POMEROY — When you think about the health department, most people may think of it as a place to get shots for their children, but the health department offers many more services to residents of Meigs County.
The Meigs County Health Department annual report details the services provided by the agency during 2018. Those services include vital statistics, public health nursing services, the Community Health Worker program,the Children with Medical Handicaps program, environmental health, WIC (Women, Infants and Children), the Creating Healthy Communities program, Public Health Emergency Preparedness, and the Maternal and Child Health Program. among others.
This article will look at the public heath nursing services, vital statistics, and Children with Medical Handicaps program.
Public Health Nursing
The Public Health Nursing Program at the Meigs County Health Department is responsible for Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone), immunizations, the tobacco cessation program, and other services.
The Public Health Nursing Program is under the direction of Leanne Cunningham, Director of Nursing, and Sherry Hayman, who is a public health nurse and certified tobacco treatment specialist.
In 2018, a total of 123 individuals were trained with Project DAWN, with 27 local law enforcement and first responders trained. Group trainings were requested and offered at the Hopewell Health Centers Opioid Support Group, Health Recovery Services, Meigs County District Public Library, Racine Fire Department and Village Employees, Meigs County Health Department, Olive Twp. Fire Department, and Meigs County Community Prevention Coalition.
A total of 1,410 vaccines were administered during 52 weekly in-house immunization clinics held at the health department in 2018. Two extended-hours clinics were held before the start of the new school year.
From October through December, a total of 446 flu shots were administered. Forty-eight of those were administered during the Second Annual Drive-Thru Shot Clinic held at the Meigs County Fairgrounds. Flu shots were also administered at the Meigs County Courthouse Outreach Clinic (nine shots), Eastern Elementary Outreach Clinic (32 shots) and the Syracuse Community Center Health Fair Outreach Clinic (five shots).
A total of 69 individuals received tobacco cessation counseling through the tobacco cessation program.
In response to the multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak, the Meigs County Health Department administered a total of 320 Hepatitis A vaccines. Two outreach clinics were held to administer the vaccines with 34 vaccines given during the two clinics.
Other service numbers included:
One lead and hemoglobin test provided;
Three children received blood lead investigation followup services;
Seventy-eight pregnancy tests were provided;
Forty-one head lice checks were performed;
One hundred fifteen walk-in blood pressure checks were performed;
Seven rapid HIV tests were administered;
Six rapid Hepatitis C tests were administered.
As for communicable disease investigations, there were 182 investigations of reportable communicable diseases in 2018. The top five were Hepatitis C (chronic), 61 cases; Chlamydia infection, 42 cases; Influenza-associated hospitalizations, 26 cases; Campylobacteriosis, 16 cases; and Gonorrhea, eight cases.
Vital statistics oversees the registration of birth and death records in the county. Administrator Courtney Midkiff is the Vital Statistics Registrar, with Sharon Buchanan having served as the deputy registrar in early 2018, followed by Michelle Willard for the remainder of the year. Shauna Chapman is the vital statistics clerk.
In 2018, there were two registered home births in Meigs County and one out of institution birth.
The vital statistics department issued 485 certified birth certificates and 881 certified death certificates in 2018. A total of 264 burial transit permits were issued and one certificate of service issued. Five free veterans’ copies were issued. The department also provided genealogy assistance to the public.
A revenue of $32,305 was collected, with $18,907.26 remitted to the state.
There were 259 deaths registered in Meigs County in 2018, with 228 due to natural causes. Twenty-four deaths were due to accidents, with 16 of those overdoses. There were eight suicides and one undetermined death.
The leading cause of death in the county in 2018 was cardiac related, followed by cancer.
The Child Fatality Board reviewed one death involving a child up to age 18.
Children with Medical Handicaps
The Children with Medical Handicaps (CMH) Program, under the director of coordinator Angella Rosler, served 76 families in 2018, up one from 2017.
The 76 families utilized service coordination assistance through the Meigs County Health Department to connect to local resources. The families were eligible to receive additional health care that may have included medications, copays, diagnostic procedures, physician visits, and equipment which they may not have otherwise been able to afford.
Additionally, 20 of the families participate in additional county service coordination though the Family and Children First Council.
In 2018, CMH had a reimbursable hours total of $23,420.
A quarterly newsletter is distributed to CMH families, local schools, active patients, and a community meetings to raise awareness about current local news and events.
More on the other programs and services at the Meigs County Health Department will appear in upcoming editions of The Daily Sentinel.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.