Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April is Autism Awareness Month

Pam Lefebvre, RN
The goal of Autism awareness month is to educate as many people as possible about signs of Autism. Through my previous work in the Early Intervention Program, I know that early diagnosis combined with intensive therapy leads to the most promising outcomes.  Parents I worked with, noticed positive changes in their child’s development, and I personally witnessed the changes myself.  When Autism is diagnosed early, children and families can get the resources, training, and support they need to help them prepare for the future. 

What is Autism?Autism, also referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is often diagnosed in early childhood.  People with ASD communicate, learn, behave, and interact with their surroundings differently.  No two people with ASD are the same which can result in a misunderstanding of ASD.  Signs of ASD begin early in childhood and usually last throughout a person’s life. 

What causes ASD?We don’t know exactly what causes autism, but research indicates that a combination of genetics and environmental factors are contributing factors.

What are some signs of ASD in a child?
·        Delay or absence of words
·        Loss of words or skills they once had
·        Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
·        Not responsive to others’ facial expressions or feelings
·        May be interested in people, but doesn’t know how to talk, play, or relate to them
·        Unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
·        Rejects being held cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
·        Does not point to objects to show interest
·        Repeats actions over and over again
·        Difficulty with changes in routine

What can I do if I think my child has ASD?Talk to your child’s doctor if you are concerned about the way your child plays, learns, speaks, or acts. If your child is under 3 years, contact us at Early Intervention Program at 565-4848 to make a referral for a developmental evaluation or schedule a free developmental screening.  For more information check out our website http://www.clintonhealth.org/specialneeds
For more detailed information about developmental milestones visit   https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week is a celebration in the power of prevention, advocating for healthy and fair policies, sharing strategies for successful partnerships, and championing the role of a strong public health system.

Help us celebrate and check out why Public Health is so important at the National Public Health Week website.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Hot off the Press: The 2017 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan

Health Department and Hospital representatives discuss the CHA on WIRY.
For the past year, CCHD and UVHN-CVPH have been working with community health partners to complete the Clinton County Community Health Assessment (CHA) and the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).  While these documents are required by NYSDOH, the practice allows the community to develop a shared plan for community health improvement.  The process for creating these documents involves collecting and interpreting health data as well as securing resident and stakeholder input. With this information, local health priorities are then determined. 

This community health assessment differed notably from past experiences.  First off, health data is now more accessible than ever.  National, state and other public data portals offered easy, quick access to many health metrics.  Data contributed by local organizations was also included.  In addition, community residents were surveyed regarding health issues they felt were important to them and to their communities.  Their input was used in selecting health priorities and designing activities for the new health improvement plan.  With this input, community health partners voted to adjust the course… slightly.  The featured priority areas are now: Prevent Chronic Disease and Promote Mental Health and Prevent Substance Abuse.

The CHA and CHIP are available for viewing and input at www.ClintonHealth.org  in the “Statistical Data” section.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

National Nutrition Month

Fruits and vegetables purchased at the grocery store travel, on average, 1,500 miles before they reach your plate. Buying local fruits and vegetables guarantees produce is fresher and tastier. The Overcoming Obstacles to Food Access in Clinton County Grant, funded through the NYS Health Foundation, has awarded eight local farmers with mini-grants to create more opportunities for residents to buy and eat local produce.  These mini-grants will help increase access to, and availability of, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The money will be used to help farmers improve crop production, increase the acceptance of nutrition benefits, encourage collaboration with local entities, and grow the number of farm stand and market locations in the region.
The following farmers submitted applications and were awarded money: Country Dreams Farm, Fledging Crow Vegetables, Lamoy’s Produce and Greenhouses, Oregano Flats Farm, Shady Grove Farm and Wellness Center, Shield’s Vegetables, Souza’s Farm Stand, and Windy Hill Farm.
National Nutrition Month is all about the importance of making healthy food choices. In order to make it easier for you to get your 5 A Day, (5 servings of fruits and vegetables), the Clinton County Health Department and local farmers are working hard to make produce more plentiful, accessible, and affordable.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Snow Safety Tips

With the dumping of 30+ inches of snow in some areas from "STELLA" here are some important safety tips:
·        Shoveling: take breaks and make sure to dress warm to avoid frostbite – know your limits!

·        Snow blowers: do NOT try to clear obstructions from a running machine

·        Snowy roof tops:  use a long pole snow removal device instead of climbing up a ladder

·        Preventing slips: wear proper footwear, and take smaller penguin style steps

·        Winter driving: slow down, and keep a good distance between you and the other cars, be aware!

·        Emergency kit: it’s a good time to check what’s in your kit, or create one

You can read more detail here, courtesy of OSHA:


Monday, February 6, 2017

American Heart Month

Heart disease is still a leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. February is dedicated to American Heart Month as a way to increase the prevention, detection, and treatment of heart disease.

A few ways to help protect yourself from heart disease:
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain an optimal blood pressure and healthy weight
  • Refrain from tobacco use
It's important to know your risk factors for heart disease and know the signs and symptoms for heart attack and stroke

The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease discusses myths and truths specifically for women.

Want more info? Check out American Heart Association's website.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Happenings at CCHD: Public Health Nurse

Today's Happenings features two of our Public Health Nurses. "The Karens" (as they are referred to around here) are both Public Health Nurses who work in our epidemiology program.

Their job is to follow-up on communicable disease reports sent to Clinton County Health Department to determine if the physician and the patient are aware of the illness or disease. They make sure regulated treatment (as necessary) has been prescribed.  Educational information is also provided by these public health defenders. 

In addition to their daily patient work, they also do “surveillance” regarding illness in the community,  and follow-up on reported and suspected information.  They work to educate the public in the prevention of illnesses which might develop into an "outbreak" of disease.

They say their favorite and most interesting part of their job is learning about the risks, onset, and symptoms of various diseases.

Both Public Health Nurses want to be sure people practice good hand hygiene to prevent getting, or passing on, illness.