Polk County Health Department celebrates National Public Health Week

Published 4/5/2022 11:56:34 AM

April 5, 2022

(Des Moines, IA) – The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the face of healthcare and public health. The Polk County Health Department staff and PRN staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. This National Public Health Week, the Health Department is celebrating their staff and community partners.

“For the past two years, our medical providers, healthcare staff and community partners wore multiple hats, worked incredibly long hours and sacrificed time with their family, friends and even vacations to fight the pandemic,” said Helen Eddy, director of the Polk County Health Department. “We are incredibly thankful for their partnership and dedication to help keeping the community safe and healthy.”

The Health Department is very grateful for the staff and their PRN employees. Health Department staff members took on new roles, built and sustained relationships with community partners and developed innovative campaigns to reduce the spread of the virus and increase COVID-19 vaccines.

Since December 2020, our COVID-19 drive through clinic administered 41,730 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The clinic provided vaccines in rain or shine, blizzards, negative wind chill and very hot and humid Iowa summer days. The team worked so efficiently that they were able to vaccinate hundreds of residents every day. From January 2021 – February 2022, our call center staff answered 14,469 live calls regarding COVID-19 and scheduled 4,742 COVID-19 and flu shots. 

The call center team provided a great service to the community in helping to answer questions and to ease the mind of many worried residents. The Health Department hired 60 PRN medical staff and two on call office staff to help during the pandemic. The PRN staff provided assistance with vaccinations, contact tracing, meal delivery and call center. Many PRN had other jobs in the medical field but wanted to assist Polk County throughout the pandemic.

“I am incredibly proud of Health Department staff for their dedication, determination and passion to improving the lives our community throughout the pandemic,” said Eddy. “We will celebrate our team during this year’s National Public Health Week and every National Public Health Week moving forward.”

Throughout the National Public Health Week, we will highlight some of our staff on social media. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to meet our staff and learn their roles throughout the pandemic.



COVID-19 Call Center for eligible individuals WITHOUT computer or internet access, please call 515-323-5221 Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.