Mariposa County Health Department
Public Health Notes
Over the past 26 years, the Health Department and the community have solved a lot of Public Health problems together.
In 1988, when I was first hired by the County, if you called for an ambulance, you might get a vehicle with re-tread tires, driven by a janitor with a nurse who might very well specialize in Nursing Home Care. No First Responders. No helicopter ambulance. No paramedics. The doctor in the Emergency Room was a local Family Physician on call.
Now, dispatch professionals give medical advice while dispatching the ambulance and first responders. The physicians at John C. Fremont are Specialists in Emergency Medicine. We have a system of air ambulances and trauma centers.
Twenty six years ago, poorly constructed septic systems and wells and spills of hazardous chemicals caused contamination of our underground water supply in some areas. The Health Department now oversees these activities, protecting the water for all of us.
Our citizens with lung disease and heart disease are susceptible to getting sicker when smoke is in the air. The Dump used to burn trash and people would burn lots of materials at will. We saw such things as couches and tires being burned.
Now we regulate burning by citizens, agencies, and forest managers to reduce impact to our citizens’ lungs and hearts.
These are just three examples of the Public Health activities we’ve undertaken with the community to make Mariposa County healthier. There are literally dozens of others.
So what Public Health problems will we be facing in the future?
The answer is “several”. But there’s not room here for all to be discussed. Let’s focus on just one.
What’s the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S.?
It’s the cost of Medical care. Those who can’t afford their medical bills often end up unemployed. Some of them become homeless.
Once homeless, studies show, these Public Health impact often follows:
• Increase Communicable Disease in crowded, makeshift living conditions
• Increase injury from violence against the homeless
• Tooth loss
• Worsening Diabetes, Hypertension, asthma
• Shorter life expectancy
Thus, homelessness can be both caused by health problems and result in future health problems. Our Mariposa County citizens who are homeless are at risk for deteriorated health and expensive medical care when conditions go untreated and get worse. Taking an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room is a very expensive way to do health care.
Some County authorities have estimated there may be as many as 200 citizens homeless in our County. There is a Public Health aspect to this crisis that warrants our united efforts.
A happy and charitable 2015 to you and your family.
- C. B. Mosher
Ebola - update
Health Department's Mission
To protect and promote the health, safety, and environment of the community by preventing and controlling diseases, environmental hazards, injury and disability, and by educating and promoting healthier lifestyles.
Protecting Your Health Through
Preventive Medicine and a Healthy Environment