Winter may now finally be over, but as a life long Iowan, I also know not to kid myself. It won't be long before we are talking about protecting yourself for summer activities! With the change of seasons, Siouxland District Health Department is also starting on a change within its facility. Since 2003 when SDHD relocated to 1014 Nebraska, we have operated two different waiting rooms; one for the Nutrition Division and the other for the Nursing Division. The services provided by each of these divisions have also been independently scheduled. The current remodel is focused on including only one waiting room and working with clients to be able to schedule a "Public Health Appointment" which will help reduce the number of appointments for them to keep. We will also be connecting all of our clinic services and exam rooms into one clinic. As we move forward in public health, we will continue to provide the same quality of services we have always offered, but also allow us to grow into new service areas.
We are planning on completing this project by the end of June 2016 and will hold an open house for all of you to come see our progress. Until then, enjoy the information shared below. It provides you a concise update on all of the work and progress that is being accomplished by SDHD Staff.
A great spring to you all,
Kevin Grieme, Health Director
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Woodbury County Immunization Audits
State of Iowa Administrative rules (laws) require annual audits of all immunization records for public, private, and parochial students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Immunization audits of child care centers, preschools, and Head Start centers are also required to help assure young children are properly immunized and protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.
SDHD Public Health Nurses complete the annual audits in child care centers and schools throughout Woodbury County during the months of Oct. - Jan. each year. In FY15-16, there were 3,410 valid immunization records and 477 invalid records, with 22 exemptions for either medical or religious reasons in child care centers. Overall 88.15% of children enrolled in childcare centers had complete certificates. For Woodbury County grades K-12, there were 19,137 valid immunization records and 183 exemptions for medical or religious reasons, with a 98.59% certification rate.
To view immunization audit data for additional Iowa counties, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health's webpage.
(Public Health Standard: Prevent Epidemics and the Spread of Disease).
SDHD Receives MIHOPE Award
In 2012 the SDHD Healthy Opportunity for Parents to Experience Success (HOPES) program received notification that we were awarded MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation) funding to expand home visitation services. This federal funding, through Iowa Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) allowed five local partners to expand home visitation services to over 111 young families in Woodbury County. SDHD was able to hire Nancy W., Ivy B. and Merilyn W. One of the many requirements to receive the funds was to participate in a randomized evaluation project called MIHOPE (Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation). The goals of MIHOPE are 1) to assess the ways in which home visiting services impact families and children and 2) to investigate how home visiting was implemented to improve family outcomes. The study continues but we no longer need to enroll families into the study. November 2015 we received recognition from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for our participation in this important research project. The final impact report is to be available in late 2018 and will be reported to Congress and the President. The entire HOPES team (Mona S., Sue N., Sarah B., Lori O., Nancy W., Ivy B., Merilyn W. and Kathleen R.) worked diligently to enroll families, maintain home visit logs, collect large amounts of data and maintain the integrity of the research requirements. Some of our families are part of the 1,458 participants through 26 Healthy Families America (HFA) programs across the nation. (Public Health Standard: Evaluation)
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Month
The month of March is designated as Colorectal Prevention Month. SDHD employees wore blue to promote and encourage others to get screened. The Iowa Get Screened project's goal is to increase colorectal cancer screening rates from 71 to 80% by 2018. Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer if screened early. For more information on signs and symptoms, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health webpage.(Public Health Standard: Promote Health Behaviors)
WIC Making Meals and Memories Together
As part of SDHD's Women Infant and Children's (WIC) quarterly education programming this past winter, dietitians shared information with WIC clients on the benefits of eating family meals at home and cooking together. This was provided in a classroom setting as well as on an individual basis. Clients were also given the opportunity to sign up for Iowa State University (ISU) Extension's free eight week cooking class that occurs in the client's home. ISU brings all the ingredients necessary for the cooking class hence it is not a burden on clients. If a client agreed to the class, SDHD Dietitians sent a referral form to ISU Extension. SDHD Dietitians also gave cutting boards to clients when they attended the nutrition education classes. For tips on eating as a family and cooking healthy click on the links. (Public Health Standard: Promote Healthy Behaviors)
Safety Committee Members Attend S.A.V.E. Yourself
In early March, a number of SDHD Safety Committee members attended S.A.V.E. Yourself /Active Shooter Training held at the Law Enforcement Center. Presented by instructors Chad Sheehan, Sioux City Policy Officer and Woodbury County Sheriff’s Deputy, Lt. Ton Wingert, S.A.V.E stands for Survive a Violent Encounter. The training highlighted that the chance of an armed intruder in a business is higher today than in previous years. Participants were offered specific strategies to S.A.V.E. yourself and others by being proactive. Studies have indicated that in violent encounters, mindset is key to survival and the first thing to do is to save yourself first. (Public Health Standard: Prevent Injuries)
Safe Routes to Schools/Complete Streets
Part of the three-year Partnership to Improve Community Health (PICH) grant that SDHD was awarded in 2014 from the CDC includes working with rural communities in Woodbury County on increasing access to physical activity. During year one of the PICH grant, staff worked with the City of Sergeant Bluff and Moville. Each community completed walkability audits, formed coalitions, identified safe routes to schools, developed walking school bus programs, made infrastructure improvements along city streets and sidewalks, adopted Safe Routes to School policies and passed Complete Street resolutions in their communities.(Public Health Standard: Promote Healthy Behaviors)
SDHD Healthy U
SDHD's internal wellness committee offers a variety of health education and programming for employees throughout the year. Currently 37 employees are participating in the 10 Week Wellness Challenge sponsored by Live Healthy Iowa. After the first five weeks staff had lost a combined 85.2 pounds, and accumulated 35,901 minutes of activity. Staff also have the opportunity to participate in circuit training classes two times a week over their lunch hour. (Public Health Standard: Promote Healthy Behaviors and Workforce)
The SDHD Nursing Division held a Pediatric Anaphylaxis drill late this winter. The goal of the exercise was to see how staff responded to and managed a pediatric anaphylactic emergency during one of their immunization clinics. The overall exercise went well, with the outcome resulting in updating the Anaphylaxis/Drug Administration Record document to hopefully prevent any unnecessary reactions.(Public Health Standard: Evaluation, Prevent Injuries).