By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Health Department staff recognized
Award honors them for work with new mothers
employee award health department
Barton County commissioners Jon Prescott, Barb Esfeld, Shawn Hutchinson, Kirby Krier and Jennifer Schartz are pictured with Health Department employees Christina Delgadillo, Sarahi Delgado, Bev Frizell, Debra Higgins, Christy Huslig and Elgica Ordonez Wednesday morning after the staff members received an Employee Recognition Award. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

Recognizing their efforts to help expectant and new mothers coping with mood swings, the Barton County Commission Wednesday morning honored a team of Health Department staff members with the Employee Recognition Award for the third quarter of 2021.

The Employee Relations Committee selected Health Department employees Christina Delgadillo, Sarahi Delgado, Bev Frizell, Debra Higgins, Christy Huslig and Elgica Ordonez. The work with the department’s Maternal and Child Health Program known as Kansas Moms in Mind, said ERC President Bailey Rankin. 

“The group represents one of five agencies across Kansas to have participated in the Communities Supporting Perinatal Behavioral Health Community Collaborative,” she said. Work includes screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders during pregnancy and the postpartum period and making referrals for treatment.

These are among the services offered by the Health Department “that are so very appreciated by all the surrounding communities,” Rankin said.

“I know how hard they work,” Health Director Karen Winkelman said. “They are passionate about what they do. I am so very proud of them.”

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment states, “It is critical, now more than ever, to address the mental health needs of pregnant and postpartum women. The prevalence of women experiencing a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder during pregnancy was increasing in Kansas prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have seen the situation worsen during the past year.”

This common medical complication, if left untreated, can have devastating effects for the mother, infant, and family, the KDHE notes. “Maternal and child health programs and providers supporting women and families play a significant role in improving perinatal and infant health outcomes.”

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common obstetric problems that occur during the perinatal period, impacting one in five women, the KDHE notes. “It is essential to address the mental health needs of mothers to improve population health.”