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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

Additional measles cases being investigated in Johnson County

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have identified 10 cases of measles in northeast Kansas – eight cases in Johnson County, one case in Linn County and one case in Miami County. Health officials continue to investigate this outbreak and are working to identify contacts. Children who are ill or susceptible to measles are excluded from the child care facility as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is an ongoing investigation and updated information will be provided as it becomes available.

Additional Cases of Measles Identified in Johnson, Linn and Miami Counties (News Release, March 19, 2018)

7 People with Measles Identified in Johnson and Miami Counties (News Release, March 16, 2018)

Three measles cases confirmed in Johnson County (News Release, March 13, 2018)

Johnson County Measles Investigation FAQ

Top 4 things parents need to know about measles 

Las 4 cosas principales que deben saber los padres sobre el sarampión 

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: Measles Clinical Information

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: Healthcare Facility Infection Control Recommendations for Suspect Measles Cases

Johnson County maintains #1 ranking as healthiest place to live in Kansas

Johnson County maintains its top ranking as the healthiest place to live in Kansas according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released on March 14, 2018 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

“Johnson County is fortunate to have many of the key factors that contribute to a long and healthy life,” says Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “However, this report is also a call to action for leaders and community members to note those areas where we can make improvements so everyone in Johnson County has a fair and just chance to lead the healthiest life possible”

The 2018 Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. Good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods and more.

Johnson County ranked number one in the state for another year for health outcomes like a low number of premature deaths and low birthweight babies. The county also ranked number one for health factors such as access to quality medical care and exercise opportunities, a healthy food environment and a high percentage of adults with some post-secondary education.

The report identifies areas where more work needs to be done in Johnson County to reduce obesity and heavy drinking in adults, slow down the rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and address the number of workers who commute in their car alone.

Marsh says Johnson County has a number of initiatives underway to address these issues: LiveWell Johnson County, a grant-funded program that addresses chronic disease prevention by promoting healthy eating and active living; and abstinence-based programs for adolescents that focus on STI and pregnancy prevention; and improved mass transit with the expansion of RideKC routes to southern Johnson County starting in April 2018.

Three measles cases confirmed in Johnson County

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) has confirmed three cases of measles in a Johnson County, Kan. child care facility. All identified cases are in children less than one year of age, who are too young to be vaccinated for the disease. Those at risk for the disease have been contacted and the investigation is ongoing.

In order to prevent the spread of measles, the affected children and others they have come in contact with have been excluded from the child care facility for 21 days following the last exposure to the disease, per the Kansas Administrative Regulation 28-1-6. Any child that has been exposed to measles should not attend any childcare facility or school. This protects the community from further spread.

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. Since the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States; however, it still sickens millions and kills 146,000 people worldwide each year.

“Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles in children and adults. Make sure children have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” said JCDHE Director Lougene Marsh.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The signs and symptoms of measles typically begin one to two weeks after someone is exposed to an infected person. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Blotchy rash on the skin, which spreads from the head to the trunk then to the lower extremities (Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Feeling run down, achy
  • Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth (Koplik’s spots)

“If your child has a fever, keep them home except to see a healthcare provider. If you need to visit your healthcare provider, call ahead so appropriate measures can be taken to protect other patients and staff,” said Marsh.

People at high risk for severe illness and complications from measles include infants and children less than 5 years of age, adults older than 20 years, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

For more information about measles: http://www.cdc.gov/features/Measles/index.html

Immunization clinics closed on March 12, 2018

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's immunization clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.) will be closed on Monday, March 12, 2018. All other walk-in services will be available at both locations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New shingles vaccine for adults over age 50 now available in clinics

Shingles on skinThe new shingles vaccine that is 90 percent effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles, is now available at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s immunization clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults over age 50 get two doses of the shingles vaccine Shingrix®, separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Shingrix is the preferred vaccine because it provides stronger protection than Zostavax®, a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. Shingrix is also recommended for people who have already gotten Zostavax.

You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Studies show that more than 99 percent of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember having the disease. Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus (varicella zoster virus). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles. If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. Consult with your healthcare provider or one of JCDHE’s immunization nurses about the best time to receive Shingrix.

Shingrix is available on a walk-in basis at the immunization clinics in Olathe and Mission: https://www.jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/health/immunizations/adults

Many health insurance plans will cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to find out.

COA Members attending “Area Agencies on Aging Day” instead of March meeting.

Instead of the March 14th Commission On Aging meeting, which has been cancelled, COA members will be attending “Area Agencies on Aging Day” (formerly known as “Older Kansans Day”) at the Capitol.

This is an annual event which includes the AAAs around the State and their advisory board members, to meet with their respective Kansas Legislators. The COA will meet again on April 11th from 9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m.  in the Sunset Drive Office Building, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Rooms 1070/1075, in Olathe. COA meetings are open to the public and those who are interested in advocating for senior issues in Johnson County, although there is limited space in the conference room. 

For more information, call 913-715-8860 or 800-766-3777 TDD, and read more about the Commission on Aging on their web page.

WIC Offices Closed on Jan. 10, 2018

The WIC (Women/Infants/Children) offices in Olathe and Mission will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018 for staff training on the new eWIC program. 

Tdap Vaccine Clinic on Jan. 23, 2018

The Tdap vaccine protects adults from tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Whooping cough can be a life-threatening illness for infants less than a year old. Babies can catch the disease from household members and caregivers who might not know they are infected. Those who have close contact with infants should get vaccinated at this clinic offered by the child care licensing and health services divisions of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. 

Childcare providers, parents, grandparents and adult caregivers of children

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

St. Joseph Early Education Center
11525 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS 66203

$20 or insurance card. JCDHE is a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations: Amerigroup, Sunflower and United Community. JCDHE accepts private insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry and UnitedHealthcare. We do not take insurance from Medicare, Coventry Advantra or Humana Gold Plus for this service. Check your health benefit plan to confirm coverage for payment of services.

Call 913-826-1261

New Self-Advocate Group newsetter

Dozens of JCDS day/employment services clients belong to the Self-Advocate Group. The group's mission is to educate, support and speak up for themselves and others with disabilities. They closely monitor and discuss issues happening close to home, in Topeka and in Washington D.C.

The group has created a newsletter called Speak Up! You can view the first issue at this link

Flu shot still best defense against viruses

The director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment says a flu shot is still your best defense against the various influenza viruses circulating in the community.

Director Lougene Marsh says flu vaccination protects against three or four different flu viruses (depending on which vaccine you get) and provides protection throughout the flu season. “While flu vaccine can vary in how well it works from year to year, it still prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year.”

Marsh says that even when the viruses in the vaccine are not closely matched with what’s circulating in the community, the flu shot can prevent flu-related complications and make your illness milder because antibodies made in response to the vaccine can provide some protection against different, but related influenza viruses.

Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though activity can last as late as May, so even those who’ve already had the flu this season can still benefit from getting the flu shot, Marsh adds. “Since it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop and provide protection against the flu, now is a great time get vaccinated so you and your loved ones are protected during the upcoming holidays.”

Marsh says flu cases in Johnson County are typical for this time of year. As of Dec. 1, 90 cases have been voluntarily reported to JCDHE by local healthcare providers. The highest number of cases are in adults over age 65 and people age 5 to 24 years old. Nearly 70 percent of the current flu viruses being reported are type A. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions says everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine, especially those who are at a greater risk for serious flu illness: adults over age 65, babies and children younger than 5, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

In addition to getting a flu shot, Marsh says there are everyday preventative actions people can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment offers flu shots at its walk-in health clinics in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive) and Mission (6000 Lamar Ave.). No appointment is needed and the shot is covered by most health insurance plans. Those without health insurance can get a flu shot for $30.

Community & Social Services

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Upcoming Events

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Wed, 03/21/2018 - 10:00am

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

Mon, 03/26/2018 - 5:30pm

Mental Health Advisory Board

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 3:00pm

Volunteer in the WIC Community Garden

Tue, 03/27/2018 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 10:00am

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

Wed, 03/21/2018 - 5:30pm
Wed, 03/21/2018 - 6:30pm
Thu, 03/22/2018 - 9:30am
Mon, 03/26/2018 - 5:30pm

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