DHD No. 10 wraps up summer and prepares for fall

The Mecosta County Services Building, located on 14485 Northland Drive, Big Rapids, offers many different services for those in need. (Pioneer photo/Alicia Jaimes)

MECOSTA, LAKE COUNTIES — As people enjoy the back-end of summer and prepare for fall, the District Health Department No. 10 is in the background, ensuring safety for every occasion.

“District Health Department No. 10 is a local public health agency that promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play,” DHD No. 10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes said. “Where doctors treat people who are sick, public health tries to prevent illness or injury in the first place. We also promote wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors.”

DHD No. 10 did just that this summer as they worked to fight against the Michigan hepatitis A outbreak by visiting summer festivals with health educators and community health workers, educating festival-goers on how to prevent hepatitis A. They also were able to allow a personal health nurse to administer the hepatitis A vaccine to festival workers and guests.

With some of the DHD No. 10 divisions occupied with preventing health issues, their environmental health division was busy with inspections.

“Our environmental health division is busiest in the summer with well and septic inspections when homes are being built, and with temporary food licensing during summer festivals,” Hughes said.

Now, with fall around the corner and first days of school even closer, DHD No. 10 has begun working with their personal health division with getting students immunized for school and also hosting flu clinics to get people immunized before flu season strikes. Hughes said with new flu vaccines available, it will help prevent the projected strains for the upcoming flu season.

Kevin Hughes

One of DHD No. 10’s many responsibilities, according to Hughes, is to assure healthy conditions so people can be healthy. This could include vaccinations to prevent disease, educating people about the risks of alcohol and tobacco, setting safety standards to protect workers and developing school nutrition programs to ensure kids have access to healthy food.

While DHD No. 10 provides various opportunities and help, they are not responsible for disputes with landlords, bedbugs, mold, head lice, gas station food or roadside stands such as bake sales.

“One common misconception with the health department is that our services are only for low-income families or those with no health insurance,” Hughes said. “While we do have programs that have income requirements for qualification, such as WIC, we have many programs for individuals, families and businesses that do not have requirements.

“DHD No. 10 is a great resource for many people in our community. We are helpful, knowledgeable and will try to help anyone that walks through our doors.”

DHD No. 10 is the largest geographic health department in Michigan, serving 10 counties including; Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford.

The DHD No. 10 Mecosta County office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at the Mecosta County Services Building, 14485 Northland Drive, Big Rapids.

For more information on DHD No. 10, visit dhd10.org/programs-services/.

DHD No. 10 is the largest geographic health department in Michigan, serving 10 counties including; Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana and Wexford. Pictured is the services building located in Mecosta County. (Pioneer photo/Alicia Jaimes)

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