Many have said that the work of Public Health in the community is the “best kept secret” in town. So while we go about our daily work, often in ways you might not see, Horizon Public Health would like to uncover for you a little about where you might meet up with us in the community.
Horizon Public Health’s work takes staff to many different sites within our communities. You will find Horizon Public Health staff working with individuals in their homes where they might be coaching and educating pregnant mothers and fathers about pregnancy and childbirth, child growth and development, and self-sufficiency after the birth of their child. Or you might find staff working with the elderly or disabled individual in their homes assessing their capabilities and the areas in which they might need assistance. In those situations, the staff work with the individual and their family to assure they get connected to the community resources that can best assist them in reaching their maximum potential. For individuals at the end of life, you might find a team of staff and volunteers with Hospice of Douglas County, a division of Horizon Public Health, at their sides offering compassionate care and understanding as they, with their families’ support, choose how to live the rest of their lives with dignity and respect.
If you’re in any of our area skilled nursing facilities, you might find Horizon Public Health working with the staff of those facilities to support the care provided by the facility by assuring the resident has access to all of the preventive medical care and community services available to them. You might also find Horizon’s Hospice of Douglas County team administering end-of-life care and support to some of the residents and their families in the skilled nursing facility.
Horizon Public Health staff can also be found working side-by-side with our medical partners in the clinic, providing a much-needed linkage between the primary care providers and the community-based services that support children and adults with challenging behaviors as well as coordination of care for the elderly and disabled. You might step into the schools and find Horizon Public Health nurses consulting with staff and students about health issues as they impact students’ ability to be effective learners or you might see Health Educators providing education and learning experiences for children to promote healthy food choices and active school days. And did you know that you could meet Public Health Environmental Health Specialists in area food and lodging establishments where they work side-by-side with the owner, food manager, and staff to assure a safe food supply and healthy food environment for all of you? Or you could just see these Environmental Health Specialists checking out the public pools in the community and at area hotels.
Horizon Public Health staff also partner with area community organizations as well as other government entities such as cities and counties to develop and implement policies and system changes that promote a healthy community free of secondhand tobacco exposure and rich with opportunities to choose healthy food options and enjoy the benefits of active living. You might be surprised to know that Public Health staff are planning along with your local emergency managers, local law enforcement and other community partners in order to assure an effective response to and recovery from any potential community disaster. And you will see them at community festivals, health fairs and the county fairs.
Last but certainly not least is the team of Horizon Public Health staff that are hard at work back at the office. There you will find highly skilled Horizon Public Health staff with specialized training in a variety of clinic services including Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Well-Child Screening and immunization services. Along with those specialized staff are all of the administrative, financial, program and office support staff that assure strong financial operations, comprehensive human resource support, program-specific and general office support that essentially allow all of us to do our work, regardless of where you find us. There is simply no way to adequately describe the critical role they play in making it possible for Horizon Public Health to meet our challenges and achieve our goals. They provide the foundation upon which our entire organization depends.
So, next time you’re out and about in the community, don’t be surprised if you meet up with Horizon Public Health staff in any number of unexpected places. And even if you don’t see them, you will know that they are everywhere and that because of the great work they do, we all enjoy the benefits of a healthier community.
Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play. While a doctor treats people who are sick, those of us working in public health try to prevent people from getting sick orinjured in the first place. We also promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors.
Many have said that the work of Public Health in the community is the “best kept secret” intown. So while we go about our daily work, often in ways you might not see, Horizon Public Health would like to uncover for you a little about where you might meet up with us in the community.
Our public health system involves many players, not only the Horizon Public Health staff. It includes our medical community, our schools, our churches, our law enforcement partners, the business community, our local and state policymakers and most importantly, it involves each and every one of you.