Meigs Health Today: The Board of Health
By Edna Weber
The governing entity of the Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) is the Board of Health (BOH). The BOH meets the second Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. in the conference room of the MCHD. The Meigs County BOH consists of five members, who are appointed by the District Advisory Council to serve five-year terms. Current BOH members include: Roger Gaul; Eric Rock; Wilma Mansfield, MD; Pam Patterson; Edna Weber. Gaul is the current President and Weber the current Vice President.
The mission of the BOH is to prevent, promote and protect public health within Meigs County and to offer programs, education and activities which ensure the accessibility of health services to Meigs County citizens. The role of the BOH is to adopt policies and to make such orders and regulations as are necessary for the promotion of health and prevention of disease; the abatement or suppression of nuisances; for the administration of the Health District to meet stated mission goals, Ohio Department of Health standards and requirements of the Ohio Public Health Council. Power and authority to perform such quasi-legislative, executive and administrative functions is specified or implied in appropriate sections of the Ohio Revised Code. The BOH also may hear appeals from public health orders issued by Health District staff for extenuating circumstances with a view to either affirm, grant time extensions, provide waivers/approve variances when allowable or refer to the local legal authority (County Prosecutor) for appropriate legal action. All meetings are open to the public and we invite those with issues, questions or concerns to attend by contacting the office prior to the meeting to be placed on the agenda. Agendas as well all past meeting minutes are posted on our website: www.meigs-health.com and we encourage you to periodically review these documents.
The BOH appoints a health commissioner for a term not exceeding five years. The present part-time Health Commissioner is Marc Barr. Since the Meigs County Health Commissioner is not a physician, the BOH provides for adequate medical direction of all personal health and nursing services by contracting with Douglas Hunter, MD. Meanwhile, full-time Administrator Courtney Midkiff oversees the daily operations of the MCHD.
BOH Members are required to attend regular monthly meetings in order to develop long range plans, goals; to validate policy and guidance is being properly implemented and that behavior matches policy. BOH Members also are required to participate in training throughout the year to keep updated with the ever-changing guidance. We are committed to the health and well being of our Meigs County citizens by providing safe places to work and play, making sure all establishments are following guidelines as determined by policy and improving the quality of life for all who reside in the area.
Your Meigs County BOH has worked hard to complete those items required for accreditation while fielding every responsibility associated with the pandemic. Countless hours were given by your MCHD staff to keep you informed, create clinics, and give back to the community while suffering along with you from loss of loved ones, emotional and physical exhaustion as guidance changed daily. And although, this pandemic is far from over, we are confident that your MCHD is standing ready and willing to handle all that comes towards them.
With so much talk about the pandemic, it is easy to lose sight of the daily operations of the MCHD. Not only does it provide vaccines for adults and children, it provides vital statistics requests, cancer patient assistance with transportation assistance, and mobile mammography clinics. Our nursing programs and services include, but are not limited to,tobacco cessation program, Project Dawn (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone), Children with Medical Handicaps. Meanwhile, Creating Healthy Communities is a vital part of helping with food pantries, exercise and playground equipment for various venues, vouchers for fresh produce for diabetics, and public education on a healthy lifestyle. Our WIC program serves and average of 423 income eligible participants supporting pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age five who are at risk for inadequate nutrition and health care. Our Environmental Health Department assures that all food service requirements are met and training is provided for those in restaurants and other businesses. Staff also are responsible for promoting an annual rabies clinic; oversee and participate in the Meigs County Clean Up Day and provide proper guidance on sewage services.
When I became a BOH Member, I must admit I had little knowledge of the daily operations of your MCHD. I appreciate the opportunity given to me to become part of a team whose members are dedicated to your communities and bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to every aspect of the tasks set before them. Please visit www.meigs-health.com in order to become better acquainted with your MCHD.