Just a look at what one of many health departments do: Plainview Daily Herald - Plainview, TX > News

Kelly Shurbet is not a doctor. She does not even play one on TV. Shurbet is, however, the director of nursing for the Plainview-Hale County Health Department.

While the department does not have a physician on staff and does not operate as a primary care facility, Shurbet and her staff are dedicated to doing what they can to keep the people of Plainview and Hale County healthy.

“People think that they can bring sick kids here and we would love to help them, we just don’t have what they need, namely a doctor,” Shurbet said.

She indicated that the health department’s primary responsibility and function is childhood and adult vaccinations.

“We serve all ages from 2 months old — when the first round of childhood immunizations normally begin — all the way to 99 year olds,” Shurbet said, explaining that the vaccinations are available to all local residents. “We can’t and don’t turn anybody away.”

The facility at 111 East 10th also serves residents from Swisher, Floyd and Lamb counties.

“We are the closest health department for some of these smaller towns around the area,” Shurbet said.

Most patients who come to the health department are either uninsured or underinsured and qualify to pay a reduced fee for vaccinations.

“We do take Medicaid and the vaccinations (including adult flu shots) cost $10 for children and $20 for adults,” Shurbet said.

The department also serves those that have insurance.

In addition to immunization programs, the department offers screenings and treatment for various health conditions and illnesses.

Shurbet indicated that patients can come to the facility for sexually transmitted infection screening and testing.

“That costs $12 and patients need to set an appointment,” she said. “The treatment is usually one round of shots.”

Shurbet also said that, “We do not do pregnancy testing; we only screen for infections.”

Shurbet and her staff do not stay confined to their facility.

“We do a lot of health fairs and other public events where we do screenings for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.”

She said her staff goes into schools if they are invited to talk about childhood immunization programs.

A wide range of information on various health issues is available at the health department.

“We have all kinds of brochures and other information on diabetes, hypertension and other things at all times. If there is information on certain topics that people want and we don’t have it, we will order it,” Shurbet said.

She said the fact that the department is both a county and city entity doesn’t cause a lot of problems for her or her staff.

“They work wonderfully together. It runs like clockwork, at least for us,” she said.