The Bastrop County public health task force held community discussion groups in the cities of Elgin, Smithville and Bastrop over the past month. Leaders of local efforts and nonprofits were in attendance at each meeting.

In Bastrop's May 9 meeting, the group discussed the focus of the health department on infectious disease, chronic disease, environmental issues, family health and healthcare access—areas required for the accreditation process for public health departments.

The big picture

A health department is concerned with preventative health Donna Nichols, the Bastrop County Health Department interim executive director, said. The Bastrop community discussion group mentioned the need for a health department to address the following issues:
  • Vaccinations
  • Obesity screening
  • Prenatal care
  • Sex education
  • Substance abuse
  • Food health
  • Sports injury prevention and training
  • Public service announcements
A need for physical, linguistic and electronic accessibility to the health department was also mentioned at the May 9 meeting.