Health Department Services
Local health departments focus on the health care needs of the individual, family and community and provide a wide range of preventive health services.
Healthy children are a major priority of the health department. Well-child checkups include physical exams, screening tests and immunizations. Regular screenings assure normal development and detect and treat many health conditions for persons from birth to 21 years of age. Referrals for medical and dental care are made when needed. Children receiving TennCare benefits get these preventive services on a specific schedule based on the child’s age.
Children’s Special Services (CSS)
The CSS Program assists with medical treatment for children to age 21, when they have special medical needs and the family is financially unable to provide for necessary care. Care coordination is provided to help the family get the care they need from other specialists and programs. The CSS program also includes speech and hearing services.
Dental hygienists, assistants and dentists work with schools to provide dental exams, dental sealants and education for children about caring for their teeth. The Maury County, Lewis County and the Lincoln County Health Departments offer dental treatment for children who have TennCare or low family incomes and no dental insurance. Children in need of dental care may be referred to these clinics from any health department in the region. Uninsured pregnant women may also be referred to the Lincoln County Health Department for dental care. Fees are based on family size and income.
The health department staff works with community groups, agencies, hospitals and local governments to plan for and assure readiness to respond to health related threats and emergencies.
Clients receive a complete physical exam, appropriate lab tests, cancer screening (Pap test), information about birth control and an appropriate contraceptive method, and counseling on a broad range of topics. Infections and other reproductive health problems are treated or referred to other medical providers.
General Environmental Health
Environmental health specialists are responsible for inspecting food service establishments, hotels, motels, public swimming pools, bed and breakfast establishments, child care facilities, tattoo parlors, organized camps and school plants. They train the owners and workers to comply with state laws concerning health and safety. Staff also plan and promote rabies vaccination clinics and investigate reports of animal bites.
Community Programs Coordinators work with local health councils, organizations, schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies and businsesses to promote healthy behaviors.
HUGS (Help Us Grow Successfully)
Home visits are made by public health social workers or nurses to families whose children may be at risk for medical or developmental problems. Those eligible include pregnant women, new moms up to two years after pregnancy ends, and children to age 5. Counseling and education are designed to decrease infant disease and death, increase parenting skills, improve nutritional status and provide guidance as needed.
Immunizations (Shots and Vaccines) Immunizations against polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (lockjaw), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), varicella (chicken pox), hemophilus (meningitis), and hepatitis B are provided for children from birth to 18 years old. Flu vaccine, hepatitis A, HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine and tetanus-diphtheria boosters are also available to protect against these diseases.
Infectious Disease Control
All health departments provide necessary and timely information to patients, their families, and health care providers about serious communicable diseases. The health department collects and provides information on diseases in the community; investigates and monitors outbreaks; and keeps the community safe through investigation, early detection and early intervention for diseases which can harm the public.
Voter registration forms and assistance in completing forms are available at the health department.
A nutritionist is available to teach individuals or groups proper nutrition for everyday living. Registered dietitians counsel individuals with special dietary needs such as hypertension, diabetes and weight management.
Pregnancy testing, presumptive eligibility screening for TennCare and referral for prenatal care are available at all local health departments. Full service prenatal care is available at Coffee County Health Department in Tullahoma for Coffee County residents without health insurance.
Some health department staffs include nurse practitioners and physicians who provide primary care for uninsured adults. The health departments currently providing primary care are Maury, Bedford and Lawrence County Health Departments. Uninsured adults may be referred to these clinics from any health department in the region.
Sexually Transmitted Disease Control
The health department provides confidential counseling, testing, treatment, referral and partner/spouse notification for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
The health department provides outreach services to families and individuals who may be eligible for TennCare, including providing information, assisting with the application process, explaining proper utilization of the managed care system, assisting in obtaining referrals and prior authorization for services, and assisting in locating providers.
TENNderCARE is a program providing free checkups and health services for children from birth up to age 21 who have TennCare coverage. These preventive services are provided on a specific schedule based on the child’s age, and include physical exams, dental checkups and referral, medical treatment and behavioral health services. Parents may take their children or teens to their doctor or to the health department for these services.
Diagnosis, treatment and follow-up services for patients with tuberculosis, and their contacts, are provided at health departments. Necessary medications are also provided.
Birth and death information is collected and sent to the state’s Office of Vital Records. Certified copies of death certificates are issued upon request. Certified copies of birth certificates for persons born in Tennessee in 1949 or after may be requested through the health department.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Nutrition education and vouchers to buy nutritious foods (cheese, milk, cereals, etc.) are provided to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children under five years of age who are at nutritional risk and meet income guidelines. Breastfeeding classes and support are available to all new mothers.
Pap tests and clinical breast exams are also available for women who are not enrolled in family planning. In addition, women with low incomes, no insurance and certain age and high risk factors may qualify for free mammograms, Pap tests, and other diagnostic procedures through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.