Education and prevention are vital to maintaining a healthy community.
- CARE Coalition
- Child Care Health
- Communicable Disease Control
- Health Education
- Healthy Smiles Dental Project
- Public Health Preparedness
- School Health
- Vital Records
Child Care Health
Our Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) works with individual child care facilities to help create environments that best support the healthy growth and development of young children. She is a nurse who knows about child health, child development, and health and safety in child care settings and offers onsite and telephone consultation, health education, and technical assistance to these facilities. Although CCHCs are not responsible for regulating child care facilities, they do interpret North Carolina Child Care Rules and the National Health and Safety Performance Standards and provide guidance to child care programs. Our CCHCs partner with child care providers to assess the health and safety needs and practices in the child care facility, develop strategies for inclusion of children with special care needs, establish and review health policies and procedures, manage and prevent injuries and infectious diseases, connect families with community health resources, and provide health education for staff members, families and children.
Communicable Disease Control
One of the best ways to keep our community healthy is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The primary role of our communicable disease nurses is surveillance, or monitoring the number of cases and types of diseases and illnesses in the community, to identify trends and patterns in the population. They focus on “reportable” diseases, which are conditions that, due to their infectious nature and the risks they pose in being spread to others, are mandated under state law to be reported to the local health department for follow-up by health care providers, hospitals, and laboratories. When necessary, communicable disease nurses conduct follow-up investigations, which include interviewing persons affected by communicable disease, and implement control measures to slow or stop the spread of disease. Recommended measures might include vaccination, treatment of other individuals exposed to the illness (prophylaxis), or temporary restriction from work or school. Communicable disease nurses also educate people about communicable diseases and how to prevent the transmission of diseases to others.
Health education works to improve the health status of both individuals and communities, enhance the quality of life for all people, and reduce premature deaths and disability. By focusing on prevention, health education reduces the costs (both financial and human) spent on medical treatment. Our public health educator develops and implements programs and events to improve and maintain healthy lifestyles and prevent a wide variety of health problems, helps people find health services or information, and advocates for improved health resources and policies that promote health. The health educator also teaches people about health topics and behaviors that promote wellness, such as physical activity, nutrition, handwashing and hygiene, and reproductive health. She can provide contacts for additional counseling on nutrition, breastfeeding support, smoking cessation, and diabetes management. Every three years, the health educator coordinates conducting a Community Needs Assessment, which gathers data on the county’s current health status, and works with community members to determine our Priority Health Needs. In interim years, she develops a State of the County’s Health report to describe progress made toward addressing those needs. View recent reports here.
Healthy Smiles Dental Project
Our dental hygienist provides age-appropriate dental health education, screenings for dental decay, and supplies such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss. She visits all county preschools and daycares, as well as all 1st and 3rd grade students in Transylvania County Schools. She also assists with referrals to and coordination of dental care.
The CARE Coalition works to empower collaborative partnerships to reduce substance misuse in Transylvania County. It promotes prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts among youth and adults to support a vibrant, healthful community. Facilitated by paid staff, the Coalition convenes members from a variety of community sectors as well as parents, people in recovery, and other concerned citizens. CARE’s workgroups focus on evidence-based strategies to build protective factors for youth and advocate for a community-wide response to substance use that includes changing community norms, limiting access and availability of drugs and alcohol, promoting recovery, and reducing harm. The Coalition meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00pm, and all are welcome to attend. Contact [email protected] for meeting details.
There is a direct connection between health and learning, which is why our school health nurses provide basic care and case management in all Transylvania County Schools. These school nurses do more than apply bandages and take temperatures! They provide medical expertise, monitor students with routine and special needs, and train teachers and staff to assist with medical procedures (like administering insulin to diabetic children, or using an epi pen to combat a severe allergy reaction). School nurses also provide education on health topics in the schools, screen for special health needs, and coordinate efforts to prevent illness, such as immunization clinics. If you have questions regarding your child’s medical needs while attending school, please call your child’s school for your school nurse’s contact information.
Our deputy registrar processes certificates and maintains evidence of all births and deaths occurring in Transylvania County. To obtain a certified copy of a birth or death certificate, please contact the Transylvania County Register of Deeds at (828) 884-3162.
Public Health Preparedness
Public health preparedness refers to a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from infectious, occupational, or environmental incidents that affect the health of that community. Our preparedness coordinator works with emergency management, health care organizations (private and community-based), mental and behavioral health providers, community and faith-based partners, and other state and local government agencies to develop a coordinated response to these incidents. Public health preparedness includes developing a planned response to a variety of public health hazards, conducting surveillance and investigating disease outbreaks, coordinating mass care and medical surge efforts, implementing countermeasures and mitigation, and communicating information to the community and partner agencies.