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Update on Public Health Community Outreach and Maternal Child Health Programming

Feb 14, 2020 09:07AM ● By Editor


Public Health Community Outreach and Maternal Child Health Programming

By: Grace Grinager, Cook County Public Health Coordinator and Hartley Newell-Acero, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Outreach Coordinator.  From Cook County MN - February 14, 2020

Since 1998, Cook County PHHS and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic staff have worked in parntership to provide community health outreach services, Child and Teen Checkups, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition support and the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). In 2018, this expanded to include the universal family home visiting program and earlier this year, Clinic staff began providing evidence-based nurse home visiting services through a regional grant expansion project. Following is a description of what each of these services provide to the community:

Community Health Outreach and Education

A combination of state public health and county levy dollars fund these programs, which include:

Direct client care

  • Foot care services provided at no cost to community members at the Hub by Sawtooth Mountain Clinic nursing staff
  • Blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol screenings held at community sites provided at no cost to community members by Sawtooth Mountain Clinic nursing staff
  • n-clinic education on how to properly install and use a carseat by a registered carseat technician

Community health education via local media

  • Regular health-related education topics are covered by Sawtooth staff on WTIP, in Northern Wilds, via the Topic of the Month, and on social media platforms

Community presentations on relevant health topics

  • Presentations respond to community interest and span a range of topics.  These have included nutrition, parenting topics, livnig with chronic disease, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Statewide Health Improvement Partnership 

  • Leadership for active living initiatives including community engagement, local events, and Safe Routes to School programming with local schools
  • Support for the local farmer’s market and community garden
  • Support for local school wellness policies and initiatives

Maternal Child Health Services

A combination of state and federal public health and county levy dollars fund these programs, which include:

Child and Teen Check-ups

  • Encourages and reminds families to access preventative dental and medical care for their children

WIC and WIC Peer Breastfeeding

  • Provides nutritional support for income eligible families who include a pregnant person and/or child up to the age of five
  • A peer support person offers educational support and encouragement to eligible breastfeeding parents 

Family Home Visiting and Perinatal Education

  • A nurse from Sawtooth Mountain Clinic provides voluntary prenatal and postpartum education and home visits to any Cook County parent

Healthy Families America (HFA)

  • An HFA-trained nurse offers weekly home visits to eligible families with children from birth to five, providing them with on-going parenting support

Follow-Along Program

  • The clinic offers developmental screenings to children as part of routine well-child visits from birth to three.  These screenings help medical providers and parents learn about how to best support their children and to refer them to additional support services as needed

Together, Cook County Public Health and Human Services and Sawtooth Mountain clinic staff are proud to offer this wide range of programming to support health needs throughout the lifespan.  This collaboration strengthens both agencies’ ability to respond to the health needs of our community, making Cook County a healthier place for all people.

Learn more about public health community outreach and maternal child health programming at the February 18 PHHS Board Meeting at 8:30 a.m. in the Cook County commissioners’ room. 

You can also visit our website at, contact us via email at [email protected] or follow us on Facebook @CookCountyPHHS to learn more about our work in supporting the health, safety and wellbeing of Cook County. 


County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service


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