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Central Valley Health District aims for healthy community

News Jamestown,North Dakota 58401 http://www.jamestownsun.com/sites/all/themes/jamestownsun_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Central Valley Health District aims for healthy community
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

Central Valley Health District released its 2013 annual report ahead of Public Health Week, April 7-14, showing its contributions to public health in Stutsman and Logan counties.

“We kind of work behind the scenes,” said Robin Iszler, unit administrator with CVHD. “It’s a subtle thing we do in the community because of the services — it should be about prevention and keeping people healthy.”

The agency’s budget was $2.3 million in 2013 — up from $2.16 million in 2012. About $929,000 or 40 percent came from federal sources, $123,000 or 5 percent from the state and $747,000 or 33 percent from local sources.

Those local dollars come from both local contracts and the local property tax levy, Iszler said.

CVHD makes an effort to stretch the local tax dollars as far as possible by applying for funding from federal and state sources, Iszler said, describing it as “a good return on that investment.”

Those federal dollars are for family planning, the Women Infants and Children program for women and children, Women’s Way for cancer detection, Title III services for aging people, public health emergency preparedness, maternal health and immunizations.

“We provide services for all ages, from birth,” Iszler said.

Many of the programs are targeted toward specific areas with specific goals, and while some saw less use in 2013, others saw more, so overall the level of service stayed about the same.

The WIC program numbers went down, as did family planning, possibly due to the Affordable Care Act and low unemployment in the area, which can affect people’s eligibility for those programs.

However, CVHD did 181 restaurant consultations last year in its environmental health division, up from 100 in 2012, and 94 consultations on swimming pools, up from 29 the year before.

The organization offered more nursing services in the workplace and in schools, and quite a few more people were immunized against influenza and other vaccine-preventable illnesses — 3,860 in 2012 and 4,776 in 2013.

“We saw more adult immunizations,” Iszler said.

The organization has also undergone some staffing changes, as the nurse working in Logan County retired. A new nurse based in Stutsman County will be hired, but Iszler said CVHD is still making an effort to get to small communities in Logan and Stutsman counties.

CVHD continues to pursue national accreditation as a public health agency — and will likely be the first in North Dakota to be accredited, Iszler said.

CVHD is also expanding its billing department for people who get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, who — like others with health insurance — can receive services at CVHD.

A future area of focus will be using money from the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, which focuses on substance abuse prevention, particularly adult binge drinking and youth alcohol use.

“We have a little over $200,000 for prevention activities and substance abuse,” Iszler said. “… we’re working with our plan in our community to address these issues.”

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by email at klucin@jamestownsun.com

Kari Lucin

Kari Lucin joined the Grand Forks Herald as a multimedia producer in August 2014. Previously, she worked for a few years at the Jamestown Sun in Jamestown, N.D., as a staff writer, and prior to that, for about six years as staff writer and later online content coordinator, at the Daily Globe in Worthington, Minn. A graduate of Jackson County Central High School and Augsburg College, she has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English. Find more of her writing at her blog, Oh Look, a Shiny Thing! or on Twitter at @karilucin.

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