Brooke County Health Department Receives Grant Award

BETHANY, W.Va. — The Brooke County Health Department received a $13,805 grant award from the West Virginia Rural Health Systems. The grant was made possible through collaborative efforts by Bethany College, Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) and the Health Department. Funds will be used to purchase technology to enable the Health Department and Bethany College student health services to further implement HEALTHeWV, an electronic medical record and disease management program.

5744grant.jpgThe Health Department and Bethany College partnered with WJU in 2009 to become the first Health Department and College in West Virginia to begin using HEALTHeWV. Supported by the National Technology Transfer Center at WJU, HEALTH3WV enables clinics to manage medical records through a free, web-based electronic reporting system.

Although larger agencies such as hospitals have used electronic systems for years, small agencies such as health departments and college health services do not have the resources to make the transition. Through working with WJU, Brooke County Health Department and Bethany College have been able to change the situation for small agencies through efforts to participate in the HEALTHeWV program.

The health department has a variety of preventative health care programs for children, men and women and through HEALTHeWV clients are provided with disease management and education based upon national benchmarks. This is particularly important for the medically underserved patients the health department typically sees who otherwise do not have access to resources to manage their health care needs. The program safely and securely houses patient data helping to increase client confidentially. The program also enables the health department and Bethany College to go paperless and contribute to the “going green” movement.

Health Department staff key in making this program possible for residents of Brooke County are nurses Beth Swager, Sandy Rogers, Norma Provenzano, Joan Mitchell; clerks Billie Kins, Jane Rush Lynne Shaw; sanitarians Howard Bertram, Larry Main and Mike Bolen. Bethany College participants are College President Dr. Scott Miller, Dean of Students Elizabeth de Jong and Student Health Director Carol Tyler. Participating from WJU are Kathy Platter and Pam Scott.

Under the direction of Karen McClain, the health department has successfully collaborated with academic institutions to address health needs and to improve the quality of life for Brooke County residents. The first partnership began in 2001 with Bethany College to provide community wellness outreach programs, which continues today. Beginning in 2003, the health department began and now maintains a partnership with the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill for public health workforce development.

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.