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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

Child Find

Child Find ToysOur 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.

Child Find Website
New York State Office of Children and Family Services

New York State Children’s Health Insurance

Child Health PlusThe 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.

NYS Child Health Plus Website

To speak to a facilitated enroller, call 1-800-453-4666.

Early Intervention & Preschool Programs

Early intervention musicDuring 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.

flickr Identify recalled productsTwitter 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.

Breastfeeding support group meeting are offered each month. No registration is necessary. Drop-ins are welcome!

  • Brewster: 3rd Thursday of each month from 10am-12pm at Putnam County Department of Health (1 Geneva Road, Brewster, NY) If you have any questions, please call (845) 808-1390 ext. 43150.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program

2013 WIC FairThe Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is a national supplemental nutrition program for low-income women, infants and children under the age of five years. WIC staff provides nutrition and health counseling and on-site medical screening services, such as height/weight, BMI measurements and hematology screening for iron deficiency anemia and lead poisoning. The WIC Program also promotes and supports breastfeeding and supplies formula as needed.

The PCDOH WIC Program has four clinic sites across the county.
Clinic services are offered Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM.
1 Geneva Road, Brewster (near Route 312 and I84): (845) 808-1337
121 Main Street, Brewster (Village of Brewster) : (845) 808-1416

WIC Enhanced Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program

The peer counselor is a support person with a commitment to promote and support WIC breastfeeding women and their families. The peer counselor is a trained, paid support staff, usually a previous WIC participant, who has experience with breastfeeding. Peer counselors are linked with current prenatal and breastfeeding women associated with the WIC program. Peer counselors contact and meet with clients via telephone or face-to-face during breastfeeding education classes held at WIC sites. All WIC pregnant and breastfeeding women are referred to the peer counselor program.

Healthy Lifestyle Program
The Putnam County WIC Program also addresses adult and childhood obesity, focusing on families with children two years and older. The goal of the program is to promote long-term commitments on the part of the WIC participants to improve their nutritional habits. The Healthy Lifestyle Program offers food demonstrations and taste tests of low and non-fat dairy products, whole grain food products, fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods on site at the WIC Office. The new USDA WIC Food Package is incorporated in demonstrations.