Continuing Work in Black Hawk County

by Maddie Kemp

The Health Department is staying busy throughout the summer months. Terry and I are continuing our work with MAPP. More specifically, I have been busy compiling and identifying important community partners who should be involved in the process. It has been very interesting to see how much effort goes into identifying community partners. For example, the employees at the Health Department have ongoing trainings in an effort to better identify inequities. They are making sure that their efforts at the local level are positively impacting those within the community. They are ensuring that all have a seat at the table and all matters, no matter the size or scope, are being addressed.

In addition to the ongoing MAPP process, I have been able to shadow and visit with other public health professionals. My most recent experiences were within environmental health. I participated in mosquito surveillance, a pool inspection, as well as food inspections. Mosquito surveillance is ongoing during the summer months and mosquitos are collected three times every week in various locations throughout the county for further testing to identify trends. Pool inspections are often completed for public pools, once during the summer season, to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff and community members. Employees at the health department also respond to complaints regarding public restaurants and provide unannounced or scheduled food inspections. Tagging along on two food inspections was interesting and informative. I am now more curious about the past restaurants I have visited and will make more of an effort to look at their updated food inspection certificate—which should be hung up for the public to easily see.

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