The staff of the Meigs County Health Department has been working to help Meigs Countians be healthier. Submitted photo.

By Andrew Carter, Special to the Meigs Independent Press

POMEROY – Meigs County Health Commissioner Marcus W. Barr said “2018 was a very successful year” for the agency he directs.

“The continued public support and the driven work ethic of the MCHD employees allowed for submission of the State-mandated accreditation documents ahead of schedule,” Barr stated in the recently released annual report for 2018.

“The accreditation process requires around 400 documents and nine plans,” he said. “This process strengthens the MCHD and ultimately Meigs County. Looking forward, the MCHD is very excited to continue to improve efficiency and effectiveness of serving the community.”

Courtney Midkiff, administrator and vital statistics registrar for the MCHD, said while the agency “experienced greater than usual staff turnover in 2018 … in the majority of cases, it was celebratory on behalf of those who opted to leave us for retirement, to pursue higher education or other employment that was better suited for them because of personal reasons.”

Midkiff stated that although the staff changes occurred during the State-mandated accreditation process, the MCHD was able to fill the positions with qualified replacements.”

“We were very fortunate to replace the expertise and experience we lost when staff members ended their MCHD careers with qualified candidates … who contributed more than we could have imagined– not just toward our accreditation efforts, but in our overall efforts to successfully provide you and our other stakeholders, with the 10 Essential Public Health Services.”

Financial Report

According to the 2018 financial report, compiled by Charles E. Harris & Associates, revenue for the health department totaled $1,250,374, down from $1,403,908.29 in 2017. Grants awarded to the agency in 2018 accounted for $657,944 of that total, while property taxes generated $390,552 in revenue.

Expenditures in 2018 totaled $1,167,614, up from the 2017 total of $938,447.93.

Fund cash balances as of Dec. 31, 2018, totaled $533,237.

2018 Vital Statistics

The annual report included the following information:

Vital Statistics

  • 2 registered home births
  • 1 out-of-institution birth
  • 485 certified birth certificates issued
  • 881 certified death certificates issued
  • 264 burial transit permits issued
  • 1 certificate of service issued
  • 0 fetal deaths registered
  • 5 free veterans’ copies issued
  • Genealogy assistance provided to public
  • $32,305 in revenue collected; $18,907.26 remitted to State

Deaths

  • 259 registered deaths
  • 226 natural deaths
  • 24 accidental deaths (16 overdose deaths)
  • 0 homicides
  • 8 suicides
  • 1 undetermined death
  • Top causes of death: 1. Cardiac related, 2. Cancer

The Child Fatality Board reviewed one death involving a child between the ages of birth and 17 years old.

Serving cancer patients

According to the annual report, the MCHD collaborated with the Meigs County Cancer Initiative(MCCI) to administer the Cancer Patient Transportation Assistance Program, which providesvouchers for fuel and food to local cancer patients who traveled to and from appointments.

The program served a total of 185 patients in 2018, distributing 344 fuel vouchers and 121 food cards.

MCHD and MCCI also worked in conjunction with The Ohio State University and the Ohio University-Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Mobile Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Units to provide four mobile mammography clinics for women in Meigs County.

Other highlights from 2018

As part of the ongoing battle against opioid addiction, the health department’s Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) provided training for 123 individual residents and 27 local law enforcement and first responders.

During the multi-state Hepatitis A outbreak, MCHD administered a total of 320 vaccines to local residents.

The health department administered 1,410 vaccines during 52 in-house immunization clinics. A total of 446 flu shots were administered between October and December 2018.

The Tobacco Cessation Program served 69 individuals last year.

Additionally, the MCHD’s Community Health Worker Program provided diabetes education for more than 30 patients from Holzer Health Systems and Hopewell Health Centers. Statistics show that in the first six months of the program, 75 percent of people served experienced lower A1C numbers.

The MCHD’s Children with Medical Handicaps Program, previously known as BCMH, served 76 families in 2018. Services rendered included medications, copays, diagnostic procedures, physician visits, and access to equipment that families may not have been able to afford otherwise.

Twenty families received additional services through the Family and Children First Council “Inter-systems” program, which, according to the annual report, “allows local agencies to collaborate to meet with families monthly to reevaluate treatment and goals.”

More information

To view the complete 2018 Meigs County Health Department annual report, visit www.meigs-health.com.