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History: 2010s

2010

The Vision for a Healthy and Vibrant Community health plan is published, outlining strategies to improve health behaviors and access to health care.

In March, staff and community members mourned the loss of Dr. Steven Katkowsky, District Director of Health.  

In response to an outbreak of pertussis, Health Department staff launched a vaccination campaign. With funding from a federal grant, vaccinations were given to more than 800  teens and adults living or caring for infants under age 1, who are most at risk for severe complications from pertussis and aren’t fully vaccinated themselves.

2011
In April, the Health Department begins enforcement of Kenton County's smoke-free law. The ordinance aims to protect indvidiuals and workers from secondhand smoke by prohibiting smoking in most public buildings in Kenton County. 

In the spring, an outbreak of Shigella occurred with more than 100 cases, compared to 25 in a typical year. The Health Department took an agressive approach to stopping the outbreak, including visiting child care centers where cases had been reported and restricting children in diapers from using public pools until case reports subsided in early July. 

Cuts in state and federal funding, decreased local tax revenue, and increased costs for employees created a budget shortfall that resulted in  reductions of $1.3 million and caused staff lay-offs. At the same time, economic downturn led to increased demand for public health services, particularly from low-income families.
eWic

In the fall of 2011, Northern Kentucky moved to the eWIC system, using electronic benefits cards for the purchase of approved items in the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition supplement program. 

2012

In March, a tornado struck sections of Grant and Kenton Counties. Health Department staff responded, providing food safety inspections, disaster response support and tetanus vaccinations.  

In collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the Health Department began offering hepatitis C testing to clients. More than 2,700 tests were conducted by the end of the pilot project in October 2014, and the results helped to demonstrate that the region has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C infection in the country.

A division of Population Health is created, encompassing staff and programs in Community Health Promotion, Epidemiology and Oral Health. 

Staff responded to changes in the health care system brought about by implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Managed Care in Kentucky. 

2013

Northern Kentucky's Health Department was one of the first 11 in the country to be nationally accredited. To do so, the agency underwent a thorough review that included submission of more than 600 documents in 12 areas (or domains) and a site visit by public health peers who assessed performance against standards.

As more Kentuckians gained health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act, Health Department staff referred clients to agencies with kynectors (specialists who help with the enrollment process), hosted kynectors in our buildings, connected clients in HIV case management with insurance brokers, and provided education for the newly insured on how to use the coverage.

2014
With $1 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, childhood lead poisoning risks in 46 local homes known to have high levels of lead were abated. 

The Health Department partners with Humana and local school districts to offer Humana Vitality screenings to school staff. The worksite wellness program incorporates regular screenings to help participants keep tabs on their health. 

Today
The Health Department continues to serve residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton Counties. Services include providing child and adult preventative health and wellness services; family planning services; communicable disease prevention and control; coordinated school health programs/assessments; environmental health services; birth and death certificates; community wellness services; and health planning, monitoring and public information. 

Today, the Health Department has about 150 employees, divided among five departments: Administration and Accounting; Clinical Services; Population Health; Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of the District Director—all under the District Director of Health.

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