Clinic opens in Bergholz

HEALTH SERVICE — The Jefferson County Health Department held an open house Thursday at its clinic in Bergholz. The health department opened the clinic in June and has seen a steady increase in clients. On hand for the open house were, from left, Amy Richards, president of the Bergholz Foundation; Mayor Gary Griffith, Marianne Featheringham of the Bergholz Community Foundation; Kim Mark, accreditation and programs coordinator for the health department; L. Ashley Wilson, county Women, Infants and Children director; Frank Klinger, accreditation and programs coordinator; Laura Scott, health educator; and health department intern Taylor George. -- Paul Giannamore

BERGHOLZ — With health information, bicycle helmets and safety lessons for children, the Jefferson County Health Department welcomed residents of the Bergholz area to its clinic at 387 Third St. Thursday.

It’s part of a growing outreach effort by the health department across the county.

Kim Mark, accreditation and programs coordinator for the health department, explained the clinic opened June 12 and has been seeing a steady increase in clients. Mark said the clinic is being made available through the generosity of the Bergholz Foundation.

It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and provides services including immunizations for adults and children, physicals by appointment, allergy shots, blood pressure checks, sexually transmitted disease testing, quick strep testing, pregnancy tests and more.

Flu shots will be offered when the vaccine is available, and Mark said for those who are unable to easily make it from the car into the clinic, which does have a handicap access ramp, personnel can come to the car to give a shot.

Plans are to offer Women, Infants and Children program services beginning in the fall. In addition, the environmental division will offer information and education about various issues, including West Nile virus and lyme disease.

She said if there are enough clients, the health department could staff the Bergholz clinic three days a week.

Mark said the Bergholz Foundation is instrumental to the clinic, making the building available and supporting the efforts of the health department for the outreach in the village.

Foundation president Amy Richards said the foundation bought the building 15 years ago to use as a medical building. She said several doctors have come and gone in the building.

“Things have changed in the medical industry and it’s hard to get a doctor in a small town like this,” she said.

She said health board member Dale Featheringham was instrumental in noting the foundation had the available facility for medical purposes and suggested approaching the health department.

“We think it is a fantastic opportunity to serve our community,” she said. “It’s really difficult for some of the people in this end of the county to get to Steubenville. We really feel fortunate to be involved in a service like this and helping the people of the community to make it a better place to be.”

Marianne Featheringham of the Bergholz foundation said, “It will be a great service out here,” and noted the transportation problems many residents face in reaching Steubenville, nearly 25 miles away.

For the open house day, bicycle helmets were being offered for children, along with a safety course.

The county health department has stepped up outreach efforts, with a clinic in Toronto and the facility in Bergholz, as well as public clinics that will be operating starting the third week in September in Edison Local schools.

Mark said the Edison clinics will be one day a week at each of the district’s schools. Clinics for the public also will be held once a month at the Jefferson County JVS and in the Buckeye Local School District.

“We’re a public health agency, and we need to be seen out in the public and serve our public,” she said. She emphasized that the school outreach clinics are not just for students but for the community to use the department’s services. A nurse practitioner will be staffing the clinics, and a local pharmacist is going to be available to deliver prescriptions to people in the Bergholz area, she said.

L. Ashley Wilson, county WIC director, noted the outreach efforts are away from public transportation to help people who would have a tough time making it in to Steubenville to the main health department office.

The clinic building features exam rooms, a lab draw room, office and crew space and a waiting area.

For information about the Bergholz clinic, call during staffed hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at (740) 768-1498, or the main health department number, (740) 283-8530.