by Sarah Gray | Mar 16, 2023 | Public Health In Action
Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611 email@example.com
There are promising trends for COVID-19, flu, and RSV activity in Mesa County. Since the beginning of 2023, hospitalizations have remained low for COVID-19 and flu. Numbers are also down for people seeking care for RSV.
“We love to see declining numbers of community members being hospitalized,” stated Rachel Burmeister, Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Manager. “Hospitalizations are a good indicator of how severe an illness is in our community. Our flu season seemed to peak in December with close to 80 individuals hospitalized that month.”
MESA COUNTY TRENDS
While respiratory viruses can happen year-round, we typically see an increase in the colder months when people are spending more time indoors. We expect to see these types of viruses decline as we get closer to spring and warmer weather. Flu season typically runs from October to May, with peak activity in Mesa County in January and February. So far this season, 110 people have been hospitalized for the flu in our community. Meanwhile, RSV generally peaks between January and April. However, there was a severe increase in RSV cases in November of 2022 both in Mesa County and across Colorado. It has since returned to a low level. To see the latest trends for respiratory illness in Mesa County, click here.
For both COVID-19 and flu, vaccines are the best source of protection against severe complications. These vaccines are available at the Public Health Clinic. For more information about vaccines and how to schedule an appointment, visit our website.
“There can be an increase in flu activity in the spring, so it’s not too late to get the flu shot to make sure you’re protected. Keep in mind, it takes two weeks to be fully effective,” said Burmeister.
There are other prevention tools to help keep the community healthy. If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from the very young and older populations. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is another great prevention method.
by Sarah Gray | Mar 7, 2023 | Public Health In Action
Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611 firstname.lastname@example.org
March is National Nutrition Month. The goal this month is to develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime. Mesa County Public Health understands how the food choices we make contributes to our overall health. One of our programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), is dedicated to providing access to healthy foods for families in the community.
HELP WITH HEALTHY GROCERIES
WIC is a free program for children up to age five, as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. Our team works with local families to provide free, healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, cereal, milk, cheese, and yogurt. In 2022, we served about 2,800 families in Mesa County each month. The average amount of food families receive is approximately $108 per month in WIC food packages. Last year, $36,000 worth of leafy greens were provided to our WIC families in Mesa County. Our team can also help families with budget-friendly eating tips and strategies on how to stretch their food dollars.
“WIC hopes to give Mesa County residents the resources, knowledge, and tools they need to be the best caregivers they want to be. We know feeding kids is hard, especially with the rising cost of groceries. We want to set families up for success by helping them with one of the basic necessities- putting healthy food on the table,” said Karla Klemm, the WIC Manager at Mesa County Public Health.
WIC also helps support breastfeeding. In 2022, our team supported a total of 3,000 nursing mothers in Mesa County. Research shows that breastfeeding can help babies build a strong immune system and lower their risk of certain diseases. It also lowers the mom’s risk for postpartum depression, as well as certain types of cancer.
HOW TO SIGN UP
Visit our website to see if your family qualifies for WIC and to sign up for the program. You can also call us at 970-248-6900 with any questions.
by Sarah Gray | Jan 23, 2023 | Public Health In Action
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.