County Watch — Vital statistics; Megan needs a special dog
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:22
Written by Jim Nowlan
The recently released annual report of the Stark County Health Department shows that during the past year there were 68 deaths and 51 births recorded by Stark County residents. So, we’re losing ground in population terms unless there was a net-inflow of residents from the outside.
Of the deaths, 11 were from cardiovascular causes, and 11 from cancer. Twenty-one deaths were attributed to neurological causes, which the health department tells me includes Alzheimer’s, dementia, seizures, cerebral hemorrhaging and stroke, among other causes; four were from pulmonary disease. And then there is the big “other” category, of 17 deaths.
Of the 51 births, 15 were to unmarried women, which is a lower rate than the national average, which I believe is about 50 percent. Four births were to teens, again lower than the national average, I’m sure, though I don’t know what is average. Five of the 51 births were of babies under 5.5 pounds.
The county health department, which is combined with Henry County, with an office on Route 34 south of Kewanee, provides significant home health and home care services. Forth-six Stark County patients received a total of 730 home health visits. Home health services include skilled nursing, home health aides, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
Fifty residents received 15,000 hours of homes services. These services are provided to persons needing assistance with activities of daily living, to include housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, errands, personal care and companionship.
Seventy-four new adults and infants were enrolled in the WIC program, a supplemental nutritional program. According to the report, “the WIC program teaches pregnant women, new mothers and young children how to eat well and stay healthy. Foods in the WIC food package include whole wheat bread, corn tortillas, brown rice, baby foods, fresh frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.”
The health department also does much testing and provides health education throughout the county, among other services.
The department offers a Freedom from Smoking program, with group support and low cost nicotine replacement therapy.
Gail Ripka is the director of the health department and she and her staff do a terrific job.
By the way, the services are for all, not just those of low income. For more information about the department’s services, call 852-3115.
Megan Painter is a beautiful 10-year-old girl who resides in Bradford. The adopted child of Jeremy and Nicole Painter, Megan suffers from irreversible brain damage. Although 10, Megan functions as a 3-4-year-old.
Megan is in need of an assistance therapy dog to help her become more independent and stay safe when she is out in public.
A fully-trained dog will cost $22,000 from a group called “4 Paws for Ability,” of which the Painters are required to raise $13,000.
All contributions are tax-deductible and go directly to the organization, with Megan identified as the beneficiary. For more information on how to help, call Nicole Painter at 897-5009.
I will soon do a feature story on Megan, the Painters and their five children, four of whom are adopted.