1

Celebrating National Public Health Week…April 7th-13th

Day #1: Be healthy from the start.

Starting tiny tots out right reaps benefits for years to come. Moms and babies enjoy many health benefits provided free of charge from the Putnam County Department of Health. Mothers’ support groups offer a chance for the littlest residents to socialize, along with their mothers who also benefit from the expertise of our maternal child health public health nurses, each a gold-standard certified lactation consultant. Click Here

Day #2: Keeping you safe.

Cleanliness and proper handling help ensure food safety and health. Inspectors from the Putnam County Department of Health visit all 377 restaurants in the county each year, ensuring every food safety rule and regulation is followed. More than 50 temporary food permits are issued, all food-borne illnesses are investigated, and each year the annual food operators’ seminar offers restaurateurs and other food establishments a chance to brush up on their safety skills and hear about industry advances. Click Here

Day #3: Get out ahead.

Immunizations are one of the top success stories in public health. In the early 1900s infectious diseases were the number-one cause of death and disability for all ages. Outbreaks of pertussis and diphtheria were commonplace and nearly one out of every five children did not reach their fifth birthday. Last year the Putnam County Department of Health administered nearly 6,000 various vaccines helping countless residents of all ages protect their health. Click Here

Day #4: Eat Well.

Children eat better when they help grow and prepare their food. Studies have proven this true. That’s why the Putnam County Department of Health partners with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam, the Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam and camp operators to bring vegetable gardens to the community.

Childhood obesity affects nearly 17 percent of U.S. children. Putnam’s young residents are at similar risk. Click Here

Day #5: Be the healthiest nation in one generation.

Rabies is a deadly disease—for humans and animals. The Putnam County Department of Health holds free rabies vaccination clinics three times a year, as part of a broad rabies prevention program that included more than 400 investigations by health department staff and more than 100 animals being tested in 2013. The recently launched Feral Cat Task Force puts the Trap-Neuter-Return concept into action, reducing potential for rabies exposure by immunizing feral cats. Click Here

1

PUTNAM COUNTY RANKS 4TH IN NYS FOR HEALTH OUTCOMES

Brewster, NY—The 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, were released to the public this morning. For the second year in a row, Putnam County ranks fourth in the state in the overall category of “health outcomes.” The rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health and a starting point for investigating and discussing ways to improve health.

“I am so proud that once again Putnam County has ranked among the highest counties in the Hudson Valley region,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “The rankings reflect the healthy lifestyle choices of our residents and the work that our Health Department does to make our communities aware of the tools available to individuals and families.”

“We will continue to work to help Putnam residents remain healthy and to provide access to resources that support their efforts,” said Allen Beals, M.D., Commissioner of Health. The rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes many factors that, if improved, can help make communities healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

The Putnam County Department of Health recently collaborated with 82 community partners to develop and complete the Putnam County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for 2013-2017. This plan focuses on areas that these partners identified in order to improve overall health, including obesity prevention, smoking cessation, and overall mental health and well-being.

For more information on the 2014 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org 

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, 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.

Colorectal cancer Logo

Screening and Lifestyle Choices Can Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

Brewster, NY – Colorectal cancer – cancer that begins in the colon or rectum – is one of the most common cancers
among New Yorkers. Each year more than 10,000 people develop colorectal cancer, and nearly 3,500 die in New
York State alone. Early detection is key and March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, is a good time to
schedule a screening and make some lifestyle changes for further protection.

“Screenings for colorectal cancer can detect polyps before cancer even begins,” says Allen Beals, M.D.,
Putnam County Commissioner of Health. “If polyps are found early, they can be removed easily.”
“It is always smart to take the initiative when it concerns matters of health,” said County Executive
MaryEllen Odell. “I am so pleased to see that our Health Department is proactive in seeing to it that information on a
variety of health matters is brought to the attention of the public.”

Colorectal cancer can strike younger adults, but most cases are in people aged 50 or older. According to the
Centers for Disease Control, if everyone 50 years and older were screened regularly, nearly 60% of deaths from this
cancer could be avoided. Certain individuals should begin testing earlier, such as those with a personal or family
history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or colorectal polyps. These conditions may put them at
greater risk. Recommended screening tests include: stool tests, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or a barium enema.

Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer do not always cause symptoms, especially in the early stages.
Symptoms for colorectal cancer typically do not surface until it has spread and become life threatening. Symptoms
may include bleeding from the rectum, blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, decreased appetite or unexplained
weight loss, weakness and fatigue, or stomach pain that does not go away, and should prompt a call to your health
care provider.

Lifestyle choices can help protect against developing colorectal cancer and other cancers. The American
Cancer Society recommends the following to reduce a person’s risk:
      -Do not smoke
      -Maintain a healthy weight
      -Be physically active on a regular basis
      -Make healthy food choices
      -Limit alcohol consumption

No single food or nutrient protects against colorectal cancer by itself; a variety of factors in foods work together to
provide anti-cancer effects. There is convincing evidence that a high-fiber, plant-based style of eating, incorporating a
variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, helps lower the risk for several cancers, including colorectal
cancer. For more information about healthy eating to reduce your cancer risk, visit www.AICR.org.

The New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings
at NO COST to women and men who:

      -Do not have health insurance OR have health insurance that does not cover the cost of these screenings
      -Cannot pay for these screenings
      -Meet income eligibility requirements
      -Meet age requirements
      -Live in New York State

Additional services include diagnostic testing if results are abnormal and referrals for treatment. For more
information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Cancer Services Program at 1-866-442-2262 or visit
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources and click on your county.

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, family health promotion, emergency preparedness 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.

pets

FREE Rabies Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for March 22

Bring your dogs, cats and ferrets to a FREE rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 22, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sponsored by the Putnam County Department of Health, the clinic is being held at South Putnam Animal Hospital, 230B Baldwin Place Road, Mahopac, N.Y. and is open to all Putnam County residents.

Please bring photo ID as proof of Putnam County residency, as well as written proof of prior rabies vaccination. Tags are not acceptable. If you do not have a written certificate documenting prior rabies vaccination, your pet will receive a one-year rabies vaccine. All dogs must be leashed and cats and ferrets must be in a carrier. An animal information/release form will be available and can be completed at the clinic site. For more information and directions, please call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 ext. 43127.

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, 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.

CarbonMonoxide

Putnam County Department of Health Issues Carbon Monoxide Alert: Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives

Brewster, NY —With frigid outside temperatures, people shut and seal their windows, turn up their heat, and
carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings rise. Every year hundreds of Americans are killed, and thousands more injured,
due to CO poisoning. In fact, this odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas, known as the “silent killer”, is the leading
cause of poison-related deaths in the U.S. Most incidents occur in residential homes and are the result of faulty
venting of a fuel burning device such as a furnace or automobile, though recent reported cases have involved larger
community establishments.

Like other serious injuries, CO poisoning is both predictable and preventable, with information and the proper
precautions. In addition to furnaces and automobiles, CO is emitted from malfunctioning or improperly used stoves,
portable generators or space heaters, gas ranges, charcoal, firewood and other products. After snow storms or other
severe weather events with power outages, people often use generators and portable heaters. In everyday living, faulty
home heating systems, including both gas- and oil-burning furnaces, are more often the cause. In these cases, nearly
half of the victims—49 percent—are asleep at the time of poisoning.

“Everyone interested in protecting their family should have a carbon monoxide detector in their home,” says
Commissioner of Health Allen Beals, MD.

CO detectors are an inexpensive solution to a potentially deadly problem. They are widely available at home
and hardware stores and not difficult to install. CO detectors come with manufacturers’ instructions about placement,
usage and maintenance. For maximum protection, installing alarms on each level of your home is advised, with at
least one near the sleeping area. Even residents with “all electric homes”, often use CO-emitting devices such as
generators, automobiles, gas dryers and fireplaces. CO alarms should be tested monthly and batteries typically should
be changed twice a year.

The number-two prevention tip is to have your furnace serviced regularly by a professional. The Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends annual inspections and local gas and utility companies usually have
similar recommendations.

Other important prevention tips include:
1. Never use a gas range or oven for warmth.
2. Never run generators in indoor spaces such as garages, basements or porches. (Place all generators at least 20
feet from a home. This is usually adequate to prevent CO from entering the home.)
3. Never start up or run any gasoline-powered engine (snow blowers, mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws, etc.)
in an enclosed space.
4. Have fireplaces, oil and gas heat and hot water systems serviced annually.
5. Never use a stove or fireplace unless it is properly installed and vented.
6. Never use a charcoal or barbeque grill inside your home or garage.
7. Never run a car or motorcycle inside a garage attached to a house or in a detached garage with the garage door
shut. Open the door to remove CO and other toxic exhaust gases.
8. Never operate an unvented fuel burning appliance, such as a gas or kerosene heater, in any room where
people are sleeping.

Initial symptoms of CO poisoning are flu-like and may include dizziness, shortness of breath, sleepiness,
weakness, nausea and headache. If the early signs are ignored, a person could lose consciousness and be unable to
escape danger. If you suspect CO is leaking in your home or building, go outside immediately and call 911 from
outside.

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, 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.

For further information, please visit:
New York State Department of Health
http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/weather/carbon_monoxide/
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/co/

flu-shot

INFLUENZA WIDESPREAD IN NYS; 18 CASES REPORTED IN PUTNAM

Brewster, NY—Flu activity is now widespread in New York State, according the State Health Commissioner,
Nirav R. Shah, MD, with 45 out of 62 counties now reporting confirmed flu cases. In Putnam County, 18 cases
have been reported. This broad-based circulation in the state follows reports from Texas health officials of a
cluster of cases of severe influenza-like illness that put 8 people in the hospital, with 4 resulting in death.
Nationwide many cases have been identified among young and middle-aged adults and linked to influenza A
(H1N1), the same strain of virus that circulated widely in 2009, also known as “swine flu.”

“The bottom line is if you have not yet received a flu shot, get one,” says Allen Beals, M.D., Putnam
County Commissioner of Health. “It’s late, but not too late, and this year’s vaccine offers protection against the
H1N1 flu strain.”

Flu vaccine is widely available at health care provider offices and pharmacies. Residents can also
contact the Immunization Program at the PCDOH at 808-1332 to make an appointment for the shot for a $25
fee that covers the cost of the vaccine and its administration.

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, 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.

Blood screen2

County Exec MaryEllen Odell Supports Employee Wellness For All: Putnam Community Health Improvement Plan Involves Businesses in Employee Health

Brewster, NY— Workplace wellness increases employee productivity, reduces absenteeism and streamlines health care costs and Putnam County’s recently completed Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) takes advantage of these well-researched benefits. Submitted to the NYS DOH last week, the CHIP has the broad support of the County Executive’s Office, working with the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH). One of the major goals of this plan is to involve the business community in promoting wellness strategies among Putnam workers.

“Employee health promotion is an excellent investment to make,” says Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health. “It helps Putnam County keep health care costs in line, and it can help other businesses do the same. Workers spend a significant amount of their waking hours at work,” Dr. Beals continues. “Involving the business community is a logical and effective way to improve health. Our community partners, together with the strong support of our County Executive MaryEllen Odell, have taken the steps to incorporate this into our county’s health improvement
plan.”

County Executive Odell has also been a proponent of the County’s own employee wellness program from the start. She participates in the programs herself, getting her annual flu shot and having her blood tested for various health risk factors. Blood screening usually involves a simple overnight fast, followed by a blood draw to measure cholesterol and other blood lipids, as well as sugar levels. These tests can provide information on risk of cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes and diabetes, as well as other problems. Knowing one’s risk factors can help individuals take further
steps, if necessary, to prevent or halt more serious consequences.

The Health Department’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is required by the NYS DOH and outlines plans, goals and objectives that the PCDOH and its community health partners will work toward. The plan is available online at http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/data/ For more information on how the PCDOH can help business organizations launch an employee wellness program, please call 845-808-1390, Ext. 43258, or email WorkplaceWellness@putnamcountyny.gov. For general Health Department information, visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

 

World aids day

PUTNAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH RECOGNIZES WORLD AIDS DAY

Brewster, NY – Sunday, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a day set aside to increase awareness of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world. To commemorate this international observance, the Putnam County department of Health is offering special hours on Tuesday, December 3, from 12 to 5 p.m., for free, rapid HIV testing and counseling at 121 Main Street, in Brewster, NY. Free testing for STDs and Hepatitis C will be available at the same time. HIV and Hep C results take just 20 minutes. A raffle will be held and light refreshments will be served. No appointment is necessary.

Although new technologies have been developed in the fight against AIDS, such as a rapid HIV test, and new treatments have slowed the progression of HIV to AIDS, the disease remains a major health threat both in the U.S. and worldwide. People with the infection are living longer, healthier, more productive lives, but there is still no vaccine or cure.

“Early diagnosis and prompt, appropriate treatment can make the difference in quality and length of life,” said Allen Beals, M.D., Commissioner of Health, “and it is also the key to protecting others from becoming infected.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that one in five infected people do not know they are HIV positive. Chances are they have never been tested because they do not believe they are at risk. Prevention efforts have helped keep the rates of new infections stable in recent years, but the opportunity for infection increases as more people live with the disease. For more information about HIV, STD, or Hepatitis C testing, or disease education and prevention, contact the Health Department at (845) 808-1390.

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