-Written by Mackenzie Carroll ‘19
Through the Upstate Institute Summer Field School, this summer I had the opportunity to work with the lovely people at the Madison County Department of Health (MCDOH) in Wampsville. During my time at the Health Department I worked mainly with the Preventative Health division. The Preventative Health division offers the following programs and services to aid the Madison Community: Community Disease Prevention and Control, Health Education and Promotion, Vaccination Program, Maternal and Child Health Program and Home Visitation, STI Program, Tuberculosis clinics, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Car Seat Safety, and Cancer Services. The Health Department deals with all kinds of people throughout Madison County and works in partnership with many of the nonprofit organizations in Madison County in order to better meet the needs of the people. From doing home check-ups for premature babies, to flu clinics on college campuses, the staff is always running around to accommodate as many people as possible, and they still manage to think of new ideas all the time to further meet the needs of the community. Many of the health clinics on campus are run by them, so next time you hear about one I strongly suggest you attend because the nurses will keep you healthy and they are super friendly!
One area that the Health Department is working on improving is employee health and wellness in Madison County. In October 2017, the Healthy Workplaces in Madison County report was created by MCDOH to outline a strategic action plan for linking health protection and health promotion in organizations throughout Madison County. My project over the summer was to create a survey that would help develop baselines for measures 3, 4, and 5 found in the Healthy Workplaces in Madison County Report. Measure 3 aims to increase the proportion of worksites that offer a comprehensive employee health protection and promotion program to their employees. Measure 4 aims to increase the proportion of employees that participate in employer-sponsored health protection and promotion activities. And Measure 5 aims to increase the proportion of employees who have access to workplace programs that prevent or reduce employee stress.
My project entailed getting organizations throughout Madison County with greater than 50 employees to take my survey. The results of the survey were then used to create baselines for the Key Measures by analyzing how many organizations were considered “passing” each measure. Eventually, MCDOH hopes to use the information from my project, as well as past and future projects, to create resources, trainings, and tool-kits to help aid the implementation of comprehensive health programs at worksite throughout the county.
Working as an intern at the Health Department was a great experience for me for several reasons. First of all, I got to know and work with a lot of genuine, caring people who want to do good for their community. Additionally, I was able to experience an office setting and learn about the environment in an office. And finally, I am interested in potentially pursuing a career of some type in public/global health, so this opportunity was a great fit for me. I was able to actually see public health at work, which definitely helped me to further narrow my interests for the future. Overall, I am extremely appreciative for the opportunity that the Upstate Institute and MCDOH gave me. I learned a lot and truly enjoyed the experience!