Putnam County Department of Health Hosts FREE HIV Testing on World AIDS Day

BREWSTER, NY—December 1 is World AIDS Day, a date set aside to increase awareness of the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic around the world and a time to remember loved ones who have died as a result of AIDS-related illnesses. To commemorate this annual international observance, the Putnam County Department of Health is offering free rapid HIV testing and education on Friday, December 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY. Results take just 20 minutes and no appointment is necessary. Testing for Hepatitis C, another viral infection that can be spread through contact with infected blood, will also be available at the same time.

Although new treatments and technologies have slowed the progression of HIV to AIDS, the disease remains a major health problem both in the U.S. and worldwide. Advances such as rapid HIV testing and anti-viral drugs allow people with HIV to live long, healthy, and productive lives. However there is still no vaccine or cure. Early diagnosis is the key to early treatment. The only way for an individual to know if he or she has HIV is to be tested.

“Early, appropriate treatment can make all the difference in the quality and length of life for someone infected with the HIV virus,” said Interim Commissioner of Health Michael Nesheiwat, M.D. “Early testing and diagnosis is not just important for an individual’s health, but also from the public heath standpoint of protecting others.”

Many adults are not tested for HIV because they do not feel sick and they don’t think they are “at risk.” However, in the early stages of HIV infection, a person may not show any illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in Atlanta estimates that 1.1 million individuals in the United States are living with HIV and one in seven of those infected do not know they are HIV positive. As more people live with the disease, the chance of becoming infected increases. Despite this, large scale prevention efforts have led to fewer new infections in recent years. Getting tested is a first step towards prevention.

For more information about HIV or Hepatitis C testing, or their prevention, contact the Health Department at (845) 808-1390.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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. Connect with us on our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Odell hosts meet and greet with Danbury Mayor Boughton

BREWSTER, NY – Recognizing the partnership between the City of Danbury and Putnam County, County Executive MaryEllen Odell welcomed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton to Tilly’s Table on Thursday, Nov. 14 to casually meet with Putnam community leaders and officials.

“Mayor Boughton understands that you cannot let boundaries prevent progress,” said Odell. “By crossing the New York-Connecticut state line we are able to work together and improve both communities.”

Odell and her administration have been in talks with officials from Danbury on social and economic issues. Most significantly, the two municipalities are working to extend the Danbury sewer line into Southeast along the Route 6 corridor.

“Living in a silo from your neighbor limits your potential,” said Boughton. “Being able to collaborate with County Executive Odell has ignited new ideas on how we can better serve our residents while being able to save our taxpayers money.”

Boughton, who serving his eighth consecutive term as the mayor of Danbury, set up an exploratory committee to consider a 2018 Connecticut gubernatorial run.


Putnam agrees to sue pharmaceutical companies over opioid epidemic

CARMEL, NY –  Determined to battle the cause of the opioid crisis in Putnam, County Executive MaryEllen Odell urged the Legislature to allow the government to join various states and counties across the country in filing lawsuits against both pharmaceutical companies and distributors, which have created the nationwide opioid epidemic through the fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opioid pain medications.

“New York State has been one of the hardest hit states in the nation, with the rate of prescription and heroin overdoses exceeding almost every other state in the country; and Putnam County is not immune from it,” said Odell. “Through our One Army in the War Against Addiction the county has worked with law enforcement agencies and many not-for-profit organizations to fight the battle within our communities through awareness, education and enforcement, but we need to do more.”

She added. “As president of the New York Association of Counties, I think it is imperative that we learn from the tobacco lawsuits if the 1990s and collectively go after the source of the prescription opioid epidemic—the pharmaceutical manufactures and distributors, and hold them accountability for the fraudulent and negligent practices they engaged in which caused immeasurable harm to Putnam County residents and taxpayers.”

At a special full legislature meeting held on Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Legislature voted 8-0, with legislator Dini LoBue absent, to have the law firm of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to represent Putnam County’s interests in the New York Opioid Cost Recovery litigation.

Napoli Shkolnik, which has recently been named co-lead council in the coordinated opioid litigation, has been investigating potential claims on behalf of both individuals and governmental entities against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. The law firm recommends that claims for deceptive acts and practices, false advertising, public nuisance, fraud, unjust enrichment, as well as other State specific violations be brought against the largest manufacturers and marketers of opioid. Those companies include: Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc., Johnson and Johnson, and Endo Pharmaceuticals, as well as the largest distributors of these drugs, including McKesson Corp., Cardinal health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp.

The goal of the proposed litigation would be to fully compensate Putnam County for unnecessary cost incurred as a result of prescription opioid abuse, including workplace costs relative to loss of productivity, healthcare costs such as abuse treatment and criminal justice costs.

“I believe everyone has known someone, directly or indirectly, affected by the devastation of opioids,” said Leg. Ginny Nacerino, chairwoman of the Putnam County Legislature.  “The Legislature’s 8-0 support of this resolution speaks volumes to the value we place on the health, safety and welfare of our residents and has little to do with monetary gain.  We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors to fight those responsible for the opioid epidemic which has plagued and devastated our communities.  It is important to raise awareness to the origin, and it is time for those companies to take responsibility.  Unfortunately, the damage created by such negligence and depravity is irreversible, resulting in both pain and suffering and the loss of many lives.  It is truly shameful.”

In addition to Putnam, other New York counties participating in the lawsuit include: Broome, Dutchess, Eerie, Genesee, Nassau, Niagara, Orange, Saratoga, Schenectady, Seneca, Sullivan and Suffolk.

Carmel Career Center Mini Job Fair Date & Time: Wednesday, 12/13/2017 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Putnam County Training and Operations Building (TOPS) – Auditorium

112 Old Route 6, Carmel NY 10512

Meet with 5 Businesses from the Healthcare Sector
Businesses Attending:

  • Able Healthcare
  • A & J Homecare Services, Inc.
  • Putnam Ridge
  • Sunshine Homecare Services
  • Vision Healthcare

To Attend:
No Appointment Necessary
Dress for success
Bring plenty updated resumes and 2 forms of ID

For More Information About This Event:
NAME:  Ms. Terrence Irving
EMAIL ADDRESS: terrence.irving@labor.ny.gov

PHONE: 914/737-3490, Ext. 327

Important Notice Regarding New York Pistol Permit Re-Certification

If your New York State Pistol Permit was issued before January 15, 2013, as per the NY SAFE Act, you MUST re-certify to New York State Police prior to January 31, 2018. If the issue date of your permit is after January 15, 2013 you must re-certify five years from said date of issue.

 Even if you didn’t receive a letter you must re-certify.

Please visit: https://www.troopers.ny.gov/Firearms/pistol_revolver_license_recertification.php

There you can re-certify online, download the hard copy form, access some frequently asked questions and check the status of your re-certification.

You can re-certify online or in Paper form. To re-certify, the license holder must provide:

  • Some basic identifying information (name, address, pistol permit number, date of birth, ).
  • All handguns that they possess including handguns that are co-registered with another

If you wish to re-certify in paper format, we can provide you with a printout of your firearms information.

We strongly recommend that you complete the “opt out” section on the re-certification form. It is also a good time to check with us to make sure you have one on file here locally.

If the form is submitted electronically the permit holder will receive a receipt that can be printed out. If you choose to re-certify via the “hard copy” form, we strongly encourage you to mail the form to State Police using some trackable format (i.e. Certified Mail).

The responsibility of the permit holder will be fulfilled when the recertification form is submitted to the State Police. If you wish to check the status of your re-certification you may do so by visiting the website above.

According to the Law, the failure to re-certify within the prescribed period “shall act as a revocation of such license” which may result in the loss of all firearms including long arms.

Though you may disagree with re-certification, the best way to protect yourself legally is to just do it. The information that you are confirming and providing is information that the State Police and the Locality should already have.

If you have any questions, need a form, or any other information, please do not hesitate to visit our office or contact us and we will do our very best to assist you.

This is an extremely important issue. Please help us by sharing this information with  your fellow pistol permit holders throughout New York State!

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

Recycling Reaps Rewards:

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

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere. Dry cleaning bags and store “carry-out” sacks are made of it. Paper towels and 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. November 15 is America Recycles Day, and building on the success of last year’s “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest, the department is expanding it to three days in the same week.

On Tuesday, November 14; Thursday, November 16, and Friday, November 17—from 12 noon to 2 p.m. each day—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. Tuesday’s event will take place in Cold Spring at Foodtown, 49 Chestnut Street and Route 9D. The remaining two events will take place at Acme Markets: on Thursday in Mahopac at 149 Route 6, and Friday in Brewster at 1511 Route 22.

“Many people don’t know you can recycle these plastic film items,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell, “because curbside recycling does not include them. Instead they must be brought to a drop-off location, located in many of the larger stores we shop in every day. It’s the right thing to do—for yourself, your family and for your community.”

“The numbers of unrecycled plastic bags is staggering. Less than one percent are being recycled,” continues Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “It takes a bit of extra effort to start doing it, but it becomes routine. The positive impact on our environment would be immense if everyone would do their part and make the effort. We need to continue to bring awareness to this endeavor.”

The health department works 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 24 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 mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), 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 County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic coming November 11

Cats can receive low-cost spay and neutering services on Saturday, November 11, at the Fifth Annual Stray HELP Community Day. The event takes place from 12 noon to 4:30 pm at the Trinity Episcopal Church Parish House, 5 Elm Street in Fishkill.

As a special Veterans Day thank you, service men and women are offered an extra low price. For a $35, they can receive spay or neutering services for their cat, as well as vaccinations and even flea threat when needed. For further information visit: www.strayhelp.org

Odell to Host Meet and Greet with Danbury Mayor Boughton

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will hold an informal meet and greet with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton on Tuesday, November 14, at Tilly’s Table, located on Tilly Foster Farm, 100 Route 312 in Brewster, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Odell and her administration have been in talks with officials from Danbury to extend the Danbury sewer line into Southeast along the Route 6 corridor.

Attendees will be able to learn about the project from the Danbury mayor’s perspective.

All are welcome.

Walker appointed Assistant Secretary at U.S. Department of Energy Odell will not fill deputy position in 2018

CARMEL, NY – Bruce J. Walker has resigned as the Deputy County Executive of Putnam. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Walker, a Mahopac native who lives with his wife, Lisa and their children in Pawling, has been part of County Executive MaryEllen Odell’s administration since she took office on Nov. 11, 2011.

“Words cannot express my gratitude toward Bruce J. Walker for all that he has done for Putnam County. He is a wealth of knowledge and sensibility and he will be truly missed,” said Odell. “Bruce being confirmed as Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Energy is a testament to his skills and insight. The people of Putnam County were fortunate to have him for the past six years.”

Odell will not fill the vacant deputy county executive position in 2018.  “Just as many businesses continue to do more with less, I have decided that to leave the deputy county executive position vacant for 2018,” she said. “I have returned the $175,495 (from salary, benefits, pension and employer expenses) back to the taxpayers.”

As the Assistant Secretary, the focus of Walker’s responsibility will be to provide leadership on a national level to modernize the electric grid, enhance the security and reliability of the energy infrastructure and facilitate recovery from disruptions to the energy supply both domestically and internationally. This is critical to meeting the Nation’s growing demand for reliable electricity by overcoming the challenges of our Nation’s aging electricity transmission and distribution system and addressing the vulnerabilities in our energy supply chain.

PHOTO CAPTION: US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry swears in Bruce J. Walker, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Photo courtesy of Secretary Rick Perry’s Facebook page.