08/19/07 — Health Department targets obesity, HIV tests

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Health Department targets obesity, HIV tests

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 19, 2007 10:08 AM

Wayne County Health Department staff are keeping pace with the needs of the community, Health Director James Roosen told its governing board Wednesday.

Roosen discussed several projects and advancements being made. He also gave an update on recent response to food and toy recalls, commending employees for alerting the public and ensuring safe removal of products.

In response to concerns about childhood obesity, Roosen said Dr. David Tayloe at Goldsboro Pediatrics has requested a registered dietitian.

"As part of a medical instructional therapy project, we will staff a registered dietitian at Goldsboro Pediatrics to see whether or not we can make this a cost neutral program," he said, noting that the effort began this week.

Coming up next month, Roosen said one of his long-time goals will come to fruition in the form of a community testing for HIV and AIDS.

"Since 1983, 453 people have tested positive for HIV in Wayne County," he said.

Participating in the statewide effort "Get Real Get Tested," Roosen said on Sept. 14, he hopes to send 30 teams of two -- a phlebotomist and HIV counselor -- out into areas where there is high-risk activity.

"We're doing this because about 30 percent of people who have HIV are not aware of their status," he said. "We want to identify folks, get them into a system of care, get on medication. More importantly, to control the spread of HIV."

Roosen also announced replacement of the Health Department's 24-year-old computer system.

"Wayne County was chosen as a pilot for a new information technology program, one of six in the state chosen to pilot this new system," he said. "For a quarter of a century, we have stuck with a system that's not user-friendly.

For simplicity sake, he termed the switch to "electronic medical records" a chance to cut back on paper-based information.

"When a patient calls, we should be able to bring the records up ... offer counseling with the electronic records right in front of us," he said.