Indiana has 95 local health departments across the state focused on improving Hoosier health and safety.
Here are a few ways public health is working to meet the needs of their communities:
Mobile Clinics with Indiana Immunization Coalition (IIC)
Miami County Health Department partnered with Indiana Immunization Coalition (IIC) to offer a mobile clinic in November 2023. Support from IIC allowed Miami County Health Department to expand its after-hours services and administer 271 vaccines. Immunization Coordinator Gretchen Rabe notes that IIC makes immunizations easy for local health departments and patients. They send registration papers in English and Spanish and a QR code so users can sign-up on mobile devices.
Peer Recovery Program
In 2020, Madison County Health Department (MCHD) hired a peer recovery coach to support individuals with substance use disorder. A peer recovery coach brings the lived experience of recovery to assist others in initiating and maintaining recovery. Coaches offer referrals and help clients create a customized recovery plan. MCHD coaches follow clients through their recovery journey, whether it be at court appearances, incarceration settings or treatment facilities. The partnership between coach and client is individualized based on the client’s strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Peer recovery program participants praised the program, noting improved access to social support, better housing stability and more confidence navigating treatment. The program is now supported by the Health First Indiana (HFI) initiative. HFI provides Madison County Health Department with three more peer recovery coaches. The program’s expansion will allow coaches to address core public health services, including trauma and injury prevention, maternal and child health and linkage to clinical care. Expanding the program’s reach will provide the community with more advocates for substance use disorder, because at MCHD, no one fights alone.
Student-led Vaccine Clinic
A student from Columbus North High School contacted the Bartholomew County Health Department (BCHD) to inquire about partnering for a senior project. He wanted to host a vaccine clinic for students who were not up-to-date with routine immunizations.
The student advertised the clinic at Bartholomew County schools. At the clinic, BCHD administered vaccines to 96 students! Health First Indiana (HFI) funding allowed the health department to use an AMN interpreter service to bridge language gaps for students.
Patients reported that the AMN interpreter service provided a better-informed consent and health education for students and parents/guardians.