When times are tough, people seek out many resources to find aid and support, and thanks to the vision of Dr. Robert Gillio and with the aid of the Huntingdon County Human Services Council, there’s one resource people can turn to find that aid and support.

The Huntingdon County Human Services Council is now in charge of My Healthy Huntingdon, a resource where leaders from healthcare, business, education and the public sectors can work together to create a healthier Huntingdon County, which is needed in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gillio created the website and described it as a chamber of health.

“It can create an update of a community directory of services, which there hasn’t been an updated one since 1999,” said Gillio. “(Huntingdon County Human Services Council president Adam) Pfingstl (and Huntingdon County Human Services Council) is updating every listing to this directory with the name (of a service agency), address and email.

“For example, if someone needed wheelchair services, that can be listed, and they can use this website for marketing tools to let them do broadcast emails for their campaigns, offer coupons, etc.,” said Gillio. “A person can click on the directory and search for an agency. They can click on a calendar of events, and there’s also the ability to do job postings.”

There are also resources on there directly related to COVID-19, including an assessment to see if they need to be tested and creating a local version of the National Strategic Stockpile to get needed medical supplies and cleaning supplies to those who need it most.

“People can take a self assessment called Epi-Stem to see if they’re doing things right or wrong, like washing hands, covering their coughs, or if they should call to get tested,” said Gillio. “This was an app built by Joey DiGangi, CEO and founder of AssureTech LLC (and a Juniata College graduate).

“We met and discussed how we really need citizen science where symptom outbreaks are,” said Gillio. “He said he could modify his food allergy app, and that’s what this is. He stepped up and said let’s do this, build it and put it out there.

“This tool can be used to give points on the map for public health officials to see where the green zones, yellow zones and red zones are and potentially see areas of concern before people show up to the emergency room,” he added.

The local stockpile is a similar concept to the National Strategic Stockpile, where local people can get supplies to where the most need may be in the county, said Gillio.

“People can donate to the stockpile, and people can sign up for it, so if there’s a need, it can be filled,” he said.

Pfingstl said all of the human service agencies of the county have been meeting weekly via Zoom to discuss the needs and services county residents may have during this time.

“We can all act as referrals for one another if we get phone calls,” he said. “We may have our (physical) doors locked, but we’re still working and we’re still serving.”

Pfingstl said Center for Community Action executive director Wendy Melius and Huntingdon County United Way executive director Kathy Armillei have been helping to coordinate this effort to make sure resources are updated for people.

“This is a great place where anyone can log on to find out information,” he said. “You can do it by going to the website www.myhealthyhuntingdoncom.com, or they can download the app to their phones,” said Pfingstl. “A lot of the county agencies have entered their information, but if they have more questions, they can contact the Huntingdon County PRIDE office at 643-5724, and I can help them find the information they’re looking for.”

To view the website, go to www.myhealthyhuntingdon.com.

Kylie can be reached at khawn@huntingdondailynews.com.

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