Northern Kentucky Health Department
History of the Health
regulation was established for vaccinations to be required for entrance to
pre-schools and day care centers. This was the first regulation of its kind in
passage of legislation allowing for independent health departments, the Northern
Kentucky District Health Department declared itself independent, which meant
that it could operate independently from the Kentucky Department for Public
Health in Frankfort. Only Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky health
departments operate independently.
Many programs, like WIC, are regulated and
funded by the state, but independent health departments can offer additional
programs that are not mandated statewide.
Independence also comes into play for
staffing and hiring. Independent health departments can set their own salaries
and position classifications. In an independent health department, the director
reports to the independent board of health. The board of health for the
independent health departments is the ruling body. The official date the
Northern Kentucky District Board approved the plan was June 26, 1991. By July
25, bylaws had been approved, and a new Personnel Board was established.
committee was formed to work on a new site for the health education and
Department began actively endorsing Comprehensive School Health, which followed
eight goals of concentration: health education, parent/community involvement,
health-care service, nutrition service, health promotion for staff and parents,
healthy school environments, physical education and counseling, psychological
and social services.
Department became a smoke-free workplace on January 1, 1992.
Construction was hired to build the new Health Education and Environmental
Center, located at 610 Medical Village Drive in Edgewood. The budget for
the project was set at $1.48 million. The building was dedicated on June 26,
1993. The building now houses the Administrative and Environmental staff.
The Health Department began the Assessment Protocol for
Excellence in Public Health (APEX-PH) strategic planning process developed
by the National Association of County Health Officials.
The Health Department’s first comprehensive media campaign was
launched. It targeted teenagers and asked them to “Stop-Think, The Decision is
Yours.” Teens were encouraged to call a hotline with questions about sex,
pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, or just to talk. Billboards, bus
cards and radio spots highlighted the campaign.
On July 20,
Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones proclaimed the week of July 25-31 as “Local
Health Department Week” in Kentucky. The Northern Kentucky Board of Health
adopted an updated mission statement that addressed a changing role in public
health. It read “Linking people with resources to promote, achieve and maintain
a healthier community.”
January and March, 10 cases of shigella were identified in a
day care located in Florence. In response, Health Department staff provided
educational materials to employees on the proper use of hand washing, etc.
planning process developed by the National Association for City and County
Health Officials, was implemented by the Health Department. The Organizational
Capacity Assessment, Part I of the APEX-PH process, identified the
following priority areas: Community Relations, Community Assessment, Public
Policy Development, Personnel Management and Program Management. The resulting
action plan established the Community Health Committee, as well as created the
position of Public Information Specialist, established an Information Systems
Manager position, changed processes in personnel for auditing and exit
interviews, and lead to the development of organizational charts. The Community
Health Committee continued to be active until November of 2003.
Department pursued sites in Independence and Alexandria to expand WIC services.
The selected sites opened early in 1994.
Under direction from the Kentucky Department for Public Health,
the Department of Nursing and the Department of Nutrition and Chronic Disease
were integrated into one Department of Clinical Services with a new director.
Two new departments, the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of WIC
and Special Projects, were created to accommodate the two directors who
previously shared what was to become the new integrated department.
Department established a family living skills program to promote optimal
wellness, self-esteem, responsible decision making, and healthy attitudes and
behaviors among children, adolescents and adults.
updated regulation mandating that all children attending day care centers,
nursery schools or preschools be immunized in accordance with the schedule of
immunizations put forth by the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Services. It applied
to all children in Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties.
23, health officials declared an end to a seven-week whooping cough (pertussis)
epidemic that struck more than 300 in Greater Cincinnati. Thirty-one confirmed
cases were reported in Northern Kentucky.
There was a
hepatitis A outbreak in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. More than 1,000 people
were exposed to the virus, which stemmed from food prepared by a Covington
restaurant and catering business. Out of 90 confirmed cases, 59 were in the
Health Department’s district. An employee of the catering business was diagnosed
on October 25 with the virus, which is an infection of the liver.
State Representatives requested that the Health Department support House Bill
574, which amended the Kentucky code to require a three cent per pack increase
on cigarettes sold or warehoused in Kentucky, as well as add a five cent excise
tax on the other tobacco products in order to encourage the state to grow crops
other than tobacco.
District’s Personnel Board recommended that the District Board create the
position of Public Health Physician (this later became the full-time position of
medical director) and also to allow flexible scheduling and pay for overtime.
They pushed for a salary increase.
epidemic was recorded, with 530 cases between January 1 and July 15 in the
Greater Cincinnati area. It was predicted that cases would exceed 1,000 by the
end of the year. The epidemic was strongly linked to drug use.
Department’s Health Ambassadors received an award from the U.S. Department for
Health and Human Services. The Ambassadors were a group of senior citizens who
volunteered to teach health skills to preschool children in classrooms
throughout Northern Kentucky.
a few years in operation, the Alexandria and Independence WIC sites were closed.
Department adopted a new vision statement and core values: R.I.S.E.: Respect,
Integrity, Service, Excellence.
The vision process resulted in the “Vision of Public Health in Northern
Kentucky,” a strategic plan for the Health Department.
Clinton declared April 3-9 “National Public Health Week.”
Through repeating APEX-PH Part I strategic planning
process, the Health Department developed the Grants Manager position and a
computer system plan, established quality assurance teams and developed
strategies to improve communication with the District Board of Health.
Health Committee continued its work by developing the “Community Health Plan
1996” addressing the top five priorities in Northern Kentucky: low birth weight
(teen pregnancy), family violence and abuse, lack of childhood immunizations,
substance abuse, and access to healthcare.
County Health Center on Barnes Road nearly doubled the size of its existing
building, adding 3,482 square feet to the existing 4,682 foot building along
with 30 more parking spaces and remodeling the existing center. An open house
was held on July 28, 1996.
Department began a program to educate homeowners about the dangers of exposure
to radon gas.
Department’s first Web site was established.
Department helped respond to severe flooding in Falmouth, Ky., located in the
neighboring Three Rivers Health District. Environmental staff went door-to-door
distributing information on flood cleanup. Clinical and Health Education and
Planning staff monitored for disease, provided education on disease prevention
and provided more than 5,000 doses of tetanus vaccine.
The Health Department was selected by the National Association of
County and City Health Officials as a pilot site for the Protocol for Assessing
Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE-EH) strategic planning
process. A subcommittee of the Community Health Committee was formed to utilize
the PACE-EH environmental assessment.
Health Department staff asks the District Board of Health to ban
concealed weapons from Health Department buildings following the state
legalization of concealed weapons.
Department Web site moves to its current URL:
Department recommended that the fluoride supplement program offered at schools
in all four counties be eliminated because of the wide availability of fluoride
in food, toothpaste and in most areas, water. Students had been taking fluoride
mouth rinses weekly.
Board concern about its use, the Health Department decided not to provide
emergency contraception services at the local health centers. The state health
department then contracted with another agency to provide these services for
Northern Kentucky women.
Department began discussing closing one of two health centers in Kenton County.
Health officials wanted to close the clinic at 912 Scott St. in Covington and
relocate services to health centers in Boone and Campbell counties. The 912
building was officially closed on April 30. Most of the services provided were
moved just down the street to the Dressman Health Center, named after former
Kenton County Judge James A. Dressman, at 634 Scott St. Upon the move, the
Health Department also established a new Clinical Services
Department—Epidemiology Services, which is now located in the lower level of the
Boone County Health Center.
District Office moved from Park Avenue in Newport to Medical Village Drive in
computer network was built.
Health Access and Nurturing Development, program was established to provide
education and support to first-time parents. The program is contracted out to
Every Child Succeeds for residents of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, and
is provided by Health Department staff to residents of Grant County.
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