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Mesa County Public Health Highlights Accomplishments in 2022

Mesa County Public Health Highlights Accomplishments in 2022

Mesa County Public Health shared our program’s achievements throughout 2022. It shows how our teams are all connected to a bigger picture; we’re not just working to make the community healthier and safer today- we’re improving systems that lead to sustained change over time. These accomplishments at Mesa County Public Health throughout the year ultimately show how ‘Public Health Powers Your Life.’

 

Several of our programs work to improve economic stability through child and family support, offering affordable health care, and helping residents maintain a steady income. 

 

  • Our Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program advocates for first-time moms. In 2022, our team made more than three-thousand home visits, serving more than 250 families. NFP nurses traveled more than eighteen-thousand miles throughout the year to support these families. “We want to provide moms with the confidence and tools they need to ensure a healthy start for their babies. We envision a life of stability and opportunity for success for both mom and child,” said Amanda Jensen, a Nurse-Family Partnership Manager.

 

 

  • Grand Valley Connects offers a centralized system to help community members access services and resources to improve their economic position and their medical and behavioral health. Last year, 300 community members requested referrals and services through Grand Valley Connects. Our team connected 185 residents with 98 community partners for resources.

 

Aside from economic stability, two of our programs focus on increasing high-quality child care and ensuring educational opportunities for our youngest generation. 

 

  • Our Early Childhood Services team supports child care providers in the Grand Valley. In 2022, they performed 232 licensing inspections and 67 health inspections. “This allows parents to go to work, support their families, and provides children with a safe and healthy place to learn,” said Heather Nara, the Early Childhood Services Manager. The program also reimbursed $161,000 to child care centers for healthy meals served in their facilities. Meanwhile, the Mesa County Partnership for Children & Families issued $518,000 in grant dollars to providers. The team also helped create 127 new child care slots, and through their coaching, reached 1,400 children.

 

In 2022, our teams worked to promote a safe and healthy environment.

 

  • The Disease Surveillance & Emergency Response team monitors and works to control the spread of infectious diseases in the community. They also keep the Grand Valley safe during public health crises. In 2022, the team investigated 33 outbreaks that did not involve COVID-19. They also restocked the county’s medical cache with 40 pallets of personal protective equipment.

 

  • Through the Environmental Health program, we work to ensure the health and safety of food, water, and air in Mesa County. In 2022, MCPH performed 537 total inspections at local businesses including restaurants, body art parlors, pools, and schools. The team also processed 3,500 water samples. “We work with businesses that you visit every day to make sure they are operating safely and you and your family can swim, grocery shop, eat, get a tattoo, or go to school without getting sick or injured,” said Sally Born, the Environmental Health Manager at Mesa County Public Health.  

 

  • The trails crew at Mesa County Public Health built 10 miles of new trail at 18 Road in 2022. They also maintained 50 miles of trails in Mesa County, and were able to secure $390,000 in grant dollars. “There’s an immense amount of value that trails contribute to the overall health and well-being of our community. Quality outdoor recreation can help improve a person’s physical and social health,” said Ross Mittelman, the Trails Coordinator.

 

Part of our work at Mesa County Public Health includes providing preventive care for the community.

 

  • In 2022, the Public Health Clinic provided nearly $1 million in services including immunizations, reproductive health care for men and women, and confidential health services. The staff administered fifteen thousand COVID-19 vaccines and 765 vaccinations for kids up to age 12, including school entry vaccines. “The impact of one person receiving services in our clinic stretches far beyond the individual and helps create a healthier community,” said Allison Sanchez, the Public Health Clinic Manager.

 

Stay up to date on all of our programs at Mesa County Public Health by following our Facebook, Twitter, NextDoor, and Instagram pages.

Mesa County Families Can Soon Register for Universal Preschool

Mesa County Families Can Soon Register for Universal Preschool

HOW TO REGISTER

Families can sign up for Universal Preschool starting on January 17th by visiting  upk.colorado.gov. During the registration process, families will answer 12-15 questions and then select their preferred providers.  If they don’t know who is participating or don’t have a current child care provider, they can browse the application to find one. Families are encouraged to ask their current child care provider if they are participating in the Universal Preschool program.

 

ELIGIBILITY

All children in Colorado can apply the year before kindergarten, and are eligible for 15 hours of  preschool. The voluntary program provides a tuition credit for children the year before kindergarten for nine months beginning in August of 2023. There are other programs available to cover costs if additional care is needed on top of the 15 hours. There are certain qualifying factors that will allow up to 30 hours for 4-year-olds and up to 10 hours for some children who are 3 years of age. This is ultimately a cost savings for participating families. 

 

SUPPORT 

Mesa County Partnership for Children and Families (PCF) is coordinating Universal Preschool in Mesa County. The PCF team is available to answer any questions and guide families through the registration process. You can call or email Mesa County PCF at 970-254-4106 or mcpcf@mesacounty.us with any questions or concerns. 

 

BENEFIT

Universal Preschool provides the funding so more children can benefit from preschool. There will be a focus on quality to ensure these young students have the foundation they need to enter kindergarten. Ultimately, this preparation can set these young students up for success in the school setting and later in life. The program will also save 15 hours of tuition costs or child care costs for 1,600 families in Mesa County, allowing them to work and apply the cost savings to other areas of the economy or toward the cost of living. This program is injecting millions of dollars directly into the community into the hands of local small businesses owners, such as family child care homes and centers.

Mesa County Public Health Providing Regular Update on Respiratory Illness Trends

Mesa County Public Health Providing Regular Update on Respiratory Illness Trends

New online resources are available for residents to understand local trends in respiratory illness rates. Mesa County Public Health will share trends with the public regarding COVID-19, influenza (flu), and RSV. In these updates we’ll share the latest numbers, as well as best practices for prevention and staying healthy.

“We wanted to create something helpful for our community. The data we’re sharing shows a more complete picture of the respiratory illness burden. We include COVID-19, the flu, and RSV – seasonal respiratory illnesses with some of the highest consequences. Our new resources show what people may be exposed to in their daily lives,” explained Rachel Burmeister, the Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Manager at Mesa County Public Health.

The What’s Going Around webpage features:

  • COVID-19 data, including hospitalizations and deaths, in the last 14 days.
  • Flu Hospital Admissions in the last 14 days.
  • How many people accessed care for RSV-like symptoms through St. Mary’s emergency department, urgent care, or admission to the hospital.

The Disease Surveillance team monitors this data to help determine how prevalent these illnesses are in the community.

Residents can also watch Wheeze Got the Numbers, a video released every other week on social media detailing the latest trends and numbers. To see the first video that has been released, click here.

Community COVID-19 Testing Site Closing Amid Growing Demand for At-Home Tests

Community COVID-19 Testing Site Closing Amid Growing Demand for At-Home Tests

The COVID-19 testing site at Colorado Mesa University will close on Saturday, January 14. It is one of 20 COVID-19 community testing sites across the state that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will close later this month. The change comes as the demand at testing sites has significantly dropped and many people are choosing to use the more convenient at-home rapid test kits. 

Mesa County Public Health encourages anyone with symptoms to test for COVID-19 because symptoms can vary in intensity. Newer variants can be more contagious than other upper respiratory illnesses, so it’s good for people to know if they have COVID-19.

PCR tests are still available through primary care providers, pharmacies, and some urgent care facilities. While PCR tests are the most accurate tests that we have for COVID-19,  they do take more time to get the results because they are processed in a lab. Meanwhile, at-home test kits provide fast, reliable results and are widely accessible.

  • At-Home rapid test kits are available for free at the Mesa County Health and Human Services Building at 510 29 1/2 Road. 
  • 4 At-Home rapid test kits can be ordered and mailed through USPS.  
  • PCR testing is still available through primary care providers, pharmacies, and some urgent care facilities. Click here to find a facility that offers COVID-19 testing.

Navigating changes to COVID resources can be challenging. Mesa County Public Health Director, Jeff Kuhr encouraged, “We have an Info Line team ready to guide you through COVID-19 resources in our community. They are the best at connecting people with the information they need.” To reach the Info Line, call 970-248-6900.

Update in Vaccination Operations at Mesa County Public Health

Update in Vaccination Operations at Mesa County Public Health

UPDATE

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Mesa County Public Health will transition to the main Public Health Clinic starting on January 4th. All COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will be administered by appointment only. Mesa County Public Health is excited to continue to offer this service to the community for free. To date, Mesa County Public Health has administered more than 85,000 COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. The vaccines and boosters continue to be the best tools available to offer protection from the serious impacts of COVID-19. 

 

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY

For those getting started with COVID-19 Vaccines, the primary series is needed initially. Moderna and Pfizer are available for everyone six months old and older. Novavax is available for those 12 years and older. The COVID-19 Bivalent Booster is available for anyone six months old and older who have completed their primary series at least two months prior.

 

SCHEDULING

To schedule an appointment for someone 12 years and older, call 970-248-6900 or visit our website. For children under 12, call 970-248-6900 to schedule.

First Flu Hospitalizations of Season Reported in Mesa County

First Flu Hospitalizations of Season Reported in Mesa County

LOCAL & STATE SITUATION

Four people were hospitalized for influenza in Mesa County in November. Three of these cases were in pediatric patients. Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports 517 flu-related hospitalizations since the beginning of October. The hospitalizations are a reminder of all circulating respiratory viruses, including flu, COVID-19, and RSV, that are impacting the healthcare system in Mesa County and across Colorado right now.

 

PREVENTION

The best source of protection from severe complications is the flu vaccine. Keep in mind, every year the flu changes, so an updated version of the vaccine is needed to ensure the body develops immunity to the most recent strain of the virus. It’s not too late to receive a flu shot. The flu vaccine is still available at Mesa County Public Health for anyone in the community ages six months and older. Call 970-248-6906 to schedule an appointment. It takes about two weeks for the flu vaccine to be fully effective. Other prevention methods include staying home if sick, washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.

 

BACKGROUND

Influenza, or flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that can cause fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, body aches, and headache. Historically, peak activity for the flu in the Grand Valley starts in mid-February, but it is possible to see cases outside of that timeframe. Mesa County experienced one of its mildest flu seasons during the 2021-2022 season, with 18 hospitalizations.