Health Departments meeting the demands of the community

Health Departments meeting the demands of the community

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - While Health Departments are working to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, they’re also trying to meet the needs of the community unrelated to COVID.

District Nurse Manager, Janene Atchley said it feels as if people have forgotten about the other services the department still has to provide, despite what’s at stake.

“We are still providing as health essential services, tuberculosis communicable disease, essential family planning services to provide birth control and family planning for unwanted pregnancies, so we are providing that especially for the younger population or those in need,” Atchley said.

Atchley said conducting health inspections, WIC services, and treating symptoms related to sexually transmitted diseases are also apart of those essential services.

She said the willingness of the community to help with anything related to COVID-19 has been the key.

“Yes, that has allowed us to continue to run smoothly in our clinics, most of the nurses are at vaccine pods. But we still have nurses operating in the health department to be able to provide those critical public health essential services,” Atchley said.

She said some services are limited depending on the staffing that’s available at the time.

“The things we may do on a limited base would be a non-symptomatic STD testing or someone who is just needing a general immunization or someone who needs a service but it’s not critical the day that they have it. A pregnancy test that’s not essential that they have done that day,” Atchley said.

The department will stick with what they have identified as needed services until the COVID-19 spread slows.

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