Public Health Column: Update on collaboration of and plans for Genesee and Orleans health departments
From the Genesee and Orleans health departments:
With the year closing out, both the Genesee County and Orleans County health departments would like to wish you and yours a healthy and Happy New Year!
The collaboration between the two counties has provided several opportunities to meet our joint mission to work collaboratively ensuring conditions that promote optimal health for individuals and the communities we serve.
In 2018, we have had a successful joint Point of Distribution (POD) exercise to test our Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program. Staff have had the opportunity to work across the county borders to assist in department functions during times of limited staff.
We have added the Weights & Measures program in both counties to provide a consumer connection with vendors of food, fuel and other providers to test and verify the accuracy of weighing and measuring devices.
Our children’s programs work diligently to provide education, case management, support and referrals to help the children of our counties succeed and enjoy a good quality of life.
The Community Health Services of both departments work hard to limit the spread of communicable diseases by providing immunizations, lead poisoning prevention direction, as well as provide guidance for pregnant moms and families with new babies.
The nursing staff has provided migrant health outreach to assist the farm workers in both counties along with investigating disease / foodborne illness outbreaks.
The Environmental Team provides quality inspections to assure we are safe from foodborne illness, have working septic systems, and help keep our pets safe from rabies.
The Public Health Education Team has welcomed Marlowe Thompson to work in both counties assisting with the upcoming Community Health Assessment (CHA), Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), and the Public Health Accreditation Board process. The team along with one of our nurses is able to provide Narcan training to local businesses and organizations to help battle the opioid crisis.
Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Workshops will be starting up in early 2019 in both counties in partnership with our hospitals. Our support team is always working to make sure the department is run within budget, keep our forms straight and provide guidance with insurance reimbursement.
In 2019, we are looking to shift from organizational thinking to community-focused thinking by taking the role of Community Chief Health Strategists. Our departments have always worked collaboratively with other agencies within our borders and are looking to focus community resources on improving specific health outcomes as we develop our tri-county CHA/CHIP and in partnership with the local hospital systems, Community Services Plan.
We will be looking to community members to assist in this process by participating in community conversations and taking a community health assessment survey.
Both departments look forward to having a joint website where you can access forms and information from both county health departments. We continue to provide timely posts on our GO Health NY Facebook and Twitter pages along with increasing interviews on our GO Health NY YouTube site.
“It is our pleasure to serve the residents and visitors of Genesee and Orleans counties,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director of Genesee and Orleans county health departments. “On behalf of the staff in both counties thank you for the opportunity to serve you and we look forward to a great 2019!”