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Calling All Breastfeeding Moms: Putnam County Department of Health Hosts Global Breastfeeding Awareness Event

Brewster, NY- On Friday, July 31, Putnam County’s breastfeeding moms will join thousands of others around the world for the 2015 “Big Latch On.” The free annual event, an opportunity to support and promote breastfeeding, is traditionally a kick-off celebration for World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 through 7. Last year approximately 14,000 children were breastfed simultaneously in 826 locations in 31 countries.

Putnam’s “Big Latch-On,” hosted by the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH), will take place at the Carmel Fire Department, 94 Gleneida Avenue, the only site in Putnam County. Fun
activities for young children, health education and information will be available, door prizes awarded, and refreshments served.

“This year is the Year of the Family in Putnam County and what represents family better than a mother and her newborn child,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “The latch-on event is a socially responsible initiative to support Putnam women and their babies. Breastfeeding has been proven time and time again to be the best for infants and their moms, and the county strongly supports its own working breastfeeding moms.”

“Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition,” explains Health Commissioner Allen Beals, MD. “Its composition cannot be replicated by a manufactured formula. It is highly digestible and provides numerous antibodies, protecting babies from bacteria and viruses. It even lowers the risk of children developing ear infections, allergies or asthma.” Dr. Beals should know, having spent 22 years practicing as an obstetrician/gynecologist delivering over 4,000 babies. Among other programs, the PCDOH hosts weekly free new moms support groups at the Mahopac and Kent libraries, with PCDOH nurses who are also International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC).

Pre-registration for the latch-on is preferred, but walk- ins are welcome. The event begins at 9 a.m. with “latch on” promptly at 10:30 a.m., and activities until noon. Moms should arrive by 10 a.m. to settle in, and are encouraged to bring a blanket, pillow or cushion for more comfortable seating. All breastfeeding mothers in Putnam and surrounding counties are invited to participate and help break last year’s record. Siblings, other family members and friends are welcome as well.

For more information or to pre-register, call 845-808-1390, ext. 43232. To learn more about the Big Latch On, visit www.biglatchon.org. For more information about maternal and child health as well as local child-friendly events, visit the PCDOH’s dedicated parents Facebook page at www.facebook.com/putnamparents.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.Capture

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Registration Is Open for Second Annual “Run 4 Your Life” Event set for Sunday, September 27th

Brewster, NY—The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) announced that online registration for the Second Annual “Run 4 Your Life” event is now open. Building on last year’s
success with over 300 participants, this year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 27. The first 175 adult runners or walkers to register online are guaranteed to receive a free performance race t-shirt, a one-month membership to NY Sports Club and commemorative race glass.

Run 4 Your Life is actually three events of various distances, starting at 10 a.m. with a 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) race, followed by a one-mile walk and a Kids’ half-mile fun run. All events will start and finish by the PCDOH at One Geneva Road in Brewster. Online registration can be accessed through the health department webpage at www.PutnamCountyNY.gov/health/healthevents.

“Last year’s event was truly a cross-generational event. We had children, parents and grandparents—participants from 5 to 71 years of age. This year’s festivities will be bigger and better
than ever,” says Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health for Putnam County. “Remember, the event was conceived not only to promote running and walking as ideal ways to enhance fitness, but
also to showcase how much more fun they can be when shared with family and friends. So it is a full morning of fun, rain or shine, complete with free post-race refreshments for all.”

Like last year, all walkers and Kids’ Fun Run finishers will receive commemorative medals. Mile markers and water stops will be set up and automatic “chip” timing will be used
for the 5km race.

To download an entry blank or for a link to register online, visit the health department’s webpage at www.putnamcountyny.com/health/run4yourlife/.

Organizations that would like to sponsor, or volunteers who would like to help out on race day, can call the Health Department at 808-1390.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, environmental health protection, emergency preparedness, family health promotion and health education.

For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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Eat Smart Restaurant Week Returns September 27 through October 11; Food Establishments Encouraged to Sign Up Early

Brewster, NY—After last year’s successful launch, the Annual Eat Smart Restaurant Week is back. The two-week event starts on Sunday, September 27 and runs through Sunday, October 11,
giving customers an easy opportunity to enjoy delicious and healthy meals at participating Putnam eateries. One of last year’s crowd pleasers was spicy cavatelli with zucchini, leeks, extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and pecorino; another was fresh Norwegian salmon filet baked with olives, garlic, tomato and fresh herbs, served with spinach.

“In Putnam, so many of our restaurants showcase that delicious and healthy can go hand-inhand,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “It is especially helpful that so many chefs use a
farm-to-table approach that promotes using locally grown ingredients. With more and more people choosing to eat out on a regular basis, it is important that our restaurants use their culinary talents to entice people to eat healthy dishes.” According to the National Restaurant Association nearly half of a family’s food budget goes to foods prepared outside the home, and this is a trend nationwide.

“Food is a great enjoyment,” declared Health Commissioner Allen Beals, MD “and food producers, and many chain restaurants, take advantage of this. They spend billions of dollars developing products laden with salt, sugar and fat, and then billions more on advertising. The end result is the marketing of many unhealthy items and residents with increasing waistlines. The eatsmart
idea is based on the belief that customers should not skimp on tastiness, but should also not shortchange themselves on their health.”

Last year a total of 35 restaurants and food establishment participated in the event which featured an emphasis on fresh, locally grown vegetables, realistic portion sizes, and healthy, but
limited oils and sodium.

“Restaurant support was very enthusiastic,” said Dr. Beals. “We’ve had great input from chefs and other partners at Putnam’s top restaurants.” All restaurants submitted their recipes for
evaluation by health department nutritionists and the two partnered to tweak them to perfection.

“Most restaurants easily grasped the concept,” explained Kristine Boyle, the health department nutritionist who led the evaluation process. “There really were few major adjustments that needed to be made. Fresh foods, herbs and other tasty condiments in the hands of expert chefs, and even knowledgeable cooks at home, can go a very long way in making a mouth-watering meal.”

Dine-in restaurants are not the only participants in Eat Smart Restaurant Week. The program is open to all food establishments in Putnam who are willing to offer at least one healthy selection.
Last year a few delicatessens and a chain “fast food” restaurant took part in the event. Restaurants interested in more information or participation should contact Kris Boyle or senior public health
sanitarian Shawn Rogan, who coordinate Eat Smart Restaurant Week at the PCDOH, at 845-808-1390. Participating restaurants will be posted online at the health department home page at
www.putnamcountyny.com/lhp/esrw/, beginning in August.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, environmental health protection, emergency preparedness, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.