Health Department Administration (906) 475-9977

The Marquette County Health Department welcomes your questions.  Questions may be directed to us at

Questions that are frequently asked will be included in the list below.  Prior to asking a question, take a look at the list of FAQs below to make sure your question hasn't already been answered.

Table of Contents

1.     Administration

2.     Community Services

3.     Environmental Health

4.     Clinical Services           



Can I get a copy of my birth certificate from the Health Department?

No, the Health Department does not handle birth certificates. You can get a birth certificate at the County Clerk office at the Courthouse in Marquette for all Marquette County births. Here is the contact information:

Marquette County Clerk
234 W. Baraga Avenue
Marquette, MI 49855
Phone 906-225-8330

Which division at the Health Department can help me?

Many people are not sure what the difference is between all of our divisions.  Here is a quick description of each one.

Administration handles all internal process such as: payroll and other financial responsibilities, data processing, building related issues, and general administrative duties for the other divisions.

In the Environmental Health Division Sanitarians provide services related to restaurants (and other food service), septic and wells, animal bites, campgrounds, day care inspections and other environmental issues.

Clinical Services is often referred to as our "Clinic". The staff there (RN's, Dietitian, Social Worker, Nurse Practitioner) provide in-house services such as Family Planning, Immunizations, WIC, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening, Maternal/Infant Support and AIDS testing and clinics.

Community Services staff are mostly Health Educators. A few of their program areas include: Tobacco, Substance Abuse, Abstinence and Safety. We have Family Health Educators who work closely with the Department of Human Services in several programs. Hearing and Vision screening is also done in the schools.  The Emergency Preparedness Program is responsible for the development of protocols, policies, and plans associated with protecting the health of Marquette County citizens from natural, chemical, biological and radiological threats.

The Gwinn Teen Clinic provides a place for students to access health care within the Gwinn high school building.  A family nurse practitioner, under the supervision of a physician, provides clinic services to students Monday through Friday.  Services include primary care for acute illnesses and injuries, well child checks, immunizations, risk reduction counseling, and mental health therapy.  

The Hematite Health Clinic is located in the Ishpeming high school building.  A family nurse practitioner, under the supervision of a physician, provides  clinic services to students Monday through Friday.  Services include primary care for acute illnesses and injuries, well child checks, immunizations, risk reduction counseling, and mental health therapy.  

Do you have any job openings?

Job postings can be found on our website and by clicking here.  MCHD also uses external sources for posting job openings, such as Indeed and The Mining Journal.

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Community Services

Does the Health Department provide nicotine replacement therapy (gum, patches, lozenges, etc)?

The Michigan Department of Community Health offers a Quitline available to all Michigan residents. The Michigan Tobacco Quitline offers free telephone coaching to help quit smoking. Callers without insurance or with Medicaid may qualify for free nicotine patches. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Click on the below link to find other assistance with NRT.,1607,7-132-2940_2955_2973_53244-219403--,00.html

Do you still have a hearing and vision program?

Yes, the goal of the Hearing and Vision Screening Program is early identification/detection of possible problems; referral, treatment, and follow-up for those needing medical attention, and support for children to assure classroom success.  The hearing and vision screens are done in the schools.

Why do we have hearing and vision screening in the schools?

Michigan law requires the periodic screening of vision and hearing for school age children.

What grades are screened for vision and hearing?

  • Grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 for Vision screening.
  • Grades K, 2, 4 for Hearing screening.
  • At least once between ages 3-6 (pre-kindergarten screen).

What if I want my child tested but it's not their "year"?

Any time you want your child to be tested just let the teacher or school nurse know and they will be put on the schedule, regardless of grade.

For more Family Health Education related FAQs, click here.

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Fluoride Mouth rinse Program

Why is mouth rinsing with fluoride important?

Today, fluoride is the most effective weapon to combat tooth decay.

How often is it done?

Children rinse for one minute, once a week during the school year.

Can my child still have topical fluoride treatments at the dentist?

Yes. The mouth rinsing program complements your dentist's plan to make your child's teeth less susceptible to tooth decay.

Can my child still take supplemental fluoride tablets prescribed by our dentist?

Yes. Your child will benefit from both programs. The fluoride mouth rinse protects the teeth already erupted into the mouth. Fluoride tablets work to give protective fluoride into the enamel of teeth still developing in the jaw bone.

What if my child accidentally swallows the mouth rinse?

If a child accidentally swallows the 5 ML or 10ML he or she is given during the rinsing exercise, there is NO DANGER (the child may experience mild stomach upset). The solution is harmless. Small children will practice first with water.

Could dairy products cause a problem?

It is best to wait 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating dairy products to rinse with fluoride so that the fluoride ions will unite with the calcium in the teeth, rather than uniting with the calcium in the milk, cheese, or yogurt.

Could my well water contain fluoride?

While that is always possible, the wells in our area do not usually contain fluoride.

What is the cost of the program?

The program is free.

What is "Baby Bottle Tooth Decay" / "Bottle Rot" / "Early Childhood Caries?"

Baby bottle tooth decay / bottle rot / early childhood caries (ECC) is a dental condition that if left untreated, can destroy an infant's / toddler's baby (primary) teeth. ECC is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure of sugary liquids to a child's teeth. Some of these liquids are milk, juice, soda pop, or formula. Bacteria (found in plaque) in a child's mouth "eats" the sugars found in sweetened liquids, and converts the sugars to acid. This acid can destroy tooth enamel. Every time a child drinks a sweetened liquid, a 20 minute "acid bath" attacks the child's teeth. When a child is sleeping at nap or bedtime with a bottle filled with milk, juice, soda pop, or formula, the child can not properly swallow, and the liquids pool around the teeth. Tooth decay can occur in no time! This same condition can also result from prolonged demand breast feeding. Children with ECC are in pain and usually do not eat properly. If you put a child to bed with a bottle, make sure it is filled with only water. Never dip a pacifier in honey or sugar. A child should be off of the bottle by his or her first birthday. ECC is totally preventable! Parents should brush their infant's teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts into the mouth. (Parents can use a wet washcloth or gauze instead of a toothbrush on an infant also!) Ask your dentist or pediatrician about fluoride supplements. Primary teeth are very important - children need healthy teeth to eat with, to speak clearly, and to look good to themselves - the primary teeth also reserve the space for the permanent teeth, and those teeth have to last a lifetime! Our teeth also support and give our face shape.

** Severe cases of ECC require hospitalization - these children need their dental work done under general anesthesia in an operating room - an average ECC surgery is about 4 hours long! (The hospital bill alone averages a cost of $5,000 - $8,000!!) In Marquette County, our clinics have seen well over 500 children between the ages of 1 and 6 with mild, moderate, or severe ECC.

What is Xylitol?

  • Xylitol is an all natural sweetener found in many fruits, vegetables, and birch bark. It is also produced by the human body during normal metabolism.
  • Xylitol tastes and looks like sugar.
  • Xylitol is found in products such as gum, mints, toothpaste, rinses, and granules for cooking and baking. You can purchase Xylitol (such as Ice Breakers (cubes) gum, Spry dental products, mints, gum, candy, and Epic mints and gum) over-the-counter or online at the Marquette County Co-op, retail stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Websites include: or

How does Xylitol benefit my child's teeth?

  • Xylitol decreases dental decay by neutralizing the acid formed by bacteria in the mouth that causes tooth decay.
  • Studies have shown a 70% reduction in tooth decay by people who regularly use Xylitol products.
  • Studies have also shown a 70% reduction in tooth decay in children's teeth whose mother's use Xylitol products.  Expectant mothers and other caregivers should use Xylitol products during the first few years of a child's life!  Xylitol keeps the bacteria count (in the mouth) down, decreasing the chance of bacteria transmission.
  • Xylitol also promotes re-mineralization of early decay.

Is Xylitol safe?

  • Xylitol has been used as a diabetic sweetener since the 1960's.
  • The Food and Drug Administration approved its safety in 1963.
  • The World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration's "Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives" confirmed the safety of Xylitol in 1983.
  • Babies and small children can safely use Xylitol.
  • Xylitol has no known toxic levels.

Are there any other benefits of consuming Xylitol?

  • Children who regularly use Xylitol products have a 40% reduction in middle ear infections.
  • Xylitol has 40% fewer calories and 75% less carbohydrates than sugar.
  • Adults can benefit from regular Xylitol use also!

Where can I find more information about Xylitol?

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Environmental Health

When is a Temporary Food License Required?

Any event which provides food to the general public (whether it be "for sale" or "free") is required to have a Temporary Food License. This includes both non-profit and for-profit organizations promoting a sales event or membership drive. A temporary food service establishment is one which provides food to the public at a fixed location for a temporary period of time (not to exceed two weeks).  For more information click here.

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Clinical Services

Maternal Infant Health Program (MIHP):

Who is eligible for this program?

Pregnant women who are enrolled in Medicaid, who have some condition or situation that puts the pregnancy (or parenting) "at risk" for complications or difficulties, are eligible for this program.  Examples of these include: a pregnant teen with little support; a pregnant woman with a history of depression; a pregnant woman who smokes cigarettes or continues to use alcohol.

An infant (from birth to age one year) enrolled in Medicaid who has a condition or situation that increases the "risk" of death or illness during the first year of life is also eligible. Examples include: a teen parent with poor support; parents who smoke cigarettes and/or use other drugs; a parent with depression or mental illness.

How are referrals made?

Anyone who is interested can self-refer, although a physician's signature is required to bill Medicaid for the services. The main referral sources are from the physician and through the WIC Program. Inquiries may be made at 475-5765.

What happens when you get a referral to one of these programs?

The family receives home visits and/or office visits by members of a team, including an RN, a Dietitian and a Social Worker who get to know the families' needs and concerns. The Team members provide information and support, and coordinate referrals to a variety of other programs and services in the community.

What is the Children's Special health Care Services Program and how does someone quality for it?

CSHCS is a State of Michigan-funded program that helps cover medical costs of children from birth to the age of 21 who have a chronic debilitating condition.  This may include diagnoses such as diabetes mellitus, cerebral palsy, chronic asthma and much more.  Those individuals diagnosed with hemophilia or cystic fibrosis qualify for their lifetime.  Psychological disorders are not covered by CSHCS.

How does someone get enrolled in CSHCS?

Ask your child's specialist to send a report about your child's condition to us.  The medical report should be within the past year.  If your child has not seen a specialist, arrangements can be made to have your child evaluated.  Please call (906) 475-5765 for more information.  All medical reports can be mailed to:

CSHCS Division
MI Dept. of Health and Human Services
PO Box 30734
Lansing, MI 48909 


Is there a recommended period of time a person should wait in the clinic following an immunization?

The rationale for a "waiting period" after vaccination is, presumably, that if an allergic reaction to the vaccine were to occur, the person would still be in the facility. With appropriate screening, the likelihood of a serious allergic reaction is extremely low.  Potentially life-threatening allergic reactions occur in a matter of minutes. A ten to fifteen minute waiting periord is recommended after an immunization.

If a teenager contracts Pertussis, does this mean they were not properly immunized?

Not necessarily. Vaccine-induced immunity to Pertussis is believed to persist for about 10 years following the last dose. So even if a child receives all 5 doses of Pertussis vaccine on schedule, he or she may still be susceptible as a teenager. The need for "booster" doses of Pertussis vaccine for adolescents or adults is currently being studied.

If a health care worker develops a rash and low-grade fever after MMR vaccine, are they infectious?

Approximately 5-15% of susceptible persons who receive MMR vaccine will develop a low-grade fever and/or mild rash 7-12 days after vaccination. However, the person is not infectious, and no special precautions (e.g., exclusion from work) need to be taken.

My patient has had two documented doses of MMR. Her rubella titer is non reactive at a prenatal visit. What should I do?

It is possible that she failed to respond to both doses. It is also possible that she did respond but has a low level of antibody. Failure to respond to two properly timed doses of MMR vaccine would be expected to occur in one or two persons per thousand vaccinees, at most. A small number of people appear to develop a relatively small amount of antibody following vaccination with rubella and other vaccines. This level of antibody may not be detectable on relatively insensitive commercial screening tests. Controlled trials with sensitive tests indicate a response rate of >99% following two doses of rubella-containing vaccine. I would suggest you make a note of her documented vaccination and stop testing. Another approach would be to administer one additional dose of MMR. However, there are no data on the administration of additional doses of rubella-containing vaccine in this situation.

How likely is it for a person to develop arthritis from rubella vaccine?

Arthralgia (joint pain) and transient arthritis (joint redness or swelling) following rubella vaccination occur only in persons who were susceptible to rubella at the time of vaccination. Joint symptoms are uncommon in children and in adult males. About 25% of post-pubertal women report joint pain after receiving rubella vaccine, and about 10% report arthritis-like signs and symptoms. When joint symptoms occur, they generally begin 1-3 weeks after vaccination, persist for 1 day to 3 weeks, and rarely recur. Chronic joint symptoms attributable to rubella vaccine are very rare, if they occur at all.

Can I give a PPD (tuberculin skin test) on the same day as a dose of MMR vaccine?

A PPD can be applied before or on the same day that MMR vaccine is given. However, if MMR vaccine is given on the previous day or earlier, the PPD should be delayed for at least one month. Live measles vaccine given prior to the application of a PPD can reduce the reactivity of the skin test because of mild suppression of the immune system.

Who should receive the human papilloma virus vaccine (HPV) and how many doses are recommended?

Cervarix and Gardasil are licensed, safe, and effective for females ages 9 through 26 years.  CDC recommends that all girls who are 11 or 12 years old get the 3 doses (shots) of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.  Gardasil also protects against most genital warts, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina, and anus.  Girls and young women ages 13 through 26 should get all three doses of an HPV vaccine if they have not received all doses yet.

Gardasil is also licensed, safe, and effective for males ages 9 through 26 years.  Boys and young men may choose to get this vaccine to prevent genital warts, and anal cancer.

People who have already had sexual contact before getting all 3 doses of an HPV vaccine might still benefit if they were not infected before vaccination with the HPV types included in the vaccine they received.  The best way to be sure that a person gets the most benefit from HPV vaccination is to complete all three doses before sexual activity begins.

Tuberculosis (TB) Questions

How is TB spread?

TB is spread through the air from one person to another.  The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with active TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings.  People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.

TB is NOT spread by

  • shaking someone's hand
  • sharing food or drink
  • touching bed linens or toilet seats
  • sharing toothbrushes
  • kissing

Should I get tested for TB?

You should get tested for TB if

  • You have spent time with a person known or suspected to have active TB disease; or
  • You have HIV infection or another condition that weakens your immune system and puts you at high risk for active TB disease; or
  • You have systems of active disease; or
  • You are from a country where active TB disease is very common (most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia); or
  • You live somewhere in the United States where active TB disease is more common such as a homeless shelter, migrant farm camp, prison or jail, and some nursing homes; or
  • You inject illegal drugs.

What are the tests for TB infection?

The TB skin test

The TB skin test may be used to find out if you are infected with TB bacteria.  You can get a skin test at the health department or at your doctor's office.  A health care worker will inject a small amount of testing fluid (called tuberculin or PPD) just under the skin on the lower part of your arm.  You must return between 48-72 hours later to have your skin test read by the health care worker.  You may have a swelling and tell you if your reaction to the test is positive or negative.  A positive reaction usually means that you have been infected by someone with active TB disease.

If you have recently been infected with TB bacteria, your TB skin test reaction may not be positive yet.  You may need a second skin test 8 to 10 weeks after the last time you spent time with the person with active TB disease.  This is because it can take several weeks after infection for your immune system to react to the TB skin test.  If your reaction to the second skin test is negative, you probably do not have TB infection.

What is the cost of a TB skin test?

The charge for the TB skin test is $15.00.  Employers who require a TB skin test for employment may set up a account with the health department for billing.  TB skin tests are offered by appointment.  Please call 475-7844.

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