help_outline Skip to main content

News / Articles

Do you know all the services the MoCo Health Department offers?

Published on 2/3/2024
By the time a child is three, they will go through 5000-6000 diapers, a huge cost for low-income parents, about which Montgomery Health Department (MCHD) staff heard at a local event. Ever perceptive to better serving the community, they kicked off the diaper pantry on January 4, 2024. The diaper pantry offers 50 free diapers a month to families that complete an educational program. It’s just one of many services that MCHD offers to benefit our local communities.

During the January Lunch with the League, Diamond Justus shared that MCHD was able to opt-in for state “Health First” funding allowing them to expand services this year - from free pregnancy and STI testing, they help ensure maternal, child and sexual health. Free pregnancy tests allow women to seek professional healthcare early to protect the bodies of women and pregnancies. They partner with the Mobile Health Service, which provides Project Bundle and Project Swaddle. They will soon offer free birth control. 

Since Indiana is 26th in the nation for STI infections, county residents have a noteworthy risk for serious STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea - fortunately, syphilis - rates remain low. Other STIs like HIV and HPV can threaten lives if undetected and untreated.  By the end of 2024, MCHD are adding HIV and Hepatitis C testing. HIV can now be treated as a chronic disease with medication. HPV can lead to multiple forms of cancer that affect both men and women, including cervical and throat cancer. HPV is also preventable, but the vaccine must be administered before a person becomes sexually active.

MCHD provides immunizations after hours and at schools are available for those without insurance, who can’t afford the standard recommended immunizations or insured individuals who cannot make it to their doctor during regular office hours. 

MCHD also provides tuberculosis (TB) testing, treatment and case management. TB is an airborne infectious bacterial disease with drug resistent strains. In the past two years, Hoosier author John Green (Fault in our Stars and Anthropocene Review) has given voice to the magnitude of the ongoing TB epidemic. 1.3 million  people die worldwide of what is an entirely treatable disease. It was the second leading killer in 2022 after COVID 19, the World Health Organization reported. The Indiana Health Department reported that “the highest rates of TB occur in Hoosiers who are 25 to 64 years of age. Here in Indiana risk factors for TB include HIV infection, homelessness, drug and alcohol use, diabetes and residence in a correctional facility. There were 99 cases of TB in Indiana in 2022 and 124 in 2021.

One of the most prevalent epidemics affecting communities like ours is addiction. For those who need crisis intervention, the mobile health unit can deploy with police in the event of an overdose. Many people do recover, if their community can keep them alive through the darker periods of fighting addiction. MCHS helps to combat the epidemic through harm reduction strategies. MCHD provides the county’s Naloboxs where citizens can find an opioid rescue kit, narcan and fentanyl strip testing. Naloboxes are at multiple locations including the Community Paramedicine Building on 218 E. Pike St., Wabash Ave. Presbyterian at 307 Wabash Ave., Recovery Rec Center at 1300 Ladoga Rd., Montgomery County Probation Office at 317 Binford Ave, VFW Post 1431 at 117 N. Water St. and the Health Department at 1380 Constitution Rd. They can also provide safe use kits, but it is crucial to know that they do not provide needle exchange, only kits that include clean, sterilized items such as sterile water, clean cotton balls, soap, etc.” They provide full safe use kits to the quick response team that helps answer certain emergency calls. Safe use kits include tourniquets and cookers that are clean and sterile so individuals using these items are not having to reuse contaminated items that may transmit disease, virus, or bacteria.

“This program is a way to meet people where they are at on their journey with substance use and that our goal is to protect those on this journey from disease, bacteria, or a virus by providing sterile items,” Justus said.

For residents worried about the conditions of their housing, toxic levels of lead or unsanitary conditions, MCHD “follows state guidelines and codes to ensure that homes within Montgomery County are free of unsanitary conditions that could cause illness or disease for the occupants of the home.” They can inspect homes and deem them unfit if the unsanitary conditions are severe enough to put the occupants’ health at risk. 

“We provide resources such as chore charts, information on proper sanitizing, tips and tricks, dangers of health hazards in the home, etc,” said Justus. The health department provides a case manager to any county resident experiencing a housing crisis due to an unfit home connect them to resources. Case managers can do lead testing, lead home visits and lead education - lead poisoning is common in older homes where layers of paint include lead. Lead can be in pipes and leach in to soil. In children, it can cause developmental delays, but it can be reversible.

One other highly sought after service is providing birth and death certificates for those who were born or died here. Folks who have been recently released from jail, those on probation, experiencing homelessness, who’ve survived a housefire often struggle to obtain their birth certificate, a critical document for obtaining benefits, housing assistance, IDs and more. With MCHD’s “waived fee program” individuals experiencing such hardships can come to the health department to obtain a birth certificate free of charge. 

“The only stipulation is that a third party must verify this person’s situation. Examples of a third party could be probation, QRT, the police or sheriff’s department, etc. We accept this via a letter on their letter head or an email with their full legal name, date of birth, and a quick description of the situation,” Justus presented.

We have the luxury of living in a country - and county - where water and sewage are well monitored. MCHD regularly tests public pools, beaches and can also test private pools for e.coli and coliform, to ensure swimmers are not at risk. They also provide permits to install or repair septic systems for those who live outside of city limits. 

Wondering who handles vector control - spraying for mosquitos to reduce mosquito borne illnesses? MCHD provides this service to prevent mosquito borne illnesses that show up in Indiana, including West Nile virus. They monitor for incidents of such illness by having interns set traps, collect, count and label specimens throughout each summer. 

Finally, should there be a disaster - tornado, mass flooding, mass shooting - MCHD has plans and a control center to organize response teams. If you have questions or are seeking services, call the MCHD office at 765 - 364 - 6440 or email at