Steps toward accreditation, program successes highlight annual report

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — In a final look at the 2018 Meigs County Health Department annual report, we take a look at the progress toward accreditation, the Community Health Worker program, and the Maternal & Child Health Program.

Accreditation Process

Accreditation coordinator Michelle Willard, along with other members of the Meigs County health Department staff, worked toward Public Health Accreditation in 2018 and submitted accreditation documents in early 2019.

The MCHD Accreditation Team held 22 meeting in 2018, as well as conducting an annual Workforce Development Day in September.

Seventy percent of the MCHD Strategic Plan goals were either completed or progress was made on the goals. The Workforce Development Plan and the Performance Management/Quality Improvement Plan for the Meigs County Health Department were both revised.

The Accreditation Team participated in three Get Healthy Meigs! meetings along with more than 25 other agencies.

The team also began work on a Regional Community Health Assessment in collaboration with Holzer Health System, Gallia, Jackson and Vinton Health Departments and the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College. The Meigs County Health Department’s second Community Health Assessment will be completed in 2019.

Community Health Workers (CHW)

The Community Health Worker Program is now seeing 30 patients from Holzer Health Systems and Hopewell Health Centers for diabetic education. In the first six months of the program 75 percent of the patients successfully lowered their A1C.

The program added a second Community Health Worker in 2018, with Kiera Frank joining Laura Grueser.

Both Grueser and Frank attended Community Health Worker certification classes at Ohio University and have since been certified by the Ohio Board of Nursing.

During 2018, classes were offered including the Diabetes Self-Management Program, Chronic Disease Self-Management Program; and a National Diabetes Awareness Month Symposium.

The program has also began the pick-up and delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables to patients through a collaboration with Community Food Initiatives in Athens. Additionally, a local church created a personal care pantry specifically for patients in the CHW program. The CHWs are able to utilize the pantry by taking boxes of personal care and cleaning products to patients in need.

Maternal & Child Health Program

The Maternal & Child Health Program (MCHP) is under the direction of Juli Simpson. The 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.

Among the programs under the MCHP is the Cribs for Kids Program which provided safe sleep education and cribs for 20 Meigs County families in 2018. Since its beginning in March 2015, more than 80 families have been provided with safe sleep education and a safe crib for their baby.

The MCHP continued its partnership with Eastern, Meigs and Southern local school districts through September 2018 by providing food items and program support for their weekend backpack food programs. Approximately 400 children are served through the program.

The School Health Assessment was implemented at one local school district, which helped develop an action plan for improving student and staff health and wellness. The results of the assessment were used to guide program activities and implementation of improved water access for students, staff and community. A hydration station was installed in the common area of the school to help increase water consumption.

For more on the Meigs County Health Department annual report visit or see previous articles at

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.