Health department updates county board

March 13, 2013

By Lisa Enos

MCP Correspondent

LUDINGTON – Health Officer Linda VanGills of District Health Department #10 gave an update on the department to the Mason County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning. She said her department is working with the area junior and senior high schools and the State, Sheriff’s, Chief’s Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT) team in prevention of prescription drug abuse.

VanGills also talked about the 1,600 Mason County residents who will be affected If Medicaid is not expanded, and said that change is coming whether it does or not. 

She said Mason County has a lower infant mortality rate than other counties and that Mason County is strong in maternal aid and infant healthcare, has a strong WIC program and is working to promote breastfeeding.

One area where Mason County is lacking is that we do not have a dental clinic, she said. However, nearly 2000 people from Mason County were served last year at the dental clinics in Manistee and Oceana, she said.

VanGills thanked the county board for providing funds for improvements to the district’s lab for the local beach monitoring program. The health department conducts water quality tests to confirm that the waterways are safe for total body contact recreation. According to VanGills Mason County is one of the healthier counties of the 10 in the district. She said that income is a key factor and also stated that communities that are walkable, have bike paths, parks and places where families can recreate are typically healthier communities. 

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