Wednesday, November 26, 2014

World AIDS Day events planned in Mobile

MOBILE, Ala. -- A service to honor and recognize those who have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS is planned for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1 at Cornerstone MCC Church, 1006 Government St. in Mobile.

Organizers describe the event as an evening of entertainment and information which will include art, music and vital health information. The service is sponsored by the Mobile AIDS Coalition, the Mobile County Health Department, Missing Link Consumer Group, Franklin Primary Health Center Inc.  and the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Specialty Clinics.

On Dec. 12, the Scarlett Event, will begin at 5 p.m. in Cathedral Square in downtown Mobile. This fundraiser is presented as a way to raise awareness about the treatment and prevention of AIDS and HIV in the community and to celebrate the strength of those living with the illnesses. Organizers want to offer hope to those living with HIV/AIDS during the event that is held during the popular Art Walk series.

While new drug therapies have helped improve outcomes for those with HIV, Several So far this year, at least 88 people have been diagnosed with new HIV/AIDS infections in Mobile County.
The infection knows no race, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic boundaries. It continues to infect as many as 50,000 people a year in the U.S., among them women and children.

Historically, Mobile County has had one of the highest HIV infection rates per capita in Alabama, according to Dr. Bernard Eichold, who leads the Mobile County Health Department. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV or AIDS, and more than 20 percent of them don’t know they are infected.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS. HIV is different from most other viruses because it attacks the immune system. AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome and is the final stage of HIV infection.

Health officials urge people to get the flu shot now before the season peaks

MOBILE, Ala. -- Cold and flu season is off to a slow start in Mobile County and around the country this year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. In Mobile County from Oct. 1 until Nov. 25, there were a total of 16 cases of influenza reported to the Mobile County Health Department from area hospitals and Family Health clinics. To put that in perspective, there are about 416,000 residents living in Mobile County, according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau figures.

In October, 12 cases of the flu were reported to the health agency. Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 25, four cases of influenza were reported. As of Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2014, only one person had been admitted to the hospital. The age range of the flu patients in Mobile spanned from 11 months old to 83. Of the cases reported so far, 14 people were diagnosed with Type B, while two patients were diagnosed with Type A.

The Mobile County Health Department offers the 2014-2015 seasonal flu vaccine to those age 6 months and older without an appointment Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Health Department’s Immunization Clinic, 251 N. Bayou St. in downtown Mobile. It typically takes about two weeks for a person to build up immunity to the flu after they are vaccinated. 

The shots also are available by appointment at MCHD’s outlying Family Health centers. Appointments can be made by calling 251-690-8889. The shots are $15 each, payable in the exact amount by cash or credit card, or by using Medicaid or Medicare Part B, or private insurance that covers the cost.

Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises people to take the following precautions to prevent the spread of colds and flu this season:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. No tissue? Cough and sneeze into your upper arm or sleeve.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If you are sick, stay home.


Holiday help: Mobile County Health Department collecting food for the Bay Area Food Bank

MOBILE, Alabama -- The Mobile County Health Department's Social and Nutritional Programs division is hosting the 2014 annual food drive to benefit the Bay Area Food Bank.
"I'd like to ask everyone to take a few minutes to share from your pantry to help us have a successful drive," said Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for Mobile County.
Last year, Health Department employees showed their generosity by donating 616 pounds of food, which was enough to provide 473 meals for needy families and residents living along the Gulf Coast.
"We have set a goal of collecting 850 pounds of food this year," Eichold said. "If we reach our goal, we'll have a special dress down day in January to celebrate our accomplishment."
Staff members should bring food donations to the annual holiday staff training and employee recognition event at noon, Friday, Dec. 5, 2015, at the Mobile Marriott on Airport Boulevard.

Cash prizes and bragging rights up for grabs in MCHD holiday door decorating contest

More than 215 women received free clinical breast exams in October from Family Health providers

Family Health staff at the Women's Center in Mobile wear pink to help promote
Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2014. More than 215 women
got free clinical breat exams during October from Family Health providers.

MOBILE, Ala. – During October, 215 local women received free clinical breast exams during special clinics held by the Mobile County Health Department’s Family Health primary care division.

“We’re pleased that so many women chose to be proactive and took advantage of the free examinations,” said Dr. Bernard Eichold, Health Officer for the Mobile County Health Department. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. We know screenings save lives.”

Some of the clinics – which offered free clinical breast examinations to those without insurance and the underinsured between the ages of 40 and 64 -- were held in the mobile medical unit at Walmart locations across Mobile County. Approximately 112 exams were performed in the medical clinic on wheels, which features two state-of-the-art exam rooms.

The American Cancer Society and Walmart partnered with the Mobile County Health Department’s Family Health division, and other area health care providers, to promote breast cancer awareness and health education throughout the month of October. 

Three other special clinics were offered at Family’s Health’s Women’s Center on Fridays in October. During those events, 112 women received the free clinical examinations.

About Family Health
Since 1979, the Mobile County Health Department’s Family Health division has provided comprehensive primary care services throughout Mobile County and now provides primary care services at nine sites from Mount Vernon to Tillman’s Corner to Dauphin Island Parkway. The sites, which are all designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers, are strategically located where the targeted population needs are the greatest and access to care is limited, agency officials said. A mobile health unit also brings primary care and wellness screenings to those who might not otherwise have the means to travel to a health center.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Health Department's Joel Tate elected to American College of Healthcare Executives Council of Regents

MOBILE, Alabama -- Joel W. Tate, FACHE, Assistant Health Officer, Mobile County Health Department, has been appointed to the Council of Regents, the legislative body of the American College of Healthcare Executives. The Council of Regents serves as the vital link between ACHE and members by approving governance and membership regulations as well as promoting ACHE programs, services and activities within their respective areas.

Tate will take office at the Council of Regents meeting March 14, 2015, during ACHE’s 58th Congress on Healthcare Leadership at the Hilton Chicago. As a Regent, Tate will represent ACHE’s membership in District 4.

“I am honored to be selected for this new role with the American College of Healthcare Regents and to represent our state,” Tate said. “This is an exciting time to be recognized as a leader within the field of healthcare executives.”

Before his promotion to Assistant Health Officer in 2014, Tate joined the Mobile County Health Department in 2011 as a public health director overseeing the agency’s largest bureau. Prior to that, Tate led hospitals in Alabama and Oklahoma as president. From 2004 to 2009 he was president of Walker Baptist Medical Center in Jasper, Ala. From 1995 to 2004, he was President and CEO at McAlester Regional Health Center in McAlester, Oklahoma, a 267-bed acute care facility with a staff of nearly a 1,000.

Earlier in his career, he served in leadership positions with Integris Health Systems in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Tate also worked as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma Baptist University for four years, teaching healthcare administration and senior level seminars.
He earned an MBA from Oklahoma City University, in Oklahoma City and a B.S. degree in healthcare administration from Oklahoma Baptist University. He is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Mobile.
Tate serves on the Board of the Satsuma City School System, and was re-certified as a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2006. He serves on the Board of Directors for the ACHE Alabama Executive Forum. Tate is an Alabama Public Health Employees Association member, and also serves as a member of the Lions Club in Satsuma and the Rotary Club in Mobile.
American College of Healthcare Executives

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 40,000 healthcare executives who lead hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE offers its prestigious FACHE credential, signifying board certification in healthcare management. ACHE's established network of 80 chapters provides access to networking, education and career development at the local level. In addition, ACHE is known for its magazine, Healthcare Executive, and its career development and public policy programs. Through such efforts, ACHE works toward its goal of being the premier professional society for healthcare executives dedicated to improving healthcare delivery.

The Foundation of the American College of Healthcare Executives was established to further advance healthcare management excellence through education and research. The Foundation of ACHE is known for its educational programs, including the annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership, which draws more than 4,000 participants, and groundbreaking research. Its publishing division, Health Administration Press, is one of the largest publishers of books and journals on health services management including textbooks for college and university courses.