Health Dept. excited about new annex

Wanda English Burnett

The Ripley County Health Department met in regular session April 5 for their second public meeting of the year.

Pat Thomas, public health coordinator, gave an update on the annex project.

She noted that plans are shaping up with the health department being located in one large area, something that will be vital for the services they provide.

Thomas said the plans are for the health department to have their own separate entrance to the annex. She noted this is an important aspect due to the nature of sick people who come for help.

There is a mass examination room in case of a disaster and an environmental storage room, along with secure storage areas and much more.

“We’re excited...we’re ready to move in,” Thomas noted.

County health nurse, Vicky Powell, had a busy three months with 680 immunizations administered; 6 immunization clinics held, 32 blood pressure screenings; 112 adult vaccines which include hepatitis, procrit, allergy, and vitamin B); 9 communicable disease control and investigations; 50 tuberculin skin tests; 51 home/school visits/ 25 meetings/conferences/ 11 flu vaccines administered; participated in a heartbeats festival and had two investigations.

Under the environmental division report for complaints, investigations and consultations, the department responded to the following: arsenic 20; lead 13; home complaints/consultations 19; mobile home park 14; mold and mildew 10; open burning 10; and 4 water/well consultations.

There were 3 complaints on swimming pools, 3 consultations, 32 sample reports received, and 4 swimming pool inspections from January through March of 2011 in Ripley County.

Vital records reported a total of 69 new births recorded; 68 deaths; 388 birth certificates issued and 371 death certificates issued. There was a total of $7,156 collected through the registrar’s office for the three month period.

A lengthy discussion ensued concerning a new state law regarding vaccinations through local health departments. Watch for additional information on this subject in the next few weeks to explain the changes that will be made and how it will impact the local communities.