Chambers County Health Department chief nurse discusses basic services being offered – Reuters
VALLEY — The Chambers County Health Department’s chief nursing officer was the guest speaker at Monday’s Valley Lions Club meeting. Tracy Taylor has been a nurse since 1986 and has worked at CCSD for 14 years. She talked about the basic services of the health department and what is being done to target local health needs.
Alabama is divided into six health districts. Chambers is in the East Central District with Tallapoosa, Coosa, Lee, Elmore, Autauga, Russell, Bullock, Macon, Montgomery, and Lowndes counties.
“We deal with those who are uninsured,” Taylor said. “We advise people on obesity, infant mortality and encourage the use of telehealth.”
The Chambers County Health Department provides WIC, environmental, home care, and clinical services to the public. Clinical services include STD screening and treatment, family planning, childhood and other vaccines, and breast and cancer screening. Certified copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates can be obtained there.
“We are located in Medical Park across from Chattahoochee Hospice,” Taylor said.
Getting recordings is much faster than before. Previously, applications had to be made by mail and it took up to six weeks to obtain a copy of a birth or death certificate, marriage license or divorce decree. This is now done electronically and copies can be received at the Department of Health in 30 minutes or less.
“There are good programs for women who don’t have insurance,” Taylor said. “We have social workers who do all sorts of things.”
The Alabama Department of Public Health is in year three of a four-year strategic plan. Its mission is to promote, protect and improve the health of Alabama residents.
“The Chambers County Health Department provides quality services that affect every person in Chambers County, not just those who walk through the doors of the Health Department,” Taylor said.
In 2021, CCHD provided 626 home care visits, which involved skilled nursing, physical therapy, medical social work, and personal care services through Medicare-certified home health agencies. A total of 5,562 certified copies of vital records were issued while you wait last year. More than 220 inspections were carried out at local restaurants, schools and other food and accommodation establishments. This was to ensure that environmental health standards are maintained.
The local health department provided 17 visits for tuberculosis (TB) testing, medicines, medical services, epidemiological investigations and laboratory services for people with known or suspected tuberculosis and their contacts.
The Chambers County Health Department provided vaccinations, including vaccines for children and adults. Vaccination certificates required for school entry have been provided.
COVID tests and vaccinations are available at the health department. “If you have symptoms of COVID, we would prefer that you call us at (334) 756-0758 for an appointment,” Taylor said. “You can call us back when you arrive, and we’ll come out to test you. As we have babies and elderly people inside the centre, we prefer to test you outside.
Taylor said an old, old disease is creeping up on her in Chambers County.
“Syphilis is on the rise,” she said. “It’s an old, old STD, and it comes back. Babies appear with it, and it’s not good.
The only way babies can get it is if it is passed to them from their mothers during pregnancy or childbirth. Congenital syphilis can cause serious lifelong health problems for a baby.
There were more than 16,000 cases of syphilis in Alabama in 2021. Chambers County had a record high of 23 cases.
In 2021, the Chambers County Health Department provided a total of 433 nurse visits for confidential testing, treatment, counseling, partner referral, and epidemiological investigation for most sexually transmitted diseases.
The health department offers newborn screening to detect genetic or metabolic conditions. This can reduce morbidity, premature death, intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities through early detection and monitoring.
Confidential and professional family planning services were provided in 688 visits last year. A wide range of services are available, regardless of income. This can help prevent unwanted pregnancies through education and contraceptive services.
The health department attempts to prevent the occurrence and spread of rabies in human and animal populations in Chambers County. A total of 44 reports of possible rabies exposure were investigated last year.
Alabama public health officials are encouraging Alabamians to consider getting the HPV vaccine. It can help prevent six different types of cancer, and it’s available at the health department.
Alabama currently ranks 12th in the nation for rates of cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx and 3rd in the nation for deaths caused by it.
Alabama is 40th in the nation for its HPV vaccination rate. It is estimated that the HPV vaccine can reduce oral HPV infection by 90%.