Updates on flu season, the 2018 Long County Health Department budget, and health department staffing topped the agenda items at Long County Board of Health meeting held in early March.
Board members RoseZena Baggs, Dr. Robert Waters, Mike Riddle, Florence Baggs, Kelly Wingate, and Cathy Stapleton were in attendance along with health department staff and several members of the eight-county Coastal Health District. Coastal Health District Health Director, Dr. Lawton Davis, updated the Board on what has been a long, terrible flu season. Although flu activity is finally starting to decrease across the region and state, there have been 25 flu-associated deaths in the Coastal Health District. None of those deaths occurred in Long County.
Coastal Health District Administrator, Brent Jordan, informed the board that there are no proposed cuts to the Long County Health Department budget. Jordan also presented the revised 2018 fiscal year budget. The proposed 2019 budget will be presented to the Board for approval at the next meeting scheduled for June 14.
The Long County Health Department has a new county nurse manager. Lisa Palmer, R.N., recently joined the health department but is not a newcomer to public health. Palmer joined public health in 1991 as a perinatal case manager and worked with all public health programs for 17 years before joining the Liberty County School System.
“I’m thrilled to be able to come back to public health and look forward to serving the residents of Long County,” said Palmer.
The Long County Health Department is now fully staffed and open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The health department offers a variety of services including immunizations for children and adults, breast and cervical cancer screening for low-income or uninsured women, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, health checks for children, and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program which provides nutritious foods and nutrition education for low and moderate-income women and children who are at risk of developing nutrition related problems. More information on health department services can be found at gachd.org/long or by calling the health department at 545-2107.
Long County Environmental Health Manager, Linus Woodard notified the Board that there have been 51 septic system permits issued, 17 well water tests performed, nine well water permits issued, and several food service inspections completed since the last meeting. The revised swimming pool regulations will be presented to the Board at the June meeting.
Additional discussion between public health staff and board members took place regarding dangerous dog hearings. The Long County Board of Commissioners recently voted to have members of the Board of Health oversee the animal hearing board should a dangerous dog incident happen. The Board of Health voted on and approved Mike Riddle and Dr. Lawton Davis to lead the animal hearing board.
All Long County Board of Health meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 14, at the Long County Health Department located at 584 N. Macon Street in Ludowici.