Friday, February 13, 2015

New grant funds repairs to former U.S. Marine Hospital that's older than the Statue of Liberty

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mobile County Health Department was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Alabama Historical Commission through its Capital Enhancements Grant Program, according to Mark Bryant, Grants Coordinator at MCHD. 

The money will be used to help offset the cost for repairs to an original section of the Keeler building that was originally a U.S. Marine Hospital beginning in 1842. During that time, the structure provided a space to care for sick and disabled seaman. In 1955, the U.S. Marine Hospital was converted into a tuberculosis hospital, and was named in honor of Frank S. Keeler.

In 1974, the TB clinic closed. The Saint Anthony Street facility, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, soon changed hands. In December of 1974, the Mobile County Board of Health entered into a lease/purchase arrangement for the building. In 1983, all Mobile County Health Department services were moved to the building located in downtown Mobile.

The structure is older than the Statue of Liberty and remains a landmark to Mobile’s medical history. The first phase of repair work was recently completed, after a construction crew reinforced the northeast corner of the building closest to North Bayou Street with new beams.

Mobile County Health Department named 'Employer of the Year' by Virginia College

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mobile County Health Department has been named Employer of the Year by Virginia College in Mobile. An award will be presented to MCHD during the college’s upcoming commencement ceremony March 30, 2015 at the Mobile Convention Center.

Alabama’s oldest public health agency was selected for the honor because of the support given to graduates through externship opportunities, offering interview practice, participation on an advisory board, as well as for the training and hiring of new graduates.  MCHD’s Medical Staff Coordinator, Denise Peele, works closely with area colleges and training centers throughout the year to ensure a successful experience for interns and other medical staff.

Virginia College, founded in 1983, is a private institution that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Computer Design, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and more with locations in 27 different cities. The schools are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) which is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Family Health awarded $10,000 dental equipment grant for Dauphin Island Parkway Health Center

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Mobile County Health Department's Family Health division was recently awarded a $10,000 grant by the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation. The money will be used to help offset the cost of purchasing dental equipment for the Dauphin Island Parkway Health Center.

Among the items to be purchased include an exam chair, lights, an X-ray system, and a computer, said Dr. Kerri Bowie, Family Health's Dental Department director. Bowie said the DIP Health Center, which is in close proximity to at least three public schools and several Head Start programs, will soon be able to provide cleanings, sealants and screenings to children.

Right now, only screenings are available at the DIP Health Center. Dr. Bowie said with a dentist at the site one day a week, she anticipates serving 15 patients a day for a total of 780 encounters a year.

The mission of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is to increase access to dental care by providing grants to non-profit community clinics that extend the benefits of dentistry to underserved residents in communities across the region.

Family Health's dental clinics provide teeth cleaning and treatment services to children between the ages of 1 and 20 and adults who qualify. Fees are based on a patient’s family size and income.

Services are offered at the Downtown Health Center, Eight Mile Health Center, North Mobile Health Center in Mount Vernon and the Semmes Health Center. Dental services will soon be available at the Southwest Health Center and at the DIP Health Center. To find out about how to qualify for services, call 251-690-8139.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Deadline looms: Family Health offers expanded hours to sign up for health insurance downtown

MOBILE, Ala. – The Mobile County Health Department’s Family Health division will have certified application counselors available from 8 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week, at its downtown location, 251 N. Bayou St., to assist those who want to enroll in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace created through the Affordable Care Act.

The 2015 open enrollment period ends in FIVE days on Feb. 15, 2015. Those who don’t have health coverage during 2015 may have to pay a fee when filing income tax returns.

Family Health and other community partners are offering a variety of opportunities to assist the community with enrolling in the federal health insurance marketplace, also known as Obamacare. All Family Health locations across Mobile County will have staff members available to assist with the enrollment process.

For more information, call 251-445-8632. The and websites, as well as Family Health and MCHD’s Facebook and Twitter pages also offer more information about signing up before the deadline.

About Family Health: In 1979, the Mobile County Health Department launched its primary care division as a way to provide quality health care in areas where the needs are the greatest in Mobile County. Thirty-five years later, a new name and logo were launched to reflect Family Health’s continuous commitment to providing healthcare for all generations. In 2014, more than 40,000 separate patients visited Family Health’s nine primary care sites across Mobile County.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Measles outbreak update: Mobile County Health Department shares vaccination information

Monica Z. Knight, Director of the Bureau of Disease Control and Environmental Health
with the Mobile County Health Department, talks this week with a WKRG television
reporter about the number of students in Mobile County who haven't been vaccinated
because of religious or medical reasons. There are 36 such cases in Mobile as of February 2015.

MOBILE, Ala. -- As the number of cases of measles continues to climb across the U.S. this week, media outlets in Mobile have been looking to the Mobile County Health Department to answer questions about how many students in public and private schools in the area are exempt from having age-appropriate childhood vaccinations because of medical or religious reasons.

While no cases of measles have been reported in Alabama in 2015, other states in the western U.S. have seen cases of the childhood disease that can lead to other serious health conditions.

In Alabama, some 92 percent of school-age students have received their needed vaccinations, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Mobile County Health Department's nutrition staff adds something extra to Scale Back Alabama

Members of the Nutrition Services staff of the Mobile County Health Department show off some of the salad bar items prepared for the Friday, Feb. 6, 2015 lunch and learn program. Margaret McCulloch, Rachel Meyers and Minette Elder also passed out information about healthy snacks and using fruits and vegetables to help manage weight. To join the salad bar series, contact McCulloch at