Family Health is set to present at the Ryan White National Conference

August 5, 2022

Family Health is set to present at the Ryan White National Conference

MOBILE, Ala. — On January 31, MCHD/Family Health was notified that HRSA’s Division of Community HIV/AIDS Programs (DCHAP) Rural Health and HIV Subgroup was developing an abstract for the 2022 National Ryan White Conference (NRWC). This abstract would focus on the use of social media as a strategy for community engagement in rural communities.

MCHD/Family Health’s involvement of people living with HIV in the development of the social media strategy caught the attention of their Project Officer. HRSA’s DCHAP invited MCHD/FH to present this approach on a panel at the NRWC. MCHD/Family Health will present on August 25 from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. on the “Utilizing Social Media to Increase Community Engagement in Rural Communities.”

MCHD/Family Health is excited to share the agency’s innovative strategies and best practices for community engagement regarding RW and HIV education as well as prevention methods by using Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). Furthermore, MCHD/Family Health is thrilled to demonstrate how its engagement efforts have improved health outcomes for the community.

Registration for the Ryan White National Conference closes on August 9. This virtual conference is free to attend and the link to register can be found here: https://web.cvent.com/event/e9862985-f577-4c11-8499-04ace4f7bf9c/regProcessStep1

The following is an excerpt from Laura Cheever, Associate Administrator of HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau:

“On behalf of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau, I look forward to your participation at the virtual 2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment on August 23-26, 2022. The National Conference theme this year is ‘The Time Is Now: Harnessing the Power of Innovation, Health Equity, and Community to End the HIV Epidemic.’

“As the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program enters its fourth decade, we know that now is the time to come together as a community to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. HRSA continues to move forward with the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S., the 10-year initiative with the goal to reduce new HIV infections by 90 percent by 2030.

“HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau hosts the National Conference every two years to deliver program and policy updates, share innovative models of care, and provide training and technical assistance to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients; federal, national, state, and local stakeholders; health care and service delivery providers; and people with HIV. This biennial event provides a forum to share best practices and innovative strategies that will help participants to continue to facilitate a coordinated national response to reduce new HIV infections and HIV-related health disparities.”

Monkeypox vaccine now available in Mobile County

August 5, 2022

Monkeypox vaccine now available in Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) has received its initial allocation of vaccine for the Monkeypox virus. To help prevent illness from the virus, MCHD will offer vaccine and monitor for early signs of illness in eligible persons.

Family Health is the primary care division of MCHD. Clients who take part in Family Health’s Ryan White Program should make an appointment to receive the Jynneos vaccine by calling 251-690-8889.

Other individuals interested in receiving the vaccine may register through MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control at this link — https://redcap.link/MPXmchd. If the client meets the Alabama Department of Public Health’s expanded criteria for the vaccine, MCHD staff will contact the client by phone or email to provide information on the availability of the vaccine and instructions on getting vaccinated.

Clients may also sign up for the vaccine through MCHD’s smartphone app under “More” and then “Sign Up for Monkeypox Vaccination.” The app is available for download for free in the App Store and Google Play. Search “My MCHD Health Check” or visit the following link to download the app — https://apps.myocv.com/share/a65536603.

Because of the limited supply of vaccine at this time, post-exposure prophylaxis will only be made available to those who are known to have been exposed within the previous 14 days to a person with Monkeypox, or to a person attending an event at a venue where Monkeypox virus was known to have been transmitted.

ADPH reports cases of Monkeypox to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the case count is available on the CDC webpage. As part of the investigative process, MCHD interviews the person with Monkeypox, monitors contacts, and provides information regarding vaccine or treatment, as indicated.

For more information about Monkeypox, call MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control at 251-690-8175.

Health Equity Office supports Infection Prevention at schools

August 4, 2022

Health Equity Office supports Infection Prevention at schools

MOBILE, Ala. — The Health Equity Office (HEO) at the Mobile County Health Department is conducting a Back to School/Infection Prevention campaign. The goal is to provide support to schools located in the four Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) Zones of Mobile County.

The HEO will be providing these schools with back-to-school supplies, along with COVID-19 and infection prevention resources. The team kicked off the campaign in the Semmes and Theodore communities on Wednesday. They will continue visiting elementary and high schools each week throughout the month of August.

The following supplies will be delivered by outreach educators Sequayah Chaney and Skandan Ananthasekar; along with the COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing flyer.

Each elementary and middle school will receive the following:
• 12 Johnson & Johnson first aid kits
• 1 box of disposable mask 50 mask are in each box
• 36 bracelets
• 12 Kids Flossers
• 1 box of emoji erasers
• Purell wipes
• 12 pencil pouches
• 16 pocket Tissues

High schools will receive the following:
• 12 Johnson & Johnson first aid kits
• 36 bracelets
• 12 Kids Flossers
• Purell wipes
• 16 pocket tissues.

In 2021, the Mobile County Health Department established the HEO to address health disparities in Mobile County. The HEO team is responsible for evaluating internal and external programs and policies, identifying weaknesses, and laying a foundation for serving vulnerable communities through a health equity lens.

Funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under 1 NH75OT000104-01-00.

Prichard reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflows

August 4, 2022

Prichard reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflows

MOBILE, Ala. — Prichard Water Works & Sewer has reported on Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO) that took place this week.

On August 1 and August 2, a SSO occurred at the intersection of Chin Street and Butts Street. The total volume lost was approximately 126,000 gallons. According to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), heavy rainfall combined with inflow and localized flooding caused the overflow. The ultimate destination was Three Mile Creek.

On August 1 and August 2, a SSO occurred at the intersection of North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Wood Street. The total volume lost was approximately 24,750 gallons. According to ADEM, heavy rainfall combined with inflow and localized flooding caused the overflow. The ultimate destination was Chickasaw Creek.

On August 2 and August 3, a SSO occurred at the intersection of Chin Street and Butts Street. The total volume lost was approximately 198,000 gallons. According to ADEM, a hydraulic overload of the wastewater treatment plant and a low-lying outfall line caused the overflow. The ultimate destination was Three Mile Creek.

Dr. Kevin P. Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of these overflows. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Chickasaw Creek and Three Mile Creek for recreational purposes because of these overflows. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows caused by heavy rainfall

August 3, 2022

Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflows caused by heavy rainfall

MOBILE, Ala. — The Utilities Board of the City of Bayou La Batre has reported on several Sanitary Sewer Overflows that occurred on August 3. The cause was a master pump failure during a heavy rainfall event.

The first occurred at a manhole on Shell Beach Road near Master Boat Builders drydock. The SSO was less than 1,000 gallons. The overflow reached Bayou La Batre.

The second occurred at 14339 Shell Belt Road at the intersection with Cain Street. The SSO was more than 1,000 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons. The overflow reached Bayou La Batre.

The third occurred at 14395 Shell Belt Road at Kern Martin Services. The SSO was more than 1,000 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons. The overflow reached Bayou La Batre.

The fourth occurred at 14358 Shell Belt Road near Waterfront Seafood. The SSO was more than 1,000 gallons and less than 10,000 gallons. The overflow reached Bayou La Batre.

Dr. Kevin P. Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of these overflows. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Bayou La Batre for recreational purposes because of these overflows. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Mobile City Council recognizes National Health Center Week

August 2, 2022

Mobile City Council recognizes National Health Center Week

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile City Council presented a proclamation today during its regular weekly meeting in observance of National Health Center Week (NHCW). The celebration is scheduled for August 7-13.

Ben Reynolds, who represents District 4, read the proclamation to those in attendance at Mobile Government Plaza. Kelly Warren, Executive Director for Family Health, accepted the honor.

Family Health is the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department. It is one of several Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Mobile County. Others include Franklin Primary Health Center, Mostellar Medical Center, and Accordia Health.

FQHC’s provide preventive and primary care services to almost 30 million people — including 400,000 veterans — in more than 14,500 communities across America. Health Centers provide care to people who disproportionately suffer from chronic disease and lack access to affordable, quality care.

The theme for this year’s NHCW is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities.” MCHD and Family Health have planned special events during NHCW to coordinate with the nation-wide “focus days” that showcase the innovative ways MCHD/FH provides high-quality health care and improving health outcomes.

You learn more about the upcoming focus days by clicking of this link — https://mchd.org/national-health-center-week-to-be-celebrated-august-7-13/

Rabies clinics planned in August for dogs, cats, and ferrets

August 2, 2022

Rabies clinics planned in August for dogs, cats, and ferrets

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department provides low-cost rabies shots for dogs, cats, and ferrets that are good for one year during weekend clinics. Here is a list of the rabies clinics planned during August in Mobile County:

• August 6 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, City of Mobile Animal Shelter, 855 Owens Street in Mobile
• August 13 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, Pet Supplies Plus, 803 Hillcrest Road in Mobile
• August 19 (Friday), 10 a.m. to noon, Mobile County Animal Shelter, 7665 Howell’s Ferry Road in Mobile
• August 20 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, Pampered Pets, 3018 Airport Boulevard in Mobile

In order to adhere to social distancing recommendations, these events will be drive-through clinics. The cost of the rabies vaccine per pet is $12. All rabies shots are payable in cash.

Each month, MCHD’s Rabies Officer provides residents with low-cost vaccines for their pet dogs, cats, and ferrets at a variety of locations. The state of Alabama tasks local health departments with providing affordable rabies vaccinations to pet owners. MCHD’s Rabies Officer has provided 914 vaccinations (755 dogs and 159 cats) during 2022.

Rabies is a virus that attacks the central nervous system. It is transmitted from infected mammals to humans and is fatal once symptoms appear. Symptoms of rabies include unusual behavior, irritability, headache, fever, inability to eat or drink, balance problems, circling, seizures, coma, and, finally, death. All warm-blooded mammals, including humans, are susceptible to rabies.

In 2021, MCHD’s Rabies Officer vaccinated 1,620 household pets. To learn more about our program, visit https://mchd.org/disease-control/#rabies.

A Rabies Quarantine Fact Sheet is available through the Alabama Department of Public Health at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/assets/rabiesquarantinefactsheet.pdf.

MCHD observes World Breastfeeding Week

August 1, 2022

MCHD observes World Breastfeeding Week

MOBILE, Ala. — World Breastfeeding Week 2022 (#WBW2022) is being observed August 1-7. This year’s theme focuses on protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding across different levels of society.

Breastmilk is the perfect nutrition for infants and breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and child. It also provides food security to infants from the very beginning of life, contributing to food security for the whole family.

The Mobile County Health Department will celebrate breastfeeding moms on August 5 at Langan Municipal Park from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is open to all pregnant and breastfeeding moms and their families. We look forward to celebrating you! Our Women, Infants & Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition team and our WIC Peer Counseling Program will be present. For information, contact lactation consultant Meridith Gardner at 251-690-8986.

Support is crucial in a mother’s success in breastfeeding. Women need support from their health care providers, workplace, and community to optimally breastfeed. This is called the Warm Chain of Support for Breastfeeding. There is an urgent need for education to improve and increase the capacity of all the who work along the Warm Chain. The need is especially urgent in the midst of a nation-wide formula shortage.

The Mobile County Health Department’s Office of Nutrition Services manages the local WIC program. A monthly average of 11,272 participants received WIC food instruments during the Fiscal Year 2021.

To qualify for WIC, a person must meet the income guidelines, be a resident of Alabama, and have been seen by a nutritionist at the WIC clinic. For more information, visit https://mchd.org/wic or call 251-690-8829.

National Health Center Week to be celebrated August 7-13

August 1, 2022

National Health Center Week to be celebrated August 7-13

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) and Family Health (FH), its primary care division, are observing National Health Center Week (NHCW) with special activities both in person and virtually. The weeklong campaign is set for August 7 to 13. The purpose of this celebration is to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers over the past five decades.

Health centers provide preventive and primary care services to almost 30 million people — including 400,000 veterans — in more than 14,500 communities across America. Health Centers provide care to people who disproportionately suffer from chronic disease and lack access to affordable, quality care.

While COVID-19 continues to exacerbate social and medical inequities across the country, Community Health Centers like Family Health have stretched themselves to reconfigure services for those in need.

During NHCW, we will come together to celebrate the roles Community Health Centers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health Centers like Family Health have been responsible for administering more than 13 million COVID-19 vaccinations and testing more than 12 million for COVID-19 infections.

The theme for this year’s NHCW is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities.” MCHD/FH has planned special events during NHCW to coordinate with the nation-wide “focus days” that showcase the innovative ways MCHD/FH provides high-quality health care and improving health outcomes.

• On Sunday, August 7, Public Health in Housing Day – MCHD/FH will initiate a social media campaign highlighting accessibility. Additionally, the new Mobile Medical Unit will visit Renaissance and Orange Grove Housing Complex (350 Beauregard Street in Mobile) to offer free blood pressure screenings and distribute educational materials.
• On Monday, August 8, Healthcare for the Homeless Day – MCHD/FH will initiate a social media campaign highlighting COVID-19 testing locations throughout the community. The MCHD/FH Mobile Medical Unit will be out in the community distributing COVID-19 testing supplies.
• On Tuesday, August 9, Agricultural Worker Health Day – MCHD/FH will highlight the Semmes Health Center and its importance within the community servicing agricultural and migrant workers.
• On Wednesday, August 10, Patient Appreciation Day – MCHD/FH will post, via Facebook, patient education information, as well as distribute a token of appreciation in observance of this year’s theme to each patient on this day at each Family Health location.
• On Thursday, August 11, Stakeholder Appreciation Day – MCHD/FH staff will be sending “thank you” notes and a special memento of appreciation to its Governing Council members, who oversee FH operations.
• On Friday, August 12, Health Center Staff Appreciation Day – All MCHD/FH employees will receive a token of appreciation in honor of their hard work and dedication.
• On Saturday, August 13, Children’s Health Day – MCHD/FH will host a back-to-school bash at its Keeler Memorial Building (251 North Bayou Street in Mobile). We hope to raise awareness of the importance of children receiving the CDC recommended childhood vaccinations.

Community Health Centers, such as Family Health, continue to prove an effective means of overcoming barriers to healthcare access, including geography, income, and insurance status – improving healthcare outcomes and reducing healthcare system costs.

Health Officer provides message about childhood vaccinations

July 29, 2022

Health Officer provides message about childhood vaccinations

MOBILE, Ala. — Dr. Kevin P. Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, reminds parents and guardians that childhood vaccinations are required. Here is his message to the community:

This is my granddaughter. Her name is Ella, and she is 17 months old. Her parents were vaccinated based on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ and American College of Pediatrics’ recommendations for vaccinations. Childhood vaccinations are the right thing to do as parents. Ella recently completed her routine vaccinations for 15 months, and she received approximately 20 immunizations since birth. She also just received her first COVID-19 shot.

We set our children’s future expectations to protect themselves from many diseases that are vaccine preventable. My parents had me vaccinated, and I had my children vaccinated. My children are having their children vaccinated. Childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Immunization is crucial. Since 2010, there have been between 10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough and as many as 20 deaths of babies each year in the United States. Most whooping cough deaths are among babies who are too young to be protected by their mother’s vaccination.
School-age children need vaccines. For example, children who are 4 to 6 years old are due for boosters of four vaccines: Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis, also called whooping cough), chickenpox, MMR (measles-mumps-rubella), and polio. Guidelines for specific vaccines for preteens and teens follow.

* Tdap or tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster: The Tdap vaccine should be given to children aged 11 to 12 years. It can be given at 13-18 years if not received at an earlier age. Tdap can be given regardless of the time since receiving a previous Td-containing vaccine. The Td booster is used in persons who should not get the pertussis vaccine.

* Meningococcal: The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for all preteens and teens at 11 to 12 years old, with a booster dose at 16 years old. Teens may also be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (2 or 3 doses depending on the brand), preferably at 16 through 18 years old. Any older teen who has never been vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible

* Human papillomavirus (HPV): The HPV vaccine is recommended for children aged 11-12 years so that they are protected before exposure to the virus. The HPV vaccine is given as a 2-dose series before age 15. Both girls and boys should receive 2 doses of the vaccine to prevent HPV-related diseases. Teens 13 years and older who either did not get any or did not receive all the HPV vaccines when they were younger should complete the vaccine series. Adolescents older than 15 at the start of the vaccination series and young adults need 3 HPV shots for full protection.

Communities with groups of unvaccinated people are vulnerable to preventable diseases. For example, at least 95 percent of people in a community need to be immunized for measles to achieve “herd” immunity. Herd immunity protects the people who received the vaccine as well as children too young to be vaccinated, persons with medical conditions preventing vaccination, and less than 3 percent of people who do not respond to the vaccine.

Although it is not required for school entry, the COVID-19 vaccine is now available at county health departments for ages 6 months and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends COVID-19 vaccine for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older. COVID-19 vaccines are very effective against the original virus and many of its variants. In addition, everyone aged 6 months and older should be vaccinated every year with the influenza vaccine as soon as it becomes available in the community.

Check with your child’s health care provider or local health department to find out what specific vaccines they need this year. Parents can find out more about the immunizations children need at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/immunization/

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