After review, changes are being made beginning Sept. 1 to immunization clinics offered by the Auglaize County Health Department.
An immunization clinic offered in New Bremen is closing, substituted by a walk-in clinic every Tuesday between 8 and 11 a.m. at the Auglaize County Health Department, located at 214 S. Wagner St. An existing clinic offered at the Health Department from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays is changing to appointment only.
The Health Department is still offering a walk-in clinic every Wednesday from 1 to 3:30 p.m. at the Auglaize County Council on Aging, 610 Indiana Ave., St. Marys.
“As with all our programs, the department had to sit down and look at the services we were providing, who we were providing them to and how to do so most effectively and efficiently with our staff,” Auglaize County Nursing Supervisor Cindy Jones said Tuesday as she announced the changes to Auglaize County Health Board members during its monthly meeting. “It was a difficult decision to close the New Bremen Clinic but it was underutilized and not a good use of our staff.”
Jones thanked the St. Paul Lutheran Church, of New Bremen, for allowing them to hold the clinic there in the past and said the facility remains open to them should they be able to return.
“We would love to do that,” Jones said.
She said there is a great need to increase clinics in the Wapakoneta area where existing time slots are well utilized and the immunization department is extremely busy.
“We needed to be where we could serve more people,” Jones said. “The days we were in New Bremen we’ll be available for immunizations here every week.”
Another change slated to begin in September for the county Health Department’s immunization clinics should reduce crowded periods during Thursday night clinics in Wapakoneta.
“That’s when we see the most people and it can get difficult to handle because of the number of people we’re seeing and how they come into the facility,” Jones said.
She said at times there may be an influx of 20 people within a 10 minute period in the hallway, as there is no waiting room.
“We’re going to try appointments,” Jones said. “We have done that on Fridays here and people are estatic when they can schedule ahead.
“They can show up at the time of their appointment and we are able to serve them in a few minutes,” she said.
Fliers have been distributed and updated information has been posted to the Health Department’s website notifying residents of the changes.
“We want to get information out about the changes,” Jones said. “We’re trying to take the space and staff we have and better manage it. This seems to be the answer.”