Frequently Asked Questions
Mental Health: My friend/family member is in crisis - where can I go for help?
IOWA HELP LINE: TALK, CHAT OR TEXT 24 HOURS A DAY
Sometimes people just need to talk. Whether it's a tough situation that you or someone you know is facing, or a more serious need, IowaHelpLine.org is a free resource to Iowans in Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Linn Counties. Iowa Help Line is a call, a text or an online chat away for those in need. In many cases, this can help avoid the unnecessary involvement of law enforcement or hospitalization.
A mobile team of professional is also on stand-by if a situation needs face-to-face attention.
Talk 24 hours/day: 1-855-800-1239
Iowa Warm Line is available when you just need to talk to someone. The WARM LINE is a peer-run, telephone based, non-crisis, confidential listening line for anyone struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. The line is staffed by people who have been through a similar journey and are in recovery themselves. Call - 1-844-775-9276 Hours of Operation: 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM serving Benton, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Linn Counties.
Feeling Queasy? Call, it's Easy!
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced a new joint initiative with the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) that should reduce the impact of reported foodborne illness in Iowa. “These departments have joined forces to establish a statewide one-call system Iowans can use to report illnesses associated with food poisoning,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “Once a call is made to the IowaSic hotline (1-844-469-2742), trained specialists will begin an investigation into the cause and source of the illness, which could greatly reduce the number of ill Iowans.”
The 2013 Cyclospora outbreak, which was responsible for sickening at least 127 individuals in Iowa, Nebraska, and other Midwest states, is a good example of how foodborne illness investigations are conducted. During the 2013 outbreak, epidemiologists and food safety specialists, working in collaboration with the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL), were able to trace the cause of the Cyclospora outbreak to fresh produce grown and packaged in Mexico. The contaminated product had been distributed to a national restaurant chain where it eventually was consumed by patrons primarily in Iowa and Nebraska.
“Iowa was the first state to positively identify the cause of the outbreak, which permitted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to trace it back to the source,” said Dr. Quinlisk. “Had the IowaSic hotline and supporting processes been in place in 2013, it’s possible the duration and impact of the outbreak could have been reduced.”
The IowaSic hotline will be answered by IDPH specialists who will ask callers about the illness, symptoms, onset and duration, and also complete a history of all foods consumed for the past several days. Illnesses associated with foods purchased from or consumed at food establishments will be investigated by staff in DIA’s Food and Consumer Safety Bureau.
Food poisoning happens after eating or drinking contaminated foods or beverages, and occur at any time throughout the food preparation process, including growing, distribution processes, storage, cooking, and service. Often, foodborne illness is the result of cross-contamination, poor hygiene, or improper heating and cooling of prepared foods. If you suspect food poisoning after consuming an item from a restaurant, grocery store, convenience store, market or public gathering, call IDPH’s IowaSic hotline at 1-844-469-2742.
Where can I get a Flu Vaccine? Do I really need it? What is Seasonal Flu?
Flu Vaccination: Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.
"Don't think of it as getting a flu shot. Think of it as installing virus software protection!" ~ Unknown
The flu (also called influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza virus that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. For more information - visit our CDC Seasonal Flu Microsite. or IDPH's Influenza faq: https://idph.iowa.gov/influenza/faq
Please contact your health care provider for more information about receiving your vaccine. The flu vaccine is also available at the following locations, please call each location for more information.
- Buchanan County Public Health - 319-332-0860
- Hartig Drug Pharmacy - 319-334-7155
- Wal-Mart Pharmacy - 319-334-7131
When/Where can I get my blood pressure checked?
Our department performs blood pressure checks at the Independence Healthy Lifestyles Center (Senior Center) on the second Wednesday of the even months (February, April, etc.) at 10:30 a.m. and on the second Friday of the odd months (January, March, etc.) at 10:30 a.m.
Blood Pressures can also be checked in our office, please call to make an appointment. (319-332-0860).
I just moved to Buchanan County and I need help finding a Medical Provider.
Buchanan County offers the following choices for physicians (not to be construed as a recommendation for any of these clinics):
- Fairbank Medical Clinic, Fairbank, Iowa: 319-635-2110
- Covenant Clinic, Jesup, Iowa: 319-827-3000
- Covenant Clinic, Independence, Iowa: 319-332-1540
- Medical Associates of Independence, Independence, Iowa: 319-334-2541
- Winthrop Medical Clinic, Winthrop, Iowa: 319-935-3343
Additionally, numerous specialists hold clinics at the Buchanan County Health Center.
Where do I go if I need a Medical Provider and do not have health insurance or I am underinsured?
People's Community Health Clinic in Waterloo accepts patients, charging according to income. Call 319-272-4300. Location: 905 Franklin Street Waterloo, Iowa
Community Health Free Clinic - Cedar Rapids
947 14th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401 Call: 319-363-0416
Allen Women's Health - Waterloo, Iowa Call: 319-235-5090
Providers clinic at Buchanan County Health Center.
ACE-SAP Free Clinic - through Allen College in Waterloo, Iowa. The clinic is located at the Waterloo Salvation Army on the corner of Logan Ave and Hwy 63. Persons should enter the 207 Logan Ave entrance (by the chapel) and signs will direct you downstairs. The clinic is staffed by students, so times vary by student availability. You may call the Salvation Army at 319-235-9358 to confirm clinic dates and times.
I am in need of prescription assistance. Can you help?
Contact the Buchanan County Community Services office - you may qualify for the county's prescription card program. Phone Number: 319-334-7450.
Buchanan County residents qualify for the Iowa Prescription Discount Card - to receive your card please call: 1-888-884-6331. (New members should select option 1)
- This special program is provided at no cost to the participating county or its taxpayers.
- The program offers discounts on both brand and generic medications.
- Any resident of the participating county regardless of age is eligible to receive savings. The primary beneficiaries are the uninsured or underinsured
- Cards are made available by direct mail and at local pharmacies and service organizations, or by contacting MedOne at 1-888-884-6331. No enrollment forms are necessary. Participants must simply present the card at time of purchase at any participating pharmacy.
- Cards may be used at participating local pharmacies and pharmacies in our national network.
Where can I obtain a free pregnancy test?
Birthright in Cedar Falls at 408 Main Street. Call 319-277-2000
Birthright in Cedar Rapids at 375 Collins Rd. Call 319-393-3521
Allen's Women's Health* - 1-800-435-2640 * No or LOW cost pregnancy testing, exams & birth control. Free Condoms.* Waterloo location or Independence Location - Call for more information
Where can I find accurate resources regarding my teen and sexual health?
From the Health Guide by Together for Youth:
When given accurate information, teens can and will make responsible decisions. Call Together for Youth for more information.
Website lists resources and hotlines that can assist teens and young adults make informed decisions regarding their sexual health.
Parent and teacher resources are located on this website as well: Additional Resources for Teens
Where do I go for a HIV or STI (Sexually Transmitted Disease) Test?
Black Hawk County Health Department - 319-291-2413
Cedar Falls Location: 1-877-811-7526
Cedar Rapids Location: 1-319-363-8572
Where can I find more information about Opioid Overdose Prevention?
From the Iowa Department of Public Health Webpage:
Please click the link to our Opioid Overdose Microsite provided by the CDC.
Where can I find more information on Vector Borne Diseases (Mosquitos, Ticks)?
Information from Iowa Department of Public Health:
Tick Season: https://idph.iowa.gov/News/ArtMID/646/ArticleID/158218/Tick-Season-Underway-in-Iowa-5118 (Press release)
On-line tool to pick the repellent that is best for you and your family: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you
Vector-borne Diseases: https://idph.iowa.gov/cade/vectorborne-illness
Lyme Disease: http://idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/lyme-disease
To see year by year disease totals, including tick-borne diseases visit: The Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology (CADE) https://www.idph.iowa.gov/CADE
Additional handouts can be found here, (Buchanan County Public Health Resources)
How can I obtain my child's immunization record?
If your child received immunizations at the Buchanan County Health Center (formerly People’s Memorial Hospital) please contact us. We will need the following:
- Parent Name
- Where the record should be sent, i.e. address, fax, or e-mail.
- Your name and a phone number where you can be contacted in case record location is a problem.
Call 319-332-0860 and leave the following information on the answering machine if not during normal business hours or e-mail email@example.com
If you have never received vaccine from Buchanan County Health Center (formerly People’s Memorial Hospital), or Buchanan County Public Health, we may not have your records. You may need to contact your health care provider for your immunization records.
For more information on how to locate your immunization records – click here.
I am going to be traveling out of the country, what vaccines do I need?
The Centers for Disease Control website is an excellent resource – please visit their Traveler’s Health section.
Or call the Travel Clinic: 319-575-5600 located at 226 Bluebell Rd. Cedar Falls Iowa.
Where are the nearest tobacco cessation classes?
I need assistance locating in-home services, nursing home, assisted living, or independent living choices for my elderly parent and want to discuss additional options.
Contact Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, Aging Disability Resource Center 319-272-1767 or 877-538-0508.
Home Care Map (Medicare Certified Providers for in-home care serving Buchanan County residents) Map updated 6/2018
LifeLong Links - Iowa's resource for older adults, adults with disabilities, veterans and their caregivers who are planning for long-term independent living.
Buchanan County offers the following choices for extended care:
- Oak View Active Retirement Community, Independence, Iowa: 319-332-0940
- Winding Creek Meadows, Jesup, Iowa 319-827-1052
- Prairie Hills Assisted Living, Independence, Iowa: 319-334-2000
- Parkview Assisted Living, Fairbank, Iowa: 319-635-2585
- Winding Creek Meadows, Jesup, Iowa 319-827-1052
Medicare Skilled Care
- Buchanan County Health Center, Independence, Iowa: 319-332-0999
- ABCM - West Campus, Independence, Iowa: 319-334-6039
- Buchanan County Health Center, Long Term Care Unit, Independence, Iowa: 319-332-0915
- ABCM - East Campus, Independence, Iowa: 319-334-7015
- ABCM - West Campus, Independence, Iowa: 319-334-6039
Where can I find information about disability-related programs and services for Iowa residents?
Iowa COMPASS is Iowa's leading source of information on disability services and assistive technology.
Iowa COMPASS is a great resource in connecting those with disability-related needs and then connect you with information and resources to help problem-solve with you in order to meet your needs.
Where can I find Medical Equipment such as a commode, walker, etc?
Medical equipment information can be found in the Yellow Pages under “Medical Equipment” or by contacting the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-779-8707.
Where can I get more information on Measles? Mumps? Ebola? Pertussis?
Measles: Start on our Measles webpage.
Mumps: Start on our Mumps webpage.
Who do I call regarding well testing, rats, bats, rabies, or poor food handling techniques?
The Sanitation/Environmental Health Section of the Buchanan County Health Department is located in the lower level of the Buchanan County Courthouse in Independence. Phone 319-334-2873.
To report a non-illness environmental complaint:
To report a food-related illness complaint: 844-IowaSic (844-469-2742)