New partner for health dept.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County Health Department has a new partner in the state grant-funded Personal Responsibility Education Program.

Linda Mehl, the department’s director of nursing, said the Lawrence County Health Department is joining the health departments of Belmont, Perry and Noble counties as partners for PREP, which provides education to youth in the juvenile justice and foster care systems regarding prevention of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Each partner coordinates the program for four or five other health departments.

Speaking at the Belmont County Board of Health meeting Monday, she said the partners are seeking a grant of more than $286,000 from the Ohio Department of Youth Services to operate the program in participating counties. The Belmont County Health Department serves as the lead agency for the PREP grant.

In other matters, Mehl said the health department is partnering with WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital to conduct a community health assessment.

The health department conducted an immunization clinic for an Amish community in September. She said 44 people were immunized, primarily because of a whooping cough case.

The board authorized Robert Sproul, deputy health commissioner, to purchase a new printer with security features for the vital statistics division. The printer, costing about $2,000, features locking trays for its paper supply; birth certificates and death certificates can be printed only with a key to the locked equipment.

Board President Elizabeth Glick and members Joel Braido, Dwight Jenewein, James King and Irene Louda attended the meeting. Board member Dr. Renato DelaCruz was absent.

Sproul gave an update on repairs at the county-owned building housing the department’s offices. An exhaust fan has been replaced; repairs to lighting and restrooms have been completed. A second bid has been received for exterior repairs.

One birth and 47 deaths occurred in the county in September, Sproul said. Four storage units for holding bodies temporarily have been moved to WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital from the now-closed East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, he added.

The board’s next meeting will be held at noon Nov. 4 at the health department, 68501 Bannock Road, St. Clairsville. The meeting will be a week earlier than usual because of the Veterans Day holiday.


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