Public health tells numbers for FY18

Becky Wolf, director of Greene County public health at Greene County Medical Center, provided an annual report to the county supervisors Monday. The report was for most of Fiscal Year 2018, which ended June 30.

The report covers 17 areas of service provided by the public health department, providing the number of contacts made, individuals served, or hours used; along with the range of programs in each area.

Following are highlights:

Immunization clinics – 970 contact made through in-office, school-based and drive-through clinics. Back-to-school clinics will be held in July and August. The flu vaccine clinics offered at the schools during parent-teacher conferences were well-received.

Maternal-child-adolescent health – 472 contacts with expectant mothers and children ages birth to 19. Services included lead screening/follow-up, developmental screenings, dental screenings, nurse and social worker visits, and lactation consults.

1st Five – 322 contacts made for 69 children ages birth to 5 years old. The program supports health providers in the earlier detection of social-emotional and developmental delays, and family risk-related factors. Social worker Sara Miller coordinates referrals, interventions and follow-up. 1st Five has been identified as a Promising Practice by the National Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs.

HOPES (Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success) – 519 visits made weekly or bi-weekly with expectant mothers and parents of children birth to 3 years.

Lifeline emergency response system – 118 subscribers in Greene County and surrounding areas were other service is not available. There were 85 incidents requiring assistance and/or transportation to the emergency room, often due to falls.

Home care services – Provided to Greene County residents who have no other avenue of assistance for home care, allowing clients to stay safely in their homes for as long as possible. 126 nursing visits for clients in Health Maintenance (chronic needs). Home care aides provided 445 personal care assistance visits and 1,153 homemaker visits for essential and safe home environment.

Communicable disease surveillance – 182 hours spent by RNs to provide screening, interviews, education and follow-up for 148 persons who contracted a reportable disease such as gastrointestinal infections (including food-borne), animal bites, bat exposures and latent TB infections.

Health education – Reached 201persons on topics including blood-borne pathogens, TB, and infection protections; overview of services available; and assistance with babysitting class.

Matter of Balance falls prevention class – 23 participants attended the eight-week sessions at the Greene County Community Center and Walton Woods in Jefferson and at the Rippey United Methodist Church.

Sunscreen project – Provided free sunscreen and education on preventing skin cancer; a total of 1,658 persons were reached.

Transitional care coordination – 758 hours by RNs who collaborate with the medical center to reduce gaps in meeting needs following an ER visit or hospital discharge. RNs also serve as a community resource for referrals.

Emergency response/planning – 684 staff hours spent

Community needs assessment/Health improvement plan – 92 staff hours used to assess health needs of the population, identify strategies and community partners, and evaluate progress toward established goals.

Wolf provided the sources of funding for each service area. County tax funds support the Matter of Balance classes, home care services, communicable disease surveillance, health education, transitional care coordination, a community needs assessment, and the sunscreen project. The county allocation for FY18 was $200,000.

The FY19 budget includes $300,000 to the medical center for public health.

The supervisors spent considerable time over the past 18 months discussing changing from the hospital-based public health department to a county-based department. As the supervisors began formulating the FY18 budget (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018), medical center officials asked for an increase from $150,000 in FY17 to $275,000 in FY18, with the allocation for FY19 being $437,000 and the allocation for FY20 being $614,000.

Wolf said one reason for her report was to help the supervisors “understand the value of what you’re supporting.”

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