By Noell Wolfgram Evans
Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola met with the Jackson Township Board of Trustees recently for an open discussion regarding ways the county and township can work together to meet resident’s health needs.
One of the larger topics of discussion was the opioid epidemic that has covered central Ohio.
Mazzola commended the work of the township’s safety services saying, “Fire, EMS, and law enforcement have been amazing partners.”
The county has hosted community meetings and provided the township safety services divisions with Naloxone, a drug effective in counteracting overdoses.
“We are excited to be a part of the county-wide effort for the prevention and treatment of this addiction,” Mazzola said.
Fire Chief Randy Little said that the township takes full advantage of the opportunity to obtain Naloxone, but the need outweighs the supply.
In 2016, 150 doses of Naloxone were administered throughout the township. While some of these were provided by the Franklin County Board of Health, a good portion had to be purchased. There was a discussion on finding ways to help offset those costs.
With summer here, another topic of concern were mosquitos. To date, there have been two reported cases of West Nile Virus in central Ohio. The county does provide a mosquito spraying program, but currently the township relies on their own resources, spraying as needed based on weather conditions.
Sewer connections for township residents were also discussed. The health concern came from leaking or backed up septic tanks and sewage systems that have polluted adjoining water sources.
Trustees explored potential options for some of those affected to move to the city water system while still remaining part of the township. An estimated cost of $30,000 per home to do this though prompted a desire for additional research on the potential of grants among other options to offset those costs.
As Trustee David Burris said, “$30,000 is just not something real people can afford.”
As the discussion closed, Mazzola invited residents to attend one of the Board of Health’s Community Health Forums. The next one is scheduled for July 11 at 6 p.m. It will be held at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital Heritage Center on 5100 West Broad St. The free forum is a chance for residents to provide concerns on issues they would like to see incorporated into the board’s Community Health Plan in the fall. Register to reserve your place at www.myfcph.org/cha.