First Posted: 4/27/2009
DOBSON When people think of public health or what was formerly known as the health department, shots and birth control mostly comes to mind.
Things have changed, and in order to educate the public on all of the services available through the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, a public health celebration will be held Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Director of Nursing Deborah Creed said she wants the public to celebrate and appreciate how far the Health and Nutrition Center has come and to see what the future holds, and she is doing that now because April is also Public Health Month.
The county as a whole might not know that we do all of the things that we do. We want to increase public awareness of the programs and the clinics that we have available. So this is what the public health celebration is all about, said county Media Relations Specialist Thomas Williams.
The Health and Nutrition Center offers child health services, senior services, family care coordination services, nutrition and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) funding, community health services, animal control, health promotion and health education and an environmental health division.
Creed said there are many services offered by the Health and Nutrition Center that have evolved over the years.
We want everyone to know that we are here for everybody all residents of the county regardless of race or income. There are clinics in this building that do not look at income. Of course, we do have other clinics that charge on a sliding-fee scale based on income, Creed said.
While the Health and Nutrition Center is evolving, it still offers free and lower cost immunizations, Creed said. And the Family Planning Clinic still sees women of any age who need family planning options. She said woman as young as 14 can come to the clinic and do not need parental consent.
Just because you dont talk about it (sex) that doesnt mean it doesnt happen. Abstinence is the number one way to prevent pregnancy, but in todays world, young people see a lot of opportunities for sexual activity. Our focus is to keep unwanted children from being born. That is our main goal in our family planning clinic, Creed explained. Another goal is to prevent diseases.
Then when a woman finds out that she is pregnant, Creed said, they work with her to get her into an Obstetrician/Gynecologist office so that she can start receiving prenatal care.
The Health and Nutrition Center also provides help to parents and children with health issues. The center provides both a pediatric clinic as well as an adult primary care clinic. They both focus on preventive care as well as acute care.
Dental care is also available for children.
Creed said the primary care clinic operates just like a regular doctors office, but the clinic is limited on the amount of patients that can be seen each day. She said there is often a waiting list to see a doctor there. However, those who really need to see a doctor quickly can call the clinic first thing in the morning to see if there are any cancellations.
We can take care of a resident from birth to the grave. We have an outstanding senior services division that provides home health care. Both occupational and physical therapies that are offered through that agency. We have a dedicated staff that go into the home and take care of our elderly population, Williams noted.
Williams said by the year 2030 it is predicted that a large percentage of Surry County residents will be senior citizens.
We are an aging population. We are gearing up to take care of those folks. Our senior services division is very vital, Williams said.
In connection with the senior services program, a medication assistance program is available to people of all ages who cannot afford their medications. Anyone in the county can apply to determine whether or not they are eligible to get their medications at a discounted rate or for free.
The county also sponsors Faith in Action, which is a faith-based community effort to assist the elderly and disabled with some of their unmet needs.
We would love to have not only the public come join us, but private medical practices as well, Creed concluded.
Door prizes from area restaurants, local businesses and recreation centers in the county will be given out during the celebration. Tours and refreshments will also be provided during the celebration that will be held at the Surry County Government Center, located at 118 Hamby Road, Dobson.
For more information on the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center call 401-8410. More information can also be found at www.surry.com.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.