Public Health

Kim Morran, BSN-RN
Public Health Nurse Administrator

Carla Starkenburg, RN
Public Health Nurse

Carisa Tenkley, LPN
Public Health Nurse

Alma Rodriguez, Office Manager

O'Brien County Public Health

155 South Hayes, P.O. Box 525
Primghar, Iowa 51245

Phone: 712-957-0105
Fax: 712-957-0115



O’Brien County Public Health Mission Statement is to provide professional, respectful, caring, and compassionate services to the community, promoting optimal health and safety through prevention, protection and intervention.

O’Brien County Public Health’s Vision is to advocate for the public’s health through promotion of healthy living, prevention, and education.
Essential services for O’Brien County Public Health is to protect and promote the well-being and health of our community. We focus on the following functions: Prevent injuries, Promote Healthy Behaviors for all ages, Prevent the Spread of Disease and Prepare for, Respond to and Recover from Public Health Emergencies.

Public Health offers vaccines to children who meet the qualifications of the VFC program (Vaccine for Children) and accept private pay for vaccines to the public. The goal of the immunization program is to reduce and ultimately eliminate the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases by working in conjunction with the public and private health care providers throughout our area.

Public Health Services all schools and registered day cares in O’Brien County to ensure all immunizations are up to date. Provisional Certificates of Immunizations are sent home to parents whose children are not up to date and they have 60 days to show proof of immunizations. If coming to public health is a burden or lack of transportation public health nurses will go to the school to accommodate the parents.

Public Health follows up on reported diseases through IDSS (Iowa Disease Surveillance System) in order to collect, monitor, and analyze the data relevant for control and prevention of diseases. Infectious diseases are a continuing threat to all groups of people, regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, ethnic background, or socioeconomic status. Collection of data provides information on trends, unusual occurrences of disease to detect and respond to and effectively control and prevent further outbreaks.

Program started to help supplement the snacks the children provide each day for their class. Presentations were given to each kindergarten class in O’Brien County. Interactive discussion with fruits, vegetables, and their nutritious value, along with the importance of trying new types. Each child received a small plate with different fruits and vegetables to sample. Each month fruit is delivered to the classroom to provide a nutritious snack for that day.

O’Brien County Public Health collaborates with County EMS, local hospitals, and other community partners to establish our emergency response plan. A vital role of public health in emergency planning and preparedness is to provide education to the public in order to promote individual preparedness, have the ability to assist in response to a public health emergency as well as assist in the recovery of an emergency.

Subcontract with Webster County to provided dental screening during WIC Clinic (Women, Infants, and Children) to help the fight against tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are provided along with education on brushing and nutrition. Referrals are made for those with serious decay along with providers who except Medicaid.

O’Brien County Public Health provides dental screening to all preschool children also through a subcontract with Webster County. Permission slips are sent home to the parents for approval of the screenings and fluoride treatments, each child receives a toothbrush and paste whether they participate or not.

O’Brien County Public Health will provide education to expecting mothers or postpartum mothers who need extra maternal assistance. The goal is to provide answers to questions, education, and preparedness relating to pregnancy for first time moms to well-baby checks for postpartum moms a day or two after delivery.

O’Brien County Public Health in collaboration with Community Health Partners provide educational material for smoking cessation and new policies for a tobacco and nicotine free facility. Vaping is becoming a favorite pastime for junior high and high school children. With this new trend policies need to be updated from tobacco free to tobacco/nicotine free.

O’Brien County Public Health offers foot care and blood pressures to the community once a month at Willoway Manor in Sutherland and the City Office in Primghar. Education on proper nail and foot care is provided and blood pressure screenings are offered.

Each year a wellness fair is provided for all employees and their families. Some of the booths included: screenings for skin damage, blood panels, insurance information, simulation of driving while texting, radon detectors, blood pressures, and nutrition advice. Employees were also provided flu and Tdap vaccines as needed. A breakfast was added, which was a nice addition to the fair.

O’Brien County Public Health Nurses provide TB testing for inmates before transferring to federal prisons. Nurses also provide exams for minor complaints such as sore mouth, removal of stitches, inspection of skin, and other requests by jailers, to insure safety for all involved.

O’Brien County Public Health Nurses provide medication administration for patients who need monthly injections and have latent TB. The Medication is administered on a monthly bases and education and explanation of their medications is provided.

O’Brien County Public Health collaborates with the local hospitals, and Home Health and Hospice to provide home visits to recently hospitalized patients who do not qualify for other services. In order to eliminate readmission to the hospital after discharge, Public Health will visit the patients home to ensure understanding of medications, check home for fall risks and answer questions the patient may have. Public Health will communicate findings and patient status to all concerned.

Updates on all policies and procedures and development of new policies and procedures will be an ongoing project in the near future.

O’Brien County Public Health will offer assistance in helping the community find needed resources for housing, Medicaid and Medicare information, day care, and other resources as needed.

The 5210 stands for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, 2 keep recreational screen time activities to 2 hours or less per day, 1 include at least 1 hour or more of active play every day, and 0 skip sugar sweetened beverages and drink more water every day. O’Brien County Public Health in collaboration with Community Health Partners and EMS will develop a program this summer to incorporate the 5210 to fight childhood obesity in our community.