Public Health Department

Health Department Supports – RISE Cowley!

RISE Cowley is a coalition of like-minded organizations dedicated in work to make Cowley County a healthy place to live, work and play. The Health Department is proudly part of RISE Cowley and we are supporting the “Pathway to a Healthy Kansas” grant application which is currently being crafted. If RISE Cowley is chosen for funding all of Cowley County will benefit. Our communities share the traits of passion, perseverance and pride.  There is a competitive spirit within Cowley County and a willingness to learn from each other’s successes and failures. While our communities are smaller in size, they are linked in ways that provide numerous opportunities for a quality lifestyle. The willingness to be involved and to work to overcome well defined problems strengthens our bonds. Our Rich history, Innovative spirit, Successful collaborations and Enduring commitment to community accomplishment make us RISE above other Kansas communities.

If you are interested in learning how you can be a part of RISE Cowley, and support the move to a healthier and more prosperous Cowley County please contact the Health Department for information.  Divided we fall- together we RISE.


City-Cowley County Health Department office in Arkansas City Has Re-opened

Cowley County, Kansas

The City-Cowley County Health Department office located at 115 E Radio Lane in Arkansas City, Kansas has re-opened following needed repair and renovations.

Thank you for being understanding as the work was being done!

Stay well!






The City-Cowley County Health Department is seeking qualified applicants to join our public health team. 

We have openings in the following categories:


For more information on these positions read the linked Job Descriptions below:


To apply for any of these positions please email a letter of interest

and a complete resume with supporting attachments in PDF format to:

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City-Cowley County Health Department offers Travelers’ Health services through Winfield, KS office


January 3, 2017

The City-Cowley County Health Department is now offering Travelers’ Health services at their office located at 320 E 9th Street in Winfield.  Area residents that may need to travel abroad now have the option of receiving travel related vaccinations in Cowley County.  The service includes the designation of the health department as a Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinic in Kansas.

“We are very pleased to offer this expanded service to area residents,” stated Tom Langer the Health Department Administrator and County Public Health Officer.  “Now people from our area that may have to travel overseas for business or personal reasons can work with the health department in advance to insure that their health needs are addressed prior to their scheduled trips.”

Travelers are required to meet with Health Department staff that has been trained in the specifics of travel medicine to discuss their travel plans and itinerary.  Regional health risks and the requirements for vaccinations are reviewed with the travelers taking into consideration any health concerns that the traveler may have. Immunizations are scheduled at the appropriate time intervals prior to the scheduled travel and the issuance of an international certificate of immunization is provided for the traveler to carry with their travel documents.

“The Health Department is looking forward to serving the travelers in our community”, said Langer, “we feel it is an important service to offer and that it will allow local residents an alternative to having to go to Wichita for this needed travel related treatment.”

For more information about this service and other services available at the Health Department please call during office hours 620-221-1430




Political pundits have labeled this year’s election as ideologically opposed between rivals that do not seem able to agree on much of anything.  The ongoing rhetoric between the first woman to seek the nation’s highest office and a political outsider have created historic confrontations that may have caused Cowley County voter’s heads to ache and made temperatures rise.  The Cowley County Clerk and the City-Cowley County Health Department would like to remedy these health maladies and are teaming up with The Legacy Regional Community Foundation to keep our voters healthy.


This Election Day health department representatives will be onsite at the polling places in both Arkansas City and Winfield to offer citizens the opportunity to vote and then be vaccinated against influenza.   Cowley County Clerk Karen Madison and Tom Langer the Cowley County Public Health Officer are teaming resources to host these opportunities for voters who may have been too busy or unable to get out, to stop off after voting and be immunized.


“This is the first time we have attempted this type of voter public health campaign in Cowley County,” said Madison “My staff heard about this type of event in other jurisdictions and we thought it may be of benefit in our county.”  Madison reached out to the Health Department and the response was a yes vote.  “Anytime we can collaborate within our county to combat illness and help keep people healthy we all win” said Langer, “We know that presidential elections turn out the voters and if we can reach voters that have not had the opportunity to get immunized we can help them accomplish that quickly and easily we think it’s a real win-win.”


There is a special hope to find members of the Cowley County community that are over age 65 and on fixed incomes that perhaps do not have insurance coverage or the money to get the flu shot and provide them this opportunity of a low or no cost immunization. “The Legacy Regional Community Foundation stepped up and answered a request to help” continued Langer, “they are underwriting a portion of the vaccine cost which will allow us to provide a vaccination to those who may need it the most regardless of ability to pay.”  “We are happy that we are able to help citizens of our communities and partner with the Health Department and County Clerk’s Office” said Yazmin Wood, Legacy Foundation Executive Director, “we want to support programming that promotes health equity for our community.”


The VOTE and VAX hours will be limited.  The stations will be set up and operated between 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM in Winfield and 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM in Arkansas City.   The opportunity to be vaccinated is open to everyone, if you are insured that information will be processed for you, if not you should roll up your sleeve and stop by. “I want everyone to wear the ‘I Voted’ Sticker” said Madison, “And I want everyone to wear the ‘Little Band-Aid’ on their arm!” said Langer. In any event the final results will show that Cowley County residents are the real winners this Election Day.





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The weather is starting to cool and the days are growing shorter – these are two sure signs of the seasonal changes getting ready to head our way.  Another seasonal change that’s coming is the FLU.  Yeech!  It also means  it’s time for “Roll up your sleeve Wednesdays.”

                                                                      roll up your sleeve

Every year we urge you all to start a healthy habit by getting the seasonal flu shot at the health department.  This year is no exception.  We have vaccine in stock and it’s time to beat the rush and come in.  Call us (620) 221-1430 and schedule a quick visit at either the Arkansas City or Winfield office or make plans to attend one of our drive thru clinics on Wednesday October 12, 2016 in Arkansas City or Wednesday October 26, 2016 in Winfield.

Don’t let last year’s mild flu season trick you and make you think you don’t need the vaccine. When it comes to predicting which flu strain will be most prominent medical science makes the best educated projection.   We always hope for the best while we prepare for the worst.  A bit like severe storms here in Cowley County, we know they will happen so we prepare.  So should you!  On average more than 30,000 people die each year from influenza complications like pneumonia.  Don’t become a statistic.

Most health insurance plans pay 100% of the cost for the flu shot.  If you are over 65 years old remember that the health department carries the HD (high dose) vaccine that is recommended for you. Medicaid Part B covers the flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine. You can call us and we will check all those details for you and make getting your vaccination an easy process.

If you do not have insurance don’t ignore the need for the flu shot. We can help guide you through the process and help find a way to get you vaccinated.  Keep watching our web site and social media sites as we move forward in the next few weeks.  But please make the healthy choice and schedule a flu shot for you and your family members today.  Visit us in either office Ark CIty or Winfield of stop by one of the clinincs already scheduled.  If you would like a clinic at your workplace or for your group let us know and we will work to schedule one 620-221-1430.






County Employee’s



Community Nat. Bank Wfd.






First United Meth. Church



Burden Elementary



Burden High School



Burden Senior Center



Drive Thru AC


11:00 – 6

Rest Haven



Fluid Kinetics



Twin Rivers



Walnut Towers



Webster Engineering



Dexter Schools





Udall School



Udall Senior Center



Oxford Schools



Ark City Senior Center



Drive Thru Wfd


11:00 – 6

Winfield City Of


11:00 – 1:00

Winfield Elementary/HS/MS


AC City Of



Ark City Windsor Court

Atlanta Senior Center

Cambridge Senior Center

Friendship Meals

Wheat Ridge Apts

Winfield Community Sr Living

Concerned about Zika Virus?

Visit our Facebook Page to learn more about what you can do.graphic-a_1185px mosquito

Click on our logo below!!!

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The 2015 Annual Report of Activities for the City-Cowley County Health Department is now available!

Click on the highlighted link below to download a pdf version of the report.

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2015 Annual Report Final

Cowley County Community Health Needs                               CHNA


During December of 2015 the City-Cowley County Health Department and health care stakeholders across the county met to review the condition of health in our communities and discuss the areas needing improvement.   The result of the work is the formulation of a report and plan of action that will drive our activities in public health and service delivery.  Please feel free to review the document and gain a better understanding of why we do what we do!


Stay well,

2016 Cowley County CHNA Report – COMPLETE (2)

Tom Langer

CCCHD Administrator / Public Health Officer





Changes to Cowley County Sanitary Code

Effective Tuesday February 2, 2016

The cost for obtaining a waste-water permit in Cowley County has been reduced.

All residences in Cowley County not served by public sewer service are effected by this change.

You can read the Cowley County Sanitary Code by clicking the highlighted text below.

EH Permit Fees 2016            Revised Cowley County Sanitary Code (2-2-2016)

If you have any questions about the changes please contact the Health Department and speak with environmental services.


January is National Radon Awareness Month

Our area is prone to high concentrations of radon gas in homes.

Please contact the Health Department during January for the opportunity

to test your home – free of charge.

Contact Amber at 620-221-5404

Your family may be breathing radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer. In recognition of National Radon Awareness Month, the City-Cowley County Health Department has a limited number of radon test kits available for your home. These kits are FREE and can be picked up at both City-Cowley County Health Department locations (Winfield & Arkansas City).

For more information, please contact Ruth Bumgarner or Amber Benavides at 620-221-1430. Testing your home is quick and easy. The following link will demonstrate how to use your test kit.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for future information regarding radon risks in your home, as well as what to do with your test results.

Hurry in today. These FREE test kits will not last long!‪#‎cancer‬ ‪#‎radon‬ ‪#‎PreventPromoteProtect‬



Click on image to see how easy it is!


Health Department Happenings 


Public Health Matters

December, 2015:  Community Health Rankings.

Each year during November a national health research organization releases health rankings for all the states and all counties across the country.  As I reviewed the data for Kansas and specifically Cowley County, I was disheartened to see that our county ranked as one of the least healthy in the state.  There are 101 local health departments in Kansas; of the 101, Cowley County ranks 83rd.  As I reviewed the data used to measure our “quality of life” I noticed some interesting things.

It appears that from an environmental point of view Cowley County is better than most ranking 50th out of the 101.  Our air quality is good, though it can be dusty when the wind blows, and we do have our share of smoke and other irritants to deal with, but we are much better in terms of ozone and carbon monoxide from motor vehicles, (concerns that haunt larger communities). Our drinking water appears to be very good too, as no contaminant violations with KDHE or EPA have been recorded.

Clinical care for health related issues is fair in our county but could be better. We have approximately 1 doctor and 1 dentist for every 2500 residents. Sadly 15% of our residents under age 65 have no health insurance and we are less physically active than we should be.  Most alarming is the fact we weigh more than we should as 37% of the adults in Cowley County are considered to be obese in spite of the fact that we do have access to healthy foods. Sadly we are choosing to consume more of the foods that are nutritionally high in sugars and fats which lead to higher rates of diabetes and heart disease in our county.

An area that troubles me in my role as public health officer relates to our children and newborns.  It seems that smoking during pregnancy is done by 23% of expectant Cowley County mothers in spite of the warnings related to tobacco use. This behavior places newborn children at risk for numerous health problems; it also is a contributing factor in our county having higher than normal “low birth weight babies” being born as well as babies having other health problems.

Finally the rate of sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy rates are much higher in our county than the rest of the state.  These behaviors reflect the need for better education about how to avoid such negative health impacts.

At first glance it seems that the Cowley County  health results are quite gloomy, yet I remain extremely optimistic.  I see these reports as an opportunity; for if you don’t know where you are you cannot take steps to improve.  During the coming weeks the City Cowley County Health Department and other health care partners will examine the  “Community Health Needs Assessment” for our county and the results of that review along with studies such as the one discussed here will be used to guide our efforts in the coming months and years.  So it is very likely that you will hear messages urging you to increase your daily activities to burn more calories.  We will ask you to join in the change of grabbing fresh fruit and veggies and eating those instead of snack cakes and french fries, and to drink plenty of water instead of chugging sugary drinks. Most certainly we will reach out to expectant moms and offer help to stop smoking for your health and the health of your baby.

Reversing trends, changing habits, altering lifestyles – it seems a daunting challenge. Yet I know that together we can make a difference; together we can become a healthier community.  Little changes will truly add up and allow us all to live happier, longer lives.


Stay well.


Tom Langer, Administrator

City-Cowley County Health Department





 Its not too late to get a flu shot!!!  Visit either health department office today!!!



October has been a busy month and the Health Department has conducted more than 20 flu shot clinics around Cowley County.

If you have not been able to get your flu shot  please stop by either office (Ark City or Winfield) and we will be happy to help you.




October 2015 – The flu shot who needs it? You do!


The case for getting a seasonal flu shot.


The days are growing short, there’s a chill in the air and our bodies are getting ready to once again battle the viruses that cause colds and flu. This is the time of year I ask everyone, “Have you had your flu shot?”   Maybe you feel lucky and seem to never get sick, but I know for certain that you will be exposed and for protection – you need to get the flu shot.  In the same way that we take care of our homes and cars preparing for the cold of winter so too should we help our bodies prepare for the coming illness prone days ahead.


Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each year medical experts predict which strains of flu are most likely to infect us in the coming months and the vaccine manufacturers produce vaccines for us to use.  This year’s vaccine is now available just in time to help us prepare.  This season a flu shot will contain protections for the H1N1 virus and at least two or three other flu strains.  There are “High Dose” vaccines that are designed to offer added protection for people who are 65 or older and vaccines in nasal mist form that are easier to give to children or people who have problems with getting a shot.


So if you are still asking, “Why get the shot?” – The simple answer is to stay healthy.  The flu is a respiratory infection that can cause serious health issues, particularly to young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent the flu and its complications.  Remember, you will be exposed – at home, at work, at school, at church, shopping, anywhere you interact with other people.  If the flu gets a hold of you can expect to feel miserable. High fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, body aches, physical exhaustion, headache and chest pain; none of these symptoms are fun.   At best you will be out of action for at least a week and likely much longer.


So to prevent getting the flu, schedule your flu shot with the health department today. Be aware that it takes at least 2 weeks after receiving the shot for your body to build the needed antibodies to fight the flu effectively  – so the sooner you get vaccinated  the better off you will be.  The health department will be holding more than 20 different flu shot clinics throughout Cowley County during October (see our Facebook page City-Cowley County Health Department or call us for details) and we hope you take the time to get a flu shot this month.   The cost of the vaccine is covered 100% by most health insurance plans and if you are having hardships and truly cannot pay, the health department will work with you and find a way to get you vaccinated.


The bottom line is that we want Cowley County to be a healthy place to live and work and that means helping each of you avoid the flu this season.  The first step in doing so is to be vaccinated.


Stay well!

Thomas Langer – Administrator / Public Health Officer

City-Cowley County Health Department




Breastfeeding is Everyone’s Business

Many Kansas mothers do not feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. This may cause many mothers to wean early or not breastfeed at all. Each year, an estimated 3000 to 7000 Kansas infants are adversely affected by little or no breastfeeding. To learn more about breastfeeding in public go to the Breastfeeding is everyone’s business video.

Businesses and organizations can also help. The Business Case for Breastfeeding ( offers free assistance to employers to aid with compliance of the Kansas law protecting breastfeeding employees. In addition to workplace support, community awareness plays a large role, as well.  The Breastfeeding Welcome Here Campaign ( not only welcomes breastfeeding mothers and families to area businesses, but also provides free training for employees and an avenue for business to reach out to the breastfeeding community at large.

Strategies to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic Diseases: The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies is an update of the 2005 The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions. It provides state and local community members information to choose the breastfeeding intervention strategy that best meets their needs.

Support for breastfeeding is needed in many different arenas including hospitals and birth centers, worksites, and communities. This Guide builds upon the research evidence demonstrating effective intervention strategies and offers relevant information for each including program examples and resources.

The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition recently recognized Winfield as one of six Kansas communities to receive designation as a “Community Supporting Breastfeeding” (CSB).  Winfield demonstrates exceptional support to its mothers, babies and families, as defined by the six CSB criteria–a local breastfeeding coalition (BACC), peer support group (La Leche League of Winfield), William Newton Hospital’s certification as a High 5 for Mom & Baby hospital, 20 licensed community child care providers who have received special training in supporting nursing moms and babies, 19 community businesses participating in the state-wide “Breastfeeding Welcome Here” program, and 5 community employers that have received a “Breastfeeding Employee Support Award” from the Kansas Business Case for Breastfeeding .

There is an abundance of research showing the physical, emotional and financial benefits to breastfeeding–a breastfed child’s risks of asthma, obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis are lower than that of his or her formula-fed peers.  A breastfeeding mother lowers her own risk for both breast and ovarian cancers.  The American Pediatric Association’s recommendation is that infants breastfeed for at least one full year (with no supplementing or solid foods for the first six months), and the longer a mom is able to breastfeed the more benefit both she and baby reap.

In Kansas and locally, approximately 80% of new moms start out breastfeeding.  Giving babies the best start possible in life is something that moms and families in our communities value.  It is something that our communities must value as well.

The Breastfeeding Advocates of Cowley County coalition formed in 2011 to address childhood health issues related to early nutrition.  Its membership is comprised of community health providers, moms and partner organizations who share a vision that all of Cowley County will accept breastfeeding as a vital part of the health and development of children, their families and the community.  BACC recognizes that in order for mothers, babies, families and our communities to benefit from breastfeeding, support and education are necessary.



Workplace Wellness


Want to learn more about how you and your employees can reap the benefits of good health?  Contact the Health Department and we can discuss the ways in which you can create a “Workplace Wellness Program”  The benefits include lower health insurance costs, greater productivity and improved employee morale.  We are here to help!    

 Click Here to see more –> EWP

Prevent – Promote – Protect


What You Need To Know About Childhood Vaccines: Who & When

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Immunizations have had an enormous impact on improving the health of children in the United States. Most parents today have never seen first-hand the devastating consequences that vaccine-preventable diseases have on a family or community. While these diseases are not common in the U.S., they persist around the world. It is important that we continue to protect our children with vaccines because outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases can and do occasionally occur in this country.

Kansas Health Matters

Kansas Health Matters is a one stop source of non-biased data and information about community health in Kansas. It is intended to help hospitals, health departments, policy makers, community planners and members learn about issues, identify improvements and collaborate for positive change.”

Traveler’s Bed Bug Q & A