(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles updating Barton County government projects for 2011.)
Helping Barton County stay healthy is a challenge for county officials every year, and the Barton County Health Department stayed busy in 2011, according to the annual report recently prepared by County Health Director Lily Akings.
She reported on the year for the Barton County Commission recently.
Numbers for 2011 included: immunizations, 3,750; family planning, 888; TB, 554; maternal and infant, 468; child care licensing, 105; communicable disease, 105; sexually transmitted disease, 257; healthy start, 323; HIV, 40; KBH, 54.
WIC for Barton County continues to be a busy part of public health, according to information from Akings.
Women, Infants and Children is a federal program that is under the USDA, according to information from that agency. “WIC provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breast feeding, and non-breast feeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.
“WIC is a federal grant program for which Congress authorizes a specific amount of funding each year for program operations. The Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the program at the federal level, provides these funds to WIC state agencies (state health departments or comparable agencies) to pay for WIC foods, nutrition education, breast feeding promotion and support, and administrative costs.”
Akings reported that in Barton County the number of clients receiving WIC support in 2011 was 1,506. And for the year, the total dollars received by local grocery stores through the WIC program was $620,292.89.
Barton County’s grant objectives for 2011 included:
• Increase breast feeding to continue to six months
• Decline in unintended pregnancies among high-risk population
• Increase injury prevention education among toddlers up to adolescence
• Assure medical homes for mothers and children
• Prevent communicable disease
• Keep immunization rates high for clients
• Assure safe environments for children in day care
• Work on built environments
• Work on nutrition and exercise
• Medical evaluations and fitness testing completed for staff
• Developed a safety manual for staff
• Updated computers as needed
• Replaced the furnace and AC
• Replaced the generator
This year’s goals include working on a variety of health programs, networking on the community health assessment, reviewing the local rabies resolution, and adapting to the state’s reorganization of health programs.