The Washington County Health Department has finished its first full month of a new radio program it debuted on Washington County’s first and longest-running radio station, WJEJ 1240 AM/104.3 FM and wjejradio.com. Public Health Now airs Tuesday mornings from 9:30-10:00 a.m.
“Public Health Now is a half hour of information and education, sprinkled with event announcements and need-to-know details on resources right here in the county,” says Joelle Butler, public information officer and host of the show. “The health department’s mission is to promote healthy behaviors, prevent disease and injury and safeguard the environment, with the vision of a healthy community for all. The content each week on the show enables us to reach even more of our friends, neighbors and family members who can take advantage of all that’s available through the health department.”
In Washington County, the origins of public health can be traced to 1911, and the formation of the Washington County Branch of the Maryland Association for the Prevention and Relief of Tuberculosis. The year 1926 saw the Washington County Commissioners appoint the first county health officer. On the premise that a healthier society could be built through health care for individuals, health departments began expanding into clinical care and health education that same century. Today, health departments across the U.S. are involved in some manner in sanitation, laboratory investigation, collecting vital statistics, regulation of the environment, epidemiology, administering vaccines, maternal and child health, mental health and care of those with no-to-low incomes.
WJEJ Radio went on the air in 1932, during the Great Depression, according to the station’s website. Community involvement has always been the hallmark of the station, so the partnership with the health department is a natural fit. Lou Scally, a well-known member of the community and long-time WJEJ morning announcer, is a regular part of the new radio program.