Environmental health, WIC, and CHC serve local residents

By Sarah Hawley - [email protected]

POMEROY — Environmental Health, WIC and the Creating Healthy Communities programs are just some of the services provided to the residents of Meigs County through the Meigs County Health Department.

Highlights of these and other programs were detailed in the recent annual report by the Meigs County Health Department.

Environmental Health

The Environmental Health section of the Meigs County Health Department is under the direction of Environmental Health Director Steve Swatzel, with inspector and educator Dawn Keller. Both are registered sanitarians.

In 2018, environmental health activities included:

  • Food service licenses and inspections — 92 food service licenses issued; 256 inspections of retail food establishments and food service operations; 31 inspections of temporary food services; 59 inspections of mobile food services (26 locally licensed; 33 non-locally licensed); 4 inspections of vending locations;8 plan reviews for new establishments.

  • Sewage and septic — 73 sewage installation permits issued; 37 sewage operation permits issued; three inspections/approvals to land apply domestic septage; 215 inspections of sewage treatment systems.

  • Animals — 62 rabies/animal bite investigations (48 dog, 13 cat, zero bat, one raccoon); eight specimens sent for rabies testing; rabies vaccination clinic held in partnership with Dr. Josh Ervin of Ohio Valley Animal Clinic (37 dogs, six cats vaccinated).

  • Other inspections — four mobile home park inspections; 20 public school health and safety inspections; three inspections of tattoo and body piercing operations; 10 public campgrounds licensed and inspected; two public swimming pools licensed and inspected; 12 water samples collected and tested for bacterial contamination; five indoor mold complaints investigated; six statements of conditions provided in landlord/tenant disputes; 31 solid waste nuisance complaints investigated; 90 percent abated; four mosquito complaints investigated-larvicide applied; 12 inspections completed of solid waste disposal facilities (active and closed); 28 garbage trucks registered and inspected; two infectious waste large generators; two jail inspections; eight bed bug consultations and trainings.

Meigs Clean-up Day was held with 30 tons of solid waste, 17 tons of scrap metal and 68 tons of scrap tires collected. Another clean-up day is set for the first Saturday in May.

A total of 22 household sewage treatment systems were repaired or replaced using funding obtained through OEPA-Water Pollution Control Loan Fund for a total of $173,596.

A $6,000 grant was obtained from OEPA to conduct mosquito control activities including surveillance around Meigs County with trapped specimens being sent to ODH for identification, application or larvicide and adulticide as needed, and provision of education to property owners on how to reduce or eliminate mosquito populations.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children)

The WIC program in Meigs County serves income eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age five who are at risk due to inadequate nutrition, health care, or both.

In fiscal year 2018, the WIC program served an average of 422 income eligible participants, including: 52 pregnant women; 13 exclusively breastfeeding women; eight partially breastfeeding women; 29 post-partum women; 18 exclusively breastfed infants; eight partially breastfed infants; 116 other infants age 0 to 12 months; 142 total children ages 1 to 5 years. Fifty participants were provided with four, $5 vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at any Ohio Farmers Market.

WIC staff in 2018 included Director Sherry Eagle, breastfeeding peer/clerk Kimberly Casci, clerk (January to June) Ashley Lawson, breastfeeding peer (November to present) Jessica Howell and Roselyn; health professionals Wendy McGee and Jenna Roush; contractor Ellen Mingus.

Creating Healthy Communities

The Creating Health Communities program is a grant program committed to preventing and reducing chronic disease statewide. The program began 2018 under the leadership of Director Laura Cleland, from January to June, with Ciara Martin becoming the director in June 2018.

The events and projects taking place through the program in 2018 included:

  • Attending the Syracuse Community Health Fair;

  • Developing in the MCHD Food and Beverage Policy;

  • Updating the MCHD Wellness Policy;

  • Presenting at the MCHD Community Health Worker Diabetes Symposium;

  • Attending the Meigs County Health Fair;

  • Publishing the Meigs County Active Transportation Plan;

  • Developing a shared-use agreement for the Meigs County EMS Fitness Facility;

  • Purchasing exercise equipment for the EMS fitness facility that is free to all county employees;

  • Implementing a NEOS 360 ADA piece of playground equipment at Star Mill Park in Racine to encourage inclusive play;

  • Presenting at Carleton School in Syracuse promoting the Water First for Thirst campaign;

  • Established the MCHD micro-market to encourage healthy food and beverage consumption;

  • Purchasing fruit and nut trees and berry bushes to create a community orchard at the Meigs County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Conservation Area;

  • Providing funding that went toward maintenance and repairs of the bicycles at every Book-A-Bike library location including Pomeroy, Middleport and Racine;

  • Joining the Eastern Local School District’s Health and Wellness Team and provided wellness and health expertise to the school;

  • Implementing Farmers Bank Park, pocket park in Middleport.

More on the other programs and services at the Meigs County Health Department will appear in upcoming editions of The Daily Sentinel.

By Sarah Hawley

[email protected]

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.