HENDRICKS COUNTY, IN – There is no easy way to say it – Americans live shorter lives than many of their peers around the world. In fact, according to the American Public Health Association, the United States ranks 34th in life expectancy amongst all countries around the world.
“We can either accept that we are dying younger, or we can make changes that will allow us to live longer and healthier lives,” says Rachel Fogleman, Public Health Education Specialist with the Hendricks County Health Department. “At the health department, we’re looking at what we can do to protect the public’s health by preventing disease and promoting healthy behaviors.”
To kick off National Public Health Week, Hendricks County residents are encouraged to participate in the Health Department’s programs and services to help protect and improve their health:
- BABY & ME – Tobacco Free™ offers free tobacco cessation counseling to pregnant women to help them quit smoking and stay quit after their baby is born. Participants can earn free baby gear, such as a diaper bag and onesies, as well as $25 monthly diaper vouchers for the first year after baby is born for staying smoke-free. Call (317) 745-9215 for more information about enrolling.
- The Safe Sharps Disposal Program is a partnership with the Hendricks County Solid Waste Management District to provide new sharps containers to and dispose of full FDA-cleared sharps containers for county residents at no charge. Containers can be picked up and dropped off between 8:00 A.M. and noon, and 1:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) in the department’s Nursing Clinic at the Hendricks County Government Center. Call (317) 745-9222 for more information.
- The Child and Adult Immunization Clinic provides age-appropriate vaccinations to uninsured and insured residents, by appointment, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the department’s Nursing Clinic at the Hendricks County Government Center. Call (317) 745-9222 for more information and to schedule an appointment.
- Walk-in HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing is provided by The Damien Center for free every third Thursday of the month between 8:30 A.M. and 11:30 A.M. in the department’s Nursing Clinic at the Hendricks County Government Center. Call (317) 745-9222 for more information.
- Radon and well water test kits are available for residents to pick up anytime between 8:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) in the department’s Environmental Health Division office at the Hendricks County Government Center. Call (317) 745-9217 for more information.
- Residents can file environmental health complaints and report mosquito breeding areas for treatment by calling (317) 745-9217.
- Residents can view inspection reports for food establishments online at http://hcapps.co.hendricks.in.us/Health/Health_FoodSystem_InspectionSearch.asp, and for public pools at http://hcapps.co.hendricks.in.us/Health/EH_PoolSystem_PoolSearch.asp. Residents can call (317) 745-9217 to speak with an Environmental Health Specialist about inspection reports for tattoo and piercing shops as well.
- Residents can join the Hendricks County Medical Reserve Corps to receive free training and volunteer their time during public health emergencies. This is open to both medical and non-medical county residents. Call (317) 745-9214 for more information about joining.
- Residents can request presentations, health information, or data on a variety of health topics by calling (317) 745-9372.
“We are always looking to expand our programs and services, as well as partnering with other members of our local public health system to find ways to improve health in the county,” continues Fogleman. “If the Health Department doesn’t offer a program or service someone needs, we definitely want to connect them with someone who can help.”
For more information about National Public Health Week, visit http://www.nphw.org/. For more information about programs and services offered by the Hendricks County Health Department, call (317) 745-9217 or (317) 745-9222 (Nursing Division).