Third Quarter 2019
The EPI Update is a quarterly e-newsletter provided by the disease containment staff of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE). This newsletter will arm health care providers and public health professionals with information about disease trends and public health services in Johnson County, Kansas. If you have a story idea for a future issue, send an email to Share this newsletter with your colleagues! 
Kansas adds two vaccine requirements for school entry

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is implementing two new vaccine requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Two doses of the Hepatitis A vaccine will be required before starting kindergarten or first grade. Students entering the 7th grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine. Students starting 11th grade will need one dose of the meningococcal ACWY (meningitis) vaccine if not vaccinated prior to their 16th birthday. They will need two doses if their first dose was before their 16th birthday.

This change is based on recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An implementation schedule is available from KDHE. 

A complete list of immunization requirements for the upcoming school year is available on KDHE's website. You may also call our immunization nurses at 913-826-1261 with questions about required school vaccines and the implementation schedule. 
Mary Beverly named interim health department director

Mary Beverly was named interim director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment following the retirement of Lougene Marsh on July 12. Mary has served as the department's deputy director since she joined JCDHE in April 2018.  

Mary is a Florida native and spent most of her career working for two county health departments in Florida. Just before joining JCDHE, she worked for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.

Johnson County Government is conducting a nationwide search for a new health department director and hopes to make the announcement this fall.
Walk-in clinics expand service hours

The walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission began expanded service hours on June 10.  Walk-in services ( immunizations, STD testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, adult physicals, tuberculosis tests) are available at the following times and locations:

Olathe Clinic (11875 S. Sunset Drive) - Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Immunizations and Prenatal Appointments Only); and Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mission Clinic (6000 Lamar Ave.) - Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The new schedule allows for more walk-in services at both locations and allows more appointment times for clients who receive prenatal services from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.  "By adding additional hours to our clinic schedule, we are able to provide clients with a wider variety of services in a central location and increase the number of people we serve which will lead to a healthier community," says Interim Director Mary Beverly.
Make an effective vaccine recommendation during National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.

During NIAM, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment encourages you to ensure your patients are up to date on recommended vaccines. Research has consistently shown that healthcare professionals are the most trusted source of vaccine information for parents and patients.

Use NIAM as an opportunity to access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) educational resources like the #HowIRecommend Video Series, which offers simple and practical guidance for having successful vaccine conversations with parents and patients. These short videos demonstrate how to make effective vaccine recommendations, address common vaccine questions, and take a team-based approach to vaccination.

The Public Health Foundation and the CDC have developed a digital communication toolkit with messages and graphics tailored to your role as a healthcare professional and emphasizing the importance of vaccination for your patients. Show your practice's support of vaccination throughout the month by using this content on your website and on social media. During NIAM and beyond, you can engage with CDC and other healthcare professionals on social media by using the #ivax2protect hashtag in your posts.
Nationwide shortage of tuberculin limits TB skin testing

High Res TB Skin Test
Due to the nationwide shortage of tuberculin, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is temporarily suspending tuberculosis skin tests (TST) except for those with risk factors as recommended by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

TST will NOT be administered to people who have no risk factors for TB or to people with a documented previous history or a positive TST or TB disease.
The highest priority for tuberculin use is for evaluating people with suspected active TB, TB contact investigations, evaluating newly arrived refugees and immigrants and people at risk of progressing to active TB.
During the shortage, providers can use this  screening form  for persons required to have a TB screening for employment, educational institution admission, long-term residential care admission or any other required reason.

The duration of the shortage is unknown.  The TB Blood Test (IGRA) is still being offered at JCDHE's walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission. 
Two free Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT) training events for providers

The Department of Health and Environment is teaming up with Johnson County Mental Health and other community partners to offer healthcare providers free training on Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT).

Providers interested in obtaining a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction, can attend a free training on Aug. 23 from 12-5 p.m. at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kansas.

Participants will receive 4 interprofessional continuing education units (CME, CNE, Pharmacy) and lunch. This training offers a portion of the 8 required hours for physicians and the 24 required hours for nurse practitioners and physician assistants that is needed to obtain the waiver. 

Dr. Daniel Warren is the presenter and medical director at the Wichita Treatment Center and also prescribes buprenorphine for opioid use disorder. He is currently working at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita to develop a community response to substance use, primarily by developing skills and training in the primary care workforce. 

A free workshop about the benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), including examples of successful area programs, is open to professionals (correction officers, behavioral health case managers and clinicians, public health personnel, court personnel, DA's office) on Aug. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m at the Sunset Drive Office Building, Room 1070-1075, 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Olathe, Kansas.

Call 913-715-7880 or send an email to to register for either or both events.
Flu shots available at clinics in late September

Girl with flu
Seasonal flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 season is expected to arrive at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's walk-in immunization clinics after Labor Day. Flu vaccination will begin in late-September for anyone over age 6 months. 

A flu shot is recommended every year, especially for those people who are high risk for complications from influenza: children under age 5, pregnant women, those with chronic illness and adults over age 65. JCDHE offers the seasonal flu shot, the FlublokĀ® Quadrivalent vaccine and the FluzoneĀ® High-Dose vaccine.

You can help us get a more accurate picture of flu activity in Johnson County by submitting a Weekly Influenza Surveillance Reporting  Form Complete the form each week and fax to 913-826-1300.
Meet the Disease Investigation Team: Cathy Shemwell 

DHE Nurse
Leading the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment's disease investigation team is Cathy Shemwell, R.N. Cathy joined JCDHE in 1996 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Prior to working for JCDHE, she spent 15 years in the banking industry. 

As JCDHE's assistant director of health services, Cathy oversees the department's laboratory and customer service staff, the disease investigation team and the tuberculosis nurses. Cathy and her team won a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) Model Practice Award for their Video Direct Observational Therapy (Video DOT) following the 2015 tuberculosis investigation at Olathe Northwest High School. 

Cathy is an avid reader and likes to spend her weekends browsing antique stores and flea markets for medical antiques, anatomical models and military items from WWI and WWII.  You can reach Cathy at 913-826-1208 or .
Johnson County launches podcast, JoCo on the Go

Johnson County Government launched its new podcast  JoCo on the Go on Aug. 6. 

"We're excited to offer residents a new way to learn about county news and Board of County Commissioners policy decisions that affect them, as well as services and programs from which they can benefit," says Jody Hanson, Johnson County Government director of public affairs and communications.  

J oCo on the Go features in-depth conversations with county leaders and experts, community partners and residents. The Department of Health and Environment is featured in this week's episode about Kansas school vaccine requirements and back-to-school nutrition. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple and Google Play. Each episode is around 20 minutes in length and is available with a full transcript and promotional video on
Yellow Fever and shingles vaccines temporarily unavailable at clinics 

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is temporarily out of  Yellow Fever and shingles vaccines.

Because of a total depletion of their supply of YF-Vax, the manufacturer (Sanofi Pasteur) has made an alternative yellow fever vaccine, Stamaril, available at select locations until YF-Vax supply returns.  Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa.  More information about the vaccine shortage and how to prevent it can be found here

Those seeking a SHINGRIX vaccine, an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in adults 50 years and older, can search this  vaccine locator. Call  ahead to ensure availability as some healthcare providers or local pharmacies are sometimes out of stock.
Johnson County Disease and Surveillance Reports
The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment produces a monthly disease report listing cases (confirmed, suspect, probable and not a case) that are investigated by our staff. Starting in the fall through late spring, we post weekly influenza surveillance reports. We also compile end of the year reports about diseases and influenza on this page
Get notified about disease outbreaks in Johnson County 

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment uses NotifyJoCo to alert local healthcare providers about disease outbreaks in Johnson County, Kan. and other related information. This service is in addition to the Kansas Health Alert Network (KS-HAN) messages you may already be receiving from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  

Healthcare providers can sign up to receive these alerts by clicking here. Create an account (if you don't have one). Choose My Subscriptions --> Johnson County Subscriptions --> Dept of Health & Environment.  Next, choose "Department of Health Community Partner" as the type of contact. There is no need to select a building or duty assignment.  Your contact information will only be used to send out alerts from JCDHE via NotifyJoCo. 

If you have questions about the sign up process, call 913-826-5555.  
News from the CDC

Nationwide Shortage of Tuberculin Skin Test Antigens: Recommendations for Patient Care and Public Health Practice

CDC Activates Emergency Operations Center for Ebola Outbreak in Eastern DRC

Infection Prevention and Control Recommendation for Hospitalized Patients Under Investigation (PUIs) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in U.S. Hospitals

Outbreaks of Salmonella Infections Linked to Backyard Poultry

Vital Signs: Surveillance for Acute Flaccid Myelitis - United States, 2018

Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) - Promptly recognize & rapidly report

Still Not Enough Naloxone Where It's Needed Most

September is Preparedness Month  (Toolkit/fact sheets for providers available)
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment |
REPORT A DISEASE:  (913) 826-1303; Fax: (913) 826-1300
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