Public Health Week is April 1-7

April 1-7 is National Public Health Week, a time to recognize the important work Public Health does to keep our residents safe and healthy. The American Public Health Association’s theme for this year is Protecting, Connecting and Thriving: We Are All Public Health, and indeed everyone in the community must come together and play their part to make this happen.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has offices in each of our six counties – Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood – to make sure we are helping all of our communities meet these health goals. Our staff cares about its community, and the hard work they do shows.

Our Environmental Health staff works diligently to protect our communities from foodborne and other illnesses. They work with community restaurants and their staff to maintain healthy food standards with inspections and food handling classes. When food vendors attend the local fairs and festivals, they too have been checked to maintain these strict standards. Inspections of local pools and campgrounds are also done by Environmental Health to make sure they are properly operated for everyone’s health and safety. Homes in our communities with septic systems and water wells are also inspected, as well as local businesses such as tattoo/body piercing parlors and tanning beds.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Services is also doing their part for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department’s six counties, as well as Jackson, Mason and Gilmer counties. Good health is important for the whole family, and WIC employees are there to help guide new parents and pregnant women with nutrition education, breastfeeding support and parenting advice. Moms and children up to the age of 5 also receive health screenings/referrals and access to healthy foods.

Community Health workers look at each community’s health needs to best serve everyone. The updated Step Up MOV program offers health, nutrition and exercise education to help protect people from chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. MOV Ruck Club, adding weight to walking for a better workout, looks to expand to more communities to help everyone with their health goals. Threat Preparedness teams with the American Red Cross to train community volunteers to better respond to local public health emergencies. The team connects with hospitals, community clinics, healthcare providers and emergency response to help prepare them for the next pandemic, bioterrorism or other similar event.

The Clinical department is where a lot of visible public health work happens. A priority is making sure everyone in our communities have access to vaccines to better protect them from preventable diseases, such as measles. Other important vaccines made available include Flu, RSV and COVID vaccines during respiratory virus season, out-of-country travel vaccines, and childhood vaccines. Clinical staff are hard at work making sure every community has these important tools to better health through appointments at our offices or special clinics at local schools and businesses.

Beyond vaccines, clinical workers also are there for the community’s sexual health with screenings and treatments, as well as those for other diseases such as tuberculosis. Their Oral Health section also routinely gives both adult and child screenings for tooth decay.

Behind the scenes, the Administration and Finance teams are there to make sure the process runs smoothly for all.

Public health is more than just health care. It is looking out for all of our neighborhoods and residents. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department continues to be there for our communities – to keep everyone protected, connected and thriving. The hard work and dedication of its employees and all of Public Health joins with our families, our neighbors, our local businesses and organizations to realize the ultimate goal – the well being of all of our residents.