In recent years Clinton County has been facing the same pull between triumphs and hardships that come with health and human services. The adult class of Leadership Clinton had the opportunity to get a taste of some of the counties innovations in these fields, as well as hear of some barriers that we are facing.
The day started at Foster Boyd Regional Cancer center where Greg Neilsen, President of Clinton Memorial Hospital, touched upon his expansive experience and passion for the health care industry that he is bringing to the hospital. “The potential to grow” brought him here. His strong message of saving lives, keeping people in town and bringing people into town to benefit Clinton County resonated with the group.
The morning continued with a tour of the Cancer Center led by Cheryl Fisher, Interim Radiology Manager. It is evident that no detail is overlooked – from care to comfort. Where patients receive their treatment, they can “look at the stars.” The team created a sky-like atmosphere to create piece during treatments. They have all services contained to one building for ease, and go beyond comfort for just the patients. They have a library and respite areas providing comfort and support for families and friends.
We later met three leaders in health and human services. Patti Settlermyer, President of Community Care Hospice, Mr. Brent Lawyer, Executive Director of Mental Health Recovery Services/Behavioral Health, and Marnie Reed, Administrator of Help Me Grow. All three brought a breath of experience to the table. With the years of experience, there seemed to be one major want. The want for individuals to know about their services. There are many misconceptions that these professionals are breaking down. Patti shared with us that Hospice services are experts at providing symptom management to patients, as well as giving comfort to patients and their families. Mr. Lawyer began his discussion with a mind-blowing statistic that most people with mental health issues die 25 years earlier than others. Their board will be the only in the entire state of Ohio to have kiosks. The kiosks will allow “check-up from the neck-up.” Common goals seem to be getting community members aware to lower costs and avoid crisis. Marnie concluded the panel discussion with a wonderful mission of spreading the word for people and families to be aware of their program that helps both children with disabilities, as well as first time parents. This is for all socioeconomic statuses and completely family-centered.
Our day was broken up to enjoy a lunch sponsored by Wilmington Savings Bank, where Judge Rudduck spoke about Drug Court and health impacts, along with Dana Dunn from the HealthFirst Foundation and their efforts and plans ahead.
Along the day, we received a tour and discussion at the Department of Health, led by Pamela Bauer, Clinton County Health Commissioner. Their efforts focus on preventative services that include partnering with nursing programs, partnering with Highland County for planning and preparedness, as well as having nutritional programs for woman and children, to name just a few.
Job and Family Services Director, Kathi Spirk hosted the group next. They are a “one-stop shop” in Clinton County. They are fortunate to be under one roof and offer a full breath of services to families. While they have several agencies, we were able to receive highlights on children and families services. It gave us just a snapshot of the dedication and passion these unique staffers have to bring these benefits to families in need.
The day ended with a vibrant experience at Ferno. With the displays, coupled with the timeline and paramedic patches on the walls, we all felt a sense like we were about to enter a simulation and take a journey through what they do. Led by Cecil Mullins, Ferno, starting in 1955 with the one-man cot, and today, has been creating innovative stretchers, adaptive equipment and designs nationally and internationally, ultimately allowing for the growth of Ferno EMS. Ferno joined Wilmington in 1972 and since has expanded this family owned business to what it is today.
Things in health and human services can be difficult every day, but it seems that these community-based programs, and companies help our county push through the barriers one day at a time.