Camp Operators Attend Health Department Safety Seminar; Kent Lakes Physician Discusses Wilderness Medicine

Camp Operators Attend Health Department Safety Seminar;
Kent Lakes Physician Discusses Wilderness Medicine

Brewster, NY—Lightning strikes, severe allergic reactions, swimming accidents and near drownings…these were just some of the topics covered in this year’s Camp Operator’s Seminar conducted by the Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH). The free training, held on Tuesday, April 5, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., brought together health and safety experts, including guest speaker Ray Phillips, M.D., an attending physician at Westchester Medical Center and a member of the Putnam County Board of Health. Dr. Phillips, a Kent Lakes resident, is an expert in wilderness medicine and has travelled the globe from Honduras to Egypt, teaching medical students and providing health care.
“This annual event is voluntary for our camp operators in Putnam County,” says Associate Public Health Sanitarian Marianne Burdick, MPH, who oversees camp operations. “We provide current information about the issues that camp operators need to address—everything from the wilderness issues Dr. Phillips talked about to new camp code regulations and amendments. Once again we had great participation with 34 operators from 23 camps participating, showing just how seriously they take the safety of our campers.”
Bob Cuomo, director of emergency services for Putnam County, followed Dr. Phillips with an overview of the use of the “epi-pen” for people who have severe allergies. Public health sanitarians Mike Luke and Lisa Seymour discussed the hot topics of mosquito and tick control and rabies

awareness, as well as the mandatory issues about camp regulations. Public health nurse Jeanette Baldanza covered communicable diseases and other medical concerns.Camp operators are not only concerned about the health and safety of their campers, but also of their counselors, and health educator Alexa Contreras provided the latest statistics and information on rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases in Putnam 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, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.