MCHD publishes booklet to assist with substance abuse

October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. To help bring attention to this issue, the Mobile County Health Department’s Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) program is making available a booklet titled “These Is Hope.”

“The resource booklet is a collaborative effort by the OD2A team,” said John Richardson, an Alcohol and Drug Counselor at MCHD as well as a Peer Recovery Specialist. “We will place the booklets in the community as an easy-to-use reference book for Individuals seeking help from active addiction, or individuals in early recovery where the transition back into society may seem a daunting task sometimes finding themselves in need of shelter, employment and sometimes food.”

The booklet has sections featuring:
• Treatment resources,
• Help hotline phone numbers,
• Advice on harm reduction,
• Signs to recognize an overdose,
• And understanding the medication Naloxone.

“This booklet is of immense importance,” Richardson said. “The booklet is part of the work plan of the OD2A block grant. It highlights health agencies, as well as recovery organizations, where members in early recovery can find a safe place as the transition back into society can be a slow process.”

Richardson can be seen discussing the OD2A program today at 1 p.m. on the latest edition of Wellness Wednesday at https://youtu.be/TWrVM3UZe_w

For more information on the OD2A program, please call 251-410-OD2A (6322).

COVID-19 vaccine event planned

The Mobile County Health Department’s (MCHD) COVID-19 Response Team is announcing another opportunity to get your vaccine shots. As with all MCHD COVID-19 events, this will follow a first-come, first-served format. No appointments will be taken.

On Friday, October 8, MCHD will provide vaccine at LeFlore High School (700 Donald Street in Mobile). The event will run from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. MCHD will provide both the Pfizer vaccine (for those 12 and older) or the Moderna vaccine (for those 18 and older).

Additional information

The public can now get either the Johnson & Johnson (for those 18 and older), Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at the Newburn Building (248 Cox Street in Mobile facing Saint Stephens Road). Newburn will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

The CDC now recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine. Those coming for their second or third dose should bring the CDC vaccination card that was presented to them after their primary shot. If you no longer have the card, please be prepared to wait for the MCHD staff to retrieve your information from the statewide vaccination system.

Along with offering vaccine, the Newburn staff provides walk-in rapid testing during those same hours. Testing is free to all ages. Results are provided within 15 to 30 minutes while you wait. No appointments are necessary.

Individuals requesting a molecular test (Abbott ID Now) or a PCR test (through LabCorp) for personal preference or for travel must be tested at Family Health location. Appointments for these specific tests may be made by calling 251-690-8889.

For those wishing to make an appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine, MCHD is now offering first-dose and second-dose Moderna vaccinations at several of its Family Health locations conveniently located throughout Mobile County. To secure a time to receive the shot, please call 251-690-8889.

To learn the latest on MCHD’s vaccine events, visit www.MCHDcares.com or call 251-410-MCHD (6243).

Family Health receives special funding from HRSA

October 4, 2021

Family Health receives special funding from HRSA

MOBILE, Ala. – Family Health, the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department, has been awarded funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant is part of the American Rescue Plan’s Health Center Construction and Capital Improvements (ARP-Capital) funding opportunity.

HRSA will provide approximately $1 billion for an estimated 1,376 awards to all eligible health centers that submitted a completed application. The formula used by HRSA to decide the amount of the award started with a $500,000 base amount plus $11 per patient as reported in the 2019 Uniform Data System (UDS) Report.

The purpose of the ARP-Capital one-time funding opportunity for health centers is to support construction, expansion, alteration, renovation, and other capital improvements to modify, enhance, and expand health care infrastructure.

The majority of the award received by Family Health was for the “Construction/Alteration and Renovation” category. The project period runs from September 15, 2021, through September 14, 2024.

Since its inception in 1979, Family Health has provided services to the uninsured, underinsured, insured, and medically underserved populations of Mobile County. In addition to the general population, the center has also targeted special populations (such as migrant and seasonal workers, refuges, at-risk students, public housing residents, maternity patients and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH).

Family Health’s dedicated healthcare providers, support staff and administrative staff are committed to providing numerous services via nine health centers across Mobile and Baldwin counties and a Mobile Medical Unit. Services provided include the following: primary care, behavioral health, HIV early intervention services, nutrition services, 340B pharmacy, social services, X-ray, dental, lab, interpretation, maternity, and family planning.

MCHD to observe Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day

September 30, 2021

MCHD to observe Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department, along with health departments across the country, will take part tomorrow in the 10th annual National Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS) Recognition Day. Celebrated each year on the first Friday of October, this honors the DIS workforce that is the backbone of communicable disease prevention and control activities, including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, tuberculosis, vaccine-preventable diseases, COVID-19, plus other infectious diseases and outbreaks.

DIS are public health warriors and play an imperative role in intervening to halt the transmission of communicable diseases in the communities they serve. MCHD especially thanks its disease investigators who have gone above and beyond their normal duties to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in Mobile County. The COVID-19 investigation team is comprised of nurse case managers, administrators, case investigators, and contact tracers who have all collaborated and truly exemplified the call to action of “all hands on deck.”

MCHD staff members who have worked as disease investigators include Tamika Allen, Yvonne Baynard, Karen Bowling, Akela Burton, LaTasha Chambers, April Davis, Peggy Evans, Melody Faulkner, Barbara Gibbs, Diane Glass, Sandra Henley, Janet Kennedy, Brittany Lewis, Tommienisa Nord, Poonam Patel, Cherrite Peterson, Rashidah Saafir, Danielle Simpson, Lasonja Smith, Melissa Wedel, Keldricka Wiganowske, and Kendra Wilson.

“I humbly thank the MCHD disease investigation rock stars for gathering information on cases, notifying contacts of possible exposure, and providing free testing, treatment, and vaccinations. They have my highest respect and gratitude for the important work they do,” said Dr. Rendi Murphree, who oversees MCHD’s Bureau of Disease Surveillance and Control.

It is important to recognize those whose work often goes unrecognized. Disease investigators perform daily outreach and communication to those who have tested positive in our community. This consists of working outside of the normal weekly schedule on nights and weekends to provide education to members of the community who have been affected by the COVID-19 or other communicable diseases.

DIS work in health departments, community health centers, and other similar locations. These public health professionals have ground-level investigative skills that have become key components of COVID-19 outbreak response, exposure notification, and education. Other key roles include updating and tracking local and state databases, follow up with high-risk groups, and providing guidance of quarantine measures on when it is safe to return to public life. These individuals have expertise in essential skills such as communication, interviewing, counseling, case analysis, quality assurance, and community engagement.

As the health care landscape evolves, DIS are needed even more as patient navigators and network builders to ensure patients are linked to care through expanded relationships with health care providers. DIS staff members are a critical part of the public health infrastructure and in building the link to disease control, prevention, and education.

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

September 28, 2021

Rabies clinics planned in October 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 October in Mobile County:

  • October 2 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon., City of Mobile Animal Shelter, 855 Owens Street in Mobile
  • October 8 (Friday), 10 a.m. to noon, Mobile County Animal Shelter, 7665 Howell’s Ferry Road in Mobile
  • October 9 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, Pet Supplies Plus, 803 Hillcrest Road in Mobile
  • October 16 (Saturday), 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., St. Elmo Feed & Seed Store, 9001 Highway 90 West
  • October 23 (Saturday), 10 a.m. to noon, Glamour Paws Grooming, 10005 Dauphin Island Parkway in Theodore
  • October 30 (Saturday), 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Kuddles-N-Kisses, 11120 Meadow Lark Road in Grand Bay

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 vaccinated 1,112 household pets during rabies clinics from January through August.

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 2020, MCHD’s Rabies Officer vaccinated 1,599 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 www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/assets/RabiesQuarantineFactSheet.pdf.

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