The original item was published from September 8, 2017 2:27 PM to September 8, 2017 4:01 PM
Even if you have never walked into the Lenawee County Health Department, chances are that you have benefited from their services in some way. The mission of the Health Department is to enable the citizens of Lenawee County to enjoy the best possible state of health, free from avoidable disease, disability and the threat of premature death.
“Public health is one of those things that operates in the background. We don’t always recognize public health services because they are just services that happen,” explains Martha Hall, Health Officer at the Lenawee County Health Department. “I think the really unfortunate thing is that when those services aren’t available, then it becomes very obvious what public health means to a community.”
Surveillance and Monitoring
One of the key functions of the Health Department is to investigate and follow up on any reported cases of a communicable disease to prevent a possible outbreak. They track statistics on many diseases, from the flu to the West Nile Virus. Schools, preschools and day care centers are required to report communicable diseases to the Health Department. Nurses from the Health Department study disease outbreaks, how diseases are spread, and how to prevent and treat them.
Lead poisoning is another major public health concern in the community. The Health Department monitors children with elevated blood lead levels and provides assistance to families to ensure their homes are free of lead.
Educating the Public
Educating the public is a critical component of the mission for the Health Department. “Prevention is critical and that is what the Health Department is about,” says Hall. “We are interested in preventing disease in the community and providing the services that are going to best allow that to happen.”
To that end, they offer a variety of educational materials on their website, including fact sheets on health topics such as bed bugs, head lice, Lyme disease and Zika. The fact sheets are available in English or Spanish. All of these materials are free of charge.
The Health Department is funded through state and federal grants, but it also uses tax revenue from Lenawee County to expand or enhance its services. “The services we provide are all geared towards prevention,” explains Martha. “We want to prevent chronic disease in our community and be able to give citizens the best quality of life.”
Investing in Health Care. Investing in You.
Please visit the Lenawee County Health Department Web page
to learn more about the monitoring programs or to download educational materials
provided by the Health Department.