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Story from the Field

Name of Health Department/Agency: Jefferson County Health Department
State: OH
Date Added: 11/25/2009
Themes: Communications - Priority Groups,Communications - Vaccine Safety
Issue Summary: Jefferson County teams up with another health dept. to education public about H1N1
Description of Issue(s):

The Jefferson County Health Department, in adjunction with the City of Steubenville Health Department, has teamed up with Trinity Health System in an order to educate and promote prevention measures of H1N1 to the general population.

Actions taken to address the issue(s): The Jefferson County Health Department conducted a "Spread Good Habits" campaign starting in October. Billboards, television commercials, newspaper articles, and radio commercials were conducted to promote education and public awareness of basic flu prevention measures. The departments website was updated weekly to address questions and concerns about the virus and also linked viewers to the CDC's website and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website for additional resources. Many special interest groups requested additional information and presentations about the H1N1 flu and vaccine, so several PowerPoint presentations were conducted to educate these individuals. The local television station conducted a H1N1 hotline, several local hospital representatives and the health department were present to answer callers questions and concerns. Due to numerous phone calls coming into the department a H1N1 hotline was added to the department's phone system. Television commercials & newspaper ads advertised clinic dates, times, and locations. Since April, monthly meetings have been conducted with local partners in order to plan, prepare, and update businesses about the virus.

The Jefferson County Health Department has coordinated with special population organizations to reach these represented individuals. The county has a small percentage at 3.8% of non-English speaking populations. For those who speak a different language or cannot speak/hear, we have met with program coordinators within the county to reach these individuals. We have done outreach clinics to residents & students of the Jefferson County Board of Disabilities, pregnant women, deaf & hard of hearing community, and we offer the vaccine in the office during clinic days to anyone that meets the criteria. The department has been in contact with the County's Head Start program coordinator and homeless shelter directors discussing scheduled clinic dates, times, and locations.

Outcomes that resulted from actions taken: The Jefferson County Health Department has received numerous phone calls and has been approached directly by people during clinics about the safety of the vaccine. Department staff has been advised to educate callers or persons asking about the safety, ensuring that it is FDA approved and was produced in the same manner as the seasonal flu vaccine. Also, they are encouraged to advise these individuals to visit the CDC's and the FDA's website for additional information.

See attached report for more in-depth review.

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