Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 29

Infants and Children known as WIC is a key
resource. But, the county's primary health
department in Hinesville could not accommodate the volume of people on base who
might take advantage of the service, said
Pat Mobley, the health district's nutrition
services director.
As a result, the county maintains an onbase WIC clinic, but by 2011 it was showing
the wear of 25 years of service. A new WIC
clinic was constructed. The 3,024-square-foot
building includes office space, a nutrition education room, breastfeeding room, laboratory
and two waiting rooms.
"If we didn't have Fort Stewart WIC, everyone would have to go the Liberty County
Health Department, which would mean longer
wait times for everyone. It would overpower
the facility there," Mobley said.
WIC is considered not only cost effective,
but also efficient in promoting the health of
expectant mothers, new mothers and children
5 years old or younger. The program provides
food, nutrition education, social services,
health referrals and more.
Now, nearly 1,900 women and children
are served by the program each month. The
clinic's staff includes four people who manage
the clerical duties needed to bring people into
the program. A nutritionist and two nurses
complete the staff.
Family size and income determines who
qualifies for the program. "It's really geared
toward lower-income, working families,"
Mobley said. "Its mission is to help people
when they need good nutrition the most.
So, that's a pregnant woman developing
the infant. They need good nutrition to grow
and prosper."
For new participants, the first step is an
assessment. For a child, that might include a
comparison to the average weight of healthy
children of similar age. Then, a healthcare
professional might evaluate the child's diet
and check for chronic diseases.
"We look for red flags, anything that would
be a concern," Mobley said. "And then we talk
to either the mom, to see if there's a nutritional habit they need to change, or if there's
a healthy habit they need to adopt."
The goal is a meaningful conversation with
the parent, as opposed to a lecture about
what they should do. "We try to meet them
where they are," Mobley said. "Once they're
certified into the program, they get vouchers
for healthy foods. It's a supplement and not

all the foods they'd need for a whole month.
But, it shows them what healthy foods are. We
provide produce, whole grains, eggs, peanut
butter, cheese and milk."
The partnership between the base and
health department's WIC program has worked
well. "Fort Stewart has families who live on
the base, and they can come for their WIC
services and then go directly to the commissary and cash their vouchers," Mobley said.
"We're trying to prevent low birth weights and
premature infants, and historically the WIC
program has been very successful with that."
Services at the Right Time
The doors remain open at the Glynn County
Health Department in Brunswick each
Thursday until 7 p.m. Staying open later
one night a week is one example of how the
department works to meet the needs of the
community, says Karen Mikell, the Glynn
County Health Department administrator.
From 5 p.m. until closing, the team typically
includes a nutritionist, two registered nurses
and three people to manage clerical duties.
They often see a half-dozen or more patients
during the late hours.
"I think we need to serve our community,
and that's what we did by extending hours,"
Mikell said. "I have mothers come in and say, 'I
have to work and I'm so glad you have appointments on Thursday night.' You have to meet
the needs of those mothers or grandparents
and that's what we're all about."
A range of programs helps the department's employees make their work hours
count. Through a partnership with the
county's school system, for example, they
provide flu shots and manage vaccination
requirements for seventh-graders. They also
assist school nurses with annual screenings
for scoliosis.
But, the department's partnerships also
include agreements with Glynn Emergency
Management Agency, Coastal Community
Action and even federal law enforcement
training centers-the department serves as
a role-playing site during training.
It's at the department's office, though,
where 100 to 150 patients are seen daily. The
schedule even includes lunchtime hours to
accommodate as many people as possible.
With so much to offer, the departments
work to inform the public about available
services. For example, the department has
used billboards to inform parents of a change

in vaccination requirements, and advertising remains crucial. "And now, we're looking
at having spots on different stations on the
evening news, and I'm so excited about that,"
Mikell said.
Staff members also represent the department at health fairs or community events.
They often provide the hand-sanitizer stations
during races or other gatherings. "Anytime
anyone who needs outreach calls us, we'll
go," she said.
While the department supports a range
of services, a few stand out. Mikell considers the department's family-planning
services significant, although sometimes
misunderstood.
The department offers services for anyone
who is sexually active. "I know a lot of people
don't like to talk about it, but we see a lot
of teenagers," Mikell said. Communication
between parent and child is essential, but the
department can play a role. "We're here and
we can talk to those children and encourage
them not to be sexually active," Mikell said.
The department, though, must often contend with inaccurate information about how
family-planning information is provided.
"You've got a 14- or 15-year-old who comes
in here, and a lot of people think we encourage
them to engage in sexual activity, but we do
not," she said.
Immunizations are also critical. "If you're
uninsured, we still want you to bring those
children in and let us vaccinate them. We
don't want any barriers to be there for your
child," Mikell said.
Healthy Communities
While county health departments offer a
range of services and have sweeping responsibilities, public health can also change
individual lives. One example is an effort to

SUMMER 2017 www.accg.org

29


http://www.accg.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Summer 2017

President’s Message
Director’s Message
Haralson County: Location and Rural History Provide Opportunities for Success
Parks and Recreation: An Investment for Today and Tomorrow
ACCG and GDOT Dedicate Historical Marker
County Senior Services Help Residents Flourish and Thrive
UGA Extension Educates Communities through Partnerships with Parks and Recreation Departments, Senior Centers
Q & A with Deputy Commissioner Ben Hames: Counties and Workforce Development
County Health Departments Work to Improve Communities
From Wellness to Wellbeing: LGRMS Assists Counties with Providing Comprehensive Health Programs to Local Government Employees
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Intro
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - cover1
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - cover2
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 3
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 4
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 5
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 6
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 7
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - President’s Message
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Director’s Message
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 10
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 11
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Haralson County: Location and Rural History Provide Opportunities for Success
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 13
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 14
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 15
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Parks and Recreation: An Investment for Today and Tomorrow
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 17
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 18
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - ACCG and GDOT Dedicate Historical Marker
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - County Senior Services Help Residents Flourish and Thrive
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 21
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 22
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - UGA Extension Educates Communities through Partnerships with Parks and Recreation Departments, Senior Centers
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 24
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 25
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Q & A with Deputy Commissioner Ben Hames: Counties and Workforce Development
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 27
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - County Health Departments Work to Improve Communities
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 29
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 30
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - From Wellness to Wellbeing: LGRMS Assists Counties with Providing Comprehensive Health Programs to Local Government Employees
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - 32
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - News & Notes
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - cover3
Georgia County Government - Summer 2017 - cover4
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