Public health works for you

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Special to The LaRue County Herald News

Do you know what public health does for you? 

Lincoln Trail District Health Department offers a variety of services “behind the scenes.”

Public health workers truly are silent champions in the community. In fact, many of our success stories include the things that never happened because our primary mission is prevention of disease, disability, and injury. 

Every community member is affected by the work that public health does on a daily basis because our target population is literally everyone residing within our jurisdiction. You may not know it, but you have received a public health service even if you never walked through the doors of one of our sites!

Here are some of the great things that public health has done in our communities:


Vaccinations have saved many lives and increased the life expectancy of our loved ones. It’s easy to take this benefit for granted because we no longer routinely see the crippling effects of Polio or experience the serious and sometimes deadly illnesses caused by measles, mumps, or rubella. Vaccines have greatly improved the quality and quantity of life for our generation of children. Public health promotes vaccination through education, administration of vaccines, and by linking individuals to medical providers within the community.

Since 1900, at least 21 vaccines have been developed to protect against infectious diseases. 11 of these vaccines are recommended for all children in the US.  The diseases that are now prevented by childhood vaccinations include * haemophilus influenzae type b, pneumococcus, measles, chickenpox, mumps, diphtheria, rubella, hepatitis B, polio, pertussis and tetanus.

There are more vaccinations available to protect against hepatitis A, influenza, rotavirus and shingles.

Safer and Healthier Foods and Public Facilities

Lincoln Trail District Health Department plays a key role in protecting your family on a daily basis.  Regular inspections to identify sanitation or safety issues and ensure that they are corrected protects the public from illness and injury.  Environmentalists act as a resource to the private industry such as the food service and public pool operators assisting with staff training, reviewing construction or renovation plans, and ensuring understanding of public health laws.

Our environmentalists monitor over ten programs in each county to include food, tattoo, onsite sewage, pools, and hotels/motels, among others. There are currently 1,459 active permits in the district among these various programs and counties. The role of the environmentalist in each of these programs is as an inspector, investigator, and advisor. 

Control of infectious diseases

Public health is the front line warrior against infectious diseases. We work with community partners and infection control practitioners to monitor illnesses we are seeing in our communities and in health care facilities. We investigate to find the source of the illness, perform contact investigations to identify who was affected and who might also be at risk, conduct interviews to look for a common source, and ensure treatment of all reportable infectious diseases, thus decreasing exposure and spread to other community members. 

Healthier mothers and babies

Public Health efforts have improved the life expectancy of mothers and children. Through assurance of basic prenatal care, educational services such as our HANDS program, and nutrition programs such as WIC we have decreased poor outcomes in pregnancy, improved quality of life for our children, and reduced disabilities and health care expenditures associated with child birth and disabilities related to premature births.

Healthier communities

Lincoln Trail District Health Department understands that where we work, live, and play influences our health choices. LTDHD works with our community partners so that we build a community that makes healthy easier. We look at areas within our community where healthy food is difficult to obtain and work with those neighborhoods to increase access to healthy foods through community gardens. We look at how we can build our neighbors to promote physical activity such as including sidewalks or lightening.  When we feel that our neighborhoods are safe, we take advantage of opportunities to be outside and more active.

To learn more about your local health