Servicing the Under-Served

Michelle Thorne, MSN, RN

Calhoun County Public Health Department

“Nursing is what I have always wanted to do” says Michelle the Personal Health Service Manager for the Calhoun County Public Health Department that provides screening, surveillance and preventive care.

Immunizations, communicable disease surveillance and reporting, refugee health, STD screening and treatment and a program for children with special health care needs are among the services Michelle and her staff provides for the county.

They have a lot to do. “We would like to spend more time on prevention and education, as well as on issues that have not received enough attention in our communities like obesity and under-age drinking, but the immediate needs of the community as well as state and local mandates are our priorities.”

Having spent many years in acute care, Michelle combines her commitment to the care of the individual into her current focus on population health. She advocates for the individual as well as for the family and the community.

On their behalf, Michelle is working to build relationships with other health professions like the emergency care workforce. She would like to see public health become more team-based. She would also like to see public health become more pro-active so that less time and resources are spent “putting out fires”.

Michelle’s advice to someone who is considering a career in Nursing: “Do it. In nursing there are many opportunities for you to influence healing; to be part of a team; to make a difference.”