Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
Jefferson County Public Health announces ‘Ask a Nurse’ program
FAIRFIELD — Jefferson County Public Health has launched a program called “Ask a Nurse” that focuses on community outreach and education.
Jefferson County Public Health staff nurse Deb Buch, who runs the program, said the educational component involves giving public presentations to large groups. For instance, earlier this week, Buch spoke to 28 people at the Fairfield Community Center about vision safety for the elderly. That’s something she does on the second Wednesday of the month, and on the fourth Wednesday of the month she does blood pressure screenings at the center.
Other topics that Buch has presented on through “Ask a Nurse” include diabetes, stress management, insomnia and cardiac disease.
Jefferson County Public Health Administrator Chris Estle said this program is part of public health’s refocused strategy on population health, now that the COVID pandemic has died down compared to what it was three years ago.
Buch said she conducts regular programs in Fairfield’s senior living centers such as Logan Apartments, Wagon Wheel and Calu Apartments.
“Today, I went to Logan and met a man who had just moved here, and didn’t have a phone yet,” Buch said. “He was out walking on Sunday, and twisted his knee. We found transportation for him, found him a doctor and made an appointment for him.”
Buch said the “Ask a Nurse” initiative has taken her into private businesses, too, such as one business in town that just began a wellness program. She’s helping that business with its blood pressure screenings and other parts of the program. She’s also speaking in front of service organizations such as Rotary and Lions Club.
Estle said this renewed focus on population health is also being done to comply with state directives. She said public health used to focus heavily on in-home care, but it has ceased doing that altogether so as not to compete with private firms providing that service.
Estle noted that public health recently joined the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce, which has given the department more exposure.
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