Services for the Honorable James F. Reitz are scheduled for Tuesday June 18, 2019

Services for the Honorable James F. Reitz are scheduled for Tuesday June 18, 2019 @ 10:30 AM at St James the Apostle in Carmel-Parking Limited

A mass of Christian burial for the Honorable James F. Reitz will be celebrated at 10:30 am Tuesday June 18, 2019 at the St. James the Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave, Carmel NY. All attending are asked to park at:
Paladin Center
39 Seminary Hill Rd
Carmel NY

Carmel ShopRite Plaza
184 Rt 52
Carmel NY

Putnam County will be providing shuttle service to and from the church

The passing of the Honorable James F. Reitz, Putnam County Court Judge

Today, Putnam County lost a respected leader. Our friend and colleague the Honorable James F Reitz passed away after suffering a medical emergency in the Putnam County Courthouse. Despite heroic efforts by court officers, police, EMS, fire personnel and Emergency Department, Judge Reitz died at Putnam Hospital Center.

“It hard to put into words the emotions with the passing of my lifelong friend Jim. Jim was always the person I turned to for support in good times and bad times and his advice was honest and from the heart”, said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell “He was a pillar of this community and his everlasting impact cannot be measured. My heart is heavy, and I know the entire community mourns this tragic loss.  I have lost a dear friend, and Putnam County has lost a dedicated public servant”.

Judge Reitz was a lifelong Putnam County resident graduating from Carmel High School. Judge Reitz attended Mercy College graduating in 1986 and received his J.D. from the Thomas M Cooley Law School in 1989. Judge Reitz married the love of his life Barbara and resided in Mahopac NY. His love of serving the people was only surpassed by his love for his children and grandchildren which provided him with many hours of well-deserved bragging rights.

Judge Reitz was active in community service and volunteering, giving of himself to many organizations, most notably a long time Carmel Rotarian who epitomized Service Above Oneself. Judge Reitz was an outspoken advocate for addiction recovery and second chances which is why he was a pioneer for his beloved Drug Treatment Court. His program was instrumental in saving countless lives and families in Putnam County.

Judge Reitz always held Putnam County dear and focused his career on serving the people starting as a Carmel Town Court Justice in 1996 then becoming a multi-bench judge of the Putnam County Court in 2007. Judge Reitz has also served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice.

Visiting Hours will be Monday June 17, 2019 from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the Putnam County Training & Operations Center, 112 Old Route 6, Carmel NY. A mass will be celebrated on Tuesday June 18, 2019 at 10:30 AM at St James the Apostle Church, 14 Gleneida Ave Carmel NY

Full Volume Test for Indian Point Sirens Set for Tuesday, June 18th, 2019, at 6:00 PM

Entergy is conducting a full-volume test of the Indian Point siren system in Westchester, Rockland, Orange and Putnam counties on Tuesday, June 18th at approximately 6:00 PM.
During the test the sirens will sound for four minutes. WHUD Radio (100.7 FM) will test the Emergency Alert System immediately following the siren test.

County officials will use the siren system to alert the public during an emergency at Indian Point. A sample of the Siren Sounds can be found at our website. www.putnamcountyny.com/pcbes/oem/indian-point/
In an actual emergency, all the sirens would sound at full volume for four minutes. Sirens are not a signal to evacuate; but to alert the public to tune to their local Emergency Alert System (EAS) radio or TV station for important information. The EAS stations are listed in the booklet “Are you Ready ? Putnam County Indian Point: Emergency Guide,” which was distributed, as well as available online.

 

 

County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti to swear in New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremony June 26, 2019

Putnam County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti will host a Naturalization Ceremony on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the Putnam County Historic Courthouse, 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel. At the ceremony, Clerk Bartolotti will administer the Oath of Allegiance to our new citizens.

The Color Guard of American Legion Post 1080 will open and retire the ceremony. The Honorable James F. Reitz will serve as the officiating Supreme Court Justice. Putnam County Undersheriff Michael Corrigan will lead the prayer. County Executive Maryellen Odell will offer welcoming remarks. County Clerk Bartolotti will administer the Oath of Allegiance to our new citizens. The keynote speaker will be Assemblyman Kevin Byrne and Director of Veterans Affairs Karl Rohde will lead all in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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.

Happy Birthday Putnam County! Celebrate Putnam County’s History June 14th

CARMEL, NEW YORK, May 14 — Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and County Clerk Michael C. Bartolotti, invite the public to celebrate Putnam County’s 207th birthday on Flag Day, Friday, June 14, 2019, at the Historic Courthouse, 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY, from  10 – 11:30 am.  In addition to local history awards, a special presentation honoring today’s local historians along with a centennial commemoration of the homecoming stories from World War I will be featured.

“100 years ago, New York Governor Alfred E. Smith established the role of local historians to help record the stories of returning servicemembers following World War I,” says MaryEllen Odell, “Since that time, our local government historians have been preserving, interpreting and presenting local history. We are thrilled to honor the role they have played, and continue to play, for the towns and villages throughout Putnam County.”

The current municipal historians include Jim Meyer of Carmel;  Jackie Rohrig of Kent;  Dr. Larry A. Maxwell of Patterson; Mark Forlow for Philipstown and the Village of Cold Spring; Dan Ricci of Putnam Valley;  John E. “Jack” Duncan of Southeast;  Danielle Cylich for the Village of Brewster; and Jonathan Bradley for Nelsonville.

A number of 2019 awards share a common theme: remembering Putnam County’s role in World War I.  “It’s quite fitting that we’ll celebrate the County’s birthday on Flag Day this year,” says Odell of the scheduling change from the County’s actual birthday June 12th to the 14th, “We will be commemorating a time in our County’s history that was at the peak of patriotism as the citizens of Putnam County welcomed home its brave men and women who served in the Great War.”

“Our Row of Honor along the shore of Lake Gleneida serves as a great reminder of what a privilege it is to celebrate Putnam County’s history, pledge our allegiance and show our continued gratitude for all those who serve.”

As with tradition, the Historian’s Office will honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to local history.  According to Michael Bartolotti, County Clerk and Records Management Officer responsible for the County Archives, “The Archives and Historian’s Office continue to be a great resource not just for research but for the arts as well.  Over the past year, elements from our records and collection have been developed into works of both nonfiction and fiction.”  Over seven different books and transcriptions will receive 2019 Local History awards.

2019 Local History Awards include:

  • Exemplary Public History in Schools:  Southeast Museum & Brewster High School for the stage production of “The Letters: Voices from the Great War”
  • Exemplary Public History – Lecture Series: Michael Bennett & Putnam Valley Historical Society
  • Preserving Local History: Mary Ann Smith for “Carmel Country Club”; Bernadette Brandon & the Brandon Family for “Sgt. Daniel Brandon’s Diary”
  • Local History PublicationPatriot Hero of the Hudson Valley by Vincent T. Dacquino; Sybil Rides by Larry Maxwell; The Girls of Haviland and Beyond Haviland by Deborah Rafferty Oswald; Putnam County Veterans of World War I by Roderick J. Cassidy;  The South Precinct of Dutchess County New York, 1740-1799 by Pamela Riccardi Paschke
  • Archival Sources Publication: Chip Rowe, transcription of “Putnam County, New York, Clerk Receipt Book, 1821-1827”, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Volume 149, Number 2,  April 2018 and Number 3, July 2018
  • Lifetime Achievement Local History: Marjorie Nichols Keith, Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to join the historians and honorees in the lobby of the David D. Bruen County Office Building for the traditional County birthday cake and refreshments.  The public is welcome, no RSVP required. For more information about the event, please contact the Historian’s Office at 845-808-1420 or historian@putnamcountyny.gov

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About The Historian’s Office

The Historian’s Office preserves, interprets, and promotes the history of Putnam County as a local government office.  According to New York State criteria, the work of the Historian’s Office includes: research and writing, teaching and public presentations, historic preservation, and organization, advocacy and tourism promotion. To support these efforts, the Putnam County Historian’s Office has been collecting historical records, maps, books, photographs, and periodicals since 1953.  In 1992, the Putnam County Archives was established in the Historian’s Office to preserve, arrange, describe, and make accessible the governmental records of Putnam County.  The Archives and Historian’s Collection are used as a resource for people in Putnam County and elsewhere.  Finding aids are available at www.putnamcountyny.com/countyhistorian.

“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.