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LEADERSHIP AGENDA

Operational Scan

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

Public Health

Gerd Clabaugh, Director

Mission Statement:
Promoting and protecting the health of Iowans.

Immunization for children
Dental services for Medicaid-enrolled children (1-20 years)
Lead-poisoned children


MORE DEPARTMENT PERFORMANCE

  • Download PDF document Performance Plan - How we measure our progress

  • Download PDF document Strategic Plan - How we plan for progress

  • Download PDF document  Performance Report - How we report our progress

  • Department Home Page - Learn more about this department

Highlighted Measure:

Percent of Iowa children age 19-35 months fully immunized.

Data Source: Iowa Department of Public Health

 

Updated 12/21/2016

GRAPH - Successful Treamting Lead-Poisoned Children

Why this is important:
Vaccines protect all Iowans. When vaccination levels are high, the few who can't be vaccinated (those who are too young, have allergic reactions, etc) are often protected because they are surrounded by vaccinated persons (called "herd immunity"). Achieving 90% coverage is considered the benchmark for maintaining herd immunity and protecting the health of all Iowans. Despite exceptional progress, Iowa must intensify efforts to increase vaccination as new vaccines are added to the recommended schedule, especially for children in poverty and children with disabilities. Pockets of need still exist in both urban and rural Iowa. These areas are crucial because of the potential for disease outbreaks.


What we're doing about this:
The Iowa Department of Public Health's Immunization program works to prevent diseases for which there is a vaccine by working with public and private health care providers across the state. The Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS) collects immunization histories to ensure children are appropriately immunized. The system contains records for more than 2.75 million Iowans and more than 32.6 million vaccine records. IRIS is used at more than 2,330 health care provider sites in Iowa. The registry permanently keeps immunization records that may be needed later in one's life for post-secondary education or employment and prevents giving unnecessary immunizations.

IDPH also distributes vaccines via the federally-funded Vaccines for Children program to local health departments to ensure more than 345,000 Iowa children get the vaccinations they need. Particular focus is on children who have no health insurance or are underinsured, are American Indian or Alaskan Natives, or are enrolled in Medicaid. Quality assurance visits are conducted twice a year at local health departments and annually at more than 590 Vaccines for Children private providers to assess the handling, storage, and administration of vaccines. When a vaccine preventable disease is reported, IDPH provides consultation and personnel assistance to local health agencies.

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Highlighted Measure:

Percent of Medicaid-enrolled children, ages 1-20 years that receive any dental service.

Data Source: Iowa Department of Public Health (Annual EPSDT report and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention

 

Updated 08/03/2016

GRAPH - Medicaid-enrolled Children, Ages 1-21 Years that Receive Any Dental Service

Why this is important:
Oral health directly affects the health and wellness of all Iowans. Poor oral health in children can affect speech development and approximately 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness. Cavities can be prevented; 22% of Iowa third-graders have untreated cavities; one out of every five low-income children has untreated cavities.

Many families don't know about the importance of oral health and know little about proper oral hygiene and preventive care. Access to dental care is a major problem for low-income Iowa families. For children on Medicaid, 47% go without any dental services at all. Early access to preventive dental services saves money. For at-risk children, having fluoride applications as soon as teeth erupt reduces the chance that teeth get decayed and need fillings or crowns. A fluoride application costs just $14. A small filling costs more than 3 times that.


What we're doing about this:
IDPH supports and coordinates programs to assure the oral health of Iowans.  The EPSDT (Early & Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment) program assures comprehensive health services for children enrolled in Medicaid. 

I-SmileTM coordinators provide care, coordination and support to families with children who need dental care. Coordinators can help with: setting up dental appointments, providing reminders of when the dental appointment is, arranging for transportation to the dental appointment, and providing education on oral health care.

Women enrolled in the Title V maternal health agencies in Iowa receive oral assessments, education, counseling, and dental referrals as an integral component of their comprehensive prenatal health services.  Some agencies have dental hygienists that provide oral screenings and fluoride varnish applications, reimbursable by Medicaid for Medicaid-enrolled women.  The Title V child health agencies receive funding specifically dedicated to oral health.  The dental funds may be used to strengthen local oral health infrastructure and/or to provide basic dental services to uninsured and underinsured children.

School-based dental sealant programs place dental sealants on molar teeth, which significantly lowers the chance that decay in those teeth will occur.  The programs target schools with a minimum of 40% free and reduced lunch rates to improve communication between parents and oral health professionals, helping parents make informed decisions about the benefits dental sealants provide.  In addition, these programs help families who lack insurance or who don’t have access to preventive services due to transportation or other barriers to care.  Most importantly, the coordination of these programs has also been linked to helping families establish dental homes.

Since 2002, more than one million Iowa children, youth, and women have received dental services through these programs.



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Highlighted Measure:

Percent of children that get a blood-lead test before age 6

Data Source: Iowa Department of Public Health

 

 

Updated 08/03/2016

 

GRAPH -Iowa Children Age 19-35 Months Fully Immunized

Why this is important:
Children are more vulnerable to lead poisoning than adults. The first 6 years, particularly the first 3 years, of life is the time when the brain grows the fastest and when the critical connections in the brain and nervous system that control thought, learning, hearing, movement, behavior and emotions are formed. The normal behavior of children at this age - crawling, exploring, teething, putting objects in their mouth - puts them into contact with any lead that is present in their environment. The health effects associated with lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing. Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the body. The main targe for lead toxicity is the nervous system.

Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems and, at very high levels, seizures, coma and even death. Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention and academic achievement, and the effects of lead exposure cannot be corrected. This is why routine blood lead testing is recommended for many children and required for Iowa children.


What we're doing about this:
Since 1992, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has required that the results of all blood lead testing done in Iowa be reported to the lead poisoning prevention program. Laboratories must report the following information for each blood test: name, address, date of birth; whethr the test is capillary or venous; the name and address of the provider that ordered the test; the name and address of the laboratory that conducted the analysis, and the blood lead test result.

Based on the blood lead test results, IDPH conducts child-focused case management (referrals for nutrition evaluations and home nursing and when these referrals are completed), and address-focused case management (addresses that are inspected for a specific case of childhood lead poisoning, when each address is inspected, whether hazards were identified, and follow-up actions to assure that lead-based paint hazards are remediated). Dut to these activities, the percentage of Iowa children under age 6 identified as lead poisoned has steadily decreased from nearly 3% in 2006 to less than 1% in 2014.

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