Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year, the Barton County Health Department provided 2,500 vaccines to over 1,200 people, Health Director Shelly Schneider said. The new school requirements for hepatitis A and meningococcal ACW vaccines has increased the client load, but staff was able to assist clients in becoming up to date with their shots.
Schneider said citizens are encouraged to call the department or come in to check their vaccine status.
On a related note, successful vaccine outreaches were held with the Clara Barton Clinic in Hoisington and USD 428 in Great Bend. And an outreach clinic hosted by Ellinwood school district USD 355 is upcoming.
Other health department news includes:
• As of July, the department saved over $66,000 in vaccines by participating with a volume buying group. Last year’s total was around $70,000.
• On Sept. 16, the BCHD will participate in an area-wide emergency preparedness exercise dealing with an aggressive client and departmental response, as well as the community response to this. This will be happening during business hours, and clients being served during this time may play an active role in the exercise.
• BCHD was awarded the Federal Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Grant again this year. This award amount is $234,215.
The department serves around 625 women and children with these funds.
• BCHD hired Katelyn Sigler as the Public Health Educator. She started in July.
Sigler is the coordinator for the Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Grant. Through the CDRR Grant, plans are being made to develop tobacco free parks in Barton County.
She reported that the Summer Street Stroll farmers market turn out has been on the rise. New to the market will be food trucks on the third Thursday of each month.
Be Well Barton County and the BCHD are working hard to get Great Bend on the Trans America Trail, she noted. This will bring more bikers to Great Bend.
• Thursday night Summer Street Stroll has been extended until the third week in October. “There is no better chance to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, local honey and other local goods than right in the courthouse yard,” Sigler said.