Heat Wave in Putnam County Predicted for Weekend

BREWSTER, NY— Summer is officially here and with it comes the possibility of soaring temperatures and high humidity. Staying cool and hydrated is the key to staying healthy and safe in a heat wave. A heat-related illness can affect anyone–even those who are young and physically fit, but those at highest risk are infants, young children and the elderly. During hot weather, especially when it lasts a few days or longer, outdoor activities are best done in the early morning or evening hours when it is coolest.

“Residents should be careful during any hot weather days. Watch out for your family. friends and neighbors, especially the elderly,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “During extreme heat events, we have cooling centers opened during the day for our residents.”

“A list of Putnam cooling center locations is posted online, along with the phone numbers you can call to check their hours of operation, “says Ken Clair, Commissioner of Emergency Services. The list is available at the NYS Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/.

Heat stroke, which is also sometimes called sun stroke, is the most dangerous type of heat-related illness. “Heat stroke actually causes several thousand deaths each year in the United States,” says Michael Nesheiwat, M.D., Commissioner of Health. “When a person’s body temperature goes over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, all sorts of very serious problems can occur, including damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately. The longer treatment is delayed the higher the risk of serious complications or death. Before help arrives, move the person to a cooler location, out of the sun or into air conditioning, and lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath.”

In addition to a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, symptoms of heat stroke include altered mental state or behavior, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing, racing heart or headache.

Heat exhaustion, although less severe than heat stroke, is another heat-related problem. Signs of this include cold, pale, clammy skin, dizziness, fainting, nausea, muscle cramps or headache.  “If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler location and apply cool water to lower your temperature. With heat exhaustion, drink sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour,” Dr. Nesheiwat advises.

Heat cramps or painful spasms in the legs and abdomen can also occur, but are less severe. If a person is on a low-sodium diet or has heart problems, seek medical attention right away. Otherwise, drink sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour. If cramps don’t go away within one hour, seek medical care.

Take the following precautions to avoid problems in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait to be thirsty to drink. Water is best because it replenishes your body’s natural fluids. Alcohol and very sugary drinks should be avoided because they dehydrate the body. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Apply it 30 minutes before going out because a sunburn will affect the body’s ability to cool down. Stay indoors in a cool or air-conditioned place as much as possible. Never leave a person or pet in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are open or you think it may be only for a few minutes.

For more information on heat-related illness during prolonged periods of extreme temperatures, call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390.

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/.

Putnam County

Always call before you go to make sure the cooling center is open.

  • Cold Spring Nutrition Site -American Legion Hall, Cedar St, Cold Spring, 10516, 845-265-3952
  • Hudson Valley Community Services, 46 Oscawana Lake Rd, Putnam Valley, 10579, 845-526-1923
  • Kent Town Hall, 40 Sybils Xing, Kent Lakes, 10512, 845-225-1606
  • Mahopac Library, 668 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-628-2009
  • Patterson Recreation Center, 65 Front St, Patterson, 12563, 845-878-7200
  • Philipstown Recreation Center, 107 Glenclyffe, Garrison, 10524, 845-424-4618
  • Putnam Valley Senior Center, 117 Town Park Lane, Putnam Valley, 10579, 845-808-1700
  • James Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave, Carmel, 10512, 845-225-2079
  • Temple Beth Shalom, 760 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-628-6133
  • William Koehler Memorial Senior Center, 180 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-808-1738

 

Please let us know if we can provide any additional information. Feel free to reach me by email, or phone at 845-808-1390.

Holiday heat wave predicted

Summer is officially here and with it comes the possibility of soaring temperatures and high humidity. Staying cool and hydrated is the key to staying healthy and safe in a heat wave. A heat-related illness can affect anyone–even those who are young and physically fit, but those at highest risk are infants, young children and the elderly. During hot weather, especially when it lasts a few days or longer, outdoor activities are best done in the early morning or evening hours when it is coolest.

“Residents should be careful during any hot weather days. Watch out for your family. friends and neighbors, especially the elderly,” says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “During extreme heat events, we have cooling centers opened during the day for our residents.”

“A list of Putnam cooling center locations is posted online, along with the phone numbers you can call to check their hours of operation, “says Ken Clair, Commissioner of Emergency Services. The list is available at the NYS Department of Health website at https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/.

Heat stroke, which is also sometimes called sun stroke, is the most dangerous type of heat-related illness. “Heat stroke actually causes several thousand deaths each year in the United States,” says Michael Nesheiwat, M.D., Commissioner of Health. “When a person’s body temperature goes over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, all sorts of very serious problems can occur, including damage to your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. If you suspect someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately. The longer treatment is delayed the higher the risk of serious complications or death. Before help arrives, move the person to a cooler location, out of the sun or into air conditioning, and lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath.”

In addition to a body temperature of 103 degrees or higher, symptoms of heat stroke include altered mental state or behavior, confusion, nausea, rapid breathing, racing heart or headache.

Heat exhaustion, although less severe than heat stroke, is another heat-related problem. Signs of this include cold, pale, clammy skin, dizziness, fainting, nausea, muscle cramps or headache.  “If you experience these symptoms, move to a cooler location and apply cool water to lower your temperature. With heat exhaustion, drink sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour,” Dr. Nesheiwat advises.

Heat cramps or painful spasms in the legs and abdomen can also occur, but are less severe. If a person is on a low-sodium diet or has heart problems, seek medical attention right away. Otherwise, drink sips of water every 15 minutes for one hour. If cramps don’t go away within one hour, seek medical care.

Take the following precautions to avoid problems in hot weather. Drink plenty of fluids and don’t wait to be thirsty to drink. Water is best because it replenishes your body’s natural fluids. Alcohol and very sugary drinks should be avoided because they dehydrate the body. Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Apply it 30 minutes before going out because a sunburn will affect the body’s ability to cool down. Stay indoors in a cool or air-conditioned place as much as possible. Never leave a person or pet in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are open or you think it may be only for a few minutes.

For more information on heat-related illness during prolonged periods of extreme temperatures, call the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390.

 

 

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/.

Putnam County

Always call before you go to make sure the cooling center is open.

  • Cold Spring Nutrition Site -American Legion Hall, Cedar St, Cold Spring, 10516, 845-265-3952
  • Hudson Valley Community Services, 46 Oscawana Lake Rd, Putnam Valley, 10579, 845-526-1923
  • Kent Town Hall, 40 Sybils Xing, Kent Lakes, 10512, 845-225-1606
  • Mahopac Library, 668 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-628-2009
  • Patterson Recreation Center, 65 Front St, Patterson, 12563, 845-878-7200
  • Philipstown Recreation Center, 107 Glenclyffe, Garrison, 10524, 845-424-4618
  • Putnam Valley Senior Center, 117 Town Park Lane, Putnam Valley, 10579, 845-808-1700
  • St. James Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave, Carmel, 10512, 845-225-2079
  • Temple Beth Shalom, 760 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-628-6133
  • William Koehler Memorial Senior Center, 180 Route 6, Mahopac, 10541, 845-808-1738

Health Department and Putnam Hospital Center Host Public Health Summit IX

Health Department and Putnam Hospital Center Host Public Health Summit IX;

Community Partners Collaborate in Planning

BREWSTER, NY— More than 80 representatives from 44 agencies gathered together at Putnam Hospital Center for Public Health Summit IX on June 19. The goal was to review data and brainstorm plans for improving community health. While community health data may not vary much year to year, community partners convene annually to evaluate community needs and plan for the future.

Putnam Hospital Center President Peter Kelly and Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Health Commissioner for Putnam County, welcomed attendees, each thanking them for their commitment to the community. “The summit is a time to reflect, plan and engage partners,” said Dr.  Nesheiwat, noting also that by partnering with our community organizations we are able to better recognize the shifting needs of our community and address these changes through both innovative and constructive ideas.

Michael Piazza, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Social Services, and the Youth Bureau, was also among the introductory speakers, describing the inspiring legacy of Judge Reitz, who passed away suddenly the previous week, leaving widespread shock and sadness among community members. He reminded attendees that like Judge Reitz, they too do work that enhances life in Putnam County and that their work has an even greater impact than they may ever know.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell is a longtime supporter of the summit. “We are one of the healthiest counties in New York State, and our county agencies and community groups work tirelessly to ensure this,” she said at the recent State of the County Address. “I am always particularly proud of the way the different sectors in Putnam maintain alliances and collaborate. In this way, we all are able to truly stay informed about resources and identify the gaps that need to be filled.”

Mental health received particular attention at this year’s summit. On display prior to its Putnam County viewing later that evening, was The New York Warrior Promise Wall, a photographic memorial honoring those New Yorkers who have served and died by suicide as a result of PTSD. At the conclusion of the summit, all three breakout groups recounted conversations on the intersection of mental health and community health, declaring that mental health is no longer an isolated field apart from physical well-being. In recent years, public health professionals have been focusing on comprehensive health promotion to address the overlap between mental health and physical illness.

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.

PCDOH Offers Free HIV Testing on June 27

1 in 7 people in the U.S. don’t know they have HIV    

BREWSTER, NY— According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1 in 7 people in the U.S. don’t know they have HIV. In 2017 there were over 2,500 new HIV diagnoses in New York State and 57 HIV or AIDS-related deaths in the Lower Hudson Valley alone. These statistics serve as reminders that HIV remains a public health challenge and the only way to know your HIV status is to get tested. National HIV Testing Day takes place each year on June 27— to encourage people of all ages to get tested. Early detection is critical and can lead to better treatment results and prevent transmission to others. This year the Putnam County Department of Health will again be offering free HIV testing on Thursday, June 27, at the main health department office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We can make dying of AIDS a thing of the past,”says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “If we make HIV testing a routine part of basic health care then you can start treatment earlier and it can help you live a longer, healthier life.”

“Untreated HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus, can affect anyone regardless of age, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or gender. It usually causes AIDS, often a fatal disease. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. In fact, nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who do not even know they have the virus,” says Putnam County Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “And while we know the burden of HIV is heaviest in NYC, 22% of New Yorkers with diagnosed HIV reside outside of the five boroughs.”

The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. For those with specific risk factors, the recommendation is to get tested at least once a year. In the U.S. there are 1.1 million people living with HIV, and of those, approximately 165,000 people are living with HIV but don’t know they have it. Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important. Treatment with antiretroviral therapy, known as ART, lowers the “viral load” which is the level of HIV in the blood. This reduces HIV-related illness, and lowers the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

Free HIV testing and counseling will be offered by the Putnam County Department of Health on June 27 with results ready in just 20 minutes. No appointments are necessary, and privacy and confidentiality are ensured. Free condoms, giveaways and educational information will be available. For those who are busy on June 27, or wish to be tested at a different time, the health department offers free testing throughout the year as well. The walk-in clinic hours are on Tuesdays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Other options include getting tested by a personal health care provider or at the federally qualified health center Open Door Brewster. For questions or concerns about scheduling a test, or for more information about HIV testing or HIV/AIDS education and 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. 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.

Rabies Remains Rare, but Deadly

Health Department Urges Residents to Vaccinate Pets

 BREWSTER, NY— Rabies is a viral disease that almost always leads to death, unless a vaccine is provided soon after exposure. Springtime is when wild baby animals are born and bats often return to the local area. While rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as raccoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, pets and livestock can also become sick with rabies. Current vaccination can protect pets if they are exposed to rabid animals. The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) hosts three pet vaccination clinics each year in March, July, and November. The next event will be held at Hubbard Lodge in Cold Spring on July 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

“We have been able to keep the number of human rabies cases extremely low due to the combination of companion animal vaccination programs like the one offered at the PCDOH and human rabies vaccine availability,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D.  “Remember, it is never a good idea to approach a wild or stray animal. An animal does not have to look sick to be infected and the only way to tell if an animal has rabies is to test their brain tissue,” continues Dr. Nesheiwat.

Rather than approaching a baby animal that seems to have been abandoned, residents are urged to leave the animal alone, or call a wildlife rehabilitator to see if the animal truly needs assistance. Children should be taught to avoid all wild and stray animals and to tell an adult if they have come in contact with an unfamiliar animal.

Bats remain the number one reason for rabies treatments. “If you find a bat in your home, it is important to capture it safely and contact the health department for an exposure assessment,” urges Dr. Nesheiwat. “A captured bat can be tested for rabies and if it is not infected you can avoid the two-week series of shots.” To safely capture a bat, watch the popular demo from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), available on the Putnam County website at https://www.putnamcountyny.com/how-to-capture-a-bat/ .

The Feral Cat Task Force is another program that helps to reduce the chance of spreading rabies. The Feral Cat Task Force has captured, neutered, vaccinated and returned 54 cats, and adopted or fostered 17 kittens so far in 2019. For people interested in volunteering or making a donation in support of this program, please contact the Health Department at 845-808-1390 ext. 43160.

All animal bites or contact with wild animals should be reported promptly to the PCDOH at 845-808-1390. After hours or on weekends/holidays report the incident by calling the department’s environmental health hotline at 845-808-1390 and press “3.” A representative will promptly return your call. If a family pet encounters a wild animal, avoid immediate handling of your pet, or use rubber gloves and call the health department. PCDOH personnel will facilitate testing wild animals for possible rabies after an incident involving human or pet contact.

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.

 

Tick Season Returns

Tick Season Returns | Personal Precautions Advised

BREWSTER, NY— More than a dozen tickborne illnesses have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, including five that infect residents in the Hudson Valley. While Lyme disease is the most common and the most well-known, anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis are increasing as well. Powassan disease, a rarer and potentially deadly infection, is also carried by the same black-legged tick, or “deer tick,” that transmits Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

“We treasure the natural splendor and lush landscape of Putnam County and encourage our residents and visitors to enjoy the parks and trails, and to take in the outdoor beauty of Putnam County. We also urge people to learn about and take precautions to prevent tick-borne illnesses,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

“Though tick populations vary each season, we know that reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses,” says Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “While the incidence of these diseases has been on the rise, the advice remains the same: Be vigilant about personal protection and make it a habit to check your clothing, your gear, and your body for ticks.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents such as those containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE). “People frequently spending time in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas should consider treating clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin,” adds Dr. Nesheiwat. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear and remains protective through several washings. Alternatively, you can buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear. To find the repellent that is right for you, search the Environmental Protection Agency database https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you.

The Putnam County Department of Health works closely with healthcare providers to share the most up-to-date recommendations and best practices for diagnosing and reporting tickborne illnesses. A physician makes the final diagnosis based on a combination of available tests, observation of the patient, and the patient history and description of symptoms.

The most common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever/chills, aches and pains, and a bulls-eye rash. Due to the prevalence of Lyme disease in this area, residents who have been bitten by a tick and develop any of these symptoms within 30 days should visit their healthcare provider. Providers will evaluate symptoms and order diagnostic tests if indicated. For more details regarding the symptoms and guidelines for other tickborne illnesses, visit the CDC’s webpage https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/symptoms.html.

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.

“4Mind4Body” Highlights the Two Parts of Health

Mental Health Awareness Month Marks 70 Years

BREWSTER, NY— Most people still think mental health issues are uncommon. The truth is quite the opposite: One in five people are estimated to have a mental health condition and that is why promoting mental health and well-being is a key priority of Putnam’s Community Health Improvement Plan, often referred to as “the CHIP.” This May, the Putnam County Department of Health is promoting the national theme of “4Mind4Body,” and marking 70 years of Mental Health Awareness Months, started by the national organization Mental Health America (MHA). Their initial goal in 1909, and still going strong today, is to raise awareness about mental health conditions and the importance of good mental health for everyone.

“Mental health touches all of us,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “If we have not directly experienced a mental health problem ourselves, we likely know someone close to us who has, either a family member or close friend. Our community is fortunate to have many resources here in Putnam. These organizations work together tirelessly providing an array of services. Help is available.”

“Mental health cannot be separated from physical health—the two are intimately intertwined,” explained Health Commissioner Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “And it works both ways: A healthy lifestyle can prevent, delay or alleviate mental health conditions, while chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes impact and have a mental health component.”

The theme “4Mind4Body” focuses on this, bringing awareness to many aspects of a lifestyle that can positively impact mental and physical health such as recreation and fitness, work-life balance, animal companionship, social connection, religion and spirituality.

Adapting to an increasingly digital world, Mental Health America offers a set of quick and easy online mental health screenings that provide in-home convenience and anonymity. For some this is a good first step. Others may prefer to speak with their personal health care providers, or to call the Mental Health Association in Putnam for a referral at 845-278-7600.

The online screenings for depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, biopolar, psychosis, and addiction are available at www.screening.mentalhealthamerica.net/screening-tools. These are complemented by a screening that parents can take if they have concerns about their child, a screening for youth who want to assess themselves, and a work health survey that helps measure the stresses one may be experiencing at work.

CoveCare Center, one of the largest providers of mental health services in Putnam County, recently formed an affiliation with the Mental Health Association in Putnam. CoveCare Center supports the work of MHA in Putnam while also providing compassionate and confidential prevention and treatment services for mental health, substance use, and emotional and social challenges. CoveCare Center can be reached at 845-225-2700.  The Mental Health Association continues its vital work in the areas of peer support, community education and outreach, with an emphasis on suicide prevention and veterans. In the case of a crisis, individuals should call the local Putnam County Crisis Line at 845-225-1222, or 911.

Other Putnam organizations and agency-based groups leading the work together on the CHIP with the health department include the Putnam affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), which recently hosted its sixth annual fundraising walk against the stigma of mental illness; the Putnam County Suicide Prevention Task Force; the Child Advocacy Center; the Mental Health/Substance Use Providers Coalition; the Putnam County Department of Social Services, Mental Health and the Youth Bureau; Putnam Hospital Center; and the Veterans Service Agency. A full list of community partners working on the mental health priority is published in the CHIP report, accessible online from the health department’s home page.

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 reach me by email, or phone at 845-808-1390.

Free Hepatitis C Testing at PCDOH on May 20

CDC Recommends One-time Testing for All Baby Boomers

BREWSTER, NY—The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is offering free hepatitis C testing in recognition of National Hepatitis C Testing Day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hepatitis C causes more deaths among Americans than any other infectious disease. Free testing, especially targeted to New York State baby boomers, will take place on Monday, May 20. Anyone can get “Hep C,” but those born from 1945 through 1965 are five times more likely to be infected with the virus. Testing starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. at the main health department office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster. No appointment is necessary and results are ready in 20 minutes.

“You can have Hep C infection without knowing it, says County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “And this free test can be the first step to getting lifesaving care and treatment.”

“Hep C can live in your body for decades without producing any symptoms and the longer someone lives with the untreated infection, the more likely they are to develop life-threatening liver disease,” says Health Commissioner, Michael J. Nesheiwat, M.D. “Seventy-five percent of people living with Hepatitis C were born from 1945 to 1965. This is why U.S. health officials have come together to recommend a one-time test for all baby boomers, regardless of risk factors.”

Hepatitis C is primarily spread through contact with infected blood. Baby boomers may have gotten infected from contaminated blood and blood products before routine screening started in 1992. Others may have become infected from injecting drugs, even if they did it only once in the past. Many baby boomers don’t know how or when they were infected.

There are 2.4 million Americans living with hepatitis C and most people don’t have symptoms until the later stages of the infection. When left untreated, Hepatitis C can cause liver failure, cirrhosis and cancer. There is no vaccine to prevent Hepatitis C. Getting tested is the best way to know if an infection exists and then treatment can be started as soon as possible. For many, treatment can cure Hepatitis C.

Residents who are unable to make the Free Testing Day on May 20, can call the health department at 845-808-1390 for information about other free testing opportunities.

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 Susan Hoffner with any questions at 845-808-1390.

Thirteenth Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held – New Expo with Food Industry Vendors Helps Draw Record Crowd

Brewster, NY— A record crowd of nearly 200 attendees—chefs, caterers, owners, food establishment operators and other food industry representatives—were in attendance for the Thirteenth Annual Food Operator’s Seminar and Expo on April 23. For the first time, the event featured an expo with food industry vendors, displaying their products and services. The jam-packed event offered a “one-stop” opportunity for food operators to learn about the latest dining trends, enhance their business skills, and improve their bottom line. At the same time they were able to visit with vendors, see products first-hand and learn about the latest services available to make their facilities run as smoothly as possible.

“This event surpassed all expectations,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, the Commissioner of Health. “We work year round with all our food operators, with this event we advanced those efforts to a higher level. Public health is about building community partnerships—it is fundamental to the way an accredited health department operates. As our public health sanitarian Shawn Rogan who oversees the PCDOH’s food industry program has said many times, ‘When our restaurants succeed, we all benefit,’ and I certainly agree.”

Shawn Rogan, who together with event coordinator Jane Meunier, oversees the Food Operators Seminar and Expo, thanked his colleagues for their ongoing success in changing Putnam’s food-licensing culture from one historically viewed as regulatory, to a more supportive relationship in which the goal is improving quality and problem solving.  “We have more in common with food operators than you might think. We are both service-based operations,” said Mr. Rogan. “This event helps us strengthen our working relationships and it is our residents who ultimately benefit.”

Vendors were not the only newcomers to the event. Public health professionals from health departments in the surrounding counties of Westchester, Orange and Dutchess County also attended. They were interested to see how the event was planned and to study how they might coordinate a similar event in their own county.

The event also offers an opportunity for the health department to recognize food establishments for lifetime achievement, distinguished performance and operational success in the past year. Health Inspectors Commendation Awards went to George Seitz at the Arch Restaurant and another to David Humphreys of Wandering Dave’s Fork in the Road, both in Brewster in the Town of Southeast.

The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Joseph Iebba, from Nicola’s Italian Restaurant in Philipstown. The department’s highest and most stringent honor, the Commissioner’s Gold Award for operational excellence was presented to James and Patricia Turco who own and operate the Ice Cream Studio in Lake Carmel, Town of Kent.

Commissioner’s Gold Awards also were awarded to Patrick Rodia from the Carmel Central School District and Cathy Ashe from the Brewster Central School District. These awards recognized nine specific schools. Food service director at Mahopac High School Rob Campisi, from Aramark, won for the first time. The remaining eight were repeat winners: Matthew Paterson School, ten times; John F. Kennedy Elementary School, eight times; Kent Primary School, seven times; and George Fischer Middle School, 6 times. Carmel High School and Kent Elementary School both won for the fifth time. Brewster High School brought home the gold for the fourth time and Henry H. Wells Middle School won gold for the third time.

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.

Community Health Survey: You Talk, We Listen Department of Health and Putnam Hospital Request Public Input

BREWSTER, NY— The Putnam County Department of Health and Putnam Hospital Center  are asking residents to complete a brief community health survey known as the “community asset survey.” Residents are being asked what they think are the greatest strengths of the community and where the gaps exist so resources can be directed adequately to develop a healthier community. Over 200 people have expressed their views, but everyone who lives or works in Putnam County is encouraged to voice their opinions.

“Community health improvement is most successful when it is driven by direct community input” explains Commissioner of Health Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD. “This is why we encourage all community members to participate.” The health department and Putnam Hospital Center collaborate with public health partners to analyze resident feedback alongside an array of socio-economic factors. The result is an accurate community health assessment and subsequent Community Health Improvement Plan.

From start to finish, the survey has five, easy-to-answer questions that can be completed in five to ten minutes. Utilizing a wide-ranging list, the survey asks respondents to identify the county’s greatest strengths as well as to help pinpoint where the county should focus improvement efforts.  Dr. Nesheiwat reminds, “Community health is not defined by medical diagnoses alone. Crime levels, clean environment and transportation access all contribute to the overall health of a community.”

The quick and anonymous survey is on the homepage of the Putnam County website at www.putnamcountyny.com and will run until May 31. The direct link is: https://tinyurl.com/Community-Asset-Survey-2019. Putnam County businesses and other organizations that wish to ensure their employees’ opinions are counted can contact the health department at 845-808-1390 or are encouraged to email the survey link directly to their employees.

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.