April 1, 2008
PUBLIC HEALTH MANAGEMENT:
A QUIET BUT POWERFUL FORCE IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY
Charlotte, NC – It is present everywhere, everyday, and in all of our lives. Many residents of Mecklenburg County may not even be aware of the scope of this silent force. However, public health management affects us all and contributes mightily to the quality of life in our county.
April is North Carolina Public Health Month and the Mecklenburg County Health Department wants residents to know about all of the benefits provided through public health management.
A kickoff event will be held on Saturday, April 5, at 9 a.m. at Seversville Park, 540 Bruns Avenue. “Faithful Together” Walk-It-Out will recognize the ongoing work of the department’s Health Disparities Initiative called the Community Health Leadership Academy.
This partnership, with Johnson C. Smith University, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and 15 churches in high morbidity areas, seeks to expand the Health Department’s outreach efforts. Particular challenges in these localities include cancer, diabetes, physical activity and nutrition. In addition to the walk, there will be nutrition counseling and handouts, body mass index checks, and a Fit City Challenge booth.
“Without question, the contributions of the health department, as a main force in prevention and protection programs, have made a meaningful difference for the people in our community,” said Wynn Mabry, health director for Mecklenburg County. “I am extremely proud of the more than 500 healthcare professionals in our department who provide the 10 essential services required by a high quality health department and approved by our State Accreditation Board.”
But imagine what it would be like if there was no health department.
· Your kids are sick with measles or mumps or they just need their shots to be able to go to school. What would you do if there was NO health department to give immunizations?
· Your wife is pregnant and needs assistance to insure she and her unborn baby receive the nutritious diet they need. What if there was NO health department to help during pregnancy and after birth through the WIC, breastfeeding and many other programs for moms and children?
· You learn that a close relative has contracted a sexually transmitted disease. What if there was NO health department to turn to for counseling and treatment?
· After eating lunch at a local restaurant, you become ill due to a foodborne illness. What if there was no health department to train food service workers in the proper food preparation techniques and hygiene?
· The TV news tells you that a terrorist has released a biological weapon, likely loaded with anthrax. What if there was no health department to set up mass vaccination clinics to help prevent its spread or to train volunteers to staff them?
These are only a fraction of the services provided by the Mecklenburg County Health Department. Residents can access restaurant inspection reports, communicable disease statistics, and even learn how to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle by logging onto our website at