Audrain County Human Services Council met in September, sharing and networking information about the community services available within the county. Nearly 60 local and area agencies attended the Sept. 26 meeting in the Audrain Medical Center conference room, sharing the following information:
• AARP, Dave Buhr, chapter president: On Sept. 11, AARP had a day of service and collected food for The Help Center. There are day and evening classes, held at the Methodist Church, for "Stay Strong Stay Healthy" for senior citizens. Anyone interested in joining should contact Buhr or the church. AARP is also working with Mexico Elementary schools for after-school programs for kids on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
• Arthur Center, Terry Mackey, executive director: The federal qualified health center (FQHC) is going well. Received a Missouri Foundation for Health Grant that is trying to work on primary care and dental issues for the FQHC. FQHC has a consultant and they have received 7 grants out of 7 applications. Arthur Center is in transition and looking for a medical doctor and nurse practitioner to add to its staff.
• Audrain City-County Health Unit, Kevin Lowrance, administrator: Jessie Holt, a senior nursing student in her last semester in the SBSN at the University of Missouri in Columbia is doing her public health rotation at ACCHU and will be working to get more relevant data for the STD talk that ACCHU staff are presenting to parents. For more information, call 581-1332.
• Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services, Sherry Levin director and Joanne Dennisson, volunteer coordinator: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Victims of violence will have a T-shirt display in the Audrain County Courthouse rotunda. Local businesses will be receiving silhouettes to use with statistics about violence in Audrain County. Representatives will be giving out purple light bulbs for outdoor use. The shelter is full. The agency continuously needs hotline volunteers for a couple of hours only. If interested, call 581-3835.
• Audrain Medical Center, Darrin Stice, director of MedChoice Clinics and Lisa Snow, AMC social service director: Oct. 13 is the diabetes self-management 5K walk or run. If interested in participating, or for more information, call Kathy Sims at 582-5000.
• Bureau of Special Health Care Needs, Tara Brewer, service coordinator: Received a $3,500 grant for a particular child who needs a sleep safe bed. Brewer is trying to find a van for a grandmother who has no financial resources. Let Brewer know of anyone who has a low-priced van for sale by call 660-886-9091.
• Central Missouri Community Action (www.showmeaction.org), Tad Dobyns, community organizer for Audrain and Callaway counties: Energy assistance started Oct. 1 for the elderly (over 60) and disabled. Nov. 1 is the date for everyone else who needs energy assistance. Audrain County will probably be a site for poverty simulation this coming fiscal year. Dobyns continues to work on a master list of food sites in Audrain County so that services are not duplicated. Dobyns is also working on having all the current local food sites that receive food from the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia start to communicate with each other.
• Division of Family Services, Lori Masek, with the Children's Division: Needs respite care for foster parents. According to her, the agency is seeing an increase in child abuse cases. If you can help call 581-3312 and ask for Masek.
• Elder Firm, Jefferson City (Theelderfirm.com), Nathan Forck, elder law attorney: There are new Medicaid financial requirements. A person can get a farm/home exception of $525,000 or less and still qualify for nursing home Medicaid. Forck has a slide presentation regarding the new requirements and would be glad to e-mail it to anyone who requests it. Call (573) 635-3436.
• Four Seasons In-Home Services, Melinda Neal, marketing: Four Seasons currently needs staff to work in Mexico and surrounding area. For more information, call (866) 746-2600 or (660) 351-0361.
• Hannibal Regional Center, Monica King and Kelly Lockwood: UMKC and Hannibal Regional have partnered in a new program for people without a specific disability who can receive mentoring services. This covers an eight-county area including Audrain. For more information, call (573) 248-2400.
• Healthcare USA, Renee Hendrickson: Healthcare USA offers tuition for children who want to attend after-school programs such as 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Boys or Girls clubs. Call (800) 625-7602.
• The Help Center, Tad Dobyns: The Help Center needs volunteers for food commodity distribution. Usually two days a month from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Will require some lifting. Call 581-3238.
• Mexico Area YMCA, Janice McIntosh, program director: Walls are going up on the new addition. This month, for every mile that is put on the pick treadmill 10 cents will be donated by an equipment company. Dave Buhr expressed his gratitude about the universatility of the YMCA card that can be used outside the area.
• Mexico City Hall, Mayor Ron Loesch: The budget for the City of Mexico has been approved – all 200-plus pages. The budget is $14 million dollars. Number 1 expenditure is $2.6 million for wastewater treatment. Other items include $400,000 for garbage disposal, $155,000 for gas, $11,000 to support the senior center building, $10,000 for The Help Center. The City of Mexico plans to convene a group of citizens to discuss and prioritize funding for the parks tax.
• Mexico Public Schools, Chris Denham, director Mexico Education Center: Parents as Teachers met Monday to work on Halloween costumes on a budget with CMCA at the Career Center.
• Oxford Healthcare, Emily Seiner: Reminds everyone to get a Tdap as an adult if they have not received one. Kay Dubbert RN spoke and discussed that Jefferson City had a recent outbreak of pertussis. CDC is speculating when the pertussis in the vaccine went from the whole cell to acellular many years ago to decrease the side effects of the vaccine that might have decreased the length of time kids had immunity from the vaccine. Infants receive vaccine against pertussis at 2, 4, and 6 months of age and for full protection to occur, they need to receive the series plus boosters. At this time, the reservoir of disease for young children are the adults caring for them and middle school kids. ACCHU offers Tdap for adults for $45 and as an adult you only need one injection for protection.
• United Way, Mary Jo Harris, director of Audrain chapter, Emily Stuckenschneider, United Way 2-1-1 resource specialist, Steve Kreyling, United Way board member: Stuckenschneider provided data about the 2-1-1 calls received in the second quarter from Audrain County residents. She plans to provide the data quarterly. The United Way fundraising campaign is currently in progress.
The next Human Service Council meeting will be Wednesday, Oct.31 from noon to 1 p.m. in the AMC West Jensen Auditorium. Legislators and political candidates have been invited to attend.