The COVID-19 pandemic has brought laser-focused attention to the need for community partnerships, and Granville-Vance Health Director Lisa Harrison knows firsthand the value of working together to assure overall community health.
Harrison, who recently completed her term as president of the National Association of City and County Health Officers, attended a national conference in Washington, DC, where public health officials gathered to talk about topics like vaccine equity.
“We had a really exciting day,” Harrison told John C. Rose on Monday’s TownTalk.
No matter where you find yourself – in the business world, faith community, education or simply a parent of young children, Harrison said “it’s wonderful that people are recognizing the hard work that the public health workforce commits to all the time to fight disease and promote health.”
“It doesn’t matter who you are in this community of ours, people’s health is one of the most important measures of wealth we have in this society. And I’m glad that people are realizing that there are people working hard to keep it that way,” she said.
Both Vance and Granville counties are currently enjoying low incidences of COVID-19 cases, but Harrison said flu is making its presence felt in the two counties.
“We are definitely seeing an uptick,” she said. “We need people to be washing hands and getting flu shots,” she said.
Vaccines provide protection for so many different diseases and sicknesses, she said, from shingles to COVID, childhood diseases to flu and pneumonia.
But access to vaccines still poses barriers and so she said public health professionals have to consider ways to get vaccines out into the community.
“We have to make an effort to go out into neighborhoods where transportation is a challenge for people and where there are maybe pockets of folks who don’t have the same amount of knowledge about the importance of vaccinations and staying healthy,” she said.