For just over a century, people with health needs have come to the Guilford County Health Department.
It was the first county health department in North Carolina and the second in the United States. While some things have remained the same since 1911, now, at the end of 2022, the department offers vaccines, examinations, clinics, educational events and other services to the public through three mobile medical units designed to serve residents of their communities.
The three mobile units are now staffed with existing Ministry of Health employees whenever they venture out. However, based on discussion at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting last week, it now appears that the county will fund the cost of additional healthcare staff dedicated to the new mobile effort.
Guilford County District 7 Commissioner Frankie Jones raised the matter at the council meeting on Thursday, October 6.
“It’s incredible work being done,” Jones said of the department’s new mobile service initiative at the commissioner’s meeting.
The discussion took place during a report by Guilford County Health Director Dr. Iulia Vann.
Jones wanted to make sure the county let residents know that services were available — and he wanted to know that the department let residents know whenever mobile units were in their area.
For the sake of those watching the televised reunion, Jones asked Vann the best way for people to stay informed about upcoming events.
“We hope to get this message out to the public as much as possible, but healthyguilford.com is definitely the best way to get information,” Vann said of the service.
She said the Ministry of Health also posts notices on Facebook and other social media sites whenever a mobile unit visits a community.
“We partner with churches and other partners and they are spreading the word on their end as well,” Vann added.
Guilford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston asked Vann if the department had any staff working full-time in the mobile units.
“That would be fantastic,” Vann told the president and other board members. “It would definitely be a goal for us to have a team strictly dedicated to these mobile units. Right now we don’t have a team that is solely dedicated to providing these types of mobile services. I would like to get to that point.
Alston said the county paid a lot of money for the three mobile units and they should have full-time staff to operate them so they can be out in public more often.
Alston asked Vann to bring to the Board of Commissioners the budget figures showing how much it will cost.