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During the Thanksgiving season, there is a lot to be thankful for. Good health, friends, family -- the list goes on and on.

As a staff member for the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, I can’t help but be thankful for what my colleagues do to keep our county residents healthy and safe.

Our Disease Prevention and Investigation team works to make sure everyone’s vaccination needs are met. This flu season, the team traveled to many public and school based flu clinics to provide more than 2700 flu vaccines to residents.

The Family and Community Health Service Section is comprised of public health nurses, home care aides and administrative staff who provide care to more than 200 clients monthly. Our public health nurses work with physicians to provide wound care, drawing blood for lab tests and teaching family members about medications. Our home care aides offer assistance with bathing, grocery shopping and laundry.

More than 180 Cerro Gordo County women who were under-insured or had no health insurance received mammograms and breast health screenings through grant dollars from the Chronic Disease Prevention and Self-Management Service Section.

To date, the Environmental Health team has conducted more than 700 food-related inspections throughout Cerro Gordo County. In addition, our staff has provided food safety training, facility complaint followups and food-borne illness investigations year round.

Members of the Health Promotion team trained 77 child-care providers on how to improve physical and nutrition practices impacting more than 1,100 children under the age of 6 in North Iowa.

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The Public Health Preparedness Service Section dedicates itself to ensuring we can provide medications or vaccinations to the entire population of Cerro Gordo County within 48 hours in an emergency situation.

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We also have service sections working behind the scenes to maintain budgets and find new grant opportunities.

This is a very small portion of services the Health Department provides for the county.

The Health Department would not be successful without the help from many partners and stakeholders. Our Board of Supervisors and Board of Health help to guide the mission and vision of the Health Department through their community insight and focus. We would also like to thank all of our local, state and federal partners in both business and private sectors. Many of you dedicate time, money and energy to help make Cerro Gordo County the healthiest county in Iowa and it is truly appreciated.

On Monday, Nov. 25, Public Health Thank You Day, make sure to recognize your local public health department. On behalf of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health, we thank all counties throughout Iowa for your dedication to improve the health and well-being for your county residents. We also thank the public for your patronage throughout the years. We have thoroughly enjoying helping you remain safe and healthy.

The next time you are getting a flu shot or receiving home care services, make sure to thank your local public health.

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