Dodge County public health educator Ruth Greenslade talks about outside the Dodge County Public Health office located on Main Street in Dodge Center. Photo by Tara Lindquist
By Tara Lindquist
Dodge County Public Health hired a new health educator in June.
Ruth Greenslade joined the staff after obtaining a master's degree in public policy. Greenslade previously worked for the University of Minnesota Extension Office in Austin as a Nutrition Educator. "My role here really combines my experience as a nutrition educator with my degree in public policy," she explained.
Her position is paid for under several grants, meaning her time is split between helping many different agencies and programs in Minnesota.
Half of her time is spent working on Public Health Emergency Preparedness. "I send out health alerts to the local clinic and schools," she said. "I also work with as a coordinator for the medical reserve corps in Dodge County helping set up policies and prepare for a public health emergency." She listed as the H1N1 flu virus as an example and on a larger scale an anthrax outbreak. "We use the flu shot clinic as our training," she said. "To see if we are prepared in case of a public health emergency."
Another major part of Greenslade's job is working for the Towards Zero Death campaign. "I worked with the safe roads coalitions in Dodge County," she said. "The coalition is enforcement, EMS (Emergency Medical Services), engineers and education." Referred to as "the four 'E's", the coalition works on road safety, educating on the dangers of drunk and distracted driving - both in the schools and to the public, as well as making sure our roads are as safe as possible to travel on.
The Four Corners grants also contributes to the health educator's salary, the grant is paid for by Clearway a non-profit funded by tobacco settlement dollars. "I work with landlords in setting smoke-free policies for their apartment buildings and rental properties," she explained. "I also help other apartment buildings promote that they are smoke free." She has also coordinated with local tobacco retailers to put out brochures about the dangers of smoking and how to quit.