Health department honored for perfect score

The Shiawassee County Health Department received a perfect score on its state accreditation Wednesday. From left are Commissioner Jeremy Root, R-District 5; Grace Czubachowski, health educator at SCHD; Jodi DeFrenn, emergency preparedness coordinator; Patricia Cords, vice chairwoman of the Board of Health; Laura De la Rambelje, director of Local Health Services, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Larry Johnson, Shiawassee County Health director; John Pajtas, Board of Health member; Derek Burton, director of finance and administrative services for the SCHD; Nicole Greenway, director of personal and community health for the SCHD; Joy Welty, Board of Health member; Casey Elliott, director of environmental health; John Morovitz, Board of Health member; and Commissioner Brandon Marks, R-District 4.

CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Health Department (SCHD) has received its second straight perfect accreditation score from the state.

The honor was announed Wednesday during the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners’ Committee of the Whole meeting.

“To my knowledge, Shiawassee County is the only program that has actually gotten back to back 100 percent perfect scores,” said Laura De La Rambelje, the director of local health services at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Larry Johnson, director of the SCHD, pointed to staff members as the reason his department was able to achieve the perfect scores.

“This says a lot about the team we have at the health department. The way this operates is you have to have a great team and I would say we have the best. I would put them up against anybody in the state,” Johnson said.

Rambelje said what made the perfect scores more impressive was the fact the SCHD was dealing with a hepatitis A outbreak during its accreditation process.

“They didn’t just stay in the health department, they went out in the community and did things like engaging the homeless population and got into the jail, got to people who were most vulnerable to stop that outbreak. At this point, we haven’t had a case tied to that outbreak in over six months,” Rambelje atsaid. “It’s due to the efforts of Larry and his staff.”

The state accreditation process involved a week-long multifaceted onsite review of the SCHD and its programs by a team of state reviewers and program auditors.

The reviews are conducted every three years to ensure departments are meeting standards to receive state funding and administer programs.

“The review looks at everything from on-site waste water, food protection, wells and septics, WIC, family planning, breast, and cervical cancer programs. It involved chart reviews, observations of clinical activities and conversations about how the local health department operates and conducts its business and operates its duties under the public health code. It runs the full gambit,” Rambelje said. “I think what people don’t realize is the one week is just when we show up. Local public health is preparing for that every single day.”

Rabmelje said one thing the MDHHS was particularly pleased with was that the SCHD hired a health educator, Grace Czubachowski.

“She is helping inform the community about the different services that are available and helping the community understand their health better,” Rambelje said.

She also pointed to the county’s new GIS system that gives officials better information when making decisions for the county.

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