Joshua Scott ’22 — In my time with the Saint Joseph County Public Health Department, I have primarily worked with their Vector Unit. The main role that this entails going around the county to set and collect traps for mosquitoes which we then identify the species of and test for West Nile or send out to test for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This allows us to determine if populations of mosquitoes need to be fogged with pesticides to reduce the risk of transmission to nearby people.
In my time, the biggest lesson that I have learned is just how underfunded local government, especially Saint Joseph County, really is. The department has had to spread its resources extremely thin with COVID-19 and is still trying to recover from this. On top of the pandemic, as far as per capita funding, the Public Health Department in Saint Joe is bad for Indiana, and Indiana is bad for the United States. Without appropriate funding, it is extremely difficult to properly treat the issues that the county faces.