Columbiana County Health District honored by state agency

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, left, awarded Columbiana County Health District with his Directors Award at a recent event in Columbus. Dr. Wesley J. Vins, right, is director of the health district.

Columbiana County Health District recently was hailed for its efforts in response to the East Palestine train derailment.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health, awarded the agency his Director’s Award, and praised its work in many aspects of relief.

The award was presented to Columbiana County Health Commissioner Dr. Wesley J. Vins at the 2023 Ohio Public Health Conference.

The Ohio Department of Health's Director's Award went to Columbiana County Health District.

Areas in which the health district has been involved include development and implementation of the potable water sampling plan that informs sampling for private water wells in the area and allows residents to have their water co-sampled by the health district and Norfolk Southern at no cost. So far, the program has produced 442 sets of final sample results.

The department also helped to open and operate the temporary Health Assessment Clinic at First Church of Christ in East Palestine. The free clinic helped residents get access to medical and mental health professionals. It was open 28 days and served 338 people. Columbiana County Health District also initiated the establishment of the permeant Health Clinic in East Palestine. It now is operated by East Liverpool City Hospital.

“This is a testament to our public health partnership from the local to the federal level,” Vins said. “Partners are our greatest strength. Our residents have benefited greatly thanks to all of the hard work that the Health District staff and our public health partners have, and continue to do.”

Vins also took advocacy for East Palestine residents in March to Washington D.C., testifying in a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment.

Columbiana County Health District was established in 1919 and achieved national accreditation from the Public Health Accreditation Board in 2022.

This article originally appeared on The Alliance Review: Columbiana County Health District honored by state agency