Health Compass

Coordinator: Marcia Ashline, RN, BS

Supervising Public Health Nurse

Telephone: (315) 376-5453

Hours of Operation:
M - F, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

 

The Prevent Team:

Maryann Vargulick, PHN

Communicable Disease Nurse

 

Mary Kimbrell, RN

Health Educator

 

Ellen Scanlon, RN

Immunization and Lead Poisoning Prevention Coordinator

NY STATE OF HEALTH

What Does it Mean for You?

NY State of Health, The Official Health Plan Marketplace, is where New Yorkers can shop for, compare and enroll in health insurance coverage.  You have a choice of health plans and help finding the plan that is right for you.  It’s the only place to get financial assistance to reduce the cost of coverage.Health insurance offered in the Marketplace includes a comprehensive set of benefits. To learn more, visit nystateofhealth.ny.gov or call         1-855-355-5777.

Preventive Health Services

 

Preventive Health Programs are intended to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health and safety of Lewis County residents.

Our programs include:

 

·     Maternal Child Home Visiting Program

Our registered nurses make home visits to high risk pregnant women through physician referrals. During these visits, nurses, provide education on:

·     What to expect during your pregnancy,

·     Warning signs of potential complications,

·     What to expect during delivery,

·     Help you monitor weight gain, and how much is too much,

·     How to care for your baby after you bring them home,

·     Referrals to outside agencies if needed.

 Our nurses also make home visits to high risk newborns for weight checks, physical assessments, and education to caregivers on nutrition, development, and infant care. 

 

·     Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

As a majority of homes in the north county were built before 1978, it is very important to get your child tested for lead at ages 1 and 2. Lead damages every system in the body; the effects of it are permanent and irreversible. Getting your child tested at a young age can prevent long term effects such as: learning problems, behavioral issues, brain damage, along with damage to other organs. Lewis County Public Health offers free lead and hemoglobin testing for all children ages 1-4. If you would like additional information on lead poisoning, or are about to do any renovation work, please contact us prior to starting. We offer free information on how to renovate to prevent and protect your children and family from lead poisoning. Pregnant women should also be lead tested, as lead is stored in the bones and can pass from the mother to the fetus during the pregnancy.

 

Get free lead testing for your water by visiting NYSDOH website.  

 

·     Immunizations for Children and Adults

Immunizations are one of the single most effective ways to protect against vaccine preventable diseases. Some of the diseases that were devastating 50 years ago are not seen here in the United States much today; however they are epidemic in other areas of the world. These diseases can easily be brought to the U.S. by a traveler who is unvaccinated, and pass the disease to a child or adult here who is unvaccinated. Currently, the U.S. has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in its history. About 80% of all adults are not up-to-date on all the vaccines that are recommended. We offer a wide range of immunizations from newborns to adults. For more information on vaccines click here. We do participate in the Vaccines For Children and Vaccines for Adults programs, and are able to bill most insurance plans for most vaccines. Call today and see if you are up-to date. We also offer PPD or Mantoux tests at our clinic. 

 

·     International Travel Vaccination Clinic

If you are planning to travel internationally, we urge you to call us at least one month before your trip. The worst diseases are only a plane ride away. Call us and verify you are up-to date on all your needed vaccines. We will provide a one on one clinic to review your destination, your travel plans, immunizations that may be required for entry or exit of that county, any health warnings that are in the area currently, and some smart travel tips. Travel clinics are set up by appointment only with our immunization nurse.

 

·     Communicable Disease Control 

Lewis County Public Health offers information and counseling on all communicable diseases. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) mandates certain communicable diseases to be investigated by the Communicable Disease Nurse and confidentially reported to the NYSDOH. A nurse will contact the person and/or family to attempt to determine how the disease was contracted and to teach how to prevent further spread of the disease. In doing this, we hope to prevent further disease outbreaks and/or correct potential problems that may cause further disease. Public Health offers free HIV and Hepatitis C testing and counseling by appointment. 

 

·     Rabies Prevention

Rabies is most often seen among wild animals such as racoons, bats, skunks, and foxes, but any mammal can be infected with rabies. Pets and livestock can get rabies if they are not vaccinated to protect them against infection. Public Health urges you to never touch or pet a wild animal. Be sure your animals, cats (outdoor and indoor), dogs, and ferrets are vaccinated against rabies, and maintain a vaccinated status. Public Health works closely with countryside veterinary clinic to offer several free rabies clinics throughout the county every year. If you have any questions about a wild animal, or find a bat in the house, do not hesitate to call 376-5453 or after hours 376-5200, there is a nurse on call 24 hours/day for rabies. We also work closely with Lewis County Dog Control, to assist with stray dogs. Remember, rabies is 100% fatal, in humans can be 100% preventable even after a bite has occurred!

 

·     West Nile, EEE and Lyme Disease Prevention

Tick and insect repellents can be effective at reducing bites and, therefore, may reduce the risk of getting some disease, such as Lyme disease, West Nile, and certain forms of encephalitis. Try to wear light colored long sleeves and pants when in grassy areas. ALWAYS look over your skin when coming indoors. The adult tick is the size of a sesame seed. The nymphal (young) tick is the size of a poppy seed. If there is a tick attached, do not panic. Place tweezers around the mouth area as close to the skin as possible and with a single motion pull back steadily until the tick releases. Keep grass around the house mowed, try to eliminate areas or standing water, and check your animals frequently. Although there have not been any cases of West Nile Virus or EEE in Lewis County, many of the deer ticks have tested positive for Lyme disease.

 

·     Health Education

We have a health educator on staff who provides education throughout the community on various health topics. Health education is the key to disease prevention. The Health educator is available upon request from community members for large group sessions.

 

·     Chronic Disease Education

Chronic Disease Self Management program is a peer led health education program created by Stanford University that helps individuals manage their chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and arthritis. The program is designed to help participants find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue, improving communication with family, friends and health professionals, improving nutrition, learning appropriate medication usage, understand new treatment choices and generally feel better about their life.

Lewis County Diabetes Education Program held the last Monday of the month March through November 6-8pm. Individuals from the community with diabetes come together to support one another and learn more about diabetes.

Diabetes Prevention Programs are held throughout the year. This is a community based 16 week program. The class meets one hour per week and is led by trained Life Style Coaches. The goal of the program is to support and help people reduce their weight and increase physical activity through weekly sessions. Sessions include improving food choices, ways to increase physical activity and learning coping skills to maintain weight loss and healthy lifestyle changes.

 

·     Tobacco Cessation Programs

Lewis County Public Health offers tobacco cessation services to the residents of Lewis County. These services are provided by trained and certified tobacco cessation specialists. The cessation specialist offers education about tobacco cessation services to individuals interested in quitting tobacco. If you are interested tobacco cessation, please call Mary Kimbrell, RN, at 376-5453.

 

·         Emergency Preparedness and Response

Natural Disasters: The goal of Lewis County Public Health and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through natural disaster is to have a plan to protect lives and health, as well as to outline a return to normalcy after any occurrences. From extreme heat, earthquakes, winter weather, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and tsunamis to power outages, we work with the public on setting forth plans of evacuation centers, food storage, safety for you and your pets, cleanup, and restoration. If you would like to learn more, contact our office, or you may also reference some interesting reading materials at: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/educationalmaterials.asp 

Bioterrorism: Public Health service providers are constantly reminded of the importance of vigilance, preparedness and rapid, effective response in the day-to-day delivery of essential health care services. Never before have those qualities taken on such an enormous challenge as that being posed by terrorism.

Lewis County Public Health, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health partners is working continuously on bioterrorism preparedness and response plans. Should there be a terrorist event that impacts the residents of our county, Lewis County Public Health and its response partners will be prepared to respond rapidly and effectively. Should you know of any information that might be helpful in identifying risks, please contact us immediately at 376-5453. 

Useful link: CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response Site: www.bt.cdc.gov

 

For more information and any of our programs call 376-5453.