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Public health is one of the most important services we provide the residents of Johnson County Government. Every day, in many ways, we strive to prevent disease and promote wellness. Our Olathe and Mission walk-in clinics offer services including immunizations, pregnancy testing and family planning, and Tuberculosis testing. The Johnson County Mental Health Center provides a wide range of mental health and substance abuse services to residents. We serve clients of the Kansas WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, teach classes for child care providers, manage disease investigation and reporting, and so much more.

Health News

Johnson County receives $160,000 grant for Ebola preparedness

Today the Board of County Commissions voted to accept federal funding to support our Department of Health & Environment’s preparedness planning and readiness for responding to Ebola. The $160,153 grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will come to Johnson County through the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, and is targeted for public health capabilities at the local level including community preparedness efforts, responder health and safety and public information and warnings.

Last year, Ebola virus disease outbreaks occurred in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Sept. 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first imported case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. in Dallas, Texas. At that time our Department of Health & Environment collaborated with jurisdictions on both sides of the state line to ensure preparedness. As of today, Johnson County’s Department of Health & Environment has conducted Ebola monitoring on 11 post-travel individuals.

“Any type of preparedness, disease investigation and response work helps Johnson County prepare for managing many different kinds of communicable disease outbreaks,” says Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health & Environment. “Operational readiness for one outbreak provides benefits to all of us for future incidents.”

Reviewing incidents once they are complete and sharing that information with other jurisdictions is another way to stay prepared. Tomorrow, public health risk communicators from the region (including Johnson County representatives) will present on their collaborative efforts during last year’s Ebola response to the Regional Association of Public Information Officers. Johnson County Government will live tweet from this event, so be sure you are following @jocogov on Twitter to get the latest information.

Johnson County is one of the healthiest counties in Kansas

A new national study ranks Johnson County at #2 out of the 105 counties in Kansas for our factors that lead to a healthy lifestyle. Read the full news release here.

Update on TB investigation at Olathe Northwest

Out of the more than 300 students and staff tested for tuberculosis (TB) at Olathe Northwest High School, only 8 percent (27 people) have tested positive. 

The answers to frequently asked questions are available here.

The full news release is available on the Department of Health and Environment web site.

Additional TB infection cases identified at Olathe Northwest High School

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) report that out of the more than 300 students and staff tested for tuberculosis (TB) at Olathe Northwest High School, only 8 percent (27 people) have tested positive. Health officials began calling those with TB positive test results on Monday and letters were mailed to the homes of those with negative test results (no infection).

“The number of individuals with TB infection does not exceed what we would anticipate in this setting,” said Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “Of course, we had hoped we wouldn’t find any additional TB cases, but we knew this was a possibility. That’s why we took such thorough steps to test everyone who might have been in close contact with the first confirmed case of TB disease.”

People with TB infection are not contagious, do not feel sick, and do not have TB symptoms. People with TB disease can spread the bacteria to others, feel sick and can have symptoms including fever, night sweats, cough and weight loss.

Individuals with positive test results will take a chest x-ray and begin treatment with antibiotics to kill the TB bacteria to prevent the development of TB disease. Chest x-rays and medication will be provided free of charge by KDHE and JCDHE.

“Early identification and treatment of TB infection is the key to preventing progression to TB disease,” said Marsh. “That’s why we are working so closely with the school and KDHE to investigate this case and assure that all precautions are being taken for the safety of everyone in the school and the community.”

Blood tests will be repeated on May 5 for those contacts who were identified as exposed to TB disease during the spring semester of the school year. This second test is necessary as it can take up to eight weeks for TB bacteria to show up positive in a TB test.

For more information about TB, visit www.cdc.gov/tb or JCDHE’s website, www.jocogov.org/jcdhe.

Case of Active Tuberculosis Identified at Olathe School

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) has identified a single case of active tuberculosis (TB) in a student who attends Olathe Northwest High School. The individual identified is complying with isolation precautions and is receiving medication to treat the illness. JCDHE has begun identifying contacts of the student with active TB and is working to ensure that any additional contacts in the school or community are identified and treated.

A forum will be held for students and parents of Olathe Northwest on March 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Olathe Northwest High School commons (21300 College Blvd.). TB experts from JCDHE and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will be on hand to present facts about TB and answer questions.

TB is spread through the air by coughing, laughing, singing and sneezing. The only way to contract the disease is by close contact (several hours a day) with someone who has the disease. It cannot be spread by contact with someone's clothing, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet or other surfaces. Symptoms of TB can include a cough of longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, chills, fever and coughing up blood.

TB is preventable and curable. TB disease is typically treated for six to nine months with antibiotics. A person with TB will become non-contagious within a few days to weeks of effective treatment and will be able to return to normal activities without risk to others while completing treatment.

For more information about TB, visit www.cdc.gov/tb. Click here to read March 4 press release about this case. 

Active Tuberculosis identified at Olathe Northwest High School

State and local health department officials have identified a single case of active tuberculosis (TB) in a student who attends Olathe Northwest High School in Olathe, Kan. The individual identified is complying with isolation precautions and is receiving medication to treat the illness.

Health officials have begun identifying contacts of the student with active TB and are working to ensure that any additional contacts in the school or community are identified and treated. Letters of information about TB will be sent home today for parents and guardians of Olathe Northwest students.

A forum will be held for students and parents of Olathe Northwest on March 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the Olathe Northwest High School commons (21300 College Blvd.). TB experts from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will be on hand to present facts about TB and answer questions.

TB is spread through the air by coughing, laughing, singing and sneezing. The only way to contract the disease is by close contact (several hours a day) with someone who has the disease. It cannot be spread by contact with someone's clothing, drinking glass, eating utensils, handshake, toilet or other surfaces. Symptoms of TB can include a cough of longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, chills, fever and coughing up blood.

TB is preventable and curable. TB disease is typically treated for six to nine months with antibiotics. A person with TB will become non-contagious within a few days to weeks of effective treatment and will be able to return to normal activities without risk to others while completing treatment. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment assures that all known active TB cases in the county are followed closely and treated appropriately.

Olathe Public Schools, the Olathe Northwest staff, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are working closely together to investigate this case and assure that all precautions are being taken for the safety of all in the community, especially the students and staff of Olathe Northwest High School.

Read the full news release here>

Positive Aging Coalition offers free & informative Spring/Summer Programs!

The Positive Aging Coalition is a collaborative effort of multiple senior service organizations including Human Services, the Johnson County Library,  50+ Parks & Recreation, and Health & Environment, who plan and offer free informative programs for seniors in Johnson County.   See the Spring and Summer lineup of Positive Aging Coalition programs, and make your plans now to participate and learn.   For more information contact Lynn Wild, Johnson County Library 826-4600 extension 64382.
 

Emerging Artists to exhibit at Arti Gras

Mardi Gras has come and gone but Arti Gras takes place later this week and includes an art exhibition by our JCDS Emerging Artists! This art show is presented by the Leawood Arts Council and the Leawood Foundation Friday, February 20 – Sunday, February 22. It takes place at the Leawood Community Center (4800 Town Center Drive.)

The Emerging Artists exhibition will feature works from four artists throughout the weekend.

Friday, February 20, 6-9 p.m.
Dee Hamlin, mixed media mini-doors
George Utter, acrylic abstracts
Malek Deng, photography

Saturday, February 21, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Mathew Beatty, large mosaic

Sunday, February 22, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Dee Hamlin, mixed media mini-doors

The exhibit will also include original artwork cards created by a variety of Emerging Artists. “The artists who create the work for the art cards have more severe physical or cognitive abilities but are still actively making choices such as colors, tools to apply paint and orientation on artwork on the cards,” said Cary Odell, Emerging Artists Program Coordinator.

Emerging Artists make money off their work when they sell original pieces, and also when one of their designs is licensed for merchandise such as t-shirts, water bottles and greeting cards. This program is part of Johnson County Developmental Supports.

For more information

YouTube video about Emerging Artists Program
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYxP-rWr7CU

Emerging Artists gallery and product catalog
http://jcdsart.wix.com/jcdsemergingartists#

Emerging Artists on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/JCDSEmergingArtists

 

Child care town hall

Our Child Care Licensing division encourages anyone wanting to participate in a conversation about child care licensing in Kansas to attend a stop on the Child Care Licensing Town Hall Tour. On Tuesday, February 24, the Kansas Department of Health wants to hear from parents, child care providers, community partners and those interested in the health of safety of Kansas children. This Town Hall Tour stop takes place at the KU Edwards Campus Best Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. More information and details on registering are available on this online flyer.

To learn more about our Department of Health and Environment's Child Care Licensing division, please click here.

 

A new computer lab for Project SEARCH

Our Project SEARCH interns will be able to practice their work skills even more at their new computer lab thanks to UnitedHealthcare who donated seven laptop computers! Today this group of interns had a great time unpacking their computers, plugging them in and setting them up.

Johnson County Developmental Supports, along with many other partners, introduced Project SEARCH to the County last fall. JCDS staff provides job coaching to interns who have intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. They receive real world work experience rotating through County departments such as Human Resources, Records and Tax Administration, the County Manager’s Office and the Sunflower Café.

In 2012, UnitedHealthcare launched the Community Computers program to help create computer labs that give underserved people in the community convenient access to the Internet. To date, UnitedHealthcare has donated more than 2,000 computers in 14 states.

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