Personal Health Services Division
Personal Health Services staff protect and promote the public's health through direct patient care, one-on-one education, and by working with service agencies in the community.
Their focus is to promote good health with at-risk populations and individuals, prevent disease and provide high-quality health care for Health Department patients.
Child & Adolescent Health Services
All services in this clinic are by appointment only.
What does the Child Health Clinic Offer?
Routine well check-ups (physical exams, developmental screening, immunizations, and parent education) for children from birth to 21 years old
- Sports/camp and Kindergarten physicals
- Sick care for illnesses such as ear infections, including access to a nurse after hours for advice
All services in the Child Health Clinic are by appointment only. We accept most private insurance plans, Medicaid, and N.C. Health Choice. Patients without insurance are charged based on ability to pay.
What is a well child check-up?
A well child check-up is a visit to a health care provider when your child is not sick. This visit includes a complete health history and a comprehensive physical exam. The physical exam includes the following:
- Height and weight measurement
- Developmental screening
- Vision/hearing screening
- Blood pressure (3 years and up)
- Temperature, pulse and respirations
- Nurtrition assessment
- Lab procedures: urinalysis, sickle cell test, tuberculosis skin test, lead screening.
These visits are also an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your child's health.
When should my child have a well child check-up?
We recommend that you take your child to his/her primary care provider for a well child check-up at the following ages:
- 2 weeks
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 or 15 months
- 12 month
- 18 months
- 2 years (and every year from age 2 through age 20)
Remember to bring your child's immunization record and insurance/Medicaid card with you to your appointment.
- Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) services are available through the Health Department at no cost to any child up to five years old who has special health care needs. Read more about CC4C here.
- Postpartum/Newborn Home Visiting services are provided by Health Department nurses to Medicaid-eligible women and infants shortly after they give birth. Read more about Partpartum/Newborn Home Visits here. *Link coming soon.*
Teen Wellness Center
Appointments: 704-853-5009 or online
The Teen Wellness Center is a clinic designed specifically for patients ages12-19 years. At the TWC, teens get high-quality, friendly health care. Teens can pay with Medicaid or insurance. Teens who cannot pay may qualify for free or low-cost care.
- Physicals and sports physicals (requires a parent's signature)
- Immunizations and other shots for school or college (most require a parent's signature)
- Birth control
- Pregnancy testing
- Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing
- Teen Advocate -- a caring professional who will work one-on-one with teens to answer their questions about health and birth control options
We have three convenient locations, one at the main Health Department on Hudson Boulevard in Gastonia, one at Highland Health Center, with hours available in Bessemer City.
For an appointment, call 704-853-5009 or click here to make an appointment online.
Women's Health Clinic
The Women's Health Clinic provides family planning and birth control services, maternity services, and the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Programs.
Family Planning (704-853-5009) works to increase the number of women having healthy pregnancies, while reducing the number of unintended and unwanted pregnancies in our county.
Patients receive education and counseling designed to help them adopt healthier lifestyles through regular gynecological care, good nutrition and reduction of risk behaviors that cause susceptibility to cancer and sexually transmitted infections.
For an appointment, call 704-853-5009 or click here to make an appointment online.
Click here to read more about our Family Planning Clinic and issues affecting teens and young women.
We care for Maternity (704-853-5009) patients at each of our three locations -- the Health Department's main facility on Hudson, Highland Health Center and Summit Midwifery & High-Risk Obstetrics. Read more about our maternity clinics, programs and staff.
Healthy Beginnings Program (704-853-5076) The Gaston Healthy Beginnings Program is a free program that was developed for pregnant and post-partum African American women and Latinas between the age of 13-22 who live in Gaston County. The program provides case management services, educational group sessions, support services, resource and referrals, and community outreach.
The Healthy Beginnings Program provides education to each participant in the following areas:
- Quitting smoking/tobacco and avoiding secondhand smoke
- Safe sleep
- Folic acid consumption
- Reproductive life planning
- Healthy weight and exercise
- Well child visits
- Male Involvement
Breast & Cervical Cancer Control Program
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (704-853-1550) offers breast exams, mammograms and pap smears to detect breast and cervical cancer among qualifying women. To qualify, women must meet the following criteria:
- 50-64 years of age
- Do not have Medicaid or Medicare
- Note: Services are also offered to women with health insurance, but the program will only pay for services after the insurance company has denied payment.
BCCCP staff also help women apply for Breast and Cervical Medicaid, which helps women who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer with their medical costs. The Health Department's BCCCP program is the only way for Gaston County women to access this special Medicaid program. Your doctor can refer you into this program, even if you are not a Health Department patient. Please call 704-853-1550 for more information.
The BCCCP program is housed at the Highland Health Center.
The Health Department's case management services help moms-to-be and young families get the healthiest possible start in life.
Care Coordination for Children (CC4C) works to improve the health of children by linking mothers to effective, efficient services that will meet the needs of the child and family. CC4C is offered at no charge for certain children birth to 5 years who have one or more of the following situations:
- Chronic medical conditions
- Long-term stressful situations
- Have a referral from the child's doctor
When a CC4C care manager receives a referral, an assessment will be made to determine whether the child and family could benefit from CC4C services. CC4C care managers work with families through home visits, phone calls, and visits at the doctor's office.
The Pregnancy Medical Home program at the Health Department serves mothers-to-be who are eligible for Medicaid and are having high-risk pregnancies. The doctors connected with our program have higher standards of care to help mothers be as healthy as possible.
Conditions that might cause a woman to have a pregnancy where the baby is at high risk of being born unhealthy include the following:
- Having had a previous premature birth (before 37 weeks)
- Being pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)
- Having diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, sickle cell, asthma, seizures, mental health issues or other health conditions that may adversely affect a pregnancy
- Living in an unsafe environment (homeless, domestic violence, abuse)
- Smoking or using drugs or alcohol while pregnant
Pregnancy Medical Home care managers can help with finding medical care, transportation, ensuring follow-up and answering quations. They also provide information to clients about a variety of community resources available to the client and her family.
Nurse-Family Partnership is a maternal and early childhood health program that fosters long-term success for first-time moms, their babies, and society by introducing moms to caring maternal and child health nurses. The nurses provide the support first-time moms need to have a healthy pregnancy, become knowledgeable and respondible parents, andprovide their children with the best possible start in life.
The Health Department's Healthy Beginnings Program offers a fatherhood program called Fathers Forever. Fathers Forever is a free program that serves any male who meets the following criteria:
- Lives in Gaston County
- Provides support to a pregnant or parenting female
This program allows for males to come together in a group setting to learn about life skills, pregnancy, and personal development, parenting and fathering a child. The program currently holds weekly group sessions at the Erwin Recreation Center and County jail.
Voluntary Sterilization Program for Men
The goal of the Health Department's Voluntary Sterilization program is to assist patients who wish to permanently end their ability to father children.
Before making a final decision, patients are provided extensive education and counseling to help them understand the permanent nature of sterilization, and the different methods of fertility control offered through the Health Department.
For an appointment, call 704-853-5009.
Services available by appointment or walk-in.
All vaccines required for school or child care and many recommneded vaccines are available at the Health Department. Some children 18 and under (see below for details) can receive some shots free of charge; others will have a fee. Many of our vaccines are covered by private insurance plans.
Click here for information on North Carolina Required School Immunizations.
Click here for a current listing of all vaccines available at the Health Department.
Some vaccines are free for children who are eligible for the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program. To be eligible, children must be 18 years or younger and meet at least one of the following requirements:
- American Indian
- Alaskan native
- Underinsured (private insurance coverage does not include vaccines)
- Unaccompanied minor without proof of insurance
Post-exposure rabies treatment is available at the Health Department for people who have been bitten by an animal that may have had rabies. Pre-exposure vaccine for veterinary techs and boosters for veterinarians and animal handlers are also available. Rabies vaccine bloodwork is available in our lab at a low cost. Please call for details.
The Health Department provides travel immunizations at a low cost by appointment only. Please call for information on cost. For information on what vaccines are needed to travel to your planned destination, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
Communicable Disease Program
Communicable Disease (704-853-5002) staff are responsible for monitoring infectious diseases in Gaston County, and working to prevent their spread. Staff members investigate communicable diseases that infect county residents and pose a potential threat to the public's health.
Reportable diseases, the diseases that are routinely monitored and followed up on by the Health Department, usually present a threat to the public's health, and must be quickly contained. The Health Department routinely follows up on any reported cases of more than 60 communicable diseases, and works to ensure the patients and anyone who may have been exposed to the diseases receive proper treatment and will accommodate clients in preventing further spread of the disease in the community. Diseases routinely monitored and investigated by the Health Department include: salmonellosis, shigellosis, Hepatitis A and B, and vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis (whooping cough), measles, and bacterial meningitis, among many others.
Tuberculosis Control (704-853-5007) program staff work to keep the community free of active tuberculosis (TB). Services include the following:
- TB testing
- Physical assessments
- Drug therapy
- Counseling and education about TB
- Case management
Clients who are at risk or exposed to actual TB will be placed on preventable medication as directed by the state’s guidelines for treatment.
Adult Health HIV/STD Clinical Services
The Adult Health STD/HIV Clinic (704-853-5006) works to reduce HIV, syphilis, Chlamydia, gonorrhea and other STDs by testing, treating, and educating patients on STDs and healthy behaviors. HIV and STD testing is performed daily at the Health Department (704-853-5006) and Highland Health Center (704-833-1550).
A 15-minute screening test called Fast-Track is available to those who qualify. The Fast-Track includes testing for the following diseases:
- Hepatitis C
Patients are usually seen within one business day. Please call to make an appointment at one of these locations.
Gaston County HIV Program (GHOP)
The Gaston HIV Outreach Program (GHOP) provides free, confidential testing, counseling and educational programs in community settings. These sessions can be conducted one-on-one or for groups. GHOP staff can offer rapid HIV testing in additional to traditional testing. To find out about information sessions or testing opportunities with GHOP, call 704-853-5082.
The Health Department's Clinical Laboratory is an essential component of the medical care we provide. Our lab can perform many routine tests in-house, which is more affordable with quick and reliable results. One supervisor, two full-time technicians and two phlebotomists staff our in-house lab, which routinely performs the following procedures, among others: hematology/urinalysis, pregnancy tests, venipuncture and capillary sticks.
Our in-house Pharmacy (704-853-5011) can fill your prescriptions from the Health Department or Gaston Family Health Services.
Our Satellite Locations
Highland Health Center
The Highland Health Center is a partnership between the Health Department and Gaston Family Health Services. At our clinic on Highland Street, we're trying a new model of public health clinical services.
Read more at the Highland Health Center's official website.
We offer the following services:
- Family care for all ages including:
- Well checks and preventive care
- Sick care
- Chronic care management (such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure)
- Health education
- Medication assistance program
- Behavioral (mental health) counseling
- On-site pharmacy
- Walk-in/urgent care appointments
- Maternity and family planning/birth control
As at the Health Department, Highland Health Center accepts patients with Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. Patients with no insurance are charged based on their ability to pay.
Summit Midwifery & High-Risk Obstetrics
At Summit, our goal is for you to have the healthiest possible pregnancy and a happy, healthy baby.
There are several conditions that could put you and your baby in danger while you are pregnant. Our expert medical team will provide the special care and treatment you will need if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
Conditions that may place you at high risk during pregnancy include:
- Diabetes, before or during pregnancy
- Twin or multiple pregnancy
- Epilepsy or seizure disorders
- High blood pressure
- Certain infectious diseases
- Being older than 35 or younger than 16
- Substance abuse
- Mental health conditions
- Problems with the baby’s growth
- History of preterm labor
Read more about the services we offer at Summit Midwifery & High-Risk Obstetrics here.