Page 28 - Scene Magazine 46-02 February 2021
P. 28

  Local Interest
BY BRIGETTE REICHENBAUGH, Deputy Health Officer
   Before the pandemic, many asked, “What is public health? What is the
value of the local health department?”
To answer this question, according to the CDC Foundation, “Public health connects us all. Public health is the science of pro- tecting and improving the health of people and their communities. This work is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing and responding to infectious diseases.” (https://www.cdc- foundation.org/what-public-health) As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health was put in the forefront as public health departments have been working tirelessly from the beginning to keep their communities healthy and safe.
provide coordinated response efforts. People of all ages have been affected in some way by COVID-19 by either con- tracting coronavirus, having to isolate or quarantine, or knowing someone who has become ill. The Calhoun County Public Health Department’s (CCPHD) staff are stretched keeping the public informed and safe while conducting case investigations, contact tracing, and now vaccinating.
assisting with mass vaccination clinics, since vaccinating 70% plus of our popu- lation is a huge undertaking, the CCPHD relies on coordinating efforts with various key partners. Oaklawn Hospital, Bronson Battle Creek, and Grace Health have all been working with the CCPHD to coor- dinate vaccination efforts. These efforts include transfer of vaccine to avoid any mistakes operating two different vaccines and coordinating vaccination of individu- als in Phase 1A and 1B. Together we will continue our efforts in vaccinating our communities especially when vaccines are in limited supply.
It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year, but here we are, nine months into COVID-19 response. Schools have been closed, restaurants and indoor dining have been shut down, businesses were tasked with implementing systems to allow for employees to work remotely, and incident command systems were put in place to
Where are we now and what are
our next steps? Following CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ guidelines, although case investigations and contact tracing continue, the CCPHD is leading Calhoun County vaccination coordinated efforts
in a phased approach. While receiving weekly shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, we are now conducting mass vaccination clinics, scheduled by appointment only. Mass clinics are being scheduled for those who are 65 and older while smaller clinics are being held to vaccinate healthcare providers and others in Phases 1A and 1B.
Although there’s been nationwide criticism with the response efforts, there are large amounts of praise and recognition to the CCPHD staff, community partners, and volunteers that have come together to pro- tect the health of our community, prevent further disease spread, and promote the steps we can all take to prevent COVID-19. As vaccination efforts continue by schedul- ing clinics, working through the over 7,000 on the waitlist, and vaccinating Calhoun County residents, many have shared their satisfaction with our efforts at various mass vaccination clinics:
Public Health: Pandemic Response
Along with community partnerships
 28 SCENE 4602 I EDUCATION ISSUE
“Just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the orga- nization of the whole thing. Staff and volunteers were so friendly and helpful.”
Calhoun County resident
“Thank you for all you do for the community. The clinic yesterday was well organized, and we appre- ciate your continuing effort to get everyone vaccinated.”
Calhoun County resident
“Everything was very well orga- nized and went smoothly. It could not have been done better.”
Calhoun County resident.
As we continue vaccinating Calhoun County, it should be noted that all vacci- nation efforts are contingent on vaccine supply. As more vaccine becomes avail- able, additional clinics countywide will be made available. We also look forward to an increase in providers and pharmacies who may assist with vaccination efforts.
For additional information on COVID-19 vaccination efforts, please visit www.calhouncountymi.gov/covidvaccine and encourage residents to follow us on Facebook at CCPublicHealthDepartment.












































































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