Commissioners Receive County Health Update

Commissioners Buxton-Andrade, Cook and Schnabel

Commissioners Buxton-Andrade, Cook and Schnabel


Ten Prowers County residents have been hospitalized for influenza, according to Tammie Clark, Public Health and Environment Director, during her report to the County Commissioners last Tuesday, January 20.  “We still have some vaccine supplies on hand if people want to get their shots, as the flu season is far from being over,” she explained.  Medical authorities have stated in general, that although this year’s vaccine is not an exact match for the flu virus, people are better off with it than going without. Clark mentioned that some of the nasal vaccine is still available, but it is not effective for persons over the age of 50.

The recreational use of marijuana has been allowed in Colorado for almost a year, and health authorities have developed a video informational campaigned for younger residents.  Clark played the video for the commissioners and asked said she planned to run the clip on the health department’s facebook site, “I think this will help keep people aware of some of the risks of using marijuana and some suggestions for keeping it out of the hands of youngsters in a household,” she explained.   The campaign, called, “Good to Know” was given the okay for use by the commissioners.

Clark provided some user numbers for various health care services in the county, noting that the client count for Long Term Care for December was at 342 with nine pending, the Nurse Family Partnership is basically steady with 52 cases and the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program is down to 462.  Clark stated, “We had a $20,000 budget cut in October and had to adjust for that without a loss of personnel, but we also anticipate another budget cut next October,”  She said the department will take a look at finances to see if both employees who handle that department will be able to remain employed.

Clarification:  Tammie Clark, Prowers County Public Health and Environment Director stated that with regard to future budgeting in the WIC program, “Public Health has always supported the WIC program in the county and will always continue to do so.”  She added that the department will take a look at finances to see if both employees who handle that department will be able to remain employed.  At this point there is no intention of termination of any employee. (Editor)

The state health department is showing a growing concern about waste tire facilities and is developing alternatives to allow local health authorities to take stock of their own situations.  Keith Seimsen, Environmental Health Program Manager & Ag Specialist, explained the new program to the commissioners and said he’d develop an outline on the local needs and finances from his department for their review to see if they wanted his department to pursue the project.  Clark added that there has been an ongoing problem in the county with accumulations of waste tires which contributes to some environment issues for water and health.  Siemsen felt that the inspections would be able to fit into other scheduled visits around the county without contributing to extra expenses.

The commissioners met briefly with Ron Trowbridge, the director of the H3C hotline which recently began taking statewide Child Abuse calls and questions at the new center in the County Annex.  “We’ve become pretty busy,” Trowbridge said, adding that as many as 120 calls were taken in one day last week, although the public relations campaign to disseminate the prime call phone numbers won’t begin until April.  Trowbridge was seeking additional employees to fill out the staff taking and routing the calls.  There was a brief budget concern as payment from the state to cover local costs is using snail mail instead of electronic transfers.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCityCommissionerscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentEnvironmentFeaturedHealthProwers CountyPublic SafetyYouth


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