Public Health Services provides individual visits, classes, and groups in the home, clinic, and community setting to families who are pregnant or have infants and preschool children. Information, support, and referral to community resources are provided by public health nurses. Several of our programs are coordinated with social workers to provide a comprehensive program that addresses all aspects of social, emotional, and physical health as they relate to pregnancy, parenting, and child development.
Family Home Visiting Programs
Family Home Visiting is a service, provided by public health nurses (PHNs), offering home visits to partner with and support families during pregnancy and parenting. The PHNs work alongside families to promote a healthy pregnancy, a positive parent-child relationship, knowledge of parenting and child development, parental resilience, and referral to resources that provide basic needs and social supports. PHN’s have been trained in and utilize the Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-Visiting (MECSH) program, an evidence-based home visiting model. Contact us for more information and for eligibility requirements.
Newborn / Postpartum Visits (aka New Baby Visits) are available to all families with a new baby. The nurse visits families in their home during the first two weeks after the birth to offer teaching and support related to care of the baby, postpartum recovery of mom, and family adjustment.
Women, Infants, and Children
Child Car Seat Program
There are several different programs in Olmsted County for clients who need assistance obtaining a car seat. These programs offer convertible seats (which are ok for newborns), forward-facing/combo seats, and booster seats. None of the programs offer infant-only seats, as they can only be used for several months before they are outgrown. Call 507-328-7500 and ask for the car seat program.
Follow Along Program
Parents often have questions about whether their child is on target with their health, development, behavior, and learning. The Olmsted County Follow Along Program is a screening program that can answer parents' questions, help them learn about age-appropriate development, and assist with referrals when there are concerns. Follow Along is a mail-in program, at no cost to parents, that uses the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQs) to screen for and teach about children's health and development. The program helps parents find out if their child is hearing, moving, seeing, playing, talking, learning, growing, and acting normally as their child reaches different ages.
Who is eligible?
All families in Olmsted County who have children newborn to three years old.
How does the program work?
- Ages and Stages Questionnaires are mailed to families at different intervals beginning at two months of age, and then at four, eight, 12, 16, 20, 24, 30, and 36 months. Each questionnaire asks how your child is growing, playing, talking, moving, and acting.
- Social-Emotional questionnaires are mailed at two, six, 12, 24, 30, and 36 months.
- When parents return the questionnaires, information with fun activities for parents to do with their child and other age-appropriate items are also mailed.
- The questionnaire results will be shared with parents/caregivers. If there are any concerns, the Follow Along nurse will contact parents to clarify answers and help with further services if needed.
- At 36 months, parents will receive information about the next step: Early Childhood Screening.
How do I sign up?
A child may be enrolled in the Follow Along Program while still in the hospital right after birth, or during a New Baby Visit with a Public Health Nurse, or at their visit with their health care provider. Parents can also enroll children online at www.health.state.mn.us/mnfap.
1. Gather your information
Before we can help you we will need to know:
- Names of the parents or caregivers
- The name and birth date of each child you would like to enroll.
- What is the best way to contact you?
Online: Enroll here.
By phone: Call 507-328-7500 and ask to speak with the Public Health Nurse about the Follow Along program.
Email: Email us email@example.com
- In the email Subject line type, "Follow Along Program."
- Include the information you gathered in Step 1 in your email. A nurse will contact you.
Find out more about how young children grow and learn, and what parents can do to support their child's learning at the Help Me Grow website. Free help is available for eligible children.
Child and Teen Checkups
The Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) Program helps families:
- Find a medical clinic
- Find a dental clinic
- Schedule appointments
- Arrange transportation
- Assist with an interpreter
- Understand what happens at a checkup
- Help connect to community resources (e.g. connect with WIC Nutrition Program or Head Start)
What happens at a checkup:
- Lab tests
- Immunizations (shots)
- Screening for lead
- Vision and hearing tests
- Referral to a dentist and fluoride varnish (to help prevent tooth decay)
- Development and behavioral screenings
- Social-emotional and mental health screenings
- Height, weight, and other growth measurements
- Education about the next stage of your child or teen's growth and development
- Time with your health care provider to talk about your questions and concerns.
Your child should receive regular checkups from birth to age 20
Child and Teen Checkups meet the health requirements for Head Start, WIC, school, sports, or childcare. Be sure to bring any forms you need filled out with you to your appointment.
To schedule a well-child exam, contact your child's healthcare provider:
- Olmsted Medical Center: 507-288-3443
- Mayo Clinic: 507-284-2511
- CHSI (Community Health Services, Inc.), Clinics: 507-529-0503
If your child does not have a healthcare provider, contact Olmsted County Public Health at 507-328-7500.
School Public Health Nursing Services
Public Health nurses assist in health assessments, counseling, and referral services for school children in all schools, and provide age-specific health topic teachings to all grade levels in all public and private schools in the county. We implement school-based vision, hearing, and scoliosis screening programs in selected schools with rescreening, referral, and follow-up components as indicated according to screening program standards.