Chronic diseases develop over time and are considered incurable. Diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer and dental disease are examples that are common in Putnam County.

It is best to prevent them in the first place. If that is not possible, learning to manage your condition is second best. With good management, you can preserve the quality of your life. You can reduce your symptoms, slow down the progression of your illness and sometimes even reverse it.

To help you manage your health, a chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) is offered by the Putnam County Department of Health, in partnership with the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley, and Putnam Hospital Center. This program is based on a research model developed at Stanford University. Peer leadersā€”individuals who have chronic disease themselvesā€”are specially trained to lead these workshops. Decades of research has shown that these peer leaders are successful in engaging and empowering patients to feel better and take charge of their health.

For more information on the CDSMP series of workshops, click here.

The toll of chronic diseases is enormousā€”both in terms of human suffering and healthcare costs. In fact, 70 percent of all U.S. healthcare costs are attributable to chronic diseases, and worldwide the burden of chronic disease now surpasses communicable diseases.

Please browse below for information about specific programs and services provided.

If you have any questions,Ā please call (845) 808-1390.


The Live Healthy Putnam (LHP) initiative, launched in 2007 by the PCDOH, is the umbrella program for chronic disease prevention in the County. Initially formed to promote the voluntary ban on trans fats in Putnam County restaurants, the program has expanded and now embodies a 30-member coalition of community organizations interested and invested in promoting healthy lifestyles. The work of the coalition is not limited to one level of prevention, but instead covers all levels including primary prevention. Improving nutrition, increasing physical activity and reducing tobacco use are some of the overall goals.

For more information about the Live Healthy Putnam Coalition, click here.


Cancer Screenings

SmokingCancer screenings

The PCDOH connects eligible residents to free Healthy Living Partnership (HLP) screenings for breast,Ā cervical and colorectal cancer. Further referrals for diagnosis and treatment are then made. The PCDOH and HLP provide free education regarding breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancer.

Tobacco use cessation

The PCDOH partners with POWā€™R Against Tobacco (Putnam, Orange, Westchester, Rockland) to implement strategies to decrease the social acceptability of tobacco use. Anti-smoking messages and activities are also promoted in conjunction with the youth-based ā€œReality Checkā€ program. This New York State Department of Health tobacco education program is coordinated through the Youth Bureau of Putnam County.


The PCDOH also partners with the American Cancer Society to recruit participants for their longitudinal Cancer Prevention Study, a major research study seeking to better understand the lifestyle, environmental, and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer.

Cardiovascular Disease & Stroke

Early disease detection and screening

Information and education about early recognition and warning signs of stroke is disseminated at workshops, health fairs, online and through social media networks.

Healthy lifestyle information and nutrition education

Trained nutritionists at the PCDOH provide extensive nutrition education, both to residents and to major stakeholder groups, including school district administrators, health teachers, childcare staff, cardiac patients and parents. Weight management, the new My Plate guidelines, the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet and healthy lunch ideas are some of the topics presented. Interactive health-oriented games are developed to engage and teach youth in school health classes and at health fairs. The PCDOH additionally works with the Cornell Cooperative Extension to promote nutrition-related curriculum such as ā€œHeart Healthy Gardensā€ and the ā€œGarden to Tableā€ programs.

Support groups

Monthly meetings for the Putnam Chapter of the Mended Hearts Support Group through postings on Comcastā€™s and Cablevisionā€™s local community bulletin board, and the Putnam County website.

Tobacco use cessation

Described above in the ā€œCancerā€ section, these initiatives can also significantly reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Diabetes & Obesity

Good nutrition and adequate physical activity also help prevent both diabetes and obesity and are described above in the section on “Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.”

Oral Disease

Tooth decay is the number-one chronic disease among children.Ā  The PCDOH launched a Dental Health Screening Initiative in 2010.Ā  Staff members work with the Putnam County school districts to provide free on-site dental screenings for 4th graders.Ā  The PCDOH also served as a referral source and provider of educational materials and resources on dental health to the community.Ā  Additionally WIC and MCH nursing staff providing individual counseling to mothers on the dangers of baby bottle syndrome and dental caries.