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By Dan Rudy 

New public health nurse arrives in Wrangell

 

Dan Rudy/ Wrangell Sentinel

Kake and Wrangell's new public health nurse, Ty Esposito, recently arrived at the Public Health Center on Front Street from her previous posting in Haines.

Feeling the bug? Pay a visit to Ty Esposito, the new public health nurse at Wrangell Public Health Center.

"They can come talk to me about anything," she said. "I'm everybody's nurse."

Recently transferring from her post in Haines, Esposito has been with the Alaska Division of Public Health for five of her nine years as a nurse.

"Immunizations is our focus," Esposito explained, providing the necessary shots "from infancy on." August is National Immunization Awareness Month and some individuals will qualify for free vaccines. Otherwise, costs are reasonably low and on a sliding scale.

According to a news release by the Alaska State Department of Health and Social Services, "The waiver applies to eligible Alaskans, including any child under the age of 3, and any Alaskan without health insurance. The fee waiver also applies to anyone who has insurance that does not cover vaccines or who doesn't know if it covers vaccines, who has not met the deductible, or who lives in remote Alaska and has no other access to vaccines except through Public Health Nursing."

Esposito said immunizations for tetanus, pneumonia, zoster (shingles) and HPV are

important ones to remember to get. Additionally, "Whooping cough is a huge problem here," she added, which can be

prevented through a vaccine given in childhood.

As summer starts to wane, flu season is also inevitably on the way. Stations for immunizing the elderly will begin next month.

The health center also

focuses on other issues, such as smoking cessation, sexually-transmitted infection

prevention, and domestic violence, which Gov. Sean Parnell has lately made a statewide priority.

"The state takes it seriously," Esposito said. Resources for these and a number of other health issues are available at the office. Residents and

visitors of Wrangell and Kake with questions or those seeking consultation are encouraged to inquire at 874-3615.

"The community is the patient. They should know

public health is for them." As part of that outreach, the center will be hosting an open house on Aug. 22.

 

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