The Greene County Health Deparment has a new administrator and a new vision to be more visible in the community. Alton native Molly Peters will be taking over as the new health department administrator, replacing Ruth Ann Flowers, who’s retirement after 30 years of service from the health department is effective in April. Flowers has been with the department since 1990 and was promoted to administrator in 1999.
Peters comes from the Madison County Health Department after 11 years as a licensed environmental health practitioner. She says she hopes to make the health department more visible in the community. “We have a lot of services that we offer here and we want to explain those services to the community so they know what is available to them in the county. We also want to be a more guidance and a service for prevention. We also want to focus on needs in the community whether it’s combating opioid use, advocating for physical activity, blood pressure screenings – we want to be focused on prevention.”
Peters says that they’ve already begun outreach into Jersey County to help combat the opioid epidemic in the surrounding area by establishing a connection with a community based group Cares. The community-based group meets with several stakeholders and puts a plan in place to combat the epidemic. Peters says she wants the health department to be on the same page with the surrounding area to help turn the problem around.
Peters says they are also looking to expand their relationship with Boyd Community Hospital in Carrollton. Currently, they partner with Boyd on physical therapy services and home health activities through the hospital. She says they want to expand into more community-related prevention programs. Peters said the next expansion will be in the health department’s relationship with the county high schools. She says that she’s established connection with one school already about setting up a program with students about wellness and prevention. Peters said that students are usually at the forefront of any communicable disease outbreaks or health-related issues more than adults. She hopes that through the health & wellness programs with the schools, it will help young people to become health advocates for their community.
The Greene County Health Department will have a health fair coming up on Wednesday, March 25th at the KC Hall in Carrollton from 7-11AM. Peters hopes to gather as much information in the next several months about community needs to continue to strengthen the health department mission and to create effective prevention and wellness programs for the Greene County community.