Supervisors hear from county public health officials

Robert Maharry

Katie Thornton-Lang and Michelle Van Deest of the Grundy County Public Health department addressed the board of supervisors on several new challenges, changes in their employment status and how they’re responding to recent outbreaks during Monday morning’s regular meeting.
Thornton-Lang opened the exchange by announcing that GCPH employees have officially transitioned back to working for the county after formerly operating under a management agreement with Unitypoint.
Some of the highlights of her presentation included details on a recent measles outbreak in Ankeny, a confirmed case of salmonella locally, a session on the opioid crisis at the Governor’s Conference on Public Health, a grant from the Grundy County Community Foundation and a successful social media outreach campaign.
Van Deest will be receiving training on infectious diseases later this month, and she and Thornton-Lang are working with the medical providers in the county to create a more concrete plan in the event of a disease outbreak. In addition, Thornton-Lang discussed natural disaster preparedness after the EF-3 tornado in Marshalltown on Thursday, July 19.
“It’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen (to us). It’s going to be a ‘when’ scenario,” she said.
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