Immunization, STD, and Family Planning Services will not be available at the Chatham County Health Department from 11-5 on May 31.
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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

Camden News


Residents with Functional, Access, or Medical Needs Urged to Register with Health Department

As the 2017 hurricane season quickly approaches, public health officials strongly encourage residents in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties who may have functional, access, or medical needs and no way to evacuate if a storm is coming to register with their county health department. The Functional, Access, and Medical Needs Registry is made up of residents who may require transport and medical assistance during a hurricane evacuation and have no other resources such as family, friends, neighbors, or church members to help them if they need to evacuate. Residents must apply to be on the registry and are encouraged to register now.

Those on the Registry will be evacuated to an American Red Cross shelter in an inland county that will likely be in a gymnasium or similar setting and could be several hours away. The Registry is truly a last resort, but if a hurricane is threatening our area, it is important that health department officials know where the most vulnerable residents are located so that evacuation assistance can be provided to them. People living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and personal care homes are not eligible for the Functional, Access, and Medical Needs and must follow their facility’s emergency plan.

Functional and Access Needs registrants are individuals who may need services to maintain their independence in a shelter. This includes children and adults with physical, sensory, mental health, and cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities affecting their ability to function independently without assistance. Medical Needs registrants are individuals who require support of trained medical professionals. This includes those individuals who may need assistance with managing unstable, terminal, or contagious conditions that require observation and ongoing treatment.

The application and protected health information authorization form can be downloaded at gachd.org/registry. Residents can also call the following numbers for more information:

Bryan County
912-756-2611 or 912-653-4331

Effingham County
912-754-6484

Camden County
912-882-8515 or 912-576-3040

Chatham County
912-691-7443

Glynn County
912-279-2940

Liberty County
912-876-2173

Long County
912-545-2107

McIntosh County
912-832-5473

 

 

Health Department Officials Urge Students to “Vaccinate B4U Graduate”

As students begin looking ahead to graduation and starting a new and exciting chapter in life, it’s a good time to remind both students and their parents about the important role that immunizations play in that chapter. Health department officials in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties want to encourage soon-to-be high school graduates to get vaccinated against meningococcal disease which causes meningitis.

Meningococcal disease is not common; however, when it is contracted it can be dangerous. The bacteria that causes meningococcal disease is spread by exchanging respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit) during close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially if living in the same household or dorm. There are different kinds of meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be very serious and can even cause permanent disabilities and death. Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis and is usually less serious but can still cause illness.

“We encourage parents of students getting ready to graduate – especially those going off to college – to make sure their children have received the meningococcal vaccine and that all vaccinations are up-to-date,” said Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator, Paige Lightsey, R.N. “This is an exciting time for our students and we want to do everything we can to make sure that they are protected from meningitis as they start on their new adventure.”

When children are 11 or 12 years old they should receive one dose of the vaccine followed by a booster at age 16. Parents can check with the health department or their healthcare provider to get immunization records for their children or schedule a time to get the meningococcal vaccine.

For more information on meningitis or the meningococcal vaccine, please to cdc.gov/meningitis.

School Health Summit Planned for May 31; School Officials Encouraged to Attend

 The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program will host a School Health Summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, at the Liberty County Schools Performing Arts Center located at 2140 E. Oglethorpe Hwy. in Hinesville.

The free one-day training is being offered to school administrators, teachers, nutrition directors, and principals to develop and execute nutrition and physical activity policies and to offer resources to help prevent the incidence of chronic disease in children.

“Obesity continues to be a real problem in children of all ages and unhealthy habits developed early translate into unhealthy habits later in life,” said Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Director, Cristina Gibson. “The Summit is a way for school leaders to learn about tools that can help promote better health in students and how to go about using those tools.”

Those interested in attending the training can register by calling Gibson at 912-644-5818 or by emailing cristina.gibson@dph.ga.gov.

The 2017 School Health Summit is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Public Health, healthMpowers, Georgia SHAPE, and the Coastal Health District.

Boil Water Advisory for Part of St. Marys

Health Officials Encourage Wildfire Smoke Precautions

Smoke from wildfires burning in South Georgia is making its way into some coastal counties and as a result, Coastal Health District officials are encouraging residents to take precautions. For healthy people, smoke from wildfires that contains particles from burning trees and shrubs can irritate your eyes and respiratory system. However, smoke can worsen chronic health problems such as lung disease, asthma, and allergies. People with existing respiratory conditions, young children and elderly people are especially susceptible to health effects from this smoke.

It’s important to limit your exposure to the smoke and take precautions to protect your health and the health of your family.

  • Stay inside and away from the smoke.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. Vacuuming stirs up particles already inside your home, contributing to indoor pollution. Smoking also puts even more pollution into the air.
  • Keep airways moist by drinking plenty of water.
  • Do not rely on dust masks for protection. Paper “comfort” or “dust” masks commonly found at hardware stores are designed to trap large particles, such as sawdust. These masks will not protect your lungs from the small particles found in wildfire smoke.
  • Follow the advice of your doctor or other health care provider about medicines and about your respiratory management plan if you have asthma or another lung disease.

Seek medical attention if you are having difficulty breathing or if your symptoms worsen.

CDC: Georgia’s Early Childhood Vaccination Rates Among Nation’s Highest

ATLANTA – Georgia is leading the country with above average early childhood vaccinations with 75.6 percent of children 19-35 months old protected, compared to national averages of 72.2 percent for the 7-vaccine series. However, health officials here say statewide immunization statistics show that more can be done to stop vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks in Georgia.

As recent disease outbreaks demonstrate, immunizing infants and young children remains a critical component of protecting vulnerable infants against potentially deadly diseases.

So far in 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 1,200 cases of mumps across the U.S. Other recent outbreaks include a pertussis outbreak in 2012 that infected more than 48,000 people, and a measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and impacted 188 people in 2015. Each of these diseases is preventable by vaccines.

During National Infant Immunization Week, April 22-29, the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents to check with their pediatrician to ensure their child is up-to-date on vaccinations.

“Immunizations are the best way to protect infants and children from childhood diseases, like whooping cough and measles that can be life-threatening at young ages,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “It is critical for parents to talk to their child’s doctor to ensure they are up-to-date on immunizations, because no child should have to suffer a vaccine-preventable illness.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to become aware of vaccination rates in their community. The AAP offers an interactive map (https://immunizations.aap.org/) that highlights vaccination rates in each state for recommended childhood vaccines, including vaccines that protect against measles, mumps, pertussis, polio and influenza. It also offers state-by-state information about community immunity thresholds, which is the level at which disease outbreaks are prevented.

“High immunization rates in the community provide a buffer of protection that makes it harder for diseases to break through,” said Georgia Chapter AAP President Ben Spitalnick, M.D., Savannah. “Vaccines protect children from diseases, and they also keep communities healthy by protecting infants who are too young to be vaccinated, or those who have compromised immune systems.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health and the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage everyone – in observance of National Infant Immunization Week – to protect the little ones who cannot yet protect themselves. Please contact your pediatrician or your local public health department to ensure your infant is up-to-date on vaccinations. For more information contact the Georgia Department of Public Health http://dph.georgia.gov/immunization-section or http://www.gaaap.org/immunizations/.

 

Free “Growing Fit” Training Offered for Early Care Centers

Physical activity and nutrition are essential for children to develop healthy lifestyles that will help reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life. To that end, the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Shape, HealthMPowers, Inc. and Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning have developed Growing Fit Kit: Wellness Policies for Georgia’s Early Care Environment. A free training on the kit will be offered to staff from early care centers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, at the Coastal Health District office located at 420 Mall Blvd. in Savannah.

Training will center around a tool kit which provides a step-by-step process to guide early care educators in the development and/or improvement of nutrition and physical activity policies and practices.  It also contains an explanation of the importance of a wellness policy, a self-assessment tool to evaluate current policies and practices, success stories from other early care settings, healthy eating and physical activity resources, and a planning document with suggestions and examples for writing the policy.

This educational learning experience is a Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning approved CEU course allowing participants to earn required training units while strengthening their wellness policy efforts to create healthy environments for students to learn and teachers to work. This training also helps move centers toward achievement of Quality Rated standards set by the Department of Early Care and Learning.

To register for either training session, please contact Cristina Gibson at 912-644-5818 or email cristina.gibson@dph.ga.gov.

Camden Co. Health Dept. Preteen Vaccination Clinic March 16

Georgia Preteen Vaccination Week is March 13-17 and Camden County Health Department officials are encouraging parents to bring preteens to the health department on Thursday, March 16, to get up-to-date on vaccinations. Both Camden County Health Department locations – 1501 Georgia Avenue in Woodbine
and 901 Dilworth Street in St. Marys – will be open until 6:30 p.m. on March 16 and no appointment is necessary.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices currently recommends that 11 and 12 year olds receive Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough), HPV (human papillomavirus), meningococcal, and flu vaccines. Also, any preteens should be brought up-to-date on any other vaccines that may have been missed such as the chicken pox vaccine.

For more information, please call the Camden County Health Department at 912-576-3040 (Woodbine) or 912-882-8515 (St. Marys).

Georgia Health Officials Warn of Potential Phone Scam

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is receiving complaints from residents of Georgia and residents of other states about suspicious phone calls. Many of the calls appear to come from a Georgia DPH phone number.

“Right now, we do not know the real reason for the calls or what the caller is truly looking for,” said Rick Keheley, DPH’s inspector general. “We do know the calls are not coming from the Georgia Department of Public Health.”

DPH encourages residents to be extremely cautious when participating in health-related telephone surveys.

DPH does occasionally use telephone surveys to gain information on health trends and it is important to understand the difference. DPH:

  • Will never ask for religious information
  • Will never ask for credit card information
  • Will never try to sell goods or services
  • Will always provide call back or contact information for verification

Residents with questions or those wishing to report a suspicious call should contact DPH’s Office of Inspector General at (404) 656-4409 or reportdphfraud@dhr.state.ga.us

 

About the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.ga.gov.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Georgia Department of Public Health’s Babies Can’t Wait Program Seeks Public Comment Until April 10, 2017

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) program invites interested persons to participate in a 60-day public comment period for the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2017 Annual State Application under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Stakeholders, early intervention providers, parents and members of the public are encouraged to comment and may review the grant application and revised policy online or at locations throughout the state.

Comments will be accepted in four ways:

1.    Written comments will be received by mail until April 10, 2017:

Babies Can’t Wait
Attn: Sally Cannon, Part C Coordinator
2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 11-456
Atlanta, GA 30303-13422

2.    Email comments will be received until April 10, 2017:
DPH-MCHDO@dph.ga.gov  (Subject line: Part C or Public Comment)

3.    Comments submitted  by fax will be accepted until April 10, 2017:
State BCW Office fax: (404) 657-7307

4.    In Person comments at a Public Hearing:
DPH invites interested persons to attend Public Hearings and present public comments. To allow an opportunity for all to be heard, comments will be limited to five minutes. (See locations listed below.)

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To learn more about DPH’s Babies Can’t Wait program, please call (404) 657-2850 or (888) 651-8224 or visit http://dph.georgia.gov/Babies-Cant-Wait.

The Babies Can’t Wait (BCW) Program is Georgia’s statewide early intervention system for infants and toddlers with special needs, age birth to three, and their families. This program enhances the capacity of families to meet the special needs of their child in order to ensure that each young child with significant developmental delays achieves his or her maximum developmental potential.

About the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters. DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit www.dph.georgia.gov.

 

 

 

To learn more about DPH’s Babies Can’t Wait program, please call (404) 657-2850 or

(888) 651-8224 or visit http://dph.georgia.gov/Babies-Cant-Wait.