HEALTH OFFICER’S CORNER
            February 2020

 

I hope you had a healthy and happy Holiday Season. I wanted to give you an update on what your local Health Commission has been working on in December.

Accreditation
The Public Health Accreditation Board has reviewed our documents and provided us with action steps to complete by August 2020.

Communicable Diseases
Our Communicable Disease “Strike Team” has been working on flu and Norovirus outbreaks across our jurisdiction. With the global concern about Coronavirus, we are currently monitoring a dozen individuals who have returned from China by cruise ship and airplane. All of the individuals do not have symptoms and each person is being contacted daily for symptoms and temperature checks. All of the individuals are classified as low-risk and do not need strict quarantine orders. There are no reported cases of Coronavirus in New Jersey.

The Centers for Disease Control and the NJ Department of Health have notified us that the flu is widespread across NJ and the country. Please take precautions to prevent the flu. It is not too late to receive a flu shot.

 Lead-Based Paint/Elevated Childhood Lead Poisonings
Public Health Nurse Manager Rizvi and Regional Health Educator Polonsky have developed a lead screening program. We receive the testing materials free of charge. This program of monthly screenings begins on February 19th.

Based on our success at navigating the SAGE online grant system, we will be applying for the 2020/2021 Lead grant independently from the County. We have been in contact with Colts Neck in order to continue our shared service with them.

Rabies Control
After four years of continuous quality improvement and refinement, the collection, storing and delivery of rabies specimens to the NJDOH by State Courier is extremely improved and efficient.

 Meetings

On January 14th, I attended a VNA breakfast meeting that highlighted the services that they provide to the community.

I attended the Health Improvement Coalition of Monmouth County Lifestyles meeting on January 16th.

The NJ Association of County and City Health Officials Executive met on January 17th to discuss pressing issues around the state such as immunizations, lead poisoning efforts, Hepatitis A and strategic planning.

We were approached by East Windsor Township for health officer services or possible membership with the MCRHC. Pricing for services were submitted but they decided to utilize the Mercer County Health Department for services. We approached Upper Freehold, but they had already signed up with another health department.

I was a guest of the Mercer County Health Officer Association as a former Princeton/Trenton Health Officer on January 24th. We discussed issues of health officer coverage and concerns of operation animal control shelters effectively.

On January 27th, Vice President Roman and Commissioner Sullivan attended a ceremony at Little Silver honoring the extensive community service of former Health Commissioner Les Mathis.

A lot of time has been spent on the New Jersey Department of Health Communicable Disease Grant. I am also planning to visit our towns Township Committee/Borough Council meetings.

We are pressing forward to keep our communities healthy!

Yours in Health,
David A. Henry
Health Officer