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Osage County Health Department 2017 Flu Clinic Schedule

Posted: Sept 10, 2017

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce the flu clinic schedule for the schools and general public for this flu season. Flu shots including the High Dose for seniors are available. Flu shots are recommended starting at 6 months of age and up. Flu mist will not be offered as it is not available this year.  Most insurance plans cover the cost of the flu vaccine.  Both types of pneumonia shots are available as will be other adult vaccines such as Tdap (Tetanus and whooping cough).  Starting September 11th, immunizations including the flu and pneumonia shots will be available on a walk-in basis at the Osage County Health Department, 205 E. Main Street, Linn during regular business hours of 8a-4p.  We ask that you try not to come on a Wednesday which is WIC day so that you don’t have a long wait time. Please bring your insurance card. No one will be turned away for inability to pay.

  • September 12, 2017 St. George School and Linn R-2 School
  • September 13, 2017 St. Joseph’s School, Westphalia in the morning
  • September 13, 2017 from 2p-6p at Westphalia’s Lion’s Club, 250 W. Main St., Westphalia- open to the public
  • September 18, 2017 St. Mary’s School cafeteria in Frankenstein-open to the public 9a-12n
  • September 18, 2017 Sacred Heart School cafeteria in Rich Fountain-open to the public from 2p-4p
  • September 19, 2017 from 7a-12n at STC activity center, 1 Technical Drive in Linn-open to students, staff and public. A free wellness fair will be held in conjunction with the flu clinic by the STC nursing program students.
  • September 19, 2017 from 2p-6p at Meta Ambulance Building 202 N. Walnut Street-open to the public
  • September 25, 2017 Fatima School all day September 27, 2017 Immaculate Conception School in Loose Creek in the morning
  • September 27, 2017 from 2p-6p at the Loose Creek Community Center on County road 403, Loose Creek-open to the public
  • October 2, 2017 Chamois R-1 School in the morning
  • October 2, 2017 from 2p-6p at the Chamois United Methodist Church, 102 Third Street, Chamois-open to the public
  • October 10, 2017 Holy Family School in Freeburg in the morning
  • October 10, 2017 from 2p-6p at Freeburg City Hall, 304 US Hwy 63, Freeburg- open to the public
  • October 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th from 9a-11:30a at the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.  
  • October 11th also from 5:30p-7p

For questions or more information, please contact us at the health department at 573-897-3103.  You may call after business hours and leave a voice message and we will return the call the next business day.  We can also be reached at Osagecountyhealthdepartment@gmail.com. Delivery of services on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, handicap/disability or religious belief is prohibited. We are an equal opportunity provider.  Services are provided regardless of the ability to pay.  Donations and gifts are always appreciated to help cover the cost of providing services.

Online map will help families locate local summer food programs

Posted: June 9, 2017

Contact:
Sara O’Connor, Chief

Office of Public Information
573-751-6062

Free meals will be served to low-income children at hundreds of locations in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers an online map that can help low-income families in Missouri find out where their children can receive free meals this summer.

The interactive map pinpoints hundreds of locations in Missouri where meals will be provided through the state health department’s Summer Food Service Program.

Community organizations serve the meals at schools, churches, parks, swimming pools, YMCA facilities, Boys and Girls Clubs and other spots where children gather when school is not in session.

The meals are provided to children who receive free or reduced price meals during the regular school year. Children do not have to register and there is no fee to participate in the program.

“Summer can be a time of food insecurity for students who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. “This interactive map will help ensure Missouri’s children are getting critical nutrition all year long.”

The map is located at www.dhss.mo.gov/sfsp/. The map can be searched by city, county or zip code. For families without access to the Internet, many community libraries have computers the public can use free of charge. More information is also available by calling, toll-free, 1-888-435-1464 or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired at 1-800-735-2966.

Meals will be served to children age 18 and under. They are also provided to individuals age 18 to 21 that have been determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who participate in an established school program for the mentally or physically disabled.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Organizations interested in providing meals through the program can also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, the Department of Health and Senior Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Be careful returning to flood-damaged homes, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says

Posted: May 3, 2017

Contact: Lori Buchanan
Office of Public Information
573-751-6062

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services urges Missourians to take extra precautions when returning to flood-damaged homes, apartments or businesses during clean-up efforts. The dangers are not over after the water goes down.

“Please be careful as you return to your homes as gas pipes, power lines and structural damage can cause life-threatening injuries and fall risks,” DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams said.

Flood hazards such as a weakened foundation, exposed wires or contaminated floodwater are not always obvious and can be life-threatening. Always follow instructions of emergency personnel as to when it is safe to return. Following the tips below will help ensure safety after the storm.

  • Turn off the electricity and all other utilities before going inside to prevent electrocution, gas leaks and other issues. Even if the power company turned off electricity to the area, be sure to shut the power off in your home. Do not use appliances or motors that were wet, unless they are taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  • Call the electric or gas company immediately if you find downed power lines or suspect a gas leak. Look for outside damage, such as cracks in the foundation or gaps between stairs and the house. If you see damage, have a building inspector check the house before entering.
  • Be alert for gas leaks – do not strike a match or use an open flame.
  • Look before stepping into your home. Floors and stairs can be very slippery. Discard refrigerated food if power was out for at least four hours or if the refrigerator door was opened during a power outage.
  • Throw away food if there is any chance it came into contact with flood water.
  • Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers.
  • Use bottled water that has not been in flood waters. If bottled water is not available, boil any tap water before use.
  • Get a booster tetanus vaccine if you have not had a dose within the past 10 years or are unsure of the last time you had one. If you get a deep cut or puncture wound, seek immediate medical attention and ask about a tetanus booster.
  • Be sure to wear proper clothing and safety gear when cleaning up after a flood.
  • Immediately clean all wounds and cuts with soap and clean water.
  • Control moisture in your home to prevent mold growth. Use a disinfectant (one-and-one half cups household bleach in a gallon of water) if needed, and especially if the water damage occurred because of floodwaters or sewage backup.
  • Tip and toss any water pooled in outdoor containers to avoid mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information regarding flood recovery, go to http://health.mo.gov/living/environment/floodrecovery/index.php.

WIC Changes

Posted: January 10, 2016

Due to recent staffing changes within our Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, our WIC days and hours will vary from week to week. While this is likely a temporary change, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. As always, during WIC clinics, participants are seen by appointment only. If you missed your last appointment and would like to reschedule, please give us a call as soon as possible. If you are not currently on WIC and would like to apply, please call at 573-897-3103 so we may assist you.  

Tetanus boosters/flooding

Posted: December 29, 2015

Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department
Susan.Long@lpha.mo.gov

As a result of the current and anticipated flooding, Osage County Health Department will have Tdap (tetanus) booster shots available at no charge for the next 2 weeks for anyone living in a flooded or flood prone area of Osage County who might need one. We have done these in the past for various flood situations in Osage County. If you have had a tetanus booster (Tdap or Td) within the last 5 years, you should not need an update unless your health care provider determines it would be best for you to get a booster now. If you can’t remember when your last tetanus shot was, you should get one. This immunization not only protects against tetanus which can cause serious neurological problems or death, but also protects you against pertussis (whooping cough). In getting this protection for yourself, you are also protecting any children you may be around. If your child(ren) are not current on their tetanus (dtap) shots, this would be a good time to boost their immunity also. The children should have had a dtap at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months and 1 year of age. The kindergarten booster dose can be given at age 4 years and should be considered for now rather than waiting until the child is 5 years old. If your child is 11 years of age, they can also get a Tdap booster now rather than waiting until 8th grade. This will offer greater protection now with the potential risk of exposure from the flooding.

If you are unsure, you may contact your health care provider’s office and/or the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-3103 and we will see if we have a record available for you. Whether you are talking with your health care provider or the health department, ask about any other vaccines that might also be recommended due to this situation. Our current hours of operation are 8-4:30. Special accommodations can be made by calling and asking. Should you have questions, please feel free to call. If you call after hours, you may leave a voice message and we will get back to you the next business day. If you feel you have an emergency, you should call 9-1-1. The local emergency operation center can contact me or someone from my staff in short order, as needed.

If your well is submersed in flood waters, it is recommended to not use the water until the well is flushed and the system has been disinfected. A sample should be submitted to a private or state lab for testing before the well is used.  Please contact the Osage County Health Department for more information. 

Salmonella Discovered at Good Earth Egg Company

Posted: December 23, 2015

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has recently conducted testing at the Good Earth Egg Company processing facility in Bonne Terre, Mo., and received sample results that indicated the presence of Salmonella bacteria at the facility. The facility has been ordered to remain closed until remediation efforts and re-sampling of the facility occurs.

DHSS urges individuals that may consume eggs from the Good Earth Egg Company to fully cook their eggs to 165 degrees, avoid cross contamination of raw eggs with ready to eat foods and wash their hands after handling eggs. Alternatively, consumers may choose to throw away any products from Good Earth Egg Company.

Symptoms of salmonellosis (illness caused by Salmonella bacteria) include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or stomach cramps. Salmonellosis usually develops within six to 72 hours after a consumer’s exposure to Salmonella bacteria and generally lasts three to seven days. Salmonella bacteria can be transmitted from person to person. Some individuals who are infected may have no symptoms at all but may still transmit the Salmonella bacteria to others. The spread of Salmonella from person to person may be avoided by careful hand washing with soap and water, particularly after using the restroom.

Consumers who may experience the symptoms described above should consult a health care provider and discuss the possibility of Salmonella infection, or other causes of such symptoms. If salmonellosis is diagnosed, the local health department should be contacted to report the condition.

Missouri Poison Center

Button Battery Safety

Posted: October 21, 2015

Kids Find and Swallow the Strangest Things.

It's not always a game of 'Button, button, who's got the button?' with every object a child might swallow. There are a few things that can become quite dangerous, quite quickly. One possibly dangerous thing to know about is the small, flat batteries that power some portable electronics such as remote controls, watches, calculators, toys, hearing aids, ear or thermal scan thermometers, kitchen scales, sing-along books, musical greeting cards and decorative lights. Different names used for them include button batteries, coin batteries, and disk batteries.

Last year the Missouri Poison Center handled 81 cases of people swallowing button batteries, and two-thirds were in children aged 9 months to 5 years old.

If a button battery is swallowed, most of the time it passes quickly into the stomach where it is out of danger, and all the way through and out the other end without a problem. BUT, if the button battery should happen to get stuck on the way down to the stomach, it can immediately begin to cause an electrical burn. It can burn a hole at the spot where it is trapped in a matter of hours.

An older child or an adult who gets a button battery stuck will know it immediately because it is uncomfortable and start complaining that it hurts when they swallow, or even that they can't swallow at all. On the other hand, a young child, or an older child or adult with special needs, might not be able to indicate that anything is wrong. Maybe the only clue they give that the battery got stuck is acting fussy, or drooling, or refusing to eat or drink anything.

The only way to be safe and be sure when anyone swallows a button battery is to call the Poison Help line for advice at 1-800-222-1222. Be prepared to head out to the nearest hospital emergency room for an immediate X-ray to find out if the battery is in a safe spot or not.

  • Track down all the small electronics with button batteries in the house. Check the battery compartment to see if it closes tightly and is hard to open. A cover that screws down is ideal. sometimes the slim and sleek models are very easy to open and get the battery out.
  • Keep devices out of reach if the battery compartments aren't secure, and lock up replacement batteries.
  • When the battery is used, throw it in the trash right away. Put it inside something else like an empty milk jug so it won't bounce out of the trash can. Little fingers go everywhere. Program the Poison Help line into your phone, 1-800-222-1222.

Car Seat Recalls

Posted: October 5, 2015

What every parent needs to know and do

In 2014, more than six million car seats were recalled for a safety defect – the largest car seat recall in U.S. history. Yet, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fewer than half of those car seats received the necessary repair.

"The safety of children in cars is our biggest priority," said Administrator Rosekind. "NHTSA is committed to helping parents register their car seats and other child products with manufacturers, which we know is critical if there is a recall. We're also committed to working with manufacturers to make sure parents receive a quick and thorough solution during a recall so children are protected."

To understand why so few recalled car seats get repaired and to educate parents about the importance of recalls, Safe Kids Worldwide released ""Car Seat Recalls: What Every Parent Needs to Know," a new study which reveals that only 42 percent of parents said they filled out and returned the registration card. That means that on average, six out of 10 parents risk not hearing about a car seat recall in the most timely and dependable manner – directly from the manufacturer. The study, funded through an annual research grant from the General Motors Foundation, surveyed 562 parents of children who use a car seat, and collected responses from 44 parents who participated in an online bulletin board discussion.

  • 80 percent of parents surveyed said that the car seat registration card is important but only 42 percent returned the card.
  • In 2014, more than 6 million car seats were recalled for a safety defect, yet fewer than half of them were fixed.
  • Parents need to either send in the card or register online.
  • If there is a recall, act on it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Beginning March 1993, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 required manufacturers to provide a postage-paid registration form with each new child safety seat sold, with the goal of increasing consumer response to child seat recalls. Before March 1993, registration was voluntary for manufacturers. Before the rule took effect in 1993, the average repair rate was 13.8 percent. After registration cards were required, the rate rose to 21.5 percent. National efforts to increase consumer awareness, including CPS technicians talking with families and using a checklist, awareness have been ongoing.

Techs have an opportunity at community education events to share this information to the public. Our new infographic has resources for the parent on how to register their seat and check for recalls. Encourage parents to sign up for recall notification via email. A handy tip to share with families is to take a photo of the car seat label and save it for future reference.

  • Read the report: Recall Report: What Every Parent Should Know
  • Great handout to provide parents at inspections: Recall Infographic
  • How to find out if a seat has been recalled: Check for Recalls
  • What NHTSA says about report: NHTSA Press Release

Surgeon General and CDC Director Emphasize Need for Preventive Care

Posted: July 8, 2015

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden told local health department officials from around the nation that they can help millions of Americans live healthier and longer lives by refocusing the American healthcare system on preventing illnesses and injuries – not just treating them.

The two physicians and Director of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli were among the national, state and local officials who spoke to about 1,300 public health professionals attending the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Annual Conference, which is being held in Kansas City this week.

Murthy appeared at the conference and Frieden spoke via a live video feed on Tuesday, and Botticelli attended the conference Wednesday. Following his remarks, Murthy engaged in an extended dialogue with NACCHO members facilitated by NACCHO Executive Director LaMar Hasbrouck, MD, MPH.

The NACCHO conference is the largest gathering of local health officials in the United States. NACCHO is the only national organization that holds meetings to address needs specific to local health departments.

"The public health could not and would not improve without your leadership," Murthy said, joining Frieden and Botticelli in thanking local health department staff members for their work.

"As a country we invest far more in treatment than prevention, and our failure to invest in prevention is literally killing us," Murthy said. He called for "an America based on a culture of prevention."

Giving an example of the value of prevention efforts, Frieden said that "improved cardiovascular care could save 100.000 lives a year in the U.S." Increasing immunizations and colonoscopies, improving treatment for people with diabetes, and reducing the number of motor vehicle accidents could also save lives and save money, because preventing illnesses and injuries costs less than treating them, Frieden said.

Both federal health officials emphasized the importance of programs to reduce tobacco use, and Murthy called for the same restrictions on e-cigarettes that are imposed on regular cigarettes, saying the electronic cigarettes can lead to tobacco use.

Murthy, Frieden and Botticelli all called for greater efforts by the medical community and government to reduce prescription opioid abuse. Frieden said there has been more than a four-fold increase in deaths from such abuse in the past decade, with overdoses claiming more than 145,000 lives during the period.

"Drug use can be prevented using evidence-based programs," Botticelli said. "Substance use disorders are not a moral failure, but a medical condition."

Medical treatment "not only helps people recover from their substance use disorders, it helps prevent overdose deaths," Botticelli added.

In addition to cutting the smoking rate and the abuse of prescription opiates, Murthy said that to prevent illnesses and injuries he supports programs to:

  • Encourage more physical activity, particularly walking.
  • Improve nutrition. "I will seek to call attention to added sugar" in food and beverages.
  • Reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for mental health problems.
  • Reduce violence, particularly violence against women and racially motivated violence.

Warming Centers Available for Osage County Residents

Posted: January 7, 2015

Some of the coldest nights of the year are coming up this week! Just a reminder Osage County has several warming centers available. Please visit the Missouri Warming Center website for days and times the centers are open.

Breaktime
1300 E Main St
Linn, MO

Casey's General Store
501 E Main St
Linn, MO

Osage County Health Department
205 E Main St
Linn, MO

Osage County Library
1014 E Main St
Linn, MO

Children who Participate in WIC Have Stronger Cognitive Development and Higher Test Scores

Posted: January 7, 2015

By Tom Jacobs

Originally published on December 19, 2014 by Pacific Standard Magazine

New research finds participation in the federal WIC program, which subsidizes healthy foods for young children, is linked with stronger cognitive development and higher test scores.

As Jon Stewart has noted, the compromise federal budget just passed by Congress and signed by President Obama is full of unpleasant surprises. Among them: In a Scrooge-like Christmas gift, it cuts $93 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC.

So it’s both timely and ironic that a newly published research study concludes WIC doesn’t just boost the health of young children and their moms: It also plays a positive role in kids’ cognitive development.

“These findings suggest that WIC meaningfully contributes to children’s educational prospects,” Brown University sociologist Margot Jackson writes in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

“Children who receive prenatal/early childhood exposure to WIC perform significantly better on reading assignments—up to 0.3 of a standard deviation—than their siblings who do not.”

WIC is a large-scale government program serving 53 percent of all infants born in the United States. It provides vouchers that are redeemed at supermarkets for healthy, nutritious food such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are eligible, as are children up their fifth birthday; parents also receive nutritional education and counseling.

Jackson analyzed two sets of data. One was the birth cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which followed about 11,000 children from age nine months to kindergarten. It includes information on WIC participation, as well as the results of a standard test given at age two, “an assessment general mental ability that indicates problem-solving and language-acquisition skills.”

The other was the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of families. It included information on both WIC participation and the results of standard math and reading tests administered when the children were, on average, 11 years old.

Both sets of data linked participation in WIC with positive outcomes. The first showed that “prenatal/early childhood WIC exposure is associated with significantly stronger cognitive development,” Jackson writes. The second provided evidence that “the benefit associated with WIC participation persists into the school years.”

To reach that second conclusion, Jackson compared test scores of children from the same family, comparing those who grew up with WIC nutritional assistance with those who did not. (For a variety of reasons, some mothers do not participate in WIC until they have had at least one child.)

These within-family comparisons “suggest that children who receive prenatal/early childhood exposure to WIC perform significantly better on reading assignments—up to 0.3 of a standard deviation—than their siblings who do not,” she writes. “This association is not explained by measured differences in prenatal behavior toward siblings, such as time spent reading with children or breastfeeding behavior, nor is it explained by differences in families’ economic circumstances during the child’s birth year.”

So WIC works. Kids who ate healthier food show signs of stronger cognitive development early in life, and their later test scores prove these initial indications were not a fluke. The incoming Congress may want to keep this in mind as it draws up the next federal budget.

Holiday Hours

Posted: December 23, 2014

The Osage County Health Department will be closing December 24 at noon and will be closed all of Christmas day. Offices will be open for regular hours (8 am - 4:30 pm ) on Friday, December 26th. The health department will also be closed on January 1st for New Year's Day and will resume normal business hours on January 2nd. For any emergencies, call 9-1-1.

Ebola/Communicable Disease Preparation

Posted: October 10, 2014

Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department
573-897-2139 ext 312
Susan.Long@lpha.mo.gov

Training was held at SEMA on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 for various health, social services, and first responders including law enforcement agencies from around the state of Missouri in regards to the recent Ebola case in TX. There have been no reported cases or suspicions that have proven positive within Missouri. This training was attended by Health Department RN/Administrator Susan Long and Linn Police Chief Richard Bray. During the training we received the most accurate information on what has been occurring in West Africa as well as in Texas at that time from the CDC and DHSS.

Ebola transmission requires contact with blood or body fluids (feces, saliva, urine, vomit and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. A person who has the Ebola virus will NOT be able to give it to anyone else until they actually become sick. Ebola is not an airborne disease like the flu or whooping cough. The presenters emphasized that community spread is less likely in the U.S. because the U.S. has different cultural rituals than are practiced in Africa and better hygiene practices.

The incubation period is 2-21 days with the majority becoming ill after 8-9 days though the general range can be from 3-13 days. Symptoms include: sudden fever which can get very high, intense weakness, muscle aches, abdominal pain, headache and profuse vomiting and diarrhea and a rash. Late stages will include bleeding.

The first recommendation for prevention is stay away from anyone obviously sick. Remember the spread requires close (3 feet or less) or direct contact with someone who has symptoms. Ebola victims aren’t contagious until they get sick. Good hand washing is your next best defense. Obviously these are the same things we are telling everyone for flu season and for any other communicable disease- so doing common sense things that you would normally do so you don’t get sick during any kind of potential outbreaks such as flu are your best defense against most communicable diseases. Also, if you are the one who is sick-stay home!

Other suggestions include keeping your immune system healthy by eating a nutritious diet and regular exercise, taking your medicines and vitamins as recommended by your health care provider and get recommended immunizations. There are so many more vaccines available now that weren’t around when many of us were kids in school. Our children are receiving lots more shots than we got and it has definitely cut down on the incidence of outbreaks and children getting sick and sometimes dying, but many of those same vaccines are also recommended for adults. Diseases like measles, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus, chickenpox, pneumonia, influenza are some of the vaccine-preventable diseases that adults need to think about for themselves. Remember, if you get it, you can pass it onto others including children who maybe aren’t old enough to be fully vaccinated yet. Children have “required” shots for school, but there are additional shots that the CDC’s Advisory Commission of Immunization Policy advises children receive that some of our 11 year old and up children might not have received. These can include the Tdap booster, second chickenpox, meningitis, Hepatitis A and the HPV vaccines. These are available at your health care professional’s office which includes your local health department.

While all of us in health care fields including animal care or emergency response such as fire and ambulance or law enforcement have been actively training to handle emergency response to a variety of man-made or natural events since the September 11, 2001 event, there has been a definite lag in personal emergency planning on an individual level. Our 9-1-1/emergency response center here in Osage County has packets available to assist in planning to care for yourself and your family for a variety of emergencies. Many of us can remember our family “bomb” shelter that each family home had prepared during the “Cold War” and this is basically the same idea. Emergency response systems will more than likely be overwhelmed initially and will not be able to respond to every emergency all at once. Knowing what you can do and being prepared to be on your own without support for 72 hours is recommended. Develop and then practice your own personal family plan.

The next thing you can do to protect yourself and your family for a naturally occurring adverse event such as a communicable disease epidemic or a natural disaster event such as an earthquake is to learn what you can do to protect and help your community during a disaster. Take training on how to help during a time of need. Training opportunities are easily available online or through classes such as through the Red Cross. Organized groups such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and MRCs (Medical Reserve Corps) are groups of local people who have received specialized training and do some training sessions together so that they can assist effectively and safely in the event of a catastrophe such as a pandemic flu or after a tornado or earthquake. People have always been great about wanting to help and we have witnessed this again and again such as with Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin Tornado and the Anhydrous Ammonia Explosion in Texas where lots of people showed up ready to help. Trouble was they often didn’t know what to do and sometimes became victims themselves. That is why it is important to know HOW to help in addition to wanting to help. For more information about joining the Osage County CERT or MRC, please contact the health department at 897-2139 or visit our website at www.osagecountyhd.org . you can also contact the non-emergency number for the Emergency Operations Center at 897-3107 or visit their website at www.osagecountyema.com. We’d be glad to answer any questions you might have.

I recommend that should you have concerns about Ebola, other communicable diseases or emergency planning and want to get more information about any or all of these topics, that you get your information from a reliable source. We’ve all seen the sensational stories on television and because of the short time they have available for each story, many times the whole story cannot be told. Obviously everything on the internet or social media sites is not always reliable either. Please make sure any information you are getting on a subject is from a reliable source. For Ebola, your best information will be from the CDC or DHSS websites or contact the Osage County Health Department. We are receiving constant updates on Ebola and other communicable diseases such as the Enterovirus D-68 that has also been in the news lately. These updates are made available to the health department staff 24/7.

Common sense will get most of us through most outbreaks. Your mom was right about washing your hands and covering your sneezes and coughs. Stay home when you are sick and stay away from anyone who is sick. Take care of yourself. Update your immunizations. Be prepared. Be informed from the right sources.

August is Missouri Breastfeeding Month

Posted: August 1, 2014

The local Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program provides support for increasing and sustaining breastfeeding in Osage County. This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life.”

The WIC staff and other team members have an important role in educating moms about the many benefits of breastfeeding as breastfeeding is best for babies, mothers, and everyone in our community. Breastfeeding protects the baby from getting sick and breast milk is more easily digested. Breast milk reduces risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, allergies, asthma, and diabetes, as well as helping the baby’s brain development. In addition, moms who choose to breastfeed recovery more quickly after delivery and return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner. They benefit from having a strong connection between mom and baby, and lower their risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work because their infants are sick less often and families have lower medical costs.

The WIC staff is trained to educate and support all moms for a successful breastfeeding experience. They provide breast pumps and offer support groups for prenatal and breastfeeding moms. A trained Peer Counselor is available by phone, seven days a week to answer questions and help mom resolve breastfeeding concerns. WIC participants can rent videos on a wide range of breastfeeding topics.

In addition to trained WIC staff, mothers will be more successful in reaching their breastfeeding goals with the support of family, friends, and their community. The community “team” of support includes healthcare clinics, hospitals, childcare providers, and employers. Each team member plays an important role in protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. With support, moms can breastfeed anywhere.

To celebrate breastfeeding month, Osage Co. WIC will be hosting a free “Breastfeeding Class” to educate and celebrate moms who choose to breastfeed. Anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding is welcome to attend. Snacks will be provided. The class will be held at the Osage Co. Health Department in the Co. Administration Building, 205 E. Main (2nd floor in the Commissioner Room) on August 20th at 10:30 a.m. Please RSVP by calling the Osage Co. Health Department at 573-897-2139, ext. 312. Walk-ins will be welcomed. For more information, check our facebook page or website, osagecountyhd.org.

Yes, we do that!

Posted: December, 18 2013

For immediate release
Contact: Susan Long, RN, OCHD Administrator

Osage County Health Department is pleased to announce that through a grant via the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for Rural Health Innovations, we have put together an ongoing listing of all known resources and services offered in Osage County to share with Osage County residents! The grant officially started November 1st are available to give group and individual education on a variety of health topics such as:

  • Wellness checks
  • Immunizations
  • Dental hygiene
  • or whatever you need more information about

Information in the areas of financial assistance, medical services, behavioral health and counseling, social services, educational services, nutritional services, early childhood education programs most at low or no cost can also be provided. The health aide will sit down and discuss services that are available in Osage County and help you decide what might be a good fit for you personally! They can get you the contact information for the agency or group who can help you and even help you fill out the application! Services can be offered anywhere- the health department, a restaurant or even your own home. Registered nurses at the health department are available to provide case management for those needing special services or screenings! Everything is confidential and there is no charge for this service.

This personal service will only be available until June 30th, 2014 as all good things must come to an end.

For more information, call the health department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or check out our website at www.osagecountyhd.org for ongoing updates to the listing! Osage County Health Department services are available to all county residents.

Upcoming Closings

Posted: November, 7 2013

The Osage County Health Department and other county offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday, November 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Thursday, November 26 and Friday November 27 (Thanksgiving holiday)

Map your Neighborhood

Posted: October 23, 2013

For immediate release
Contact: Susan Long RN/Administrator

Osage County Health Department is pleased to sponsor the Map Your Neighborhood training on November 13th health department’s mission is being prepared for public health emergencies as well as helping others to be prepared for emergencies. Map Your Neighborhood is a “9 step” all-hazards program designed to help neighbors prepare for disasters. In a disaster, your neighbors are your most immediate source of help. Traditional 9-1-1 responders may be quickly overwhelmed by demand. Some minor preparation and knowing what to do in the first hour of a disaster response may save a life, reduce the severity of injuries, and reduce the amount of damage that you, your family, and neighbors sustain. Please join us for a FREE 1 hour orientation and a 1 hour facilitator training presented by Dr. Greg Hempen, PHD, PE, RG. The training is open to the public and will be offered twice on November 13th at St. John’s Church at 920 E. Main St. in Linn. The first session will be at 2pm immediately followed by the trainer session and the second session will be at 6pm followed by the trainer session.

The health department will provide a short 15 minute presentation prior to each session about volunteer opportunities for emergency preparedness within the health department. In the event of a public health event such as the need to give out mass doses of antibiotics or to give out mass immunizations such as for pandemic flu, the health department cannot provide timely services to all areas of the county due to the small staff size. Four sites in the county have been identified as locations where a mass public health clinic could be held. Volunteers would be needed to help provide services. Volunteers would include clerical, traffic control, etc in addition to health staff. The health department just registered its own Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) and needs volunteers to help staff it. Training will be provided at no charge to the volunteers and opportunities are at St. John’s Church in Linn. Part of the available to practice BEFORE a disaster hits. For questions and to register for the training, please call Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

For more information about MRCs or to register for the MRC, please visit the website www.medicalreservecorp.gov. Refreshments will be provided at both sessions. Emergency preparedness bags will be available at both sessions and contain information on what you and your family can do to help protect yourselves. If you cannot attend either session, but are interested, please call the health department.

Flu Clinics

Posted: October 3, 2013

Osage County Health Department will be offering public flu clinics for flu shots, flumist and high dose flu vaccine on the following dates:

  • October 24th in Chamois- United Methodist Church 102 Third St.
  • November 6th in Freeburg- Town Hall @304 N. Hwy 63
  • Nov 7th in Meta- Ambulance building @203 N. Walnut
  • Nov 14th in Westphalia- Lion’s Club @2073 Highway 63
  • Nov 21th in Loose Creek- Community Center @173 County Road 403

All clinics will be held from 2pm to 6pm. Free tetanus shots (Tdaps) offered while supplies last. Pneumonia shots are available also. Flu Cost $20-$30. Insurance including Medicaid and Medicare can be billed if we have a contract with your insurance plan. Call 897-2139 ext 312 with questions.

Enrollment Starts for the Health Care Marketplace on October 1, 2013

Posted: September 17, 2013

The marketplace for health insurance shopping and comparison will be officially open on October 1. The Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, is designed to cover a broader group of people with affordable health insurance coverage including those who don’t currently have any insurance. The following attachments provide some basic information about the marketplace, how to get more information, and steps for enrollment.

Missouri Health Insurance Marketplace Information

August is Missouri Breastfeeding Month

Posted: July 25, 2013

For immediate release

Contact persons: Ginger Meyer, MS, RD, LD or
Susan Long, RN/Administrator
Osage County Health Department
573-897-2139 ext 312

The Osage Co. Health Department’s WIC Program has been ranked number one in the State of Missouri for Breastfeeding initiation rates. The program participants continue to exceed the state average in portion of infants’ breastfed at birth, as well as, those that continued to be breast fed for the first year.

The success of Osage Co. WIC Program’s breastfeeding program is a result of the Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program. The Peer Counselor completes required courses and training to learn to support breastfeeding moms. The individual education begins when the new mom learns that she is pregnant and education and support continue after the baby is born. Phone contact in the early weeks after the baby is born is critical for the new moms to get off to a good start.

During the month of August, group support classes will be offered for Osage Co. WIC Program participants. The “Advantages of Breastfeeding” is targeted for pregnant moms. During the class they will learn about why breastfeeding is important for their baby and family and how they can successfully breastfeed their baby. Protecting baby from illness, lowering the baby’s risk of future health concerns such as allergies, obesity, and diabetes, and promoting development of the brain are just a few of the many health benefits.

The second class, “My Breastfeeding Plan” will provide an opportunity for breastfeeding moms to discuss breastfeeding goals, as well as challenges and solutions that are important for them to reach their breastfeeding goals. Moms will share tips related to pumping and storing breast milk, returning to work, and seeking support.

While support for breastfeeding has traditionally been provided by the family, support for mothers from a wider circle such as trained Peer Counselors is needed. The local WIC program is committed to supporting healthier babies and families including the Peer Counselor Program for breastfeeding.

Classes are open to moms participating in the WIC Program. Partners and other support people are encouraged to attend as well. For more information and class schedule dates, please call the Osage Co. Health Department at 573-897-2139, ext. 312 or check our facebook page or website, osagecountyhd.org. Participants attending the classes will receive prizes and snacks will be provided.

Department Closing Early August 2, 2013

Posted: July 18, 2013

The Osage County Health Department will close at 2:30 pm on Friday, August 2nd. In the case of an emergency, please contact the county clerk's office. Regular services will resume on Monday, August 5th at 8am. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Governor Nixon's 100 Missouri Miles Challenge

Posted: July 7, 2013

Governor Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon launched a new fitness initiative last month to encourage all Missouri families to get outside and take advantage of the incredible resources found here in Missouri by joining the Governor’s 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. They’re asking Missourians to complete “100 Missouri Miles” of physical activity by the end of the year. Whether you run, walk, bike, paddle or roll, everyone can participate.

The Governor has made it a mission to get county health departments involved in the challenge in hopes that you will reach out to your affiliates and leaders in the community and encourage them to join the challenge and spread the word to others.

For more information, visit:

www.100MissouriMiles.com
www.facebook.com/100MoMiles
www.twitter.com/100MoMiles

News Release: State providing tetanus booster shots free to Osage County Health Department

Posted: June 27, 2013

Contact: Susan Long RN,BSN
573-897-2139 ext 312

For Immediate release

Osage County Health Department announces that the state health department will be providing approximately 1,400 doses of the tetanus booster shot, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis) to the health department by the middle of July. This is equivalent to approximately 10% of the population of Osage County. This will provide a cost savings of almost $40 per dose for the health department, but does not include the needed supplies such as syringes, sharps containers, alcohol wipes, bandaids, etc.

This opportunity is being offered to all health departments in Missouri and requirements include that the vaccine must be given within 3 clinics during the month of July with provisions that additional clinics can be offered through the end of August. Any vaccine remaining after that can only be given if the person meets the Vaccine for Children program requirements. OCHD has scheduled the following clinic sites, dates and times for the first 3 clinics in July:

  • United Methodist Church in Chamois on July 17th from 2pm to 7pm
  • Lion’s Club Den in Westphalia on July 22nd from 2pm to 7pm
  • Quaker Windows in Freeburg on July 31st from 2pm to 7 pm

ALL are open to the public. A $20 administration fee is requested to cover the costs of the nurses’ time and the needed supplies, but no one will be denied service for inability to pay. This is a $40 reduction to the regular OCHD price for the Tdap. This shot is recommended for children at 11-12 years of age and up as a booster to their kindergarten shot and is required for school attendance. Adults should get a booster at least every 10 years for the rest of their lives. The Tdap is recommended for adults who have close contact with children under 2 years of age to help protect the child from pertussis (whooping cough) which has made a big comeback all over the country. This is especially important for parents and grandparents. Pregnant women can receive the vaccine during the pregnancy after the 20th week, but preferably in the 3rd trimester.

For more information or for additional clinic times, please contact the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

NEWS RELEASE: Osage County seeing increase in tick bite illnesses

Posted: June 27, 2013

Contact: Susan Long RN
573-897-2139 ext 312

Osage County, MO- The health department here as well as others around the state are reporting a surge in reportable diseases caused by ticks. Tick-related diseases can cause fever/chills, aches and pains including headaches and fatigue. It can cause a rash depending on the organism. Tickborne diseases can result in mild symptoms treatable at home to severe infections needing hospitalization. While easily treated with antibiotics, these diseases are sometimes difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Diseases more common to Missouri resulting from tick bites can include: Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Tularemia to name a few. Taking preventative measures is a good idea along with vigilance in the warmer months (April –September) when ticks are most active. Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter and walk in the center of trails. Use repellents that contain 20% or more DEET on the exposed skin for protection that lasts up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents need to apply this for children avoiding hands, eyes and mouth. Use products containing permethrin on clothing. Treat clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks and tents. It remains protective through several washings. Other repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be found at http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/.

Find and remove ticks as soon as possible by bathing or showering within 2 hours after coming indoors. They will wash off and are easier to find while they are still crawling. Conduct a full-body tick check by using a mirror or having someone else look for you. Parents should check children especially under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, behind the knees, between the legs, around the waist and especially in their hair. Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets and then attach to a person later. Tumble clothes in a dryer on high heat for an hour to kill remaining ticks. Dogs are very vulnerable to tick bites and diseases. It is important to use a tick preventive product on your dog. Check your pets for ticks daily if they go outside. Use products under the direction of your veterinarian for all pets. The CDC website has information on preventing ticks in your yard and around your home.

If you find a tick attached to your skin, you don’t need to panic. A plain set of fine-tipped tweezers will remove a tick quite effectively. Using the tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull it upward with a steady, even pressure and don’t jerk or twist because it can cause the mouth parts to break off. If this happens, remove the parts with the tweezers. If you can’t remove it, leave it alone and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water. Don’t use folklore remedies such as “painting the tick with nail polish or petroleum jelly or using heat. Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible.

If you develop a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about the recent tick bite, when the bit occurred and where you most likely got the tick. For more information regarding tick bites, mosquitoes or animal bites, please stop by the Osage County Health Department at 205 E. Main St. in the County Administration Building or call at 573-897-2139 ext 312.

Blood Drive


Posted: May 24, 2013

Blood Drive, Tuesday, May 28

Get Moving


Posted: Apr 27, 2013

Get Moving


National Public Health Week


Posted: Mar 8, 2013

For immediate release:
National Public Health Week is April 1-7th this year. The theme this year is Public Health is ROI (return of investment): Save Money. Save Lives.

Contact: Susan Long RN/ Administrator 575-897-2139 x312

Osage County Health Department invites the citizens of Osage County to join us at 205 E. Main St at the County Administration Building to celebrate Public Health on April 1st from 1pm to 8pm.

Planned activities include guest speakers:

  • 1pm Pam Otto from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Services office will be talking about personal safety
  • 2pm Jenifer Block from the University of MO Extension Office will be talking about healthy food choices
  • 3pm Andi Rice from the County Emergency Operations Center will be talking about storm safety
  • 4pm Ron Hoffman from the Linn Fire Department will be talking about home and workplace fire safety, evacuation plans and hold a fire extinguisher demonstration
  • 5pm Paul Reinsch from the Highway Patrol will be talking about personal safety at home and in your car and identity theft
  • 6pm Lucy Brenner parish nurse will be talking about the proposed Medicaid expansion
  • 7pm Joe Scott Fatima High School Superintendent will be talking about school safety

In addition, health department staff will be hosting an open house in the department with healthy snacks. Information on safe food handling at home and what to look for when eating out will be provided. WIC eligibility can be checked during this time also.

The Commissioners will be issuing a Public Health Proclamation prior to Public Health Week in honor of the theme.

The health department will have some giveaway items for those who stop by and talk with them and many nice door prizes such as a handmade quilt, a new carseat, a deluxe first aid kit, an emergency alert FM warning system and an energy saving gift bag which have so far been collected and will be given away via drawing for attending one or more of the lectures.

For more information, please contact the health department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or visit our website at www.osagecountyhd.org and like us on Facebook.

Ellis Fischel Mobile Mammography


Posted: Feb 25, 2013

The Cancer Screening Mobile Mammography staff from Ellis Fischel Cancer Center will be at the Osage County Health Department on April 5th, 2013

  • Women 40 years of age or older can be scheduled;
  • Women under 40 years of age with a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, father, sister, daughter) can be seen for a screening mammogram with a doctor’s order; however insurance may not pay for it;
  • Any woman being followed for breast problems need to come to
    Ellis Fischel to be seen;
  • Women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not be
    scheduled on the van.

View Flyer

Free Food Handler Classes


Posted: Feb 7, 2013

The Osage County Health Department is holding Food Service Employee Training classes to:

  • Provide information to food service employees and managers about state laws and regulations
  • Provide information on how to prevent food borne illnesses.

Classes will be held in the EOC room of the Osage County Administrative Building at 205 E. Main St. Classes are free of charge and limited to 20 participants each.

Food Establishment Managers Training
March 19, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Food Establishment Employee Training
March 26, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Temporary Food Establishment Training
April 9, 2013 7pm to 9pm

Please call the Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 to register for classes or with any questions.

Online, Off-Tobacco


Posted: Jan 13, 2013

Preferred Family Healthcare is proud to offer the Online, Off-Tobacco program to anyone within the Missouri Foundation for Health service area, and over the age 18. Click here to see if your county is eligible.

Online, Off-Tobacco is a truly innovative program, and available 100% online. In whole, the program lasts 7 weeks with only a 1-hour session per week. Sessions can be taught through group or one-on-one instruction by a trained facilitator. Online, Off-Tobacco follows the American Lung Association’s, Freedom from Smoking® curriculum. The class is FREE and participants receive education from a trained instructor, free participant workbook and $50 in nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum or lozenges) after 3 sessions. As an alternative, participants can quit cold turkey and still receive a $25 gift card to a sporting goods store of your choice. For more information, or to sign up, please contact Justin McDermott, Tobacco Cessation Coordinator, at 660-665-1962 Ext. 667 or jmcdermott@pfh.org.

Osage County WIC program wins 2 prestigious awards at recent state WIC conference.

WIC Award Winners


Posted: Jan 1, 2013

Osage County Health Department’s WIC Program recently received two awards at the Missouri state WIC conference held in Jefferson City. The awards were accepted by Shauna Horan on behalf of the local WIC office.

The first award is a certificate of excellence. Osage County was ranked in the Top 10 in the State of Missouri for Growth in WIC Participants for FY 2012 which ended on September 30th. The second award was also a certificate of excellence. Osage County was ranked #1 in the State of Missouri for Breastfeeding Initiation or Breastfeeding Ever Rates from July 2011 to June 2012.

Current Administrator Susan Long attributes these successes to the previous WIC staff. Breastfeeding peer counselor Angie Hostetler and backup breastfeeding peer counselor Shauna Horan were both part of the previous staff and continue to assist moms with breastfeeding issues and offer support and encouragement to those women who are thinking about nursing their baby or who are nursing their baby. Angie is in the office for scheduled appointments for breastfeeding as well as being available by phone any time. Shauna Horan backs her up if Angie is unavailable. WIC services are offered on Wednesdays by appointment and starting in January, WIC appointments will be available on the first Monday of the month from 1-6pm to allow working moms to be seen who couldn’t come in otherwise during regular office hours.

A breastfeeding support group meets on the second floor of the County Administration Building at 205 E. Main St. on the 4th Wednesday every month from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Healthy snacks are served and children are welcome to come with their moms. The group has set topics for discussion and will be planning other activities such as a walking group for the future. Angie and the rest of the WIC staff which includes: Judy Balluff, RN, Ginger Meyer, RD and Pam Stephens, CNA are available to assist breastfeeding moms and babies as well as pregnant moms and bottle feeding moms and babies and children up to the age of 5 with nutritional questions and concerns.

The Osage County WIC nutrition program wants everyone to know that good nutrition will help provide the best possible start in life and is a necessary ingredient for moms-to-be and for children to grow up healthy and strong. WIC is a nutrition education, health promotion and supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children. To be eligible for services, you must be a resident of Missouri, meet income guidelines and be at nutrition risk. For more information, call the Osage County Health Department at 573-897-2139 ext 312 or visit the website at osagecountyhd.org or like us on facebook.