The Fishers Health Dept. has wasted no time in establishing a team to move its mission forward. Monica Heltz was recently named public health director and Dr. Indy Lane was named chief medical director. Both women are Fishers residents.
“I’m in charge of all the day-to-day operations of the health department, which, at this point, includes building a lot of those options for numerous actions required for the health department to perform and optional activities we are starting going forward,” Heltz said. “We are assessing the community to figure out what the specific needs of the community are and how to target the services toward those needs.”
Lane said she collaborates with Heltz in her role.
“Whenever there are questions, like clinical questions or medical direction in terms of initiatives related to the Fishers Health Dept., Monica and I touch base on a regular basis and have meetings weekly,” Lane said. “I get updates from Monica about things happening in the Fishers Health Dept. and answer questions she might have related to programs and initiatives we might be planning.”
Prior to becoming the public health director for the Fishers Health Dept., Heltz was a nurse practitioner with the Marion County Health Dept. Lane works is an OBGYN and and physician executive for Community Health Network.
In addition to establishing a COVID-19 testing site in downtown Fishers, the Fishers Health Dept. also has started conducting restaurant inspections, pool inspections, permitting and related services. The department also is creating an immunization clinic to offer immunizations to uninsured or underinsured Fishers residents.
A location for the immunization clinic hasn’t been cemented, but Heltz said it likely will be established inside a city building.
City of Fishers Public Relations Director Ashley Elrod said Mayor Scott Fadness doesn’t regard public health and the economy as mutually exclusive, which led the city to launch its own health department, separate from the Hamilton County Health Dept.
“The city has worked in the periphery of public health for a long time,” Elrod said. “We have conducted a community paramedicine program for eight years working directly with residents on chronic health issues, and of course, our mental health initiative. Obviously, with the pandemic, gaining easily accessible testing for our residents was a high priority for the mayor, and then also being able to provide the data and information for us to feel comfortable in reopening our community, Mayor Fadness felt like in the future, public health and the economy won’t be mutually exclusive. They are inextricably linked.
“So, state law allows for municipal health departments in second-class cities, so it was an opportunity for a great service for our residents.”
Although Lane said predicting when a pandemic will hit is not easy, having its own health department allows the city to be agile when it comes to public health issues.
“They can develop programs that suit the specific needs of the residents and their city,” Lane said. “That’s why a health department is a great opportunity, and it’s unique because we can tailor it to meet the needs of Fishers residents.”
For more, visit fishers.in.us/1154/Fishers-Health-Department.
COVID-19 testing site
The Fishers Health Dept. COVID-19 testing site is in the City Services Building, 3 Municipal Dr. Testing is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. An appointment is required. Any Fishers can be tested, free of charge. Testing is conducted by Fishers Fire Dept. paramedics in partnership with Mid-America Clinical Laboratories.
Residents don’t have to be symptomatic to receive a test. They can register for a new test every two weeks. Upon arrival, residents do not exit their car. The test is performed via nasal swabbing. Test results are delivered via phone or email within three days.