Preston Health Department to offer dental services to children and pregnant women

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Health Department  (PCHD) could offer some dental services in the near future.

PCHD Administrator V.J. Davis said  Your Community Foundation (YCF) contacted him about partnering with the Monongalia County Health Department to offer dental services to pregnant women and children. The foundation serves Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties.

Davis said Mon County has a mobile dental van that will soon be in service.  He said the van would come to Preston and other counties to offer services.

“Not many health departments offer dental services,” Davis said. “I believe the Mon County Health Department is the only one in northeastern West Virginia that does.”

He said Mon County would administer the grant for the program. “We will have to provide a place for the van to park,” Davis said.  “It may even expand to offer [other] dental services on a regular basis.” He will provide an update about the program at the Nov.14 board meeting.

Davis said the PCHD is still looking for an attorney to handle its proposed waste water revolving loan fund. The fund would provide low interest loans to county residents based on income. The funds could be used to repair or replace failing sewage systems, or to have a new one installed. Davis would like to start the program with $50,0000.

Davis said the program would be based on one in Mon County.  “I talked to one of our [county] commissioners about it. He said he thought it would be a good idea. He said I should wait and present the idea to the commission this fall to get on next year’s budget.”

Davis said the Local Health Department Association is trying to get some of the money back from last year’s state budget cuts. He said local departments will hold a round-table discussion in Clarksburg to discuss public health with state representatives.

“It was very productive last year,” Davis said.  “Two of our local representatives, Sen. Dave Sypolt and Del. Buck Jennings, attended the meeting.”

PCHD will receive another 100 doses of Hepatitis A vaccine, Davis said. He said the first 100 was donated to the North Central Regional Jail, where two inmates were diagnosed with the illness.  Hepatitis A is a communicable disease of the liver caused by a virus. It is usually transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water.

Davis said the state gave each county 100 free doses of the vaccine for first responders. Dr. Fred Conley said the hospital association suggested using some of the vaccine for hospital personnel. “People working in the lab and the emergency room can come in contact with Hepatitis A,” he said.

Davis said the PCHD is handing out material to food handlers and restaurant personnel during inspections. “Hepatitis A can be spread when a food service workers doesn’t wash their hands. The more education we can supply them with the better,” he said.

The only insurance the PCHD can accept for Hepatitis A shots is PEIA or Health Plan. The vaccinations are $65 each.

In other business, Davis said there will be a mock radiological event Oct. 18. He said the event will be both table top and hands on. First responders and hospital staff will participate in the drill.

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