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Ottawa County Media Room

Our goal is to be receptive, responsive and transparent.  Members of the media seeking interviews or information are encouraged to contact the Communications Manager, Shannon Felgner.

A handful of County Offices respond to media inquiries directly including:
Ottawa County Department of Public Health - Kristina Wieghmink (616) 494-5597
Ottawa County Community Mental Health - Anna Bednarek (616) 494-5545
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation - Jessica VanGinhoven (616) 994-4716
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - (616) 738-4000
If you are having trouble determining to whom you should direct your inquiry, the Communications Manager is a great place to start. 

Do you feel like you are the last to know about an Ottawa County Press Release? We are happy to add you to our media contact list. Email or call Shannon Felgner at (616) 738-4672.

Current Media Releases

May 21, 2015

Community Health Needs Assessment results presentation and discussion

The Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) task force committee is encouraging people and media professionals to attend the CHNA report presentation to discuss the results and start the initial planning on ways to improve residents’ healthy outcomes. The purpose of the CHNA is to gather required information to effectively plan the vital work of maintaining and improving health. Multiple perspectives from stakeholders, health care professionals, public health officials, community agencies and residents on health needs can lead to re-conceptualizing a problem or a prospective intervention; or it may indicate the advisability of continuing or abandoning current programs.

In 2012, community agencies and health care organizations came together to develop the baseline Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). The study is conducted every few years to find where health improvements are needed; as well as track progress from previous years. The CHNA findings are a tool for partnering health-oriented organizations to gain a better view of the health strengths and needs in our communities. Continual collaboration helps reduce duplication of community-wide research and more effectively identify, plan and develop methods that will maintain and improve the health of community members. Read More

May 13, 2015

Ottawa County Honors Employee for Customer Service

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Deputy Rachel McDuffee who was selected to receive the Outstanding Customer Service Award for the first quarter of 2015. McDuffee is a Road Patrol Deputy for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. It’s not often that a traffic officer receives accolades from a ticketed driver, but in Ottawa County, good customer service is practiced in every situation. This past winter, Deputy McDuffee stopped a vehicle for a vision obstruction. In this case, the windows of the car were covered with snow. Deputy McDuffee scraped all windows of the vehicle before letting the driver proceed. And, despite the citation, the driver was appreciative of the gesture. Read More | Photo

April 30, 2015

Most people with chlamydia do not know it:
health department recognizes STD awareness month

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are more common than people realize. While the STDs Awareness Month is coming to an end, it’s still important to remember to always get tested. Since 2010, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) reported a 44% increase in Chlamydia cases; of these 70% are from individuals 24 years of age or younger. In 2014, there were 204 positive cases of chlamydia; directly diagnosed through testing at OCDPH. See the number of cases and prevention action. Read More

April 24, 2015

Food council needs community feedback and donations from gardeners

The Ottawa County Food Policy Council (OCFPC) is collecting community feedback to help develop its strategic plan by identifying needs in Ottawa County. Residents may participate by taking an online survey at www.OttawaFood.org between April 22 and May 15, 2015. Survey participants may enter to win a $50 Meijer gift card (one entry per person) after completing the survey. Read More

Gardeners needed: Plant a Row for the Hungry, coordinated locally by the OCFPC, is a program for gardeners to donate a designated row of their garden to food banks and soup kitchens. Gardeners grow produce as they have in the past; and when they harvest, at various points in the growing season, they bag up the designated produce and bring it to a local food resource center. Pledge to Plant a Row for the Hungry and find participating locations at www.OttawaFood.org or call (616) 393-5799. Read More

April 23, 2015

Youth Mural Fills Halls of Justice with Hope

The halls of justice were missing something. The walls of the Holland District Court building stood sturdy and solid but lacked ornamentation. To Judge Susan Jones, the walls of the 58th District Court were a blank canvas. She also saw the artistic potential in the residents in the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center and challenged them to create a display for the Holland Courthouse. Over 100 youth from the Ottawa County Juvenile Detention Center worked with Ottawa Area Intermediate School District art teacher, Angie Briggs-Johnson, to create three murals depicting parts of the Holland community which are meaningful to them. What resulted was a powerful mural that captured the youths’ views of their community and their places in it. The murals also embraced societal ideals including diversity, tolerance and a sense of belonging. Read More.

March 25, 2015

Ottawa County is Healthiest in Michigan, according to new rankings released today.

Ottawa County ranks 1st out of 82 counties in Michigan for healthy people, according to the sixth annual County Health Rankings (CHR), released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). View a snapshot of Ottawa County’s Overall Rank. View the CHR Summary Report. Annual rankings show where counties do well and also where there are opportunities for improvement. Since 2014, Ottawa County improved or maintained in 85% of the 35 indicators that make up the ranking. While Ottawa County is the healthiest county in Michigan, the state ranks 34th in the nation.

Additionally coming this May, the 2014/2015 Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report will be presented at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex. The CHNA is a study that helps to identify health and health service issues; by gathering feedback from individuals, health care professionals and other community leaders. Results from the CHNA are similar to the CHR report, but more defined for Ottawa County. The public and media are encouraged to attend to discuss the results and start planning on ways to improve residents’ healthy outcomes. Read More.

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Freedom of Information Act Requests

All requests made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the act. Requests for public information should be made to the department which is responsible for the custody of the records.

Shannon Felgner,
Communications Manager

Main Office

12220 Fillmore Street
Room 210
West Olive, MI 49460
Phone: (616) 738-4672
FAX: (616) 738-4888
Monday - Friday:
8:00am - 5:00pm