A Message from the Director of Health
It is my privilege to present the FY22-23 Annual Report for Housatonic Valley Health District (HVHD). As the newly appointed Director of Health as of February 2023, I am excited to provide an overview of our efforts to increase service quality, and meet the individualized and collective needs of all six towns within our jurisdiction.
Efficiency and Effectiveness:
When stepping into the role of Director of Health, one of my primary goals was to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our district’s operations. To accomplish this, we implemented various strategies, including streamlining administrative processes, fostering collaborations with town and community partners, expanding our workforce through the use of grant funds, transparently sharing data regarding our services, and optimizing resource allocation through redesigning our website. By enhancing our internal systems and procedures, we have been able to provide more timely and comprehensive services to the residents of our towns.
Meeting the Needs of All Six Towns:
Each town within our jurisdiction has its unique set of health challenges and requirements. Recognizing this diversity, our department has made significant strides in tailoring our programs and initiatives to address the specific needs of each community. Through community engagement and ongoing dialogue with local stakeholders, we have enabled the development of targeted interventions and health promotion campaigns to effectively meet the demands of the population we serve.
As we move forward into the upcoming year, we remain committed to our mission of safeguarding the health and well-being of all residents in our jurisdiction and providing the utmost quality of service. We will continue to work diligently to enhance our services, respond to emerging health challenges, and adapt to the evolving needs of our towns. Through innovation, collaboration, and a strong community-focused approach, we aim to make a lasting positive impact on the health outcomes and quality of life for all HVHD towns.
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the dedicated staff members of HVHD, our community partners, and all the stakeholders who have supported us throughout the year. Together, we will continue to strive for excellence and build healthier, more resilient communities.
Amy Bethge, MPH
Director of Health
HVHD Year in Review: Highlights
May 11th, 2023 marked the end of the Public Health Emergency declared in response to COVID-19. In order to ensure appropriate continuation of public protection against the virus throughout this new era of normalcy and to continue to meet the needs of our community members, HVHD shifted COVID-19 vaccination efforts from mass vaccination and testing clinics to appointments upon request.
The Community Health team provides communicable disease prevention services, routine immunizations, travel immunizations, and more. This division aims to improve patient care and clinical outcomes as well as provide timely and accurate information to the community.
The Community Health team conducted weekly blood pressure clinics and “Healthy Chats with Heidi” round table discussions throughout the community. The team successfully implemented 52 flu clinics and administered over 2,500 flu vaccines.
HVHD offered upon request routine immunizations, primarily for children. HVHD administered over 50 routine immunizations during this reporting period.
The Environmental Health team continued to meet the changing needs of new and updated environmental health rules and regulations. The team prioritizes timely delivery of high quality service while ensuring public safety and protection through meticulous detail to regulation compliance.
The Environmental Health Division focuses on the interrelationships between people and their environment, promotes human health and well-being, and fosters healthy and safe communities.
Communication & Data Visualization
The Communication and Data Visualization team developed an automated Environmental Health dashboard to highlight the number of environmental health services such as building and septic applications received by the department. The dashboard additionally elevates the average turnaround time for select services. The innovative data solution was developed with transparency and collaboration in mind. The team also revamped the HVHD website interface to provide town-specific community information, ensure access to online fillable forms, and provide a more user-friendly and accessible format.
The Administrative Division consists of the Operations Manager, Environmental Administrator, Office Administrator, and Public Health Client Specialist. The team supports the daily activities of the district which include, but are not limited to, providing personnel support, fielding questions from community members, intaking applications from the community, process FOIA Requests, collecting tick and bat submissions, accounting, payroll. Customer service, timeliness, and quality are paramount.
The Administrative division maintained the HVHD budget and all accounts payable and receivables, implemented monthly financial reports, maintained personnel files and new onboarding, streamlined procedures for the community and staff, and much more.