Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | May 27, 2018

County public health will take immunization clinics on the road

Jun 29, 2017

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


When parents and students begin registering in August for the 2017-18 school year, Henry County Public Health will be there.

Public Health Director Patti Sallee told the county board of health that her department “will be going to school registrations in the county.”

The county’s public health department is putting on a full-court press to ensure that children have their immunizations up to date. The department hosted immunization clinics in April and May at WACO, Winfield-Mt. Union and Mt. Pleasant. A request was made at New London schools but denied by school officials.

During those clinics, 82 clients were served, Sallee said.

“We requested to do it at kindergarten roundups but they wouldn’t let us do it,” the director said. “We are going to take our services to them (during registration) and we plan to visit Iowa Wesleyan University, too.”

In a written report to the board, Jodi Sutter, environmental director, the Mt. Union situation (hooking up properties to the sewer system) was being addressed by county planning and zoning, the county attorney and county auditor.

“We are working to get two questionable properties hooked up to the central system,” Sutter said. “The others (residences that the county thought may have to be hooked up) have been abandoned. No one is living there and there is no waste.”

Sallee said her department, along with the county’s emergency management department, are busy implementing the “salamander” system. The system, which cost $14,000 and is funded by a grant, will be used by county employees, firefighters, law enforcement and other emergency workers.

The system records the vital information of a person and the individual receives a card with the information which can be scanned in the event of an emergency.

“We are concentrating on fire departments in the county,” she said. “Mt. Pleasant is already done.”

Asked by Rose Lauer, board chairman, what the county will be receiving in grants from the state during the next fiscal year, Sallee said the county’s public health grant has been reduced to $58,000 from the original $62,000.

Board members also bemoaned the loss of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Iowa in Burlington. The office will close Friday. “It isn’t just abortions,” Buzz Bezoni said.

“People don’t realize that a lot of men go there,” added Lauer.

It was added that Planned Parenthood “was really good about educating kids.”

Sarah Berndt, county coordinator of disability services/general assistance director, closed the meeting with an extensive report on the Southeast Iowa Link (SEIL), the eight-county regional medical health delivery system, established three years ago, and tidbits on other related programs.

Other counties in SEIL include Des Moines, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Van Buren and Washington.

SEIL’s mission is to collaborate with people to provide welcoming, integrated and individualized services that create opportunities to improve lives. The vision statement of the organization is to facilitate open, quality and comprehensive services to people with multiple issues. SEIL strives to be welcoming, hopeful and helpful to people who have complex mental-health challenges, including trauma.

The organization has 20 core domains, the top being 24-hour crisis response services, assessment and evaluation, care management and coordination services, crisis evaluation, day rehabilitation and health homes coordination.

Mandated services are commitment-related services, justice system-involved services, mental health advocate services and state resources centers.

Some of the eligibility criteria for SEIL services include the person must be at least 18 years of age; a lawful resident of Iowa; meet income guidelines of 150 percent federal poverty for most services; has a diagnosis of mental illness, intellectual disability or development disability (may have other co-occurring diagnoses); and completes a MHDS application with local access staff and participates in a functional assessment supporting the need for services.

Berndt said one of the key parts of the mental-health delivery system has been the establishment of drop-in centers in communities. Mt. Pleasant’s drop-in center is located on the 200 block of West Monroe Street.

“Drop-in centers are important because they provide a social support program,” she explained. “The drop-in center in Mt. Pleasant has about 20 people attending each day. It is not a service someone uses every day but rather when they need support. It is a come-and-go program as needed.”

Currently, SEIL is working on crisis intervention training for law enforcement personnel, she said, which is sorely needed.

She said some of SEIL’s programs are highly dependent on the Affordable Care Act. “If we lose the Affordable Care Act, we will be scraping for pennies in a few years.”

Henry County’s Board of Health meets again Tuesday, July 25, at 12:30 p.m., in the Henry County Public Health conference room.





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