development efforts;
- Continuing to host the OSU and OU Heritage College of Medicine’s mobile unit for breast and cervical cancer screenings;
- Hosting a free event for National Diabetes Awareness Month;
- Assisting with coordination of a health fair for county employees;
- and, Assisting residents in need with referrals for and transportation to vision services, immunizations, tobacco cessation, head lice screenings and communicable disease follow-ups.
The voters in Meigs County approved a one mill replacement levy for the health department which commenced in 2017. With the increased tax collection and careful fiscal management, the Board of Health was able to revise its salary schedule, increasing salaries or the first time in six years. The increase brought the salaries closer in line to that of other counties. An employee recognition policy was also put in place for the agency’s 18 staff members.
Current Board of Health members include Roger Gaul (President), Edna Weber (Vice President), Pam Patterson, Eric Rock and Dr. Wilma Mansfield (Medical Member). Dr. Douglas Hunter serves as the Medical Director. Marc Barr is the Health Commissioner.
A breakdown of the program-by-program numbers will appear in the Tuesday edition of The Daily Sentinel.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.