An increased number of food recalls was one of the few concerns noted in the Audrain City-County Health Unit’s recently released Annual Report for 2011.
In the Environmental Public Health Specialists portion of the report, 23 food related recalls were reported last year.
“There’s a lot more recalls coming in,” said ACCHU Administrator Kevin Lowrance. “I don’t know if this is going to be a trend nationwide but it effects all of us because not all of the states will immediately react to recalls. (Our local businesses) can be rest assured if there’s been a recall, we will contact the establishment on whatever the recall says.”
For STD/STI, there were 216 clients and an average of 18 per month. There were also 498 tests and an average of 42 tests per month.
Chlamydia cases dropped to 39 but the number is still considered high by public health officials. Five cases of gonorrhea were also reported.
“It’s still really high in this area,” Lowrance added.
Lowrance noted that while some tests might cost up to $600 in other areas, ACCHU has enabled citizens to be tested through a Texas location for just $60.
The WIC program is continuing to rise in participation in the county largely due to tough economic times. The supplemental food program for women, infants, and children under age 4 saw 6,807 clients at the ACCHU facility in Mexico and 901 in Vandalia. There was an average of 677 clients per month and a total of 7,708 WIC clients in 2011.
“We definitely want to provide the service as much as we can…,” Low-rance said.
Another notable part of the annual report shows there being 488 total visits to the Diabetic and Elderly Foot Clinic. The clinic offers services to the elderly and diabetic individuals, by appointment only, to those needing specialized foot care through a specially trained RN.
“There’s definitely a need for this type of service,” Lowrance said.
The clinic costs just $12 per visit and appointments can be scheduled between 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on two days of each month.
During the year, the ACCHU offered a variety of services that included: Audrain County Medical Assistance Program (ACMAP), Blood Pressure Screening, Communicable Disease Surveillance and Investigation, Disaster Preparedness/Emergency Response, Environmental Public Health Services, Family Planning, Foot Clinic, Health Education/Health Promotion/Media, Home Health, Hospice, Human Services Council, Immunizations (including High Risk Populations), Maternal Child Health (MCH), Pregnancy Testing, STD/STI, assistance of nursing and medical physician students, TB, Vital Records, Walk-In Patients/Office Visits, Website, and WIC.
“We don’t have the ability to provide medical service like a physician’s office but you’d be surprised by how many people we have to refer to Columbia for free services,” Lowrance added.
In the Administrative Report, Lowrance noted that the ACCHU celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2011.
He also noted that 2011 was critical for public heath as the health center initiative was passed during the November election.
“2011 was a critical year for ACCHU,” Lowrance said in the report.
“Thanks to the citizens of Audrain County, the Health Center Initiative was passed during the November 2011 election; thus assuring the long term survival and viability of public health in Audrain County.”
The full report is available at http://acchu.org or www.vandalialeader.com.ACCHU_11_Annual_Report