New Year’s Resolution—Free Smoking Cessation Program Begins January 8

Brewster, NY– The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is encouraging residents who smoke to begin their journey toward a smoke-free life.  Quitting smoking isn’t easy and the PCDOH is supporting residents with an evidence-based approach to kicking the habit.

By offering residents a free smoking cessation program, with a group “Quit Day”, residents can make a new year’s resolution that could save their lives. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 38 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world.

The eight-week Freedom From Smoking (FFS) program starts January 8, and continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 12:30 p.m., at the health department’s main office at 1 Geneva Road, Brewster. Each session lasts 45 minutes. The last class is on February 28.

The group leader is a FFS/American Lung Association-certified facilitator from the health department. The sessions start with discussions and guidance for preparing and planning to quit. Each person’s experience with quitting smoking is different. The Freedom From Smoking program uses proven activities and tools to help participants understand their own relationship with tobacco—and how to have a smoke-free life. Nicotine replacement products (NRT) such as the patch and gum will be available, also for free, while supplies last. Using NRT is encouraged, and will be discussed in detail as part of the program, but it is not required.

Widely regarded as the gold standard in quit-smoking programs, the FFS program was created by the American Lung Association, an organization with more than 50 years of experience helping smokers quit. Some smokers feel hopeless after unsuccessful attempts at quitting. The FFS Program recognizes these feelings are part of the journey to become a non-smoker and stresses the fact that most successful quitters have failed at it before. The program empowers participants to create their own path to success by instilling strategies for managing stress, avoiding weight gain and staying active during their quit, and after.

“There are health benefits to quitting no matter your age or the length of time you have been a smoker,” says interim Commissioner of Health Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, from the PCDOH.  Dr. Nesheiwat emphasizes that quitting tobacco today means something different than it did ten years ago. “Whether you are a longtime smoker or you have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes or another tobacco product, this could be your time to successfully avoid tobacco altogether.” Combustible tobacco products kill seven million people worldwide each year.

Pre-registration is required, as group size is limited. More information on the program can be found online at www.freedomfromsmoking.org. For more information or to pre-register, contact the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43155.

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.

Last Chance Public Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Clinic

Celebrating National Influenza Vaccination Week, the Putnam County Department of Health will be offering a Last Chance Flu Vaccine Clinic for anyone who lives or works in New York State ages 18 years and older on Tuesday, December 4 from 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Health Department’s main office, 1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY. Cost is $25 (cash or check only). Free to those with a Medicare Card. For more information or for weather-related updates, call the Flu Hotline at (845) 808-1390.

Additional Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Day Scheduled for Saturday, Dec 1

BREWSTER, NY—Putnam County will hold a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-Off Day for Putnam County residents on Saturday, December 1. The Putnam County Department of Health and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are co-sponsoring the FREE event, scheduled from 9 am to 12 noon (rain or shine) at Fahnestock State Park, Canopus Beach Parking Lot on Route 301 in Kent, NY. Pre-registration is required.

Improper storage or disposal of hazardous waste poses a health risk to residents and their families. For this reason, the HHW Drop-Off Day event continues to be maintained in the budget by County Executive MaryEllen Odell as an opportunity for Putnam residents to safely dispose of certain toxic materials.

The health of the community is paramount and all waste brought to the event is subject to inspection. Residents bringing in items that are deemed to present a threat to residents, workers or the environment may be held responsible for the costs of any additional safety measures taken.

Items accepted include household products that can typically be purchased in a hardware, grocery or big box store, including cleaners, pesticides, herbicides, oil-based paint (not latex), solvents, thinners, mothballs, rodent poisons, gasoline, kerosene and small propane tanks (up to 20 pound size). For a more complete list of acceptable items, see “Special Wastes” under “Recycling” on the Green Putnam webpage at https://www.putnamcountyny.com/green-putnam/.

Disposal items must be labeled and identifiable to be accepted. Items not accepted include: water-based paints (latex/acrylic), used motor oil, lead-acid batteries, plastic bags, household alkaline batteries, tires, or electronic waste. Materials that are of commercial or industrial type or quantity will not be accepted.  Items packed into garbage or lawn bags will also not be accepted. Latex paints can be discarded by routine means, after they have been dried out.

Call early to reserve a spot. For questions or to pre-register, contact the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390 or register by emailing your three preferred times (every 15 minutes beginning at 9 a.m.) along with your town of residence to PutnamHealth@putnamcountyny.gov. You will be sent an email with directions in order to confirm your registration. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 2 business days, please call the above number.

For information regarding electronic waste disposal, call your local town. Please note that household hazardous waste items are not accepted at the town electronic waste drop-off locations.

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.

Recycling Reaps Rewards; Third Annual America Recycles Day Contest Scheduled for Nov. 15

BREWSTER, NY— Plastic film is everywhere: Store “carry-out” bags are made of it and paper towels come wrapped in it. Unfortunately most of it is not recycled, but the Putnam County Department of Health is trying to change that. Thursday, November 15 is America Recycles Day, and the health department is holding its Third Annual “Caught-in-the-Act” Contest that day and the following day, Friday, November 16.

On both days, the recycling coordinator from the health department will be looking for residents who recycle plastic film and rewarding them with a free reusable shopping bag, and social media recognition for their efforts. Thursday’s event will take place in the morning at Acme in Mahopac, 149 Route 6, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and then from 2 to 4 p.m. in Brewster at DeCicco & Sons, 15 Independent Way at the intersection of Route 312 and Interstate 84. On Friday, the event will end with a morning session in Cold Spring at Food Town, 49 Chestnut Street and Route 9D.

“Plastic film is an environmental hazard, and an eyesore when found scattered along the roadside in our beautiful county,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Many people don’t know it can be recycled because it is not collected from your home. Instead, plastic film must be dropped off. Many of the larger stores we shop in every day are required to collect it. It’s the right thing to do, for your family and for your community.”

“The number of plastic bags that people use is staggering and less than one percent are recycled,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “The positive impact on the environment would be immense if everyone would make the effort to start and it then becomes routine.”

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, Acme in Mahopac, 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.

Tobacco 21 is Now Law; Smoking and Vaping Regulation Aims to Protect Youth

BREWSTER, NY It has been a long road, but Tobacco 21 is finally law in Putnam County. The new legislation, which goes into effect early in 2019, makes it illegal to sell tobacco, nicotine and vaping products to anyone under the age of 21. Previously the legal age to buy these products had been 18. Putnam County joins 24 other New York State municipalities that have enacted Tobacco 21 laws.

            County Executive MaryEllen Odell signed the bill into law earlier this week. She thanked the legislators for coming together on this issue, saying, “The health and safety of our young people has prevailed. It may have taken some compromising, but this is the right thing to do. Vaping is a significant problem in our schools. It has serious health consequences, and unfortunately many youth think otherwise.”

            Debate on the bill, spearheaded by Garrison resident and County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, heated up last summer. The measure passed from the Health, Social, Educational and Environmental Committee, which Legislator Scuccimarra chairs. Lawmakers heard from numerous experts, as they spoke about both the health and business factors involved in the issue. Representatives from health advocacy groups including The American Cancer Society and POW’R Against Tobacco, offered not only evidence on the health risks of smoking tobacco at a young age, but also on the epidemic of teenagers who try and continue to vape. The business perspective was presented by the retailers’ trade organization the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

A number of local Putnam County agencies and organizations have been battling the war on tobacco and other addictions on many fronts. The One Army in the War on Addiction Task Force, chaired by Legislator Scuccimarra, brings together representatives from the County Executive’s Office, the Sheriff’s Department, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Services and Mental Health, and the District Attorney’s Office. Represented community organizations include The Prevention Council of Putnam, the Putnam Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition, Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, and CoveCare Center, as well as other provider organizations that tackle the addiction crisis daily.

At the recent Public Health Summit, research was presented by Kristin McConnell, director of The Prevention Council, which for many years has spearheaded local research and provides education on all forms of addiction. Ms. McConnell showed an alarming picture of Putnam County’s youth vaping numbers, which are double the national averages. The percentage of Putnam County tenth graders who used e-cigarettes (vaping) in the past 30 days is 27.3 percent, compared to the national average of 13.1 percent. For twelfth graders the national average is 16.6 percent and Putnam’s is at 33.8 percent. Another concern of The Prevention Council from their data is that 5.8 percent of teen e-cigarette users report using marijuana in the vaping devices, while 66 percent think the device, as purchased, holds just flavoring.

“That’s why this legislation is so important,” says Interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “We had been winning the battle against teen smoking until vaping came along. This is a very sad story. People think vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes. The truth is that it is far from harmless. One of the inhaled chemicals, particularly in the flavored variety, has been linked to what is commonly called ‘popcorn lung.’ There is also ample research showing that among youth, vaping leads to a switch to tobacco cigarettes later on.”

When the bill came to a full legislative vote back in early September, it hit a bump as lawmakers voted 6 to 3 to table the measure. Among them was the Legislature Chairman Joseph Castellano, who explained that while he had been undecided, he was moving toward favoring the bill, saying, “I have teenage daughters myself so I can see value in raising the age. We need to work out the issues so we can get this on the books.”

Work it out they did: in early October Tobacco 21 passed with a solid 6 to 3 vote.

The Putnam County Department of Health, which currently conducts “compliance checks” to ensure that retailers are not selling tobacco to minors under age 18, is initiating a campaign to educate retailers and the public about the new law.

“We have approximately two months to get all establishments up to speed on this new law,” says Dr. Nesheiwat. “It’s a large undertaking, but it’s what we do—protecting the public’s health. It’s for the best—and now it’s the law.”

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.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. If you need further help, contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Public Health Summit VIII Draws Crowd to PHC

Collecting Data Begins with “Forces of Change” Assessment

BREWSTER, NY— More than 85 public health partners from nearly four dozen community agencies convened at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) on Thursday, October 18, for the eighth annual public health summit. This year for the first time, a broad effort was made to invite public participation through social media and nearly 20 Putnam residents were also in attendance. Organized by the Putnam County Department of Health with support from Putnam Hospital Center, the event kicked off the data collection process for formulating the next community health improvement plan, known as the “CHIP.”

County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Putnam Hospital Center President Peter Kelly, interim Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat, MD, Commissioner Michael Piazza and Deputy Commissioner Joseph DeMarzo of the Department of Social Services and Mental Health, and County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, chairperson for the Health, Social, Educational and Environmental committee, were among the community leaders in attendance.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell thanked Putnam Hospital Center for its support, saying “This hospital is the heart and soul of our community. Many of us were born here, and had children here. Many also say their final farewells here.” She went on to applaud the hospital’s efforts during the last storm event, when 90 percent of the county was out of power. “All roads led to this center. It was a critical point in getting our county through the crisis,” continued County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

Dr. Nesheiwat welcomed and thanked the attendees, saying “Today’s program examines the ‘forces of change’ that are at work in our community. Your participation plays an instrumental role not only in planning ways to improve population health, but also in the strategic planning for the health department.”

Stephanie Marquesano opened the morning session of presentations by community partners. She is founder and president of the harris project, a unique nonprofit organization committed to co-occurring disorders (COD), a diagnosis of one or more mental health challenges together with substance misuse. She launched the organization after her 19-year-old son Harris died of an accidental overdose, after struggling with COD in a public health system that lacks the cohesiveness to properly address these dual conditions.

The significance of this fractured health care system and the challenges communities face when trying to fix it was described by presenter Ashley Brody, MPA, chief executive officer of Search for Change. His organization, which has received funding and licensure from the NYS Office of Mental Health for over 40 years, has been on the front lines of providing housing and other support for individuals who are faced with emotional, social and economic barriers. He pointed to their historical “abstinence only” orientation to substance use disorders, and the slow, uneven progress toward harm reduction and other alternate approaches. To transform to a more people-oriented care approach, the first step is to recognize that co-occurring issues and conditions are the norm—not the exception, and that recovery occurs through adequately supported, individualized and concurrent, skill-based learning for all conditions.

Other partner updates came from Kristin McConnell, director of the Prevention Council of Putnam, a local substance abuse prevention provider, who spoke about the history, implications and lessons learned regarding the Tobacco 21 Legislation. The legislation limits sales of tobacco products to individuals under 21 years of age, and includes electronic nicotine delivery systems products, commonly known as “vapes.”  Sarena Chisick, community health educator at the hospital, presented on the recent Falls Prevention Expo at PHC and the ongoing efforts of the Falls Prevention Task Force, created to focus on the latest CHIP priority of reducing injuries caused by falls.

The “forces of change” assessment that followed was a fast-moving discussion on a variety of factors including social, economic, political, technological, scientific, ethical, legal and environmental that may affect the county and the country at large. Political trends were more in the spotlight this year with audience members mentioning the possible dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), potential legalization of marijuana for recreational use and the weakened regulation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other social and scientific or technical trends that were named included the continued prevalence of sexual and domestic violence, the dramatically rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases, increase and prevalence of cancer, and growing number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Identified trends were all discussed in terms of threats and opportunities for change. A full report of the Forces of Change assessment will be drafted and posted on the health department’s 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.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Calling All Cat Lovers: The Feral Cat Taskforce Needs Volunteers

Brewster, NY—The Feral Cat Taskforce is looking for new volunteers. The organization traps, neuters, vaccinates and releases feral cats in Putnam County. The ultimate goal is to decrease the number of feral cats over time to reduce the risk of rabies. These cats may carry this deadly virus that attacks the nervous system. The taskforce, which began in 2012, operates today through the joint efforts of volunteers from Putnam AdvoCATS, area veterinarians, and the Putnam County Department of Health. Since its beginning the group has successfully trapped, neutered and released over 840 cats. Of these, approximately 160 cats have been adopted.

“Feral cats present a serious risk of exposure to the rabies virus,” says Marianne Burdick, MPH, Supervising Public Health Sanitarian, who oversees the rabies program at the Putnam County Department of Health. “That’s because people are more likely to feed or care for a stray or feral cat, than to feed a wild animal such as a raccoon, skunk or fox, which are also known to carry the disease. Bats however still remain the number-one reason for potential exposure. Our volunteers from Putnam AdvoCATS and our area veterinarians have been instrumental in making the taskforce a success and we are grateful for their work.”

Feral cats do not have owners or may be strays that have been abandoned or lost. The Trap-Neuter-Return concept is a humane and effective approach used for decades in the U.S. after being proven in Europe. Scientific studies show this practice improves the lives of feral cats, betters their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time.

Volunteers for the Feral Cat Taskforce do not need any prior experience. They receive training to equip them to assist in compassionately trapping the animals. Veterinarians are also welcomed to join the program as well. The costs of the vaccine and neutering are covered by the Putnam County Department of Health and the PutnamAdvoCATS. For more information or to become a volunteer, contact PutnamAdvoCATS online at www.facebook.com/PutnamAdvoCATS or call the health department at 845-808-1390.

Residents with cats, as well dogs and ferrets, may take advantage the health department’s free rabies vaccination clinics. The department partners with area veterinarians to hold three rabies vaccination clinics each year in March, July and November. The next one is scheduled for November 3 at Brook Farm Veterinary Center   in Patterson from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call the health department or visit the PCDOH at www.facebook.com/PutnamHealth.

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 at www.facebook.com/PutnamHealth and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY

Reducing Mental Health Stigma is Priority for Putnam

Brewster, NY—  When Putnam County  residents were asked about the most important health priorities, mental health was a top concern—specifically reducing depression, anxiety and stress.  These local concerns are reflective of the current health trends. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.  To encourage those at risk to seek treatment, reducing stigma is the first step. Mental health advocates locally and nationally are increasing awareness of the stigma that surrounds mental illness. The designation of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the first week of October, aims to support advocacy initiatives that fight stigma surrounding mental illness, educate the public and provide support to Americans faced with the realities of living with a mental health condition.

MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive, urges all residents of Putnam County to get involved. “Mental illness is more common than most people think. Someone you know may not seek healthcare because they are concerned about what people think,” County Executive Odell says. “The responsibility of reducing stigma falls on our entire community— we must come together and raise awareness about mental illness.”

One in five adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness in any given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Yet nearly 50% of youth aged 8-15 and almost 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive mental health services in the previous year. The shame, fear and silence that stem from the stigma surrounding mental illness often prevent people from seeking treatment. “When you realize that those facing mental illness may be too ashamed to ask for help, then we must take a step back to see the bigger picture. As with any other disease, education and prompt, quality treatment are key components in reducing death. And it all begins with communication,” says interim Commissioner of Health Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, from the Putnam County Department of Health.

Megan Castellano, executive director of The Mental Health Association in Putnam County says, “Mental health is a public health issue, an important conversation that we all need to have about connecting people in need to support.  When you empower people with facts, information and resources, they can make decisions about the treatment options that are best for them and then they can begin, or continue, their recovery journey.  Most importantly, to let them know that they are not alone and that recovery is possible.”

This year, NAMI’s awareness week campaign aims to encourage people to speak up about mental illness. “Mental illness does not discriminate. We must remember that just like asthma, diabetes or any other chronic disease, mental illness cannot be cured by simply wishing it away. By bringing to light the existing stigma against those facing mental illness, the #CureStigma campaign invites people to replace their judgments and insensitivities with compassion and awareness so that those who need help feel free to get it,” says Ed Murphy from NAMI’s Putnam County chapter.

One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and while diagnosing mental illness in children can be complicated, pediatricians encourage parents to address mental health concerns as soon as they arise. “Speaking up on behalf of people impacted by mental illness may not be easy, but by sharing stories we have the power to spread hope and inspire others to cure stigma,” adds Ed Murphy. By using the hashtag #CureStigma and promoting an online assessment tool, NAMI is encouraging more empathetic dialogue about mental health conditions.

For resources on mental health services in Putnam County visit The Mental Health Association at http://www.mhaputnam.org/index.html or NAMI at https://namiputnam.org/. To learn more about #CureStigma visit https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Mental-Illness-Awareness-Week. If you are someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or is in need of immediate mental health support, contact the Putnam County Mental Illness Crisis hotline at 845-225-1222.

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.

Public Health Summit VIII Scheduled for October 18; Public Invited to Attend

Brewster, NY- The Putnam County Department of Health and its community partners have set the date of October 18 for Public Health Summit VIII. The event is held annually to gather together community organizations to focus on local public health concerns, and to help strategize and plan on how best to address these issues. This year residents are being encouraged to take part in the event at Putnam Hospital Center, which co-sponsors the half-day of activities with the health department. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. with check-in and ends at 1 p.m.

“The summit is instrumental in bringing together not only our county agencies, but also community-based organizations that work to preserve and improve the health of our residents,” says MaryEllen Odell, County Executive. The summit also provides a forum for the health department to share valuable information and data with its partners about Putnam-specific health problems. Past summits have focused on health disparities, substance abuse issues and chronic disease prevention programs, among other Putnam challenges.

“Residents have always been welcome at the public health summits,” says interim Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D. “This year we are reaching out more proactively, inviting interested residents to attend to learn and help us strategize about public health solutions. This work helps us plan our CHIP,” Dr. Nesheiwat continues, referring to Community Health Improvement Plan, required of all health departments in New York State.

On the agenda this year is an in-depth look at the “Forces of Change” in Putnam County through the use of a “best-practice” assessment tool that guides users to question the external influences and trends that can affect the local public health system. Influences may be economic, environmental, legal/political, social, medical, technical, scientific or ethical. This assessment has been used by since 2013, when it was first implemented by Putnam County Department of Health during its successful quest for national accreditation.

For more information or to register for the summit, click here: Putnam County Public Health Summit.

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.

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Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to contact our Public Information Officer Barbara Ilardi with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Get your flu forms here!

Flu season has started. To be vaccinated by health department staff, a signed consent form is needed. To download the correct form, click here Flu Vaccine Immunization page. Forms for the public flu clinic appear at the top; forms for school-school based clinics are below. Scroll down and find your school in the schedule listing. Currently, three public flu clinics and 20 school-based flu clinics have been scheduled for this flu season.