While nationwide public health efforts have led to excellent strides in preventing childhood infectious diseases through improved sanitation, food and water safety and vaccinations, there are now a growing number of children with chronic illnesses, including pre-diabetes, asthma and mental health disorders. Recognizing the importance of these emerging priorities, our department works hard to ensure that Putnam County’s children and families can lead healthy and productive lives.
Please browse below to learn more about Child and Family Health services offered by our department.
If you have any questions, please call (845) 808-1390.
Child Development Screening
Our health department participates in the statewide Child Find System. This program seeks to improve the identification of infants and children ages 0-3 at risk for developmental delays and disabilities, and to ensure their referral to care, follow-up, and monitoring.
Every referral to the Child Find System is contacted and offered entry to the program. Once enrolled, a child is provided periodic assessment using the Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and the Denver Developmental Screening Test (DDST II). The Early Language Milestone Scale (ELM) is used in cases of a suspected speech/language delay. Referrals are made to the Early Intervention Program and other agency programs as appropriate.
New York State Children’s Health Insurance
The NYS Children’s Health Insurance Program is a federal government program created in 1997 that allots matching funding to States for providing health insurance to families with children. It was designed to cover uninsured children in families with incomes that are modest but too high to qualify for Medicaid. The NYS Department of Health provides facilitated enrollment for NYS Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus or Medicaid to Putnam County residents. To decrease barriers to enrollment, the program supports locally tailored, community-based efforts to provide one-on-one assistance to families and individuals in completing and submitting applications for enrollment.
|To speak to a facilitated enroller, call 1-800-453-4666.|
Early Intervention & Preschool Programs
During the early years of a child’s life, children grow quickly and learn a tremendous amount. Some children face special challenges and require extra help to help them grow into healthy young adults. The Early Intervention and Preschool Programs are two separate, state-mandated programs that provide evaluation and therapeutic services for children birth through age 5 who have developmental delays or disabling conditions.
As a parent, you help decide:
- What early intervention services your child and family need
- The outcomes of early intervention that are important for your child and family
- When and where your child and family will get early intervention services
- Who will provide services to your child and family
Early Intervention Program (EIP)
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) provides services to infants and toddlers (to age 2) who have disabilities or developmental delays. The Early Intervention Program can help you and your family learn the best ways to care for your child, support and promote your child’s development, and include your child in your family and community life. Early Intervention services can be provided at several places in the community, including your home, your child care center or family day care, recreational centers, play groups, playgrounds, libraries, or any other early childhood programs and centers.
A Parent’s Guide to the Early Intervention Program
New York State Early Intervention Program
Preschool Special Education Program (PSEP)
The Preschool Special Education Program (PSEP) is an education-based program providing services for children between three and five years of age who have a disability that affects their learning or their ability to participate in age appropriate activities. Services include but are not limited to: special education (by an itinerant teacher), speech/language therapy, counseling, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
|To speak with an Early Intervention staff member, call 845-808-1640.|
Lead Poisoning Prevention
Lead poisoning is a preventable, serious health hazard, and one of the most common toxins for young children. Children are primarily exposed to harmful levels of lead through contact with deteriorating lead paint and lead contaminated dust. Exposure to even small amounts of lead can contribute to behavior problems, learning disabilities, and lowered intelligence.
Because an increasing number of epidemiological studies have shown that blood lead levels between 5 and 10 mcg/dL in young children are associated with learning disabilities, behavior problems, and lowered intelligence, the New York State Department of Health now requires laboratories to advise providers that this range is no longer considered safe.
We work closely with primary healthcare providers to ensure lead poisoning prevention, testing, risk assessment, and referrals to lead treatment centers. By public health law, children ages 1-2 should receive blood lead testing. If appropriate, children up to age 18 and pregnant women should also be screened for lead exposure and tested.
Lead Case Management
We initiate nursing and environmental home inspection that includes a developmental screening and a nutritional status assessment. We provide risk reduction, nutrition, and developmental education information to families, and refer families to other agencies when appropriate.
Lead testing is offered to parents with children 12 months up to 6 years of age. Children with elevated blood levels receive Environmental Health and Nursing services. Environmental staff confuct an investigation to identify lead hazards in the child’s environment and recommend interventions to mitigate the source of the exposure. The Nurse Case Manager coordinates services and provides referrals for further testing, developmental screening, and nutritional guidance. Lead poisoning prevention education is provided to parents, health care providers, educators, day care providers and the community to prevent lead poisoning which can slow, harm or delay normal development and cause illness, injury, and death in children.
|Identify recalled products Follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission Click here for more information about lead poisoning|
Maternal & Child Health
Newborn Screening Program
Every New York State newborn is screened at the time of birth for a group of disorders in body chemistry. These disorders can adversely affect normal growth and development, and some can be life threatening.
Prenatal/Postpartum/Newborn Home Visiting Program
Our Newborn Visiting Program works to assess each family’s health and social needs and to provide a link between families and the wide array of health and social services that exist in the community to meet those needs. Visits provide emphasis on education in the areas of infant care, nutrition, growth and development, and parenting skills/coping abilities. Specialty trained nurses will provide breastfeeding education and support. Skilled nursing visits are provided when medically necessary for neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) discharges, wound care and any medical treatment and education ordered by the physician.
|Click here for more information about newborn screening.|
New Moms Group
The New Moms Group is a parenting program offered by the department to new mothers in Putnam County. Maternal Child Health Nurses provide support and guidance on topics such as growth and development issues, breastfeeding, sleeping patterns, managing colic, immunizations, nutrition, parenting skills, and coping techniques. Two groups are provided for moms with newborns between 0 and 1 years of age at the Mahopac Library and the Desmond Fish Library in Garrison. (There is no longer a group scheduled at the Kent Library).
|New Moms support group meetings are offered two times each week. No registration is necessary. Drop-ins are welcome!|
- Mahopac Library: Wednesdays from 1:30pm-3:30pm (668 Route Six, Mahopac, NY 10541)
- Desmond Fish Library: Tuesdays from 11am-1pm (472 Route 403, Garrison, NY 10524). Please use the side entrance to the library as the front entrance is closed to the general public before 1pm.
Support for Breastfeeding Moms
The Breastfeeding Support Group is a program offered by the department to new mothers in Putnam County. A certified Lactation Counselor provides support and guidance on topics related to breastfeeding.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program
Frequently Asked Questions about the Transition of the Putnam County WIC Program
Q1: What does it mean when I hear that Putnam County WIC is “ending”?
Beginning Friday September 6, WIC services will no longer be available at 121 Main Street and 1 Geneva Road in Brewster, or at St John’s Church in Mahopac. These services are being relocated and will be provided by other local agencies. They will continue to be available for all eligible Putnam County residents. The program currently serves approximately 1,100 residents.
Locations where WIC services will continue to be provided are listed below:
- Hudson River Healthcare, 1037 Main St, Peekskill 914-734-8505
- Hudson River Healthcare, 6 Henry St, Beacon 845-831-7402
- Open Door, 344 East Main St, Mount Kisco 914-269-0784
- Open Door, 155 Main St, Brewster 845-279-6999 (COMING SOON)
Q2: Is it necessary for Putnam County residents to visit a WIC Office in Putnam County?
No. Putnam County residents can visit any WIC office in New York State. For information on other locations in New York State, please call 800-522-5006.
Q3: I have read that WIC is not a “mandated program.” How does that affect me and my services?
WIC is not a mandated service and local county governments do not need to provide this service. While Putnam County will no longer be a WIC provider, other local agencies will provide WIC services. Putnam County remains committed to supporting the health and well-being of all residents and is working to ensure the transition of services is seamless.
Q4: Where can current and potential WIC recipients get more information?
Call The Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 800-522-5006. Growing Up Healthy is available 24/7 and can connect families to local resources including, but not limited to:
- family planning
- children’s special needs