Tama Co. Public Health & Home Care celebrates 55 years of service

Public invited to commemorate milestone Nov. 9

Please join Tama County Public Health & Home Care as we celebrate 55 years of service to the community on November 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at our office, 129 W. High Street, Toledo. Burgers (grilled by the Tama County Cattlemen), chips and kolaches will be served. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Tama County Health Service (TCHS) originated on November l8, l966 as a pilot home health-training program with a grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity.

In February of l967 TCHS received word from the Social Security Administration office in Kansas City that they had met the qualifications for participation in the Health Insurance Benefits Program (Medicare). TCHS continued to be part of a multi-county agency until l974 when each county formed independent health services.

After forming as an independent health service, TCHS formed its Governing Board, the Board of Health. An Advisory Board appointed by the Board of Health was formed to assist with guidance and evaluation of the Agency.

Over its 55-year history, TCHS (now known as Tama County Public Health & Home Care) has had to make changes to stay relevant with current world happenings. Grant funding was received to start different new programs that fit the needs of the issues going on in that time. In 1989 TCPH&HC received a Health Promotion grant to hold a Health Fair in the County. In 1990 a grant to expand adolescent child health. In 1994 a Breast Cancer Grant and a three year Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Grant was received. In 2001 a Wellmark Health Kids Grant was received.

TCPH&HC has partnered with interested citizens to start several Coalitions to tackle issues going on in our county. In 2004, SKIP Coalition was formed to support families and ensure the safety and well-being of children identified as being at risk for abuse. In 2005 the Teen Pregnancy Coalition was formed to address what was chosen as a top health concern for Tama County during the Community Health Needs Assessment. In 2008 TCPH&HC assisted with the formation of the DEC (Drug Endangered Children) Program. The Tama County Wellness Coalition was formed in 2011. In the spring of 2012, the Coalition received a small grant to assess the walkability of a pre-determined route in the community.

In 55 years of service, there have been several Public Health instances where TCPH&HC have aided our County. During the spring floods of 1993 numerous DTs were given to flood victims.

In 2001 after 9/11, Bioterrorism became a Public Health Issue. Workshops were conducted throughout the County to partner with community partners to review possible threats. Funds were received through the CDC to build Public Health Infrastructure. In 2003, our Agency helped collect birds for the testing of West Nile Virus. In 2005, TCPH&HC held mumps vaccination clinics in response to an outbreak of mumps. During the ice storm of 2007, the Tama County Local Emergency Planning Commission worked with other agencies to provide support for the shelters.

During the floods of 2008, TPCH&HC gave 94 free tetanus shots to flood victims and emergency workers. In 2009 & 2010, TCPH&HC hosted clinics to give H1N1 vaccine. Approximately 3500 doses were given in Tama County.

From 2020-present during the COVID-19 Pandemic, TCPH&HC hosted clinics and gave Tama County residents 6,812 vaccinations. They also served as an information bank for schools, employers, and doctors of Tama County regarding information for COVID-19.

In 2020, TCPH upgraded to Electronic health records. This training and implementation went on during the Pandemic and required a lot of patience of out everyone.

During all of the decades of service, TCPH&HC have employed RNs and Home Care Aides to provide Home Care Services to Tama County residents. TCPH&HC also provides Homemaker and Respite services.

Please join us on November 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at our office, 129 W. High Street, Toledo. Burgers (grilled by the Tama County Cattlemen), chips and kolaches will be served.