COVID-19 vaccination is open to all people that want to be vaccinated on April 5, 2021. Pfizer is able to be administered to people ages 16 and older, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson is approved for people 18 and older. The Iowa Department of Public Health stresses that the best vaccine is the first available vaccine to each of you. The most up-to-date information can be found on our Facebook page.
Iowa began Phase 1B for COVID vaccinations on 2/1/2021. This group includes people greater than 65 years of age and various industries that are divided into 5 tiers. The people meeting the age group requirements will be vaccinated all through Phase 1B and we will be working through those in the various tiers at the same time. We must work through the tiers in the order prescribed by the Iowa Department of Public Health. For those people that are 65 and older that have a medical provider in Storm Lake, the provider’s office will reach out when there is vaccine available to schedule an appointment. We are currently working to vaccinate those in Tier 1. This includes first responders such as firefighters, police officers, and child welfare social workers. This tier also includes PK-12 school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers. Vaccine availability remains very low in our county. This causes a great deal of frustration for people, but we are getting the vaccine out to our community as quickly as we possibly can. We will continue to provide updates on our website, our Facebook Page, and through various media sources frequently as things change.
Caring Is What We Do Best!
Public Health Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care touches the lives of Buena Vista County residents every day. Our Public Health services prepare for, respond to and recover from Public Health emergencies such as the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Epidemic. We aid in the prevention of epidemics and spread of disease through our investigations of communicable and infectious diseases. Healthy behaviors are promoted through agency programs.
Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care employs skilled professional nurses and certified home care aides who provide skilled and compassionate care in the home to all age groups. Our home care programs allow clients to reach and maintain their optimal level of care and quality of life. Our care is available to anyone meeting admission criteria regardless of funding. Our goal is to assist clients to remain in their home.
- Skilled Nursing Services
- Child, Adolescent and Adult Immunizations
- Tuberculosis testing and follow up
- Communicable disease teaching and follow up
- Tobacco Prevention
- Family STEPS
- Community education on health related topics/prevention
- Safe Sharps Program
For a FREE home visit to evaluate for services CALL: 712-749-2548
For more information on Public Health Issues in Iowa, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health website: www.idph.state.ia.us
Blood Pressure Screening
Anyone can come to Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care at anytime to have their blood pressure checked by nursing staff. It is recommended that you call us at 712-749-2548 to schedule a time when nursing staff are available in the office. Our office is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. There is no charge for this service. The nurse may provide you with medical counseling regarding your blood pressure if appropriate.
Board of Health
The Board of Health’s basic obligation is to the community, whom it represents, but it also has a responsibility to the people who use the service, and to the programs and staff of Public Health & Home Care and Environmental Health which it governs.
Care for Yourself
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Communicable Disease Investigation
Infectious diseases are a continuing threat to all people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status. They cause illness, suffering and even death, and place an enormous financial burden on society. Although modern advances have controlled some infectious diseases, new ones are constantly emerging. State public health officials rely on local public health agencies, health care providers, laboratories and other public health personnel to report the occurrence of notifiable diseases. Without such data, trends cannot be accurately monitored, unusual occurrences of diseases (such as outbreaks) might not be detected or appropriately responded to, and the effectiveness of control and prevention activities cannot be evaluated.
Case investigation is completed by local public health nurses. Case investigation involves determining possible sources of the person’s infection, assessing the likelihood that the individual will transmit the infection to others, and providing education regarding prevention of further spread from the ill person to their contacts. This is done through the thorough and timely collection of data specific to each communicable disease.
The Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology at Iowa Department of Public Health reviews and interprets all surveillance data. The interpretation focuses on elements that would lead to the control and prevention of the condition and its spread. Your local public health office and the state work closely together to keep Iowans and Buena Vista County residents healthy.
Community Health Assessment
Every five years, local boards of health are responsible to lead a community-wide discussion with stakeholders and residents about their community’s health needs. Buena Vista County Board of Health has designated Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care to complete this duty on their behalf. After identifying needs in the community the next step is to identify strategies to address those needs. The process, Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan (CHNA and HIP) is a fundamental piece of statewide health planning. CHNA and HIP has more than a 20 year history in Iowa and represents local action to promote and protect the health of Iowans.
Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care met with local community stakeholders in the fall of 2015. We reviewed health data specific to Buena Vista County, determined our three priority issues and developed a five year plan to make health improvements in our county. Buena Vista County’s three priority health needs as determined by this process are colon cancer, obesity rates and limited access to mental health assistance.
In February of 2016, all 99 counties in Iowa submitted a brief report on their needs assessment and health improvement plans to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH has completed a comprehensive analysis of the CHNA and HIP submissions and issued a report, Understanding Community Health Needs in Iowa. The report demonstrates the scope of Iowa’s health needs and identifies critical issues affecting the health of Iowans.
Flu Clinics Schedules
If you get the flu, it doesn’t just affect your health. You may expose family, friends, and co-workers to an infection that kills an average of 36,000 people each year in the United States. It is very important to be vaccinated each year to prevent this disease as the flu strains change each year. Buena Vista Public Health and Home Care believes it is important to get vaccinated and provides flu clinics in each community in our county during flu season. We also provide flu vaccinations for school personnel and businesses. Medicare Part B covers the flu shot for all those eligible. Others may choose to pay a minimal fee for the vaccine. Children who meet eligibility requirements may also be covered under Vaccine For Children (VFC) program.
A listing of clinics in our county will be posted during flu season. For additional information or questions feel free to call our office at 712-749-2548.
Flu Vaccine available to those 6 months of age & older. Especially people who are medically high risk and those who have not had a severe reaction to eggs. Please bring a copy of your Medicare Part B card with you OR $25.00 cash. Humana & Coventry not accepted. Open to the public, however in order to help with social distancing at the Public Health Office, we ask that you call to reserve a time.
Why get vaccinated? Influenza “Flu” is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions.
Get the vaccine as soon as it is available.
If you have a severe allergy to eggs you should not get the vaccine. A severe allergy to any vaccine component may be a reason not to get the vaccine. Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare.
Mild problems: soreness, redness, or swelling where shot was given, hoarseness, sore red or itchy eyes, cough, fever aches, headache itching fatigue. If the problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.
Life-threatening allergic reactions from vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few hours after the shot.
Bring $25.00 or your Medicare Card part b card with you. Humana Gold is NOT accepted.
Health Education is a key in promoting healthy behaviors. Public Health Nurses will do a presentation on various health related issues, or current diseases, such as diabetes, head lice, vaccinations, or other health related topics.
This is free of charge for anyone or any organizations that are in Buena Vista County. You may call 749-2548 and ask to speak with a nurse regarding a topic that you are interested in. If you need any information and don’t want a presentation we can get you the current information available as we have it.
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The goal of any Immunization program is to reduce and ultimately eliminate the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases by working in conjunction with public and private health care providers throughout the state. Before vaccines were discovered, many diseases took a terrible toll on life and health. Many people believe that childhood diseases are a thing of the past, however, diseases such as measles are still seen in Iowa every year. Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care provides vaccinations to children, adolescents and adults.
There are many ways to protect children as they grow. Car seats, covers on electrical cords, and playgrounds all provide your child with necessary protection. When it comes to childhood diseases, vaccinations are the best method to provide your child with needed protection. Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care offers vaccination through the state program called, Vaccine For Children (VFC). Children who meet the eligibility criteria can receive all their vaccinations at a minimal expense. A suggested donation is requested but not required to cover the cost of administration of the vaccine(s). Links to the recommended immunization schedules for children aged 0 through 6, children aged 7 through 18 years, recommended immunizations for babies and the schedule for immunization clinics at Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care are listed above.
Adolescents need to continue their immunization series and receive booster doses of vaccines for ongoing protection (immunity) against diseases. New vaccines have recently become available and are recommended for all adolescents. Immunizations have the potential to protect not only the health of adolescents but their friends, families, and communities. Adolescent vaccines include Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, human papilloma virus and meningococcal. Additional vaccines may be needed as catch-up doses if the adolescent was not fully vaccinated as a child.
Staying properly immunized against vaccine preventable diseases does not stop with children and adolescents. Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care offers adult vaccinations for those who pay privately. Tetanus, dyptheria, pertussis, Hepatitis A and B and MMR are all available.
Immunizations are necessary for protection from diseases that are still common in many parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health page offers information to assist travelers and their health-care providers to decide what vaccines are necessary to prevent illness during international travel. The CDC divides vaccines for travel into three categories: routine, recommended, and required.
Tetanus (LOCKJAW) CAUSES PAINFUL MUSCLE SPASMS AND STIFFNESS, USUALLY ALL OVER THE BODY. It can lead to tightening of muscles in the head and neck so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow, or sometimes even breathe. Tetanus kills about 1 out of 5 people who are infected.
DIPHTHERIA can cause a thick membrane to cover the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
PERTUSSIS (Whooping Cough) causes severe coughing spells which can lead to difficulty breathing, vomiting, and disturbed sleep. It can lead to weight loss, incontinence, rib fractures and passing out from violent coughing. Up to 2 in 100 adolescents and 5 in 100 adults with pertussis are hospitalized or have complications, including pneumonia and death.
These three diseases are all caused by bacteria. Diphtheria and pertussis are spread from person to person. Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds.
Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of any tetanus, diphtheria, or pertussis containing vaccine should not get Td or Tdap.
To qualify you must have one of the following apply to you:
- 200% below the poverty level
- You are uninsured – No insurance
- You are underinsured – You have insurance with a deductible or your insurance will not pay for any vaccinations.
- You are on Medicaid – Government-funded health care: a program funded by the U.S. federal and state governments that pays the medical expenses of people
- You are on Medicare – A federal program that pays for certain health care expenses for people aged 65 or older.
Insurance, Medicaid or Medicare will NOT be billed for this vaccination.
Immunization Clinic Schedule
Maternal Child Adolescent Health Services
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Public Health Emergency Preparedness
Buena Vista County Public Health receives grant dollars to assist in the planning, preparation and as needed the execution of emergency actions in the event of a natural or man-made disaster or disease outbreak. Activities include tracking and maintaining the emergency preparedness education of all staff members, maintenance of emergency communication equipment through monthly testing, planning and execution of drills to keep all staff aware of current practices, attend trainings in emergency preparedness and participate in county wide multidisciplinary meetings. Disease surveillance is completed using the statewide standards and criteria. Public Health Preparedness coordinator is available for public speaking engagements.
Safe Sharps Program
The Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care is aware that the community has a health needs requiring the use of sharps, i.e. syringes and needles. For agency staff and public safety, sharps in unapproved containers will not be accepted.
Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care will follow OSHA Standards.
- The public can pick up a sharps container for a minimum charge from Public Health office and return it to Public Health office when the container is ready to be disposed of at no additional charge
- Only sharps in containers purchased from the agency will be handled by agency staff.
- Staff will not deliver or pick up sharp containers at homes, unless that person is a client participating in an agency program.
- Instructions regarding proper closure of sharp container will accompany each container.
- A contact list of who picked up containers will be maintained.
2 gallon container $10.00
1 gallon container $ 5.00
If you have any questions, please give our agency a call at 712-749-2548. Our office hours are Monday – Friday: 8am – 4:30 pm.
Skilled Nursing Services
- Our skilled professional care is always provided by registered nurses and licensed therapists; each with years of experience.
- Our care is provided in accordance with orders from the patient’s own physician. Our care is available to ANYONE meeting admission criteria.
- Our care continues, when appropriate, even after Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance coverage ends.
- Our care advocates health promotion and disease prevention through teaching and education.
- Our care includes advocacy and coordination with other community services as needed.
- Our care ensures visit-to-visit continuity of care. Our care includes a variety of services to help people be where they want to be … AT HOME
Physician ordered Home Care would be:
- Medication & monitoring Set Up, I.M. Injections, dressings, instruction, blood draws, and wound care.
- Health Assessment; including vital signs/lung sounds.
- Skilled Nursing by Registered Nurse
- 24hr/7 day week services
Funding to pay for services may include Medicare, Medicaid, state grant, county tax allocation, insurance companies, private pay, or sliding fee scale for clients not covered by third-party payers.
For a FREE home visit evaluation of services CALL: 712-749-2548
Tuberculosis Testing/Follow Up
As our world has become “smaller” and more people are traveling internationally or moving to our community from other countries, we have begun to see an increase in people with latent tuberculosis (infection without disease) and active tuberculosis (disease). One way to monitor this and prevent an increase in active tuberculosis in future years is to have a tuberculosis skin test. Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care offers tuberculosis skin test during office hours on every day except Thursday. TB skin testing will require the individual to return to our office in 48 to 72 hours to have their test read. If the test is positive, additional testing will be needed to rule out tuberculosis disease. Latent tuberculosis cases are managed through our office while they receive medication to prevent them from developing tuberculosis disease. Active tuberculosis cases are also managed through our office and may require a “stay at home” until they become noninfectious and they also receive medications which will cure tuberculosis.
Please call us at 712-749-2548 regarding any tuberculosis questions or to get screened. There is a minimal fee for the tuberculosis skin test.
TUBERCULOSIS: Get the Facts!
What is Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that is spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs. The germs are put into the air when a person with TB of the lung coughs, sneezes, laughs, or sings. TB can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine.
What are the symptoms of TB? General symptoms may include feeling weak or sick, weight loss, fever, and/or night sweats. Symptoms of TB of the lungs may include cough, chest pain, and/or coughing up blood. Other symptoms depend on the particular part of the body that is affected.
No one gets TB anymore, do they? YES! About 8 million new cases occur each year in the world; over 22,000 cases occur each year in the United States. There are also an estimated 10 to 15 million people in the U.S. who are infected with the TB germ, with potential to develop TB disease in the future.
Who gets TB? Anyone can get TB, but some people are at higher risk. Those at higher risk include:
- People who share the same breathing space
- Poor people
- Homeless people
- Foreign-born people from countries where a lot of people have TB
- Nursing home residents
- Alcoholics and intravenous drug users
- People with medical conditions such as diabetes, certain types of cancers, and being underweight, and especially
- People with HIV infection (the virus that causes AIDS).
How can I tell if I have TB? First, get a TB skin test. If it is positive, you will probably be given other tests to see if you have TB infection or TB disease.
What is the difference between TB infection and TB disease? People with TB disease are sick from germs that are active in their body. They usually have one or more of the symptoms of TB. These people are often capable of giving the infection to others. Permanent body damage and death can result from this disease. Medicines which can cure TB are prescribed for these people.
People with TB infection (without disease) have the germ that causes TB in their body. They are not sick because the germ lies inactive in their body. They cannot spread the germ to others. However, these people may develop TB disease in the future, especially if they are in one of the high risk groups listed under “Who gets TB?” Medicine is often prescribed for these people to prevent them from developing TB disease.
Where can I get a TB skin test? You can get a TB skin test from Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care, your local health department or doctor’s office.