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Safeguarding Communities: Celebrating Public Health Week

2024 Public Health Week

At its core, public health seeks to prevent disease and promote the health and well-being of a community. 

Buncombe County’s public health team seeks to promote and protect the public's health and ensure that all people in Buncombe County have the opportunity to make healthy choices within a healthy environment. This ranges from guaranteeing food safety to providing STI testing to working closely with at-risk individuals and families, and much more. 

National Public Health Week is April 1 through 7; join us in recognizing the crucial work of the Public Health team at Buncombe County Health and Human Services. Thank you for safeguarding the health and wellness of our community! 

“National Public Health Week provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of the Public Health Workforce and their daily efforts to promote and promote the health of our community,” Public Health Director Dr. Ellis Matheson says. “It can be challenging to showcase the impact of preventions measures, such as preventing a preterm birth or preventing lead poisoning in a child. Public Health Workers are often called unsung heroes. This is precisely why we must emphasize the importance of Public Health and the value it adds to improving health, safety, and opportunities for all.” 

The Public Health team is diverse and knowledgeable in all things health: 

  • Care Coordination – the Care Coordination team provides vital services for both children and pregnant women. Children who meet risk criteria are provided with a Care Manager who works closely with the kid’s medical care team and ensures necessary care is provided. Pregnancy Care Management works with high-risk women and their doctors to provide additional support such as addressing needs, working with doctors, providing transportation, and more.
  • Clinical Services – health care services provided at the Buncombe County Health and Human Services Clinic provide immunizations, breast and cervical cancer control, reproductive health services, and tuberculosis testing all at low or no cost. The team helps men, women, transgender, and non-binary individuals receive the care they need to meet their health goals at low to no cost. 
  • Communicable Disease -Disease Control in Buncombe County provides crucial investigation, surveillance, and reporting to protect the public from disease. The team collaborates with local partners and provides education. The staff provides free tuberculosis review and treatment and works to prevent Vector Borne Illness through education. 
  • Environmental Health – every restaurant, daycare center, swimming pool, tattoo parlor, and more establishments are thoroughly inspected by the Environmental Health team to meet statewide standards and regulations. The team provides permitting, inspections, and grading of food and lodging services as well as approvals of septic tank systems to ensure the safety of the community and protect the environment.  
  • Health Promotions – strives to improve the health and well-being of the local community through community partnership, gathering resident feedback, and the Buncombe County Community Health Assessment. One initiative that has been instrumental in addressing the health needs of people living in Buncombe County is the Syringe Service Program (SSP). SSP is centered around evidence-based harm reduction practices that help prevent overdose and infectious disease transmission, improve physical and mental health and social well-being by engaging directly with people who use substances. This program currently serves over 500 participants a month, distributes safer use supplies, and provides Peer Support Services. 
  • Mobile Health - The Public Health Mobile Team, founded in 2022, provides on-the-go vaccinations, rapid HIV & Hep C testing, Harm Reduction resources, and more to increase equitable access to public health services, focusing on historically underserved by the healthcare system, low-income areas, and rural communities. The Mobile Team is one way the county is using innovative tools to better service the community. 
  • Nurse-Family Partnership – helping improve pregnancy outcomes, engage women in good preventive health practices, and improve child health is at the core of the Nurse Family Partnership. The evidence-based community health program helps transform the lives of vulnerable mothers who are pregnant. Moms are partnered with a registered nurse who provide home visits through the infant’s second birthday. 
  • WIC - The WIC team safeguards the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk. WIC provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, community referrals, and more. The WIC team is very active in community events and advocates for the health and wellness of all families in Buncombe County. 

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Updated Apr 05, 2024 02:46 PM
Published Apr 01, 2024 12:00 PM

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