Jennifer Lefelar, Public Information Officer for the Florida Department of Health Monroe County, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on in the department.
Lefelar said, “One of the priorities for me has been working on the website and trying to make it as user friendly and informative for the public as possible. So I’ve organized a little top 10 list here about the DOH Monroe website because it is near and dear to my heart. The first thing I want to talk about, number one, is that we have made some significant enhancements to the website in terms of the environmental health topics and resources available on the site.”
There are 17 environmental health topics covered on the website, including septic tanks, biomedical waste, mobile home parks, RV parks, campsites, rabies prevention and surveillance, tanning body art facilities and Florida’s Healthy Beaches program.
Lefelar said, “That link to the Florida Healthy Beaches program is where you can read updates about things like red tide, blue green algae, sargassum. We’ve got FAQs there, we have a link to the most recent beach water safety, test results that are specific to the Florida Keys and we’ve also added our fees schedule for the first time on our website. So lots of topics there on environmental health.”
There is also a customer satisfaction survey on the Florida Department of Health website.
Lefelar said, “Anyone who would like to take our customer satisfaction list, please go, it’s front and center on the website, you can click there, take a link, we do appreciate your feedback. We take action. We take that feedback very, very seriously. You see the yellow box up at the top of the main page. That’s where we put advisories. Right now it says heat advisory. The heat is something that people need to be aware of and take precautions from right now. We are not currently in a red tide advisory, but if we were, that’s where we would put red tide advisory alert, up at the top, and you link there and there would be more details about the issues are. We update that as needed to keep the public informed about those important health alerts.”
The website also provides a list of the upcoming events.
Lefelar said, “We’re actually in the planning stages right now for an event, Health to You, event in October in Big Pine. We have one event in our calendar right now, which is the Faith HIV AIDS Awareness Day coming up August 30, Bernstein Park, 5:30 to 7:30. People will be able to come out for rapid HIV testing, free condoms, educational materials, and there will be food at that event. So anyone wants to know where they can come and see the Department of Health out in the community, just check our calendar.”
The About Us section has also been updated.
Lefelar said, “We have expanded that to have team pages and you go to these team pages and you’ll see headshot pictures and short little bios of everyone working behind the scenes tirelessly every day to keep our community safe. We have meet our leadership team, meet our environmental health team, meet our epidemiology team, meet our Healthy Start team, and meet our HIV and prevention team. The two that are coming next that I’m currently working on our meet our WIC team and meet the clinic. So we want to have everyone who works at the health department and all three of our locations up the Keys, we want to have everybody’s picture and everybody’s story about the full team on our website. So people can connect names with faces if they talked to us on the phone or if they had great service from one of our nurses, they could go on to the website and learn a little bit more about that nurse as a person.”
Press releases are also all archived on the website.
Lefelar said, “For example, we have our most recent press releases, a heat advisory includes lots of tips that people need to be aware of to deal with the heat to stay safe, protect themselves against heat related illnesses. Stay hydrated, stay cool. AC is your friend. Make sure you check on vulnerable individuals. And never never never leave children or pets unattended in vehicles you know, with the windows cracked. The one thing I also want to add about our press release section on the website is it does include both our state and our local county press releases. They’re now separated into two archives so that it’s really easy to see which press releases are coming out from Tallahassee and which press releases are local to us here in Monroe.”
Vital statistics are also on the website, which include things like how to order birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates and divorce certificates.
Lefelar said, “So people in need of those records, the health department, we can help in person with birth and death certificate, but there’s information for all four of those categories and how to order those materials on our website.”
The addresses and the hours for all three of our locations are also on the website.
Lefelar added, “The health department just recently in the last 10 months started offering travel vaccines in Monroe County for the first time, so people don’t have to drive to Miami to get travel vaccines if they’re going to be taking a trip. We’ve added information about the travel vaccines to our website, how to call for an appointment. We recommend you call a month in advance and also for any businesses or organizations that want their employees vaccinated, they can go to our vaccines to you registration page and they can fill out a form and we will bring the vaccines to your place of business and help get your employees protected from vaccine preventable diseases.”
Information on free health care insurance can also be found on the website.
Lefelar said, “Our very special community partner, Carolyn Thompson, who works for the Florida Epilepsy Alliance, she provides free health care insurance to Monroe County and we have information about how to get in touch with her on our website under community partners. She is at Gato Building here in Key West where the health department is located every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 to 4. She can be reached on the phone at 877-533-7453. That’s about free assistance with registering for health insurance, dealing with Medicaid unwinding issues. Carolyn and I recently worked on getting a 60-second video about Medicaid unwinding. It is very informative. After those 60 seconds, you can’t not know a little bit more about this somewhat confusing topic and how Carolyn can help. People who have suggestions or feedback on our website, they can send us an email to [email protected] and I personally am the one who monitors that inbox. I would love to hear from people who have ideas on what we can do to prove our website for the next 10 months.”
For more information on the Monroe County Department of Health, click here: https://monroe.floridahealth.gov/index.html