Citizens For A Better Norwood

Friday, February 04, 2011

Norwood Health Dept. services revisited

For the benefit of readers who have commented they are not familiar with the services Norwood Health Dept. provides and/or believe City Council should eliminate the department, we’re republishing the following blog from 8/1/08 when NHD was under threat of being closed in favor of a contract with Hamilton County Public Health. Former Health Commissioner Donna Laake put together this comparison of services showing that 16 of NHD’s 23 services would either be lost entirely or significantly diminished. One service that would have been lost was the School-Linked Dental Program, which served nearly 500 Norwood students in 2007.

Immunization Clinics
While we hold formal, walk in clinics on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month, the vast majority of our immunizations, including TB testing, are done on an appointment basis. We also provide a large number of adult immunizations that are prepaid by the recipient, ordered by the NHD and kept at our facility until administered per the timeline of the vaccine.

Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) offers one a month immunization clinics in SOME of their 43 political jurisdictions for childhood immunizations only. They do not offer adult immunizations. Fees are similar to ours and folks are expected to pay for immunizations. We also do a large number of immunizations for immigrants who are in the process of becoming citizens. They are referred to us from Bethesda Care. Hamilton County Public Health (HCOH) does not offer this service to my knowledge. We also do month TB testing of residents at the Salvation Army facility. HCPH would NOT provide this service.

Blood Pressure Clinics
We conduct 2 blood pressure clinics each month - 1 here at the NHD and 1 at the Community/Senior Center.

To my knowledge, HCPH does not offer this service.

This is a program administered through the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) that is similar to a 3rd party insurance for children with special health needs. Public health nurses act as case managers to make sure that families can navigate through the medical system to get medical appointments and equipment for their children. Health Depts. are reimbursed for their time doing home visits, telephone calls and advocacy for patients and families.

HCPH does provide this service and no change would take place other than a new nurse doing the home visits.

Home Visits
Our nurses currently assist many folks, especially the elderly, in setting up medications, assisting with health needs following hospitalization, especially when their Medicare coverage does not allow for more home visits by paid home health nurses. The nurses check blood pressures, check medications, conduct simple blood tests for diabetes, assist in coordination of physician appointments and act on referrals from hospitals and local physicians for follow up care.

HCPH does not provide this service.

Flu Clinics
Each fall, we offer flu and pneumonia vaccine for anyone who makes an appointment. We will bill Medicare and Medicaid. Others are asked to pay a modest fee (about 1/2; the cost of Walgreens, etc.) to cover the cost of the vaccine. We also provide flu shots FREE OF CHARGE FOR ANY CITY EMPLOYEE.

HCPH contracts with a private company to administer flu and pneumonia vaccine at some of their senior centers, but you must pay the $25 to $30 fee for the vaccine (similar to getting a flu shot at Krogers).

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