Jackson County Health Department is challenging residents to do at least one thing this year to improve their health for a lifetime.
In a new initiative, the health department is offering outreach clinics to help residents reach their health and wellness goals and boost the overall health level of the county.
The free clinics will be conducted four times a month on a rotating basis at senior citizen centers in Crothersville, Brownstown, Medora and Seymour through the end of October.
The next clinic will be Tuesday at the Medora Senior Citizen Center at 52 W. Main St. Clinics were conducted Saturday at the Seymour Senior Citizen Center at 106 S. Chestnut st., July 5 in Brownstown and July 12 in Crothersville.
Hours for the walk-in clinics are from 1 to 4 p.m.
Services available will be limited to information and education on various health factors such as blood pressure, nutrition counseling, exercise, HIV and Hepatitis C screening and prevention, adult and child vaccinations.
There also will be information available on smoking cessation, assistance with registering for MyVaxIndiana online vaccination records, printing immunization records, emergency readiness and preparation and other services.
Health department officials hope to gather data from the clinics to determine how people are receiving information about health services, what services they need and want and if the outreach clinics are worth continuing in the future.
Lin Montgomery, public health coordinator, said although the first two clinics didn’t attract a lot of people, there were some who visited with questions and to find out more about the health department.
Those who attend the clinics are asked to fill out a survey to give the department a better idea of what services and programs the public is interested in.
The idea for the outreach clinics originated with Dr. Christopher Bunce, the county’s new health officer, Montgomery said.
“We realize that our geographic area is much larger than just Seymour and transportation is an issue for a lot of people,” Montgomery said. “That leaves a lot of outlying areas in the county without services.”
“We wanted to see how well the public would receive these clinics and what kind of services people expect,” she added.
Montgomery said she hopes more people will take advantage of the clinics for free HIV and Hepatitis C testing. If left untreated, HIV leads to AIDS, while Hepatitis C attacks a person’s liver and can result in liver cancer.
“These are diseases that are treatable, but you have to know you have it first,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to get tested and know your status.”
There is no guarantee the clinics will result in new services or programs, but they will allow the health department to get a better feel for the needs of the community, Montgomery added.
“Most people don’t know all of the services the health departments provides,” she said. “We want to be positive and encourage people to start thinking healthier and taking steps to being healthier.”
For more information about Jackson County Health Department’s outreach clinics, call the health department at 812-522-6474.
Schedule of outreach clinics
All clinics are free and no appointments are needed. Times are 1 to 4 p.m.
Brownstown Senior Citizen Center: Aug. 2, Sept. 6, Oct. 4
Crothersville Senior Citizen Center: Aug. 9, Sept. 13, Oct. 11
Medora Senior Citizen Center: July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 18
Seymour Senior Citizen Center: Aug. 23, Sept. 27, Oct. 25