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Department of Health Newsroom 2008


Dec 14, 2006: Peak Flu Season Approaching
Dec 1, 2006: Power Outage Prompts Health Department to Issue Food Safety Advisory
Aug 21, 2006: First Human West Nile Virus Case Reported in County
Aug 11, 2006: Rabid Bats Reported in Eight County Locations
Aug 1, 2006: Rash Reported After Mud Mania
July 28, 2006: County to Issue New Checks for Spoiled Food for Women and Children’s Nutrition Program
July 24, 2006: All Three County Health Centers Open
July 21, 2006: Power Outage Prompts Health Department to Issue “When in Doubt, Throw it Out” Advisory
July 21, 2006: Two of Three County Health Centers Open
July 20, 2006: Two of Three North County Health Centers Will Remain Closed Friday
July 20, 2006: Two of Three North County Health Centers Closed During Power Outage
July 13, 2006: Draft Waste Management Code Available
June 23, 2006: Mosquitoes Test Positive for WNV in Parts of St. Louis County
June 19, 2006: National Lightning Safety Awareness Week
June 16, 2006: Health Department accepting bids for psychiatry services
May 29, 2006: Hip Hop For Health Completes First Year
May 19, 2006: If your child has wheels, come to “Safety Town”
May 3, 2006: Health Department Offers Information About Bats
Apr 25, 2006: Immunization Drive Kicks Off In Wellston
Mar 28, 2006: RFP For Psychiatry Services
Feb 12, 2006: Forum for Leadership For Providers in Underserved Healthcare
Feb 12, 2006: Community Engagement Seminar
Feb 3, 2006: Two Months Remain in Flu Season
Jan 18, 2006: County Health Department Hosts Medicare Drug Sessions



Peak Flu Season Approaching

The peak of the flu season is approaching and now is the time to get vaccinated, health officials say.


“Catch the holiday spirit – not the flu” said Dr. Dolores Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


“Unlike some previous years, there is a plentiful supply of vaccine and there have not been any reports of long waits for people to get a shot,” Gunn said.


Even though it is early in the season, the number of cases is up, compared to the same period last year. This year, there have been 99 laboratory confirmed, reported cases since the season started, compared to 23 at this time last year.  Laboratory confirmed cases represent only a small percentage of the total number of cases in the community.  However, they are a useful indicator of both when the flu season has arrived and which age groups are most affected.


Annual variations are normal, but since it appears that the flu season has arrived early this year, health department officials are urging people to go get their flu shot if they have not already done so.
Each year in the United States, between 5 and 20 percent of the population is infected with influenza, about 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of influenza complications.
There are other steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting the flu


  • Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.
  • Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • Stay home if you are ill

Information on where to get a flu shot is available by calling (314) 644-4358.


 




Power Outage Prompts Health Department to Issue Food Safety Advisory

The large amounts of ice and snow over the course of the last 24 hours has resulted in power outage for many Saint Louis County residents.  The outage has set the stage for a timely reminder:  perishable foods must be properly refrigerated in order to decrease the potential for health hazards caused by improper holding temperatures.


The refrigerator section will usually keep food at a safe temperature for about four hours if the door is not opened, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Youngsters should be told not to open refrigerator or freezer doors, according to the American Red Cross.


A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for up to 48 hours if the door is kept closed. A half full freezer will maintain a safe temperature for up to 24 hours if the door is kept closed.


“If food must be kept cold beyond these timeframes, our advice to residents during power outages is to pack perishable items into a cooler with ice”, said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.  “Placing perishable items on ice significantly decreases the risk of bacterial growth that can lead to a host of foodborne illnesses if consumed”, said Gunn.  “If this approach is taken, melted ice should be regularly drained from the cooler and replaced with additional ice in order to maintain the desired temperature.”


Here is a chart from the Red Cross that includes guidelines for preserving and handling food during a power outage.


Additional information on food handling and storage is available at the health department web site: www.stlouisco.com/doh/Restaurant/.

Frozen Foods


Meat and Mixed Dishes:


Still Contains Ice Crystals. Not Above 40° F


Thawed, Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, ground meat and poultry


Refreeze


Discard


Casseroles with meat, pasta, rice, egg or cheese base, stews, soups, convenience foods, pizza


Refreeze


Discard


Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood products


Refreeze


Discard


Dairy:


Still Contains Ice Crystals. Not Above 40° F


Thawed, Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Milk


Refreeze


Discard


Eggs (out of shell) egg products


Refreeze


Discard


Ice cream, frozen yogurt


Discard


Discard


Cheese (soft and semi soft) cream cheese ricotta


Refreeze


Discard


Hard cheese (cheddar Swiss parmesan)


Refreeze


Refreeze


Fruits and Vegetables:


Still Contains Ice Crystals. Not Above 40° F


Thawed, Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Fruit Juices


Refreeze


Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell or sliminess develops.


Home or commercially packaged fruit


Refreeze


Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell or sliminess develops.


Vegetable Juices


Refreeze


Discard if above 50° for over 8 hours.


Home or commercially packaged or blanched vegetables


Refreeze


Discard if above 50° for over 8 hours.


Baked Goods Baking Ingredients:


Still Contains Ice Crystals. Not Above 40° F


Thawed, Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Fruit Juices


Refreeze


Refreeze


Flour, cornmeal, nuts


Refreeze


Refreeze



Pie Crusts, Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (no custard fillings)


Refreeze


Discard if above 50° for over 8 hours.


Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese filling, cheesecake


Refreeze


Discard


Commercial and homemade bread dough


Refreeze


Refreeze


Refrigerator Foods


Dairy/Eggs/Cheese:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Milk, cream, sour cream buttermilk evaporated milk yogurt


Keep


Discard


Butter, margarine


Keep


Keep


Baby Formula, opened


Keep


Discard


Eggs, egg dishes, custards puddings


Keep


Discard


Hard & processed cheeses


Keep


Keep


Soft cheeses, cottage cheese


Keep


Discard


Fruits & Vegetables:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Fruit juices, opened; Canned fruits, opened; Fresh fruits


Keep


Keep


Vegetables, cooked; Vegetable juice opened


Keep


Discard after 6 hours


Baked potatoes


Keep


Discard


Fresh mushrooms, herbs spices


Keep


Keep


Garlic, chopped in oil or buffer


Keep


Discard


Meat, Poultry, Seafood:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Fresh or leftover meat, poultry, fish, or seafood


Keep


Discard


Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beef


Keep


Discard


Canned meats NOT labeled "Keep Refrigerated" but refrigerated after opening


Keep


Discard


Canned hams labeled "Keep Refrigerated"


Keep


Discard


Mixed Dishes, Side Dishes:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Casseroles, soups, stews, pizza with meat


Keep


Discard


Meat, tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad


Keep


Discard


Cooked pasta Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinegar base


Keep


Discard


Gravy stuffing


Keep


Discard


Pies, Breads:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Cream or cheese filled pastries and pies


Keep


Discard


Fruit pies


Keep


Keep


Breads, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads


Keep


Keep


Refrigerator biscuits, rolls, cookie dough


Keep


Discard


Sauces, Spreads, Jams:


Food Still Cold, Held At 40° F Or Above Under 2 Hours


Held Above 40° F For Over 2 Hours


Mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish


Keep


Discard


Opened salad dressing, jelly, relish, taco and barbeque sauce, mustard, catsup olives


Keep


Keep


 






First Human West Nile Virus Case Reported in County

Public Health officials in St. Louis County report that a 37-year-old North County man has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man was treated at a local hospital last week. This is the first human case of the virus in St. Louis County this year.
County Health Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn said the disease infects birds and is spread through mosquitoes.
Dr. Gunn said avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent exposure, and offered the following reminders:


  • Get rid of all standing water.
  • Remove tires, buckets, and other water-holding objects.
  • Change water and clean birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Prevent water from accumulating in pool covers.
  • Unclog gutters and down spouts.
  • Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks.
  • Use insect repellents when outdoors (follow product instructions carefully).
  • Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning and evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Make sure screens fit tightly in doors and windows.

Most human infections are mild. Symptoms usually appear 3 to 15 days after infection, and include fever, headache, body aches, occasional skin rash and swollen lymph glands. More severe infection may be marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and, rarely, death.


The county is spraying for mosquitoes on a regular basis in areas where WNV has been discovered.




Rabid Bats Reported in Eight County Locations

Rabid bats have been discovered in eight locations in south and west St. Louis County this summer and the Department of Health is urging residents to use extreme caution and not handle any bats they encounter.


 Rabid bats have been collected in Chesterfield; Webster Groves (2); Eureka; Clayton; Affton and the Ballwin/Manchester area (2).


“We have had a normal season in terms of collecting rabid bats, but we still have several weeks to go,” said Ron Twillman, DOH Program Manager for Vector Control and Veterinary Services.


Frequently, county residents are unnecessarily faced with the difficult decision whether or not to receive preventive rabies vaccine because a dead bat was discarded or a live bat was released instead of being tested.  “Without the bat, we are missing the most important piece of information used to determine if shots are necessary,” said Dr. Mike Williams, Director of St. Louis County DOH Communicable Disease Control. “ When the bat can’t be tested, we are necessarily very cautious and more people make the choice to be immunized than may have been necessary had we had the animal to test”.


Any county resident who encounters a live or dead bat in their home is urged to call the health department. Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it is discovered so animal control officers can collect it for rabies testing.


During business hours, residents who live north of Page Avenue should call 831-6500. Residents, who live south of Page Avenue, should call 726-6655. After business hours, and on weekends and holidays, county residents should call Saint Louis County Police at 889-2341.



Rash Reported After Mud Mania

The Department of Health has received reports from parents that some children who attended this event have recently developed a skin rash.  Parents whose children attended this event are advised to call Communicable Disease Control Services at 314-615-1630 for further information.




County to Issue New Checks for Spoiled Food for Women and Children’s Nutrition Program

The Saint Louis County Department of Health will issue replacement checks for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) who lost perishable food during the recent power outage.


“We have some 8,000 mothers and children in Saint Louis County who depend on this program for food and nutritional services,” said County Executive Charlie A. Dooley.


“Many of these families lost perishable foods during the power outage and we are issuing replacement checks to buy milk and other food items children need,” Dooley said.


Replacement checks will be issued to anyone who redeemed a check in July before the storm on July 19. Participants should bring proof of identity to a county WIC site during normal business hours to receive a replacement check.


Checks will be issued only to current members of the county program and recipients must go to the WIC office they are assigned to receive a check.


WIC provides nutritious supplemental foods and individualized nutrition education and counseling for at-risk pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children to age five.




All Three County Health Centers Open

All three of the three community health centers operated by the Saint Louis County Department of Health are open and operating on their normal schedules.


The John C. Murphy Health Center at 6065 Helen Ave, Berkeley, resumed operations Monday after being closed for two days last week during the power outage.


 The North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, and The South County Health Center, 4850 South Lindbergh Blvd. Is open for normal operations.




Power Outage Prompts Health Department to Issue “When in Doubt, Throw it Out” Advisory

Last night’s power outage for thousands of Saint Louis County residents is a timely reminder that food that is not properly refrigerated can be a health hazard.


“Our advice is, ‘when in doubt, throw it out,’” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “Any food in the refrigerator section, especially meat, poultry and fish that reaches a temperature above 40 degrees should be discarded, “ Gunn said.


The refrigerator section will usually keep food at a safe temperature for about four hours if the door is not opened, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 


A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for up to 48 hours if the door is kept closed. A half full freezer will maintain a safe temperature for up to 24 hours if the door is kept closed.


When a power outage occurs, perishables can be packed into a cooler with ice and youngsters should be told not to open refrigerator or freezer doors, according to the American Red Cross.


The following foods in refrigerators and freezers should be discarded if kept over four hours at above 41o F, or if the temperature exceeds 45o F for any length of time:


  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and egg substitutes – raw or cooked
  • Milk, cream and soft cheese
  • Casseroles, stews or soups
  • Lunch meats and hot dogs
  • Creamy-based foods made on-site
  • Custard, chiffon, pumpkin or cheese pies
  • Cream-filled pastries
  • Cookie dough made with eggs
  • Whipped butter
  • Cut melons
  • Cooked vegetables

Additional information on food handling and storage is available at the Health Department's Safe Food Website: https://stlouisco.com/doh/Restaurant/.






Two of Three County Health Centers Open

Two of the three community health centers operated by the Saint Louis County Department of Health are open and providing normal service. .


The John C. Murphy Health Center at 6065 Helen Ave, Berkeley remains closed until further notice as a result of the power outage.


The North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, and South County Health Center, 4850 South Lindbergh Blvd. are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.




Two of Three North County Health Centers Will Remain Closed Friday

Two of the three community health centers operated by the Saint Louis County Department of Health will remain closed Friday due to the power outage. The third center, in South St. Louis County is conducting normal operations and additional staff has been assigned to that facility. .


The John C. Murphy Health Center at 6065 Helen Ave, Berkeley and the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn, are both closed Friday.


The South County Health Center, 4850 South Lindbergh Blvd. will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.




Two of Three North County Health Centers Closed During Power Outage

Two of the three community health centers operated by the Saint Louis County Department of Health will be closed Thursday due to the power outage. The third center, in South St. Louis County is conducting normal operations.


The John C. Murphy Health Center at 6065 Helen Ave,, Berkeley and the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn,  are both closed.


The South County Health Center, 4850 South Lindbergh Blvd. Is open for normal operations.




County Council Justice and Health Committee considers DRAFT Waste Management Code

A draft of changes to the Waste Code, Chapter 607 was presented to the Committee by the Health Department on June 13, 2006. The Committee is inviting all interested parties to submit comments for consideration.




  Mosquitoes Test Positive for WNV in Parts of St. Louis County

St. Louis County, MO –  (June 23, 2006) - The first mosquitoes to test positive for the West Nile Virus in St. Louis County have been discovered in Olivette, University City, Webster Groves and Richmond Heights, according to the County Health Department.


“There have been no reported human cases of WNV in St. Louis County this year, but positive mosquito tests are a reminder that preventative measures are important,” said Saint Louis County Health Department Director Dr. Dolores J. Gunn.

 “Even though serious West Nile Virus cases in humans are rare, it is important to minimize our exposure. We can do this by eliminating opportunities for mosquitoes to breed and multiply and protect ourselves by using repellants,” Gunn said.

Here are the steps residents can take to reduce the opportunities for mosquitoes to flourish:


  • Standing water: don't stand for it! Every 2 or 3 days, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that can collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bacicllus thuringiensis israelensis to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
  • Keep gutters cleaned out, and repair any tears in door and window screens.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and light colors when outdoors, and minimize exposure between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET. Always follow manufacturer's directions.

The Health Department routinely collects mosquito samples to help determine where to focus control efforts.  To find out where the County's vector control crew will be spraying, call (314) 615-4-B-U-G for the nightly mosquito-spraying schedule.


For more information on mosquito prevention, contact the County Vector Control office at 314-727-3097 or log on to www.stlouisco.com/doh.


 



National Lightning Safety Awareness Week

            This week is Summer Weather Safety Week for Missouri. The National Weather Service…the Department of Health and Senior Services…and the State Emergency Management Agency have joined together to help promote excessive heat and lightning safety.
            Each year many Missourians suffer heat-related illnesses and even death. Last year 25 people died due to heat-related causes; 12 of these persons were age 65 or older. Between 1995-2005, 312 Missourians died due to heat-related causes.
            “Everyone needs to be aware that exposure to high temperatures and humidity can cause heat-related illness and even death,” said Julie Eckstein, Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services.
            “This summer we urge all Missourians to check on elderly family members and neighbors to be sure they are not suffering from the effects of high temperatures,” Eckstein said.
            Heat related illness occurs when the body’s temperatures control system is overloaded. The body normally cools itself by sweating, but when the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions that can limit the ability to regulate the body temperature include old age, obesity, infection or fever, dehydration, certain medications, heart disease, poor circulation, diabetes, sunburn and drug and alcohol use.
            Reducing the risk of being struck by lightning is the focus of National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Lightning is most common in the summer months but can be a hazard throughout the year. And although most lightning victims are struck outdoors, lightning poses a threat to those indoors as well.
            Last year 2 Missourians were killed by lightning. “If you are outdoors and see darkening skies and hear thunder, seek a sturdy enclosed shelter immediately, such as a building or hardtop automobile,” said Jim Kramper, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “Don’t wait for the rain to start falling to take shelter. By then it could be too late. Lightning casualties frequently occur before the rain begins and soon after the rain ends. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder before returning outside.”
            Additional safety information for excessive heat and lightning will be released during this week.
            The National Weather Service is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the Department of Commerce, and is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events.
 For additional information on Missouri Summer Weather Safety Week on the World Wide Web, go to:
http//:www.weather.gov/stlouis/vortex/summer_safety.php.
or contact Warning Coordination Meteorologist Jim Kramper at 636.441.8216.


 



Health Department accepting bids for psychiatry services

The Department of Health is accepting bids for psychiatry services. Please see the attached document for the full specification.



Hip Hop For Health Completes First Year

Saint Louis County MO (May 29, 2006) – Hip Hop for Health, a Saint Louis County Department of Health program designed to encourage middle school students to exercise and eat a healthy diet, has completed a successful first year.


Hip Hop for Health was developed in partnership with the Ferguson-Florissant School District to promote good nutrition and physical activity for middle school students and their families.


Students at Berkeley Middle School who participated in the program received instruction in hip hop dancing two days per week and nutritional counseling two days a week during the six-week course.


“The Hip Hop for Health Program was very successful this year,” said Lori Helmsing, a physical education teacher at Berkeley Middle School. “The dance program raised our students excitement level and gained their interest.”


The two-year program is funded by a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health.



If your child has wheels, come to “Safety Town”

Saint Louis County, MO (May 19, 2006)) - The Saint Louis County Department of Health and the Saint Louis County Police Department are sponsoring the annual "Safety Town " event on two Fridays in June.


Youngsters who ride bikes, rollerblades or skateboards are invited to learn safe riding habits by taking a free spin through “Safety Town” streets. Bring your child’s own bike or use one that will be available during the event.


The first “Safety Town” will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon Friday, June 2, at the North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, in Pine Lawn.


The second “Safety Town” will be from 9:00 to noon Friday, June 16, at the John C. Murphy Health Center, 6065 Helen Ave., in Berkeley.


Free safety helmets for children will be available, while supplies last. A parent or responsible adult must accompany each child, and sign a consent form authorizing the child to receive a safety helmet.


Health Department staff will properly fit each helmet for the child's safety. Children who already own helmets may bring their bikes and helmets to be checked for appropriate fit.


The event is free to St. Louis County residents and is co-sponsored by the National Safety Council.


 



Health Department Offers Information About Bats

Saint Louis County, MO – (May 3, 2006) - The warmer weather marks the awakening of bats from hibernation, and the Saint Louis County Department of Health is cautioning residents to avoid handling the animals, since some can carry rabies.

Any county resident who encounters a live or dead bat in their home is urged to call the health department. Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it is discovered so animal control officers can collect it for rabies testing. During business hours, residents who live north of Page Avenue should call 831-6500. Residents, who live south of Page Avenue, should call 726-6655. After business hours, and on weekends and holidays, county residents should call Saint Louis County Police at 889-2341.

Last year, 366 bats were tested and 24 had rabies, said Ron Twillman, DOH Program Manager of Vector Control and Veterinary Services.

Health officials urge people to be aware of and cautious around wildlife, especially bats, and to avoid direct contact with any animal that is behaving strangely. Children should be taught to stay a safe distance away from any unknown animals.

Twillman said people should check with their veterinarians on the immunization status of their pets. Because rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all cats and dogs are properly vaccinated, as required by county ordinances. Once transmitted, the disease of rabies has no cure and is almost always fatal.

Most bats don't carry rabies, and in fact perform a beneficial service by eating large quantities of insects. But if one bat in colony contracts rabies, chances are it will spread to other members of the colony.

For more information, about pet vaccinations, or to report animal bites, please call the Saint Louis County Department of Health, North Animal Shelter at 314-831-6500; or the South Shelter at 314-726-6655, or visit www.stlouisco.com/doh and click on Animal Control.

Immunization Drive Kicks Off in Wellston
Goal is to immunize 100% of children by end of summer

SAINT LOUIS COUNTY (April 25, 2006) – Children in Wellston will receive free immunizations this spring and summer under a new program called Healthy Town, sponsored by the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Working in conjunction with Wellston School District, Wellston Housing Authority and other community groups the Department is planning numerous events and outreach activities in an attempt to immunize every child age six or younger.
     The program will be announced at a kick-off event on April 27 at Eskridge High School, 1200 Sutter in Wellston. Several prominent community leaders will join St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley and Dolores Gunn, M.D., director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, at a 1 p.m. press conference. The event is part of Wellston Schools’ annual health fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     “Immunizing 100 percent of preschool age children is a lofty goal, but we think it is achievable,” said Gunn. The Wellston program is one of several community outreach efforts the Department of Health will sponsor this year to mark its 100th anniversary. “Clearly we have come a long way in our health practices in the past 100 years. But the fact that a large number of children in the County need to be immunized shows there is much room for improvement,” said Gunn.
     Gunn estimates that approximately 30% of Wellston children do not receive the proper immunizations to protect them from diseases such as mumps, measles, hepatitis, polio, and more. She noted that the immunization kick-off comes at a time when cases of mumps are increasing in some parts of the Midwest. “We have some concerns about the young children who have not had the vaccination for mumps, so this is good timing for our immunization program,” she said.
     To reach the 100% goal by the end of the summer, the Health Department is offering free immunizations at numerous special events listed below, and through day care visits and neighborhood canvassing.


Special Events
Immunizations and lead screenings will be offered as follows:
Date Time Location
May 20 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wellston Housing Authority, 6203 Cote Brilliante
May 27 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wellston Housing Authority, 6203 Cote Brilliante
May 30 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Family Activity Day at Eskridge High School, 1200 Sutter Ave.
June 2 9 a.m. – Noon Safety Town/North Central Community Health Center,
4000 Jennings Station Road


Day Care Centers
The Department will schedule visits to day care centers and in-home day cares to offer free immunizations and lead screenings. Dates and times to be announced.

Neighborhood Canvassing
The Department will also canvass particular neighborhoods with low participation rates. Registered nurses or licensed nurse practitioners will bring vaccination kits along in the hopes of performing immunizations in the homes.

     The immunization program will continue through the end of August. Funding for the program comes from the Health Department. Partners include Wellston School District, Wellston Housing Authority, and several daycares in Wellston. Educational materials and support are being provided from several sponsors including ARCHS, HealthCare USA, Mercy Health Plan, BJC, and others.
     Wellston residents can find out more about the free immunizations by calling 314-615-1600 or visiting www.stlouisco.com/doh.



Forum for Leadership For Providers in Underserved Healthcare


Sponsored by:
The Institute for Family Medicine
Saint Louis County Department of Health
East Central Missouri Area Health Education Center


These seminars are open to the public. Seating will be limited so please reserve your seat by calling the locations below.


Thursday, March 2, 2006 8:30 a.m. to noon
Location: North Central Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road, (314) 679-7800


Topic: Underserved Healthcare – A St. Louis Update


Presentations:
“ Underserved Health Care and Public Health – St. Louis overview“
William Kincaid, MD, Director,
St. Louis City Department of Health


“Integrated Provider Network”
Dr. Emmanual Kintu, Executive Director
St. Louis Integrated Provider Network


“Health Literacy”
Felicia Brown, M.D., Medical Director, South County Health Center, St. Louis County Department of Health


Thursday, April 6, 2005 8:30 a.m. to noon
Location: South County Health Center
4580 South Lindbergh Blvd, (314) 842-1300

Topic: Behind the Scenes – “How they came up with that – and why”

Presentations:
United States Preventive Medical Task Force Recommendations –
“The process”
Micheal LeFevre, MD, Department of Family Medicine, University of Missouri School of Medicine

Developing a Mass Casualty Plan – Pandemic Flu
Mike Williams, PhD. Director of Center for Disease Control of the Saint Louis County Department of Health

The Missouri Medicaid Formulary – Opportunities and Limitations
George Oestrich, PharmD, Pharmacy Division, Missouri Department of Social Services



Community Engagement Seminar
Sponsored by:
The Institute for Family Medicine
Saint Louis County Department of Health
East Central Missouri Area Health Education Center


Dr. Harry Cayton, National Director for Patients and the Public
United Kingdom Department of Health
will be the featured speaker at the Community Engagement Seminar
Friday, March 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
at the North Central Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road.


Dr. Cayton is a strong advocate for empowerment of patients, striving to engage the patient and the public to have input into the way the health services system works. This involvement enables individuals to have a greater role in their own health. This revolutionary approach requires a “cultural change”, but ultimately leads to improving patients’ healthcare experiences – and to improvement in the public’s health.


According to Dr. Cayton, the “challenge is getting across the message that everyone has a contribution to make towards improving the patient experience. Real patient and public involvement is about relationship, partnership, and good communication.”


Dr. Cayton was appointed to his current position in May of 2002. He also serves as chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society and previously served as chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society. Dr. Cayton has worked for over 25 years in special education, health, and social care. “During that time I have become increasingly convinced of people’s ability to make their own decisions and manage their illness and of the way health and social care practice and research improves if patients and [caregivers] are actively involved.”


This seminar is open to the public. Seating will be limited so please reserve your seat by calling Mary Cappel at 314-849-7669.


 


 



Two Months Remain in Flu Season

Saint Louis County, MO (Feb. 3, 2006)) – Just over 200 cases of laboratory confirmed influenza have been reported in St. Louis County this flu season. “Residents still have time to get vaccinated and follow precautions to avoid becoming ill,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health.


The county has recorded 217 cases for the period ending Jan 29, 2006, compared to 100 for the same period last year. There were 1,413 reported cases in the 2004-2005 flu season. The flu reporting season starts Oct. 1.


“The flu season runs through the end of March and people who have not had a flu shot, should get one,” Gunn said. “Public health agencies are monitoring the Avian flu on a worldwide basis, but we have to also be prepared for the annual flu season,” she said.


Unlike last year, when there were long lines, and a shortage of vaccine, the supply this year is plentiful.
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County residents can call one of the health department’s health clinics for information on getting vaccinated.


The health care centers are:
John C. Murphy Health Center
6065 Helen Ave., Berkeley (314) 522-6410.


North Central Community Health Center
4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn (314) 679-7800.


South County Health Center
4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd. (314) 842-1300.


There are other steps you can take to reduce your chances of getting the flu:
•Try to keep a distance of three feet away from others.
• Always cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.
• Wash your hands frequently, especially after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
• Stay home if you are ill

More information is available at https://stlouisco.com/doh/immunizations/flushot_communityinfo.html


 



County Health Department Hosts Medicare Drug Sessions

St. Louis County, MO – (Jan. 18, 2005) The three Saint Louis County Department of Health care centers will host information sessions on the new Medicare Part D prescription plan in the coming weeks. The plan offers prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients and registration began in November.


Counselors will be available at the three health centers to answer questions about the program and assist with enrollment.


Here are the locations, dates and times for the Medicare Part D information sessions.


John C. Murphy Health Center 6065 Helen Ave., Berkeley.
Thursday, Jan. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


North Central Community Health Center 4000 Jennings Station Road, Pine Lawn
Friday, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday, March 23, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


South County Health Center, 4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd.
Monday, Jan. 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 11,10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, May 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The John C. Murphy Health Center will also host free dementia screening sessions on Thursday, January 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Friday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for anyone over the age of 50. The screening takes five minutes and anyone who tests positive will be referred to Washington University for additional testing.