Calhoun County Public Health Home

Public Health

Current Happenings
You can find current information on health and disease surveillance, and safety activities for the state of Iowa here.


Emergency Services
Calhoun County has instituted the WENS Emergency Notification System - an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for emergency notifications.


Homemaker Services
The Homemaker is a member of a professional team who is trained, screened and certified before providing care in the home.


Home Health Care
SKILLED HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES provide support to individuals who are sick, disabled, or convalescing at home. Anyone who is concerned may make a referral for services.

A-Z Public Health Directory

Community Resources

Locally Grown Food

Caring Hands Closet

Heatlhy Shopping tips for the Grocery Store. Watch some short video clips on what to look for in each isle, how to read labels and what products help improve overall health. You can also print a quick tips sheet to take shopping!

Summer Food Program. The Iowa Dept. of Education has an interactive map that shows all the sites where any child under 18 can go for a free summer meal. You do not have to sign anything or show identification. You do not have to live near-by or even in the same county. The map gives contact information so you can find out serving times and dates.

Flood preparedness checklist for businesses

Foodborne illness videos for patients and health care providers

IDPH, in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) and the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL), has created three videos to assist the public and health care providers in identifying and testing for foodborne illnesses:

· What Should I Do If I Think I Have A Foodborne Illness? Describes what the public should do if they suspect they have a foodborne illness (food poisoning).

· How Healthcare Providers Can Help Detect Foodborne Illness. Steps healthcare providers should take if their patient may have a food borne illness.

· How to Collect a Stool Sample. To assist patients to correctly collect a stool sample and send for testing.

To view the videos, visit, and look under video resources at the bottom of the page. Health care providers can request free DVD copies of the videos for patients to view during office visits and for staff by calling 800-362-2736.

Iowa hospital facts website

The Iowa Hospital Association has announced the launch of a new website aimed at providing Iowans with information about hospitals and health care in the state. The Iowa Hospital Facts website is a portal to state and national health care websites where Iowans can connect to data and information about the cost, quality, safety and value of their hospitals. The web portal links to information about quality and patient safety data, hospital economic impact data, community benefit information, job listings for Iowa hospitals, and other pertinent information. is hosted by the University of Iowa Library and contains a lot of information about medical services available in each county in Iowa. You can search by location or service topic easily.

Check out the directory of health and human services for Calhoun County.

Calhoun County Public Health is a Supporter of the Physical Activity Guidelines for America. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are first –ever comprehensive guidelines published by the federal government. Being physically active is one of the most important things we can do to improve our health. Physical activity is linked with many positive health benefits, including lowering risk of early death & a number of chronic diseases & conditions. Some physical activity is better than none! Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. For substantial health benefits adults should do at least 150 minutes/week of moderate or 75 minutes/week of vigorous-intensity physical activity. Physical activity does not have to be hard. Pick activities that you like to do. Team up with a friend to stay motivated and be more fun. Get Started and Be Active Your Way!

New statewide prescription drug disposal program

to protect Iowans and the environment

NOVEMBER 9, 2009: Iowa is the first in the nation to launch TakeAway™ a statewide prescription drug disposal program. TakeAway Environmental Return System allows consumers to safely dispose of unused or expired medications through the convenience of drop off boxes in their community pharmacies.

“We care about patient safety and protecting our environment,” said Kate Gainer, Vice President of the Iowa Pharmacy Association. “This easy-to-use consumer take back program will reduce contamination in our waterways and help prevent prescription drug abuse.”

TakeAway is a new solution to an old, yet urgent problem. “Every day patients ask their pharmacists what to do with expired drugs,” said Gainer who is also a pharmacist. “Before TakeAway, we did not have an easy or practical solution.”

When unused drugs get in the wrong hands, the potential for danger is significant. The Office of National Drug Control reports that prescription drugs are the drug of choice among 12- and 13-year olds, while one third of all new abusers of prescription drugs are between the ages of 12 and 17. People who throw away or flush unused drugs are also creating dangerous situations by polluting water supplies and landfills. Plus, prescription medicines thrown in the trash may be picked up by children or pets.

“As members of the community, pharmacists are in a prime position to ensure the safe and proper handling of medications, from dispensing to disposal,” said Gainer. “By working together, pharmacists across the state of Iowa hope to make a difference for the environment and their communities through TakeAway.”

Visit to locate a participating pharmacy in your community and please review the list of acceptable and unacceptable items. Harris Drug in Lake City is currently the only participating pharmacy.

The Iowa Pharmacy Association is the state society representing the profession of pharmacy, united for the purpose of advancing public health, particularly the pharmaceutical care of all Iowans.


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