PUTNAM’S MRC VOLUNTEERS RECOGNIZED FOR EFFORTS, AIDING HEALTH DEPT. TO CUT COSTS, EXPAND SERVICES

Brewster, NY— Dozens of Putnam County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers from all walks of life—including nurses, carpenters, lawyers, doctors and retired married couples—were in attendance for the Annual Dinner Meeting held on November 7 at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac.

The dinner, organized by the Putnam County Department of Health, is held each year to thank these loyal neighbors and celebrate the work they do in support of Putnam County’s existing emergency response infrastructure. This year’s event provided an opportunity for Allen Beals, MD, Commissioner of Health, to personally recognize the volunteers for their efforts.

“Your dedication to the health and welfare of the County’s residents is invaluable, “Dr. Beals said, “not only during emergency situations such as we had last year during Hurricane Sandy, but also in our preparatory drills and activities.” Dr. Beals credited the outstanding efforts of his staff and the contribution of the MRC for his ability to expand services to the Putnam community and at the same time decrease his budget two years in a row.

Dr. Beals highlighted some of the recently expanded activities of the health department, such as new Hepatitis C testing; onsite flu immunization clinics in all Putnam County school districts; HIV and STD testing; availability of low-cost radon testing kits; expanded rabies control, with the success of the Feral Cat Task Force; heightened emergency preparedness following the crank radio and movie night event; progress toward national accreditation; greater engineering services for our homeowners due to the improved housing market this past year; intensified outreach by maternal child nurses supporting every pregnant woman in the county, and the launch of his Commissioner’s Column in the local newspaper dispensing useful medical information.

Volunteers, both non-medical and medical, continue to be needed for Putnam County’s MRC. Interpreters, amateur radio operators, mental health professionals, chaplains, pharmacists, infectious disease specialists, dentists and veterinarians are just some examples of welcomed personnel. Interested residents can find out more information by visiting the Putnam County website or calling Keiren Farquhar, the MRC coordinator at 845-808-1390, x43136.

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.

Happy Veterans Day from Putnam County

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The Row of Honor graces Carmel, New York by lining the shore of Lake Gleneida and Route 52 with 100 American Flags. These flags are flown twice a year with your loved ones names attached on Memorial Day & Veterans Day. This historic observance has drawn national attention to Putnam County.

 

 

PCDOH Staff Present at National APHA Conference

Brewster, NY—The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) has the distinction of being one of the few local health departments invited to present at the recent 141st American Public Health Association (APHA) Meeting & Expo. More than 10,000 national and international physicians, researchers, educators and related health specialists attended the event, which ran from November 2 to 6 in Boston, Massachusetts.

PCDOH Supervising Public Health Educator Barbara Ilardi and Supervising Public Health Nurse Kathy Percacciolo presented on the health department’s success in developing a strategic plan by partnering with a public health training center (PHTC).

The PCDOH has been partnering with the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s NYC-Long Island-Lower Tri-County PHTC to enhance training for national accreditation. The strategic plan helps focus the efforts of the health department to better evaluate and serve the health needs of the community.

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 http://www.putnamcountyny.com/health/; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

United for the Troops: www.unitedforthetroops.org

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It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Retired Putnam County Highway employee and member of PC Volunteer Firemen’s Association member Walter J. Swarm

Walter J. Swarm, a lifelong resident of Mahopac Falls, NY passed away on Friday November 1, 2013 at the age of 86. He was born in Baldwin Place, NY on March 21, 1927, the son of Carl and Anna Johnson Swarm.

Walt graduated from Mahopac High School Class of 1947. He served in the US Navy during WWII and is a member of VFW Post 5491 in Mahopac. Walt retired as a shop foreman in 1995 after 37 years with the Putnam County Highway Department.

Walt was a life member of the Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department, where he served in many capacities including being its youngest elected Chief and serving on the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Putnam County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, the Putnam County Fire Chiefs Association, the Hudson Valley Firemen’s Association as well as FASNY.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Dorothy. His daughters Enis Marie Bick of Passaic, NJ, Gloria (Jimmy) Troy of Newburgh, NY, Marion (Artie) Becker of Putnam Lake, NY and Shirley (Harvey) Wills of Cusseta, GA, grandchildren P.C., J. R., Matthew, Christina, Antoinette, Joe (Heather), Erin, Jennifer and Shelby and his great granddaughter Kayla. He is also survived by his step-children, Ronald and Joseph (Adrienne) LeBlanc and Renee Dazi, and his 7 step- grandchildren, Tommy, Deanna, Denise, Nicholas, Matthew, Juliette and Alexis. He was predeceased by his first wife, Edith, his son-in-law, Phil, his brothers, Oscar, Harry, Eric and George and his sisters Alice and Marian.

Visiting will be held on Sunday November 3 from 2-4 & 7-9 pm and Monday November 4 from 5-9 pm at Joseph J. Smith Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday November 5 at 11 am at The First Presbyterian Church in Mahopac Falls with interment to follow at Ballard-Barrett Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department.

http://hosting-11936.tributes.com/show/Walter-J.-Swarm-96632118

POWASSAN VIRUS CONFIRMED IN TWO PUTNAM COUNTY RESIDENTS

Brewster, NY—Putnam County Department of Health officials were notified by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) last week that two Putnam residents were positively confirmed for Powassan (POW) virus, a tick-borne illness. The two affected individuals are recovering at home.

POW virus, like Lyme disease, is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer (black-legged) tick. The POW virus can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes; in contrast, most Lyme infections require the tick be attached for at least 36 to 48 hours before the bacterium can be transmitted. Since POW is a virus, antibiotics are not effective, as they are with the bacterial Lyme disease. Signs and symptoms of POW infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. People with severe POW virus illness often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain that may occur.

Fortunately, POW virus is significantly less common than the Lyme bacterium. Since 2001, New York State has reported 16 known cases of POW; 5 of these were Putnam County residents. A recent study of ticks in the 7 Hudson Valley counties found that Putnam had the highest rate of POW virus infection. Still, the rate is low at only 3.84 percent of ticks. The research was conducted by the NYSDOH in collaboration with the Carey Institute of Ecosystem Studies, based in Millbrook, N.Y.

“Preventing tick bites is the first defense in preventing all tick-borne infections,” said Allen Beals, M.D., Commissioner of Health, “but especially important given the rapid transmission of the POW virus. This illness gives another reason to seriously consider applying a repellent containing DEET, which has been highly effective in preventing bites.”

People who frequent wooded and tall, grassy areas, such as hunters, campers, hikers, gardeners, and outdoor workers, are more likely to be exposed to ticks. The deer tick cannot fly or jump, but instead rests on low-lying vegetation and attaches to passing animals and people. The risk is greatest along trails in the woods and on the edges of properties with tall vegetation, where the higher humidity levels are ideal for tick survival. However, ticks are also carried into lawns and gardens by pets, mice and other small animals.

Decrease your chances of a tick bite by taking the following precautions:

  • Tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants when in wooded and grassy areas.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to spot ticks more easily.
  • Check for ticks on clothing or skin frequently. Brush them off before they can attach to your skin.
  • Do a thorough “tick check” of your entire body daily. Pay particular attention to the back of the knees, behind the ears, the scalp, the armpits and your back.
  • Repellents containing DEET have been effective in preventing tick bites. If you decide to use a tick repellent, apply carefully and follow all label directions. Bathe or shower and change clothes when you go back inside.
  • Do not apply repellents directly to children. Apply to your hands and then transfer it to the child. Never apply repellents to children’s hands or face.
  • No one should apply repellents near eyes, nose or mouth.

If an attached tick is found, remove it immediately. The Health Department recommends the following method: (1) Use fine-tipped tweezers to carefully grasp the mouth-parts—not the body—of the tick, close to the skin. (2) Gently and steadily pull the tick out without twisting or squeezing. (3) Wash the bite area thoroughly. (4) Apply antiseptic.

For more information about POW virus and other tick-borne diseases, call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/powassan/

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; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

For Immediate Release: Row of Honor Press Conference

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Putnam County Disability Mentoring Day October 17th 2013

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Row of Honor, November 11th: Great way to remember a loved one or to thank a Veteran. All proceeds will go to the Purple Heart Organization

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