POMEROY — The Meigs County Health Department released its annual report, with a long list of milestones and achievements in 2015.
The heath department was the driving force behind the establishment of “Get-Healthy-Meigs!” and was organized to involve all members of the community and health officials in an effort to “get Meigs healthy.”
The Meigs County Farmers’ Market was established in early summer and was a success. Project Deaths Avoided with Naloxone (DAWN) was implemented and the department received Ebola funding for the formation of a care plan.
They collaborated with Mature Services to place a senior worker with the health department, re-establishment of the Children with Medical Handicaps program and held outreach flu clinics in three school districts.
Veggie U, a program dedicated to increasing children’s awareness of healthy food options and teaching them how real food reaches their plate, is now offered in all three Meigs County school districts and at Mid-Valley Christian School.
Meigs County “Cleanup Days” proved an overwhelming success and the health department assisted with the Ohio River Medical Mission last summer.
Cribs-For-Kids, a national infant safe sleep initiative, had a successful launch and member of the department coordinated the Child Fatality Review Board.
The Women, Infants and Children program received appreciation from the Ohio Partners for Smoke-Free Families for their smoking cessation program.
A new roof was installed on the health department building and a quality improvement council was established within the health department. The group also collaborated with Ohio University for internships and a promotional video.
The department sponsored and supported the “Who’s Your Mudder” 5K Mud Run site visit. The Mud Run is held at the Meigs County Fairgrounds, where participants run through a course full of mud while overcoming natural and man-made obstacles along the way.
Continued staff participation and leadership in several programs included Relay for Life, Meigs County Cancer Initiative, Meigs County Child and Family Health Consortium, Ohio Local Planning Commission, Meigs County Health Care Coalition, OSU Extension Advisory Board, Meigs County Children and Family First Council, Creating Health Communities Coalition and Meigs County Prevention Coalition.
Health Commissioner Aimee Imbrosciano wrote in the report to MCHD, “It is my pleasure to introduce you to the Meigs County Health Department: The MCHD employs small, but dedicated staff, presently consisting of 17 full- and part-time employees.”
She said the report “represents the united efforts and hard work of many individuals who call Meigs County their home. This includes the small but mighty group of MCHD employees and numerous community partners, including businesses, schools, faith groups, service organizations and others who recognize the power of working together towards a shared vision.”
“Everyone wants a county that is safe, where we can raise our children, run or start successful businesses, have opportunities for personal and professional growth and just live a long, healthy life,” Imbrosciano said.
She said everyone has their own unique “First-Aid kit” within them to help someone else, and acknowledged that Meigs County “has its share of people who use drugs or alcohol to escape life” and families without the necessities of life.
“However,” Imbrosciano said, “what we do have is each other, and many of us have been around the block to have that tenacity and stubbornness needed to beat the odds. Let this be the year that we use our First-Aid kits to help one another.”
She went on to challenge every person “to take inventory of what you can offer to make Meigs County the home we dream it to be.”
“Many people believe that the services provided are only available for those who have Medicaid or who are otherwise disadvantaged,” Courtney Midkiff, administrator of the MCHD, said. “This is a myth. The MCHD is a resource for all residents regardless of age or income.”
She said the health department is so much more than “just shots” and she wants the report to help residents learn more about the programs and how they provide essential public health services.
She went on to say MCHD has been serving the residents of Meigs County since around 1920 by preventing, promoting and protecting public health. Through mandated programs like environmental health, public health nursing and vital statistics, as well as various auxiliary programs most currently including WIC, Children With Medical Handicaps, Public Health Emergency Response, Child and Family Health Services, Creating Healthy Communities,Together on Diabetes, and Reproductive Health and Wellness program, the department works with both government agencies and members of the community.
In Ohio, local health departments are political sub-divisions of the state. The MCHD is governed by a five member board of health, which meets the second Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at the health department, located at 112 E. Memorial Drive in Pomeroy. BOH meetings are open to the public and members are appointed to five-year terms by the District Advisory Council.
The council consists of the president of each board of township trustees, the president of the board of county commissioners and village mayors. Work of the MCHD is supported by a 1-mill tax levy, fees for services, state subsidy, federal and state grants, and awards from other sources.
Midkiff offered some vital statistics from the county in 2015: 197 deaths were registered; 182 from natural causes, eight accidental, five suicide and two were undetermined. The leading causes of death were cardiac and cancer. There were three registered home births and two fetal deaths.
The department issued certified copies for 674 deaths and 468 births, and issued 183 burial permits.
MCHD hosted the Ohio State University Mobile Mammography: 73 out of 82 available appointments during four clinics were made. The total patients necessitating a followup were three; total breast cancer diagnosis; seven screening mammograms were paid for my MCCl’s Pink with Purpose; and 66 patients were covered by self-pay, Medicare or Medicaid.
Sharon Buchanon, fiscal officer, deputy registrar, issues the financial report: MCHD had a total revenue of $1,312,138.00: $279,707.00 from the levy and local funding; $1,929.00 in donations; $37 ,651.00, personal health; $86,280.00, environmental health; $29,218.00, vital statistics fees; $53,224.00, reimbursement; $82,786.00, state grants; $4,276.00, severance funding; $90,993.00,transfers; $14,895.00, MAC fund; $382.00, miscellaneous; $457,146.00 grant funding.
Total expenditures were $965,780.00, and included state remitted funds, personal health, environmental health, health promotion, general administration, vital statistics, laboratory, accreditation epidemiology and emergency preparedness.
A minimum carry over of $90,000 is required to cover Board of Health cost until the following year.
The remainder of the reports will be published in April 27 edition of The Daily Sentinel.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551