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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

Commission on Aging (COA) Seeks Candidates for Leadership in Aging Award

Leadership in Aging Award - 2018

The Johnson County Commission on Aging (COA) is seeking candidates for its annual Leadership in Aging Award, which honors individuals, groups, or organizations making outstanding contributions to the quality of life for older adults and their families in Johnson County.

To request a nomination form, call the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) at 913-715-8860 or click on this link to open a nomination form.

Nominations must be submitted by Wednesday, Aug. 3, to: Katy Hoffman, c/o Area Agency on Aging, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1300, Olathe, KS 66061 or via e-mail to HSA-AAAWeb@jocogov.org.

Appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, the COA is an advisory body to the AAA and advocates for senior adults in the county.   Read more about the COA on their web page.

County commission approves case manager position for homeless

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners today authorized the Mental Health Center to accept an emergency solutions grant to fund a new, full-time case manager position to provide homeless outreach services.

The Mental Health Center’s new case manager will work to identify individuals in Johnson County who are part of the unsheltered homeless population. The emergency solutions grant, awarded by the Johnson County Human Services Department, will provide funds to enhance the current homeless outreach efforts of the Mental Health Center’s Recovery Support Team.

“We currently provide case management services to individuals and families, but many in the homeless population are difficult to contact because they have no permanent residence or telephone,” said Mental Health Center Director Tim DeWeese. “This new case manager position and grant funding will allow our staff to provide outreach and support to better serve the county’s vulnerable populations.”

The case manager position will be funded with a portion of the $99,000 grant as well as fee-for-service revenue generated by the position. Remaining grant funds will be used for capital purchases in support of the position as well as transportation and emergency medical services for homeless clients. No county tax support was requested to fund the position.

“Community-based services provide local children and adults the resources they need to live within the community,” DeWeese said. “Our goal in offering these services is to prevent residents from entering state hospitals, psychiatric facilities, jails and emergency rooms. These resources ensure clients receive the psychiatric treatment needed and assists them in accessing jobs, multi-service centers, healthcare, permanent housing and other services.”

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 22 cases of measles that are epidemiologically linked after an infant who was too young to be vaccinated was infected with measles while traveling internationally. Health officials continue to investigate this outbreak and are working to identify contacts. This is an ongoing investigation and updated information will be provided as it becomes available.

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

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Measles Information

Kansas Department of Health and Environment 2018 News Releases

Measles Exposure Sites in Missouri

Opioid prescriptions decline in Kansas amid adoption of new tracking system

Medical professionals in Kansas dispensed nearly 9 percent fewer opioids by prescription in 2017 compared to the previous year, state officials said Tuesday.

The report drawing information from Kansas’ prescription drug monitoring program, or K-TRACS, indicated a decline in opioid dispensation of 8.9 percent, which equated to 249,000 fewer prescriptions, for Kansas patients.

Read More: http://www.cjonline.com/news/20180417/opioid-prescriptions-decline-in-kansas-amid-adoption-of-new-tracking-system

CDC: Suicide rates increased 70% among youth from 2006 to 2016

In Kansas alone, the suicide rate is higher than the national average, with Johnson County being number one in the state.

“More than one Kansan dies everyday from suicide,” DeWeese said.

DeWeese said there could be a number of contributing factors.

“Lack of availability of mental health resources,” DeWeese said. “Our country, our state, has not necessarily put an emphasis on funding mental health treatment.”

He said the stigma surrounding mental health could also be playing a role..

“When we see these mass shootings occur or anything bad happen, immediately that person says that person has a mental illness,” DeWeese said.

He said this does nothing but further stigmatize a mental illness. 

“And it really promotes people not to seek treatment,” DeWeese said.

Read More on 41 Action News at: https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/cdc-suicide-rates-increase-70-percent-among-youth-from-2006-2016

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.

Advocacy Day at the Capitol Highlights Important Initiatives

Advocates representing advisory boards and staff of the Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disability (k4ad) from 11 regions in Kansas travelled to Topeka March 14th on Advocacy Day at the Capitol to provide testimony and support for several legislative initiatives.  See pictures and the highlights.

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

Community & Social Services

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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 05/22/2018 - 7:30am

Volunteer in the WIC Community Garden

Tue, 05/22/2018 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:00am

Walk-in Health Clinic Hours

Mon, 05/28/2018 - 8:00am

JCDHE Closed on Memorial Day

Mon, 05/21/2018 - 7:00pm
Tue, 05/22/2018 - 5:30pm
Tue, 05/22/2018 - 5:45pm
Wed, 05/23/2018 - 9:00am
Thu, 05/24/2018 - 9:30am

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