Putnam County has 7 New Drop Sites!

Putnam County now has 7 drop sites across our beautiful county where residents can drop off unwanted or outdated medication in a safe, confidential way.

Health Department Releases 2016-2018 CHA and CHIP

Health Department Releases 2016-2018 CHA and CHIP

Five community-wide coalitions and 91 community organizations joined the Putnam County Department of Health in compiling and issuing a joint Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan for the years covering 2016 through 2018.

“Our community coalitions, and our individual partner organizations and agencies have been of tremendous help in both assessing the health of our community and helping to strategize and develop solutions,” said Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “Our biggest concerns in Putnam are promoting mental health, preventing substance abuse and reducing chronic diseases. Additionally creating a safer environment and preventing falls and injuries among the elderly have also been identified as a priority area as well.”

The five community coalitions leading the efforts with the health department are the Mental Health Provider Group, the chronic disease prevention group Live Healthy Putnam Coalition, the Suicide Prevention Task Force, Putnam Hospital Center’s Community Health Needs Committee, and the Communities That Care Coalition, which works to reduce the use of harmful substances by adolescents. For a list of 91 partner organizations and agencies, or to view the report, visit the health department website:

http://www.putnamcountyny.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/FULL_CHA-CHIP-12-23-16-FINAL-kly.pdf

3rd Annual Teen Health Day on December 2nd from 9:30 a.m. – 4pm at the Carmel Fire Department

Last Chance Public flu clinic for Fall 2016 Final

The Putnam County Department of Health is offering a public seasonal flu vaccine clinic for Putnam County residents, 18 years of age and older on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, from 2:00pm -6:30pm at the Putnam County Department of Health, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY. Flu is already being diagnosed in Putnam County, so take advantage of this opportunity to protect yourself during

National Influenza Vaccination Week. No appointments are necessary.

Please bring proof of residency (driver’s license) and Medicare card if applicable.

Cost for flu vaccine is $25, though for persons age 65 and older or with a Medicare card, flu vaccine will be free. In order to move people more quickly through the clinic, required vaccine consent forms will be available at www.putnamcountyny.com.

Download the forms, complete them and bring them with you to the clinic. Forms will be available at the clinic if you are unable to download them. For questions call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390.

last-chance-public-flu-clinic-for-fall-2016-final

Cold Spring Site Added to Health Department’s “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— By popular demand, a third location—FoodTown in Cold Spring—has been added to the Caught-in-the-Act” Contest, commemorating America Recycles Day. From 2 to 4 p.m., on November 22, the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking again for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts.

Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that.

On Tuesday, November 15, the recycling coordinator will be at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, in the morning from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Afternoon hours will be DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster from 2 to 4 p.m.,

Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled, and the health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

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.

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Recycling Reaps Rewards: Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

Recycling Reaps Rewards:

Health Department Holds “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest on America Recycles Day

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere. Store “carry-out” bags are made of it. Beverage cases are shrink-wrapped in it. Newspapers are delivered curbside in it, and unfortunately most is not recycled. The Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. On Tuesday, November 15, America Recycles Day, the department is holding a “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest.

From 10 a.m. to 12 noon and then again from 2 to 4 p.m., the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. The morning session will take place at Acme Supermarket, 149 Route 6 in Mahopac, and the afternoon hours will be spent at DeCicco & Sons, 50 Independent Way in Brewster.

“We are launching this campaign because most people are unaware you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location. But it’s the responsible and civic thing to do—for your family and your community.”

“Less than one percent of plastic bags are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It may take a bit of extra effort in the beginning, but only until it becomes more routine. And it makes a positive impact on our environment.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law

to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme, and Kohl’s in Brewster, and at Foodtown in Cold Spring. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

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.

recycling-ad-rvsdnov-16

 

Cold and Flu Season Arrives: Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

Cold and Flu Season Arrives:

Antibiotics are not always the answer, warns health department

BREWSTER, NY— As the cold and flu season swings into full gear, visits to doctors’ offices will undoubtedly rise. To receive the best care, patients as well as doctors should stay informed about proper use of antibiotics. Two studies this year have reported not only about the overuse of these medicines, but also frequent incorrect prescribing. These problems are a focal point of the campaign for the Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, from November 14 to 20, which calls attention to the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance. This phenomena occurs when bacteria evolve into “super bugs” that no longer respond to ordinary antibiotics.

“Antibiotics can’t help a patient who has come down with the flu,” explains Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “The flu is a viral infection. Antibiotics are only helpful with bacterial infections. People need to understand the difference.”

This popular misconception is familiar to Dr. Nesheiwat. He has run a busy family medicine practice in Putnam County for the past 25 years. “Sometimes patients just want a prescription—something they think will make them better. This is why the health department has been helping physicians educate their patients by providing doctors with more information, posters and a new type of prescription pad. The pad gives physicians a place to check the appropriate diagnosis—cold, cough or the flu, and clearly spells out the best medicines—simply fluids, saline nasal spray and throat spray.” Older children or adults can also use lozenges for sore throat relief.

According to the New York State Department of Health, Putnam County’s overprescribing rates may be among the highest in the state. The state health department has identified Putnam as one of 11 counties with the uppermost rates of potentially avoidable antibiotic prescription—with 55 to 64 percent of adults filling a prescription after an upper respiratory infection diagnosis, such as a cough or cold. Most other counties fall in the lower two ranges, either 35 to 44 percent, or 45 to 54 percent.

Another problem on the rise is with prescribing the wrong antibiotic. An October 2016 report released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pew Charitable Trusts describes the pattern for ear and sinus infections, and sore throats. They found that only 52 percent of patients were given the recommended “first-line” medication. That leaves 48 percent getting a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which is not necessary and increases drug resistance. Surprisingly, adults are much more likely than children to receive the wrong antibiotic. The report found more than 60 percent of adults diagnosed with strep throat were prescribed an antibiotic not recommended by medical guidelines. Only 40 percent of children faced the same situation.

“The public health implications of this situation are huge and not confined to New York or even just the U.S,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.  “In fact, global health experts have warned that by the year 2020, super-bugs may kill more people than cancer kills today. These are truly scary numbers.

“Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple solution,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “But we have to start with what we can do, and informing the public, as well as health care providers, is that first step.”

For more information about Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, visit: www.cdc.gov/getsmart

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Lead Screenings and Water Testing Help Protect Children

Lead Screenings and Water Testing Help Protect Children
Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Commemorated October 23-29

Brewster, NY—Children who are exposed to the toxin lead can have serious, long lasting health problems. That is why public health law requires testing lead levels in children’s blood at age one and again at two. It is also why last month Governor Cuomo signed legislation requiring immediate testing of drinking water in all New York State schools by October 31. The good news is that lead poisoning is preventable and that’s one of the main messages of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, from October 23 to 29.
“It’s hard to believe testing school water was not required before, given the health risks especially to young children,” says Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health in Putnam. “We have been working with all the school districts in the county, providing technical assistance to them and their water operators, to help them comply with these new requirements.” Until then schools with unacceptable levels are providing alternate water supplies for both cooking and drinking. The schools must also report the water test results to parents, and the New York State and Putnam County health departments.
Ironically and heartbreakingly, it was about a year ago in September—a month before International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2015—that the lead poisoning of numerous children gained national attention with reports from Flint, Michigan. Elevated blood lead levels in children there had almost doubled after the city switched its water source.
In Putnam County, most child lead-poisoning cases have been the result of ingesting chips or inhaling dust from lead-based paint common in older homes built before 1978. In fact, approximately 73% of Putnam cases of childhood lead poisoning are from a lead-paint source. Preventing this exposure, early identification of children with high levels, and treatment, are all important efforts.
“Lead poisoning can have serious neurological results for young children, with developing brains,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat. “It can affect their behavior and ability to learn, along with their growth.” Parents should make sure their child has his or her blood lead levels checked at one year of age, and again at two years of age as mandated, and at older ages if there is reason for concern. Healthcare providers can perform or order this test, or contact the PCDOH for testing assistance.
Very young children are at highest risk. When learning to crawl, they spend a lot of time on the floor and put things in their mouth. Frequent washing of hands, face, toys, bottles and pacifiers is important. For children and youth of all ages, a foundation of good nutrition and eating foods high in calcium, iron and vitamin C in particular, can limit the impact of lead, if it is ingested or inhaled. Lead can also harm babies before they are born, if a pregnant mother is exposed to possible lead hazards.
Lead dust is hard to see. A problem can occur when lead-painted surfaces are disturbed in any way. Even cutting a small hole when remodeling, or opening and closing doors and windows, covered with lead-based paint, for example, can generate lead dust. This dust then falls on windowsills, floors and toys. Children with lead poisoning do not look or feel sick in the beginning. However, health problems can still start. The only way to know is to test a child’s blood lead level.
Lead poisoning can happen in other ways as well. Follow these tips to be safe:

  • Avoid cooking, storing or serving food in leaded glass, crystal and pewter and painted china or pottery from Asia, Latin America or the Middle East.
  • Check toys and other children’s products because some may contain lead. A list is available on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at www.cpsc.gov or by calling 800-638-2772.
  • If you have a job or hobbies where you are exposed to lead (carpentry, hunting, stained glass work, or those that use leaded gasoline for example), be extra careful. Shower, and change clothes and shoes, before going home. Clothes that may be contaminated should be washed alone.
  • Assume homes built before 1978 contain lead paint. Keep painted surfaces in good condition. If lead surfaces are disturbed, don’t sweep—damp mopping is a must. Better yet, consider hiring a certified contractor when renovating or remodeling. They follow strict Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines to prevent contamination. Call the health department with questions. Renters should ask landlords to safely repair any peeling paint. If the landlord is not responsive, local town building inspectors may be able to assist.

Call the Putnam County Department of Health at 845-808-1390 for more information or visit the New York State Department of Health web site at: www.nyhealth.gov/environmental/lead.

Health Department Promotes Plastic Film Recycling; 25 Drop Off Locations in Putnam

Health Department Promotes Plastic Film Recycling;

25 Drop Off Locations in Putnam >>>  (CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST)

BREWSTER, NY— A staggering 100 billion plastic bags or more are thrown away each year by Americans, according to conservationists. Putnam County numbers may be impossible to get but one  thing is sure: It is far too many. That is why the New York State’s Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act went into effect back in 2009 and was updated in 2015 to add plastic films to the list of recyclable items.

“Recycling is a win-win-win scenario,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “It reduces landfill waste, reduces our demand on oil, and it reduces litter, preserving our beautiful Putnam landscape, waterways and wildlife. Plastic bags are convenient, but their harms are real. The effects of clogged drainage and flooding alone make recycling a must, and now it’s the law.”

“Less than 1 percent of plastic bags are being recycled, but we are trying to change that,” said Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health. “Everyone is used to recycling hard plastics, usually through curbside pick-up. However, plastic films must be recycled differently. They have to be brought to a drop off site, which all major stores should have.”

The health department has been working with stores in the county that are required by law to accept plastic films. All large retail stores, or chains with more than five smaller stores, must participate. Currently there are 25 drop-off locations in Putnam County, including Home Depot, Acme and Kohl’s. A complete list is posted online at the PCDOH website.

“Plastic film recycling may require a bit of effort at first,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat, “but only until it becomes more routine. Think of it as an investment in the future—for our children. Then it becomes a little easier.”

Plastic films include many everyday items. Newspaper delivery bags, dry cleaning bags and shrink-wrap, in addition to the commonplace “carry-out bags” are some examples. Wrap from packages of paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissues and diapers; beverage case wrapping; shipping “pillows” and bubble wrap, as well as clean bags from bread, produce and sealable food storage bags—all these items should be dropped off for recycling. It is important to know that the recycling items need not be brought back to the store where they were originally purchased. Participating stores are required to accept all items together.

Next month is America Recycles Day and the health department will be visiting local drop off sites on Tuesday, November 15, to photograph residents as part of a “Caught in the Act” Recycling Campaign. Stay tuned or go online to the health department website, as details become available in early November.

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 the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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