It's time to showcase public health
Apr. 5, 2023
By Mary Wade Burnside
Smile Express, Monongalia County Health Department’s mobile dentistry RV, hit the road last week after coming out of winter storage, visiting schools in Harrison County.
Introduced in the fall of 2018, the mobile unit features two dental chairs, digital X-rays, the technology to send images back to the office in real time and a gaming station for the patients, who are often students attending schools in Braxton, Lewis, Harrison, Marion, Wetzel and, of course, Monongalia counties.
That’s just one of the many endeavors we have going on at MCHD.
At least once a year, as National Public Health Week (April 3-9) approaches, it’s a good time to remind Monongalia County residents of all the services MCHD provides.
MCHD Dentistry is a great place to start. It’s expanding both in space, with the addition of two new operatories that are currently under construction, as well as services.
When our second dentist, Dr. Jordan Snyder, came on board last summer, we added Botox for both cosmetic and therapeutic purposes.
Many people know that Botox helps to smooth facial lines. It also can be injected into the masseter muscle to help relieve tooth grinding. A member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, Dr. Snyder also offers Revanesse Versa filler to smooth lines and folds around the nose and mouth.
Another fairly recent service offered at MCHD Dentistry is same-day crowns. Digital X-ray replaces a gooey mold and allows a milling machine to make a crown that’s a perfect match, during one appointment. There is no need for a temporary crown or a return visit for a crown fitting.
This is on top of all of MCHD Dentistry’s regular dental services. And, of course, all the other offerings at Monongalia County Health Department.
Our programs also include:
Clinical Services: We offer vaccines, an international travel clinic, exams, free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and free and low-cost birth control. Our nurses take confidentiality very seriously and take pride in being judgment-free. They’ve even undergone Safe Zone training through the WVU LGBTQ+ Center.
Environmental Health: If you’ve eaten in a restaurant, swam in a pool, gotten a tattoo or attended a school in Monongalia County, you’ve already been positively affected by MCHD’s sanitarians, who inspect these facilities and more. The list also includes mobile food units and vendors at fairs, festivals and WVU games. We also lead food safety training courses for restaurant workers.
Environmental Health also conducts vector surveillance, such as for ticks and rabies, as well as radon tests. This is important in a county in which the incidence of high radon rates is 1 in 5 homes, compared to 1 in 15 nationally.
Threat Preparedness: Our Threat Preparedness staff has been very busy during the past few years, helping to coordinate the COVID pandemic response. While all available vaccines are offered at the health department through Clinical Services, Threat Prep also organizes and staffs pop-up clinics for both COVID vaccines, and, in season, flu shots around the county to make getting immunized accessible for anyone.
Threat Prep also organizes volunteers to be able to better respond to situations and offers training in CPR, Stop the Bleed and naloxone administration. The latter is an important part of the Monongalia County Quick Response Team (QRT), an multi-agency organization operated on grants obtained by MCHD. Members meet weekly to discuss strategies to reduce opioid use in the community.
MCHD WIC: Monongalia County Health Department’s Women, Infants & Children’s program spans six counties: Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Harrison, Doddridge and Taylor. Offerings include nutritional counseling, food packages and breastfeeding support to qualifying individuals and families, as well as free breastfeeding classes for the public.
Check out our website, monchd.org, as well as our social media on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, for more information. And if someone you know could benefit from our services, please feel free to pass along our details!