Many thanks for Ashley Nerbovig’s Sept. 2 article, “Public health nurses protect us through covid-19”.
As a long-time public health physician, I know a thing or two about controlling outbreaks and epidemics. With their “can do” attitude and their varied skill set, public health nurses are key to almost all of the complicated “people work” in communicable disease control everywhere.
From my current “back row seat” watching Pacific County public health confront covid-19, I have been amazed at the quality of Pacific County’s public health nursing team. Lori Ashley, Leah Heintz and Amanda Berube have expertly combined their scientific and people skills. They spread good information, they find and help those at highest risk, and they help keep all of us safe.
In one meeting, I asked, “What will we do if this gets worse in the next few weeks?” Our nurses responded immediately: “Here’s who is doing the work now. If it gets worse, we’ll involve these other people, who are already prepared. If it gets worse than that, we’ll involve a wider group of people, and here’s our plan to train them.”
I talk with a lot of public health physicians and nurses around the country. At this time, I am not aware of any public health department — anywhere in the USA — that is planning ahead as effectively as Pacific County’s capable and cohesive public health nursing team. I am impressed! This reflects well on the nurses, their supervisors, the health officer, and our leaders in Pacific County government.
Ms. Nerbovig’s article included a great deal of medically accurate information about covid-19. Much of that information was supplied by Pacific County’s public health nurses. To my neighbors and colleagues, I say: “Listen to these ladies. They know their stuff!” To the nurses, I say: Well done! Thank you!”
DAVE CUNDIFF, MD MPH