County Health Departments Spotlight Services for Recognition Week
LAWTON, Okla. – National Public Health Week (April 4-10) is an opportunity to spotlight the many community health services provided by the county health departments in southwest Oklahoma. The NPHW theme for 2022 is “Public Health is Where You Are.”
“During the week we will focus on the numerous health programs and clinical services we have at the health department that can make our communities healthier, stronger and safer,” said Brandie Combs, Regional Administrative Director for District 5, which includes Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Grady, Harmon, Jackson, Tillman and Washita counties.
“Your county health department offers a variety of services, such as testing, immunizations, family planning – reproductive health, sexual health and communicable diseases, maternity education, well-baby clinics, adolescent health clinics, newborn hearing screening, child developmental services, environmental health and the SoonerStart program,” said Combs.
Many of the services are free or based on family size and income. SoonerCare and some private insurances are accepted. No one is denied services based on an inability to pay. Contact the county health department to schedule an appointment or for more information.
A few of the services the health department provides to the public are listed below.
Children First: Preparing First-Time Mothers for Parenthood
Children First is a free program for first-time mothers in Oklahoma that provides at-home maternity consultations with specially trained nurses beginning early in the pregnancy and continuing through the child’s second birthday. Mothers receive information on promoting a healthy, safe lifestyle for their family while gaining a greater understanding of the types of help and resources available to them in the community. To be eligible for enrollment, participants must be a first-time mother, less than 29 weeks pregnant at the time of enrollment, with a monthly household income at or below 185% of the federal poverty level.
Immunization Services for Children and Adults
The Immunization Services program provides the information and resources Oklahoma families need to help protect themselves and others by preventing the spread of diseases. The county health department offers immunizations for children as well as select immunizations for adults. Vaccines for children and adolescents include DTaP, IPV, Hepatitis A & B, Pneumococcal, Td/Tdap, Flu, Meningococcal, Hib, MMR, Varicella, HPV, rotavirus and COVID-19.
Oklahoma Women, Infants & Children Program (WIC)
WIC is a federally funded nutrition education and supplemental food program for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to age five. More than 60,000 Oklahomans participate in the WIC program each month. WIC provides a variety of nutritious foods including milk, formula, juice, cheese, cereal, whole grains, beans and eggs. Breastfeeding mothers can receive additional foods. Private consultations with dietitians are available at no cost, as well as online and interactive nutrition education and fitness group classes. Breastfeeding peer counselors are also available to provide support and guidance for new mothers.
You are automatically income-eligible for WIC benefits if you receive Medicaid, SNAP or TANF. WIC is for all kinds of Oklahoma families – married and single parents, working or unemployed. If you are a mother, father, grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian of a child under five years, you can apply for WIC.
The Oklahoma Family Planning Program empowers Oklahomans of reproductive age with the information and services necessary to make healthy choices when considering family size and timing. Services include counseling and referrals, birth control and pregnancy diagnosis, physical exams, screening for sexually transmitted infections and HIV, hepatitis C testing, pap smears and breast exams.
SoonerStart – Early Intervention Program
This program is available to infants and toddlers with developmental delays and/or disabilities. The service provides support and resources to assist family members to enhance a child’s ability to learn new skills and overcome challenges that can increase success in school and life. SoonerStart professionals provide emotional support, offer guidance about child development, point families to other community resources, and ensure child and family goals are met.
Early Intervention Services are provided for eligible children less than three years of age and their families. Children are eligible with an automatically qualifying diagnosis (such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.) or by developmental evaluation with two 25% delays or one 50% delay.
Contact information for District 5 County Health Departments:
Beckham County Health Department
Elk City - 400 E. 3rd St., (580) 225-1173
Sayre - 115 S. 4th St., (580) 928-5551
Caddo County Health Department
Anadarko - 216 W. Broadway, (405) 247-2507
Comanche County Health Department
Lawton - 1010 SW Sheridan Rd., (580) 248-5890
Cotton County Health Department
Walters - 1501-A S. 7th St., (580) 875-6121
Greer County Health Department
Mangum - 2100 N. Louis Tittle, (580) 782-5531
Harmon County Health Department
Hollis - 1104 N. 7th St., (580) 688-3348
Jackson County Health Department
Altus - 401 W. Tamarack Rd., (580) 482-7308
Kiowa County Health Department
Hobart - 431 W. Elm, (580) 726-3316
Tillman County Health Department
Frederick - 1500 N. Main St., (580) 335-2163