Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Margaret Donnelly visited the Madison County Health Department Monday in honor of National Public Health Week. Donnelly presented awards to several community organizations for their contributions to public health.
“The message we wish to promote is that a healthy Missouri starts today, join the movement,” said Donnelly. “We would like to encourage Missourians to make positive changes. To take stock, think about our personal lives, and how to promote better health through nutrition, exercise and avoiding tobacco.”
Donnelly emphasized the importance of hygiene, hand washing and sanitation saying that, “while these seem like small things they are very important to public health.” She also spoke of the importance of the Farmers Market to the residents of the state, as well as the success of the WIC program in combating childhood malnutrition.
With nearly one million Americans dying every year from diseases that could be prevented, even small preventive changes and initiatives can make a big difference in living healthier lives.
Locally, the Madison County Health Department, located at 806 W. College Ave in Fredericktown, offers residents several programs geared toward healthy living and education. Administrator Becky Hunt said the department is always ready to assist Madison County residents with any health related concerns or questions.
“The Department has been working to address several public health initiatives locally,” said Hunt. “One important program we are working on concerns childhood lead poisoning prevention. This program is designed to reduce instances of blood poisoning by lead in children and focuses on education, hygiene practices and nutrition.”
Hunt also discussed the formation of a voluntary control plan, which in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency will address soil disturbance issues related to the recontamination of soil with lead containing material.
The Madison County Health Department offers lead screening, lead case management and environmental risk assessment investigation as well as nutrition, early childhood development and preventive maintenance programs. A complete list of services can be found at http://health.mo.gov/profiles/CountyInfo/CpiMadison.html.
According to a press release by the American Public Health Association, preventive measures can help create a healthier nation and reach the country’s goal of becoming the healthiest nation in just one generation. Small actions are needed for communities, homes and families to see the large benefits of preventive care and grow the movement.
The Madison County Health Department is available to answer health related questions at 573-783-2747.
For more information about National Public Health Week, visit www.nphw.org.