Genesee, Orleans nursing team recognized by CDC as TB elimination champion

Posted 1 June 2020 at 7:02 pm

Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments

Provided photo – Front row: Mary Ellen Messmer, Deborah Restivo, Doris Delano and Kayla Shuknecht. Back row: Kerry Miller, Kerry Ohlson, Carla Wahls and Melissa Pless. Missing from photo: Gail Pettit.

The Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments’ nursing team has been recognized as a Tuberculosis Elimination Champion for 2020 by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Our nurses partner to test and treat TB disease and latent TB infection in migrant farmworker camps. Working together with Oak Orchard Health, a local federally funded qualified health center, they have adapted how they provide directly observed therapy to better match the schedules of their clients,” said Brendan Bedard, Deputy Public Health Director for the Health Departments. “This partnership allows them to provide TB screening and treatment for TB disease and latent TB infection to over 70 migrant farmworker camps in both counties.”

The cross-jurisdictional agreement between the two counties has allowed our nursing team to collaborate on projects such as this for the past 8 years. Not only does this help financially, but allows both counties to provide coordinated services in an effective and efficient manner.

“We are continuing in our efforts as chief health strategists to look at how our departments can combat illness and disability and assessing emerging health needs to improve community health,” stated Paul Pettit, Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “This team approach to monitor and address the needs of priority populations in the community will help in our efforts to eradicate TB. We commend our nursing team for their efforts and diligence.”

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