As COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in Ohio and COVID vaccinations continue in Licking County, the health department is hopeful that residents begin to sense a return to normalcy. While the effects of the pandemic will likely be long-lasting, and we continue to work toward a healthy and vaccinated community, we are taking a moment to reflect on the community partnerships we engaged in over the past 15 months which made Licking County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic possible.
Many may not realize how important community partnerships are in initiating positive change and responding accordingly to protect and serve residents. Relationships with nonprofit organizations, public agencies, elected officials, schools, and other stakeholders were established and fostered prior to the pandemic which made connecting that much easier and faster when the health department reached out for assistance. We are so grateful for these alliances and would like to recognize some of them.
Beginning in the early stages of the impending pandemic, the health department and the Licking County Emergency Management team met often with Licking Memorial Hospital and Health Systems leaders to collaborate on an ever-changing response plan. As the pandemic evolved, the health department quickly began frequent communication with first responders, the media, local schools, elected officials, chamber of commerce’s, faith-based leaders, and many others. Finally, when the vaccine became available, our partnership with the Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College was invaluable as they accommodated our vaccine clinics on their campus.
More specifically, thank you to these community partners and the many others that may not be directly listed.
Licking County Emergency Management Agency, Licking Memorial Hospital and Health Systems, Licking County Commissioners, Senator Jay Hottinger, Representative Mark Fraizer, Licking County COVID Defense Team, Licking County Chamber of Commerce, Newark Division of Fire, West Licking Joint Fire District, Granville Township Fire Department, Monroe Township Fire Department, Licking County Sheriff’s Office, Newark Police Department, Licking County Community Emergency Response Team, Newark Homeless Outreach, Licking County School Superintendents and School Administrators, The Newark Advocate, WNKO, WCLT, Licking County Amateur Radio Emergency Services, Licking County Aging Program, Licking County Transit, United Way of Licking County, The Midland Theatre, Explore Licking County, Mental Health & Recovery of Licking and Knox Counties, Mental Health America of Licking County, C-TEC, the Ohio State University at Newark/Central Ohio Technical College, Licking County Coalition for Housing, Denison University, the Salvation Army, Licking County Board of Developmental Disability, Licking County Department of Job and Family Services, Licking County Medical Reserve Corps, the Hartford Fair Board, and Pathways of Central Ohio/211.
The COVID-19 pandemic proved itself to be a difficult chapter our lives, but the effort, time, resources, and quick-thinking from our community partnerships benefitted our community as a whole. Please take the time to thank one of our listed collaborators for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic in Licking County.
Licking County Health Department and Health Commissioner Chad Brown
Printed in the Newark Advocate on July 11, 2021.