April 19, 2024

Happy National Public Health Week (NPHW)! Public health is SO much more than just healthcare. It’s ensuring that our neighborhoods and environments are safe and free of hazards. It’s protecting our access to clean water and air, to healthy and safe foods, to the right and ability to access vital health services. It’s also the collaborative relationships developed in our communities that connect us and allow us to flourish. NPHW is observed annually in April and this year’s theme is “Protecting, Connecting, and Thriving: We Are All Public Health” and the daily themes include:

• Monday, April 1: Civic Engagement

• Tuesday, April 2: Healthy Neighborhoods

• Wednesday, April 3: Climate Change

• Thursday, April 4: New Tools and Innovations

• Friday, April 5: Reproductive and Sexual Health

• Saturday, April 6: Emergency Preparedness

• Sunday, April 7: Future of Public Health

This year, we celebrate the unique ways our local public health department protects, connects and thrives in Grundy County. Grundy County Public Health (GCPH) consists of Katie Thornton-Lang, Administrator, and new Program Coordinator Jordyn Beeghly. Carie Sparks serves in the Environmental Health Office as the County Sanitarian and also reports to the local board of health. The GCPH office is located in the Grundy County Annex building just south of the Grundy County Courthouse in Grundy Center.

GCPH participates in a variety of local committees, boards, and coalitions to collaboratively impact health. Other local partnerships include the Grundy County Memorial Hospital, county medical clinics, and pharmacies. Through these connections, GCPH can assist with referrals and resources to help community members. GCPH also provides practical experiences and mentorship for future public health professionals by taking public health interns from the University of Iowa.

GCPH services include a household sharps disposal program in collaboration with other county departments, disease investigations, school and licensed childcare vaccine audits, teaching several health education programs in the schools, and maintaining a large community resource guide. Many of these initiatives would not be possible without grants and with that comes many hours of grant reporting and tracking. Thank you, Katie and Jordyn, for all of your efforts with grant reporting so that the many initiatives in Grundy County can continue!

The Environmental Health Office issues septic and well permits, works with installers across the county for septic system inspections, offers water and soil testing, educates the public on environmental health topics, and provides radon testing kits at the Grundy County Courthouse for $7. We thank Carie for all the ways she keeps Grundy County environmentally healthy!

The Grundy County Board of Health wishes to publicly acknowledge and thank Katie, Jordyn, and Carie for their hard work this past year. We celebrate all the ways you protect, connect, and help Grundy County thrive. Thank you for all that you do and for what you have accomplished this past year!

Respectfully, the Grundy County Board of Health.

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