MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Monongalia County Health Department (MCHD) is conducting a community health survey and plans two town hall meetings to inform the public about the services they provide.

“We touch the community in so many different areas—inspecting restaurants, providing health care, and training food workers,” said Anthony DeFelice, MCHD’s executive director.

In addition to working with restaurants and food service workers, the department operates the mobile dentistry Smile Express program, services for mothers and young children through the WIC program, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and the Monongalia County Quick Response Team (QRT).

“Whether it’s an outbreak, immunizations, MCHD Dentistry and Smile Express, or the Free Naloxone Day events, we have to get that word out about what services we provide,” DeFelice said.

MCHD has been developing a strategic plan with the help of Morgantown-based Forge, and the implementation phase is now beginning.

“MCHD has been working with Forge since July 2023 to create a strategic plan and will be implementing it over the next five years,” he said. “It was apparent to the leadership that we needed a roadmap to take us from where we are today to where we want to be in the

The process also includes a community survey that has been distributed, is available on MCHD’s social media, and will be available at the scheduled town hall meetings.

Town hall meetings are planned for May 15 and 16 from 6-7 p.m. The May 15 meeting will be held at the Morgantown High School library, and the May 16 meeting will be held in the Clay-Battelle High School auditorium.

“What we want to accomplish with the survey and town halls is to identify the services we currently have, improve upon them, and add services that meet the needs of the community,” DeFelice said.

The town hall meetings also allow the community to meet the new city health officer, Dr. Brian Huggins, who will replace Dr. Lee B. Smith on July 1. The MCHD is also going through the accreditation process with the Washington, D.C.-based Public Health Accreditation Board.

“As the new, incoming health officer, it’s really important to me that as we expand services, we do it in a way that is responsive to the community,” Dr. Huggins said. “In order to move forward in a meaningful way, we need feedback from all members of our community. We hope as many community members as possible will fill out a survey and even consider attending a town hall meeting.”