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Press Release

MCHD conducting survey to get community input

May. 10, 2024

MCHD conducting survey and town halls to get community input

MORGANTOWN, WV (May 10, 2024) — If you eat in a restaurant, did you know that it has been inspected by a Monongalia County Health Department sanitarian? And there’s a good chance MCHD trained some of the food workers too.
MCHD’s mobile dentistry unit, Smile Express, continues to expand and a new, custom-made, state-of-the-art RV will be implemented in September.
“We touch the community in so many different areas — inspecting restaurants, providing health care and training food workers,” said Anthony DeFelice, MCHD’s executive director.
Free breastfeeding classes to the public are offered through MCHD WIC in an otherwise eligibility-based program that aids pregnant and postpartum mothers as well as children up to the age of 5.
Clinical Services provides free STI testing and treatment and free and low-cost birth control, in addition to a variety of infant, childhood and adult vaccines, including those that would be needed for an international trip. And naloxone is distributed as part of the Monongalia County Quick Response Team (QRT) that the health department started.
DeFelice added: “Whether it’s an outbreak, immunizations or MCHD Dentistry and Smile Express or the Free Naloxone Day events, we have to get that word out about what services we provide.”
MCHD has been in the process of creating a strategic plan with Morgantown-based Forge and is now beginning to implement it, DeFelice added.
“MCHD has been working with Forge since July 2023 to create a strategic plan and will be implementing it over the next five years,” he said. “It was apparent to the leadership that we needed a roadmap to take us from where we are today to where we want to be in the future.”
The next step is a survey that has already been distributed throughout the community and is available on MCHD’s social media, as well as two town hall meetings that will allow community members to provide feedback, ask questions and learn more about Monongalia County Health Department.
The first town hall will be held from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at Morgantown High School’s library and the next one will take place from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Clay-Battelle High School auditorium.
“What we want to accomplish with the survey and town halls is to identify the services we currently have and improve upon them and to add services that meet the needs of the community,” DeFelice said.
Monongalia County Health Department was established in 1929 and has been at its current location, 453 Van Voorhis Road, since 1975. It also operates the federal Women, Infant and Children’s (WIC) program in six counties — Monongalia, Preston, Marion, Harrison, Doddridge and Taylor. The health department operates under laws set by the West Virginia Legislature, specifically those found in West Virginia Code Chapter 16, Article 2.
These town halls come at a time of great change for MCHD, including undergoing an accreditation process through Washington, D.C.-based Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and the arrival of a new health officer, Dr. Brian H. Huggins, who will replace Dr. Lee B. Smith on July 1.
“As the new, incoming health officer, it’s really important to me that as we expand services, we do it in a way that is responsive to the community,” Dr. Huggins said.
“In order to move forward in a meaningful way, we need feedback from all members of our community. We hope as many community members as possible will fill out a survey and even consider attending a town hall meeting.”
Surveys can be found at local businesses and libraries as well as on MCHD’s social media sites. These include Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with the handle @wvmchd. It also will be posted soon to MCHD’s website,, which also outlines the health department’s services.





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