Monday, April 3, 2017

Immunizations save lives

This April, make sure you and your family are up to date on your immunizations. April 23-29 is World Immunization Week and National Infant Immunization Week is April 22-29.

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) is an annual observance to highlight the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrate the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities. Learn more about NIIW(

Since 1994, hundreds of communities across the United States have joined together to celebrate the critical role vaccination plays in protecting our children, communities and public health.
But it’s not just infants and children that benefit from vaccination. Without the proper immunization, adults are also at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases, which can cause serious illness, hospitalization, disability and in some cases, death, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
To learn more about immunization rates in Colorado, view the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Immunization Rates and Data web page. JCPH urges everyone to be sure they and their children have the vaccinations they need. 

  • Please call 303-239-7078 to schedule an immunization clinic visit at our Lakewood clinic. 
  • For more information about the importance of infant immunization, visit

Beat the Buzz – prevent mosquito-borne diseases like Zika

Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world because of the diseases they spread. Among these is Zika virus, a disease that is mostly spread by infected mosquitoes of the Aedes species. These particular mosquitoes bite both day and night and are located only in certain parts of the world — including some states in the U.S. 
Zika can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus or through sex with a person infected with the virus. 

The best way to prevent Zika — as well as other serious illnesses — is to prevent mosquito bites. 

Watch the video below to learn more: 

Tips to Beat the Buzz and prevent the mosquito bites include:

-Wear long sleeves outdoors

-Use an insect  repellent with an active ingredient approved by the Centers for Disease Control.

-Hang mosquito netting around cribs and beds.

-Treat clothing with an insect-repellent.

-If traveling to areas where Zika has been confirmed, follow as many guidelines as possible to prevent mosquito bites.

-If you are pregnant or may become pregnant, avoid traveling to areas with Zika.
- If you or a partner has travelled to areas where Zika has been confirmed, practice safe sex. Use latex condoms, the right way, every time, or choose not to have any type of sex with a partner who has been in an area with Zika.

View the JCPH Zika resource page for more tips and information. For more information on animal-borne diseases, please contact our Zoonosis Program at

303-271-5700 or

Edgewater WIC Clinic Moves to 7495 W, 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Jefferson County Public Health announced today that it will be moving its Edgewater WIC clinic on Thursday, April 6 and Friday, April 7, 2017 to its new location at the Jeffco Family Health Services Center, 7495 W. 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.  The clinic will be open and available to clients on Monday, April 10, 2017 at the new location.  Jefferson County Public Health also has WIC clinic sites in Lakewood, 645 Parfet Street, Lakewood, CO 80215 and in Arvada, 5150 Allison St, Arvada, CO 80002.

“We are thrilled to be collocating with the Jeffco Family Health Services Center” said JCPH Community Nutrition Manager Kylie Harrison, “Our WIC participants will now have the option to receive medical, dental, mental health and care coordination services along with their WIC benefits, all at the same location.”
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, prescriptions for healthy food, health referrals and other services free of charge to Colorado families who qualify. WIC’s goal is to help keep pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age 5 healthy.
WIC is for all kinds of families: married and single parents, working or not working.  If you are a father, mother, grandparent, foster parent or other legal guardian of a child under 5, you can apply for WIC. In Jefferson County, please call 303-271-5780 and join WIC today.
We apologize for any inconvenience this move may cause and will do our best to minimize any disruptions to services provided.  Stay tuned for any updates at

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month - Make early childhood health a priority

More than 700,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect in the U.S. in 2014, the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control. In the same year, more than 1,500 children died due to abuse and neglect.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a time to acknowledge the important things communities and families can do to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Public health agencies, like JCPH, work to stop child maltreatment, including abuse and neglect, before it occurs. In doing this, national, state and local public health programs promote the development of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments between children and their parents or caregivers. Children's experiences are defined through their environments (such as homes, schools, and neighborhoods) and relationships with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Healthy relationships act as a buffer against adverse childhood experiences and are necessary to ensure the long-term physical and emotional well-being of children. 

The first years of a child's life are some of the most important in terms of cognitive, social and physical development. Early experiences occurring when a child's brain and behavior are being shaped affect a child's ability to learn, to get along with others, and to develop an overall state of well-being. Unfortunately, not all children have the same positive experiences or opportunities, which can lead to disparities. Social, economic and environmental factors have been closely linked to health disparities.  

Research suggests that many disparities in overall health and well-being are rooted in early childhood. For example, those who lived in poverty as young children are more at-risk for leading causes of illness and death, and are more likely to experience poor quality of life. This growing problem costs the United States billions of dollars annually.

That’s why Jefferson County Public Health is hosting three screenings of “The Raising of America,” a documentary on early childhood health and the things community members can do to help the youngest among us. The first two screening took place the first weekend of April, and the third will be from 5-7 p.m. April 17 at the Golden Library. RSVP at
The documentary film series 
“The Raising of America” chronicles how a strong, healthy and supportive start for all children leads to better individual outcomes and to healthier, safer and more prosperous and equitable communities. 

 “‘The Raising of America’ changes the way we look at early child health and development,” said Sophia Yager, Jefferson County Public Health nurse program manager and lead for the Health in Early Childhood Collaborative. “Jefferson County can only benefit from considering how to best support its youngest residents and their families. Through these viewings, we hope to start those conversations.”

To learn more about “The Raising of America” and watch a trailer for the documentary, go to

Jefferson County Public Health’s home visitation programs such as Prenatal Plus, Nurse Family Partnership and the Family Collaboration Programs as well as its HEAL in Early Childhood and Clinic Services provide the support necessary to keep children and their families healthy.  The Community Health Services Division implements evidence-based prevention strategies to reduce health disparities and promote health equity to positively impact later health, well-being, education and productivity and self-sufficiency.

WATCH THIS VIDEO to learn more!

This Earth Day, focus on education

On Earth Day this year, April 22, take time to think about the environment and climate.
This year’s Earth Day focus is on environmental and climate literacy. The Earth Day Network is offering toolkits to help community members hold events and “Teach-ins” about the importance of climate change awareness, advocating for environmental education in schools and encouraging individuals to take action in their communities.

Climate change, and its impacts on health, have been widely recognized in the public health community. The American Public Health Association declared 2017 the Year of Climate Change and Health, and is dedicated to educating the public on just what a changing world means for them and their families.

"If anyone doesn't think this is a severe problem, they are fooling themselves," said APHA Executive Director Georges Benjami, in the Washington Post.

Water quality and availability, insect-borne diseases and the health impacts of extreme weather events are among the top public health issues regarding climate change.

A recent report from CNN also detailed the lasting impacts climate change has not only on physical health, but on mental health, too. With climate projections predicting an increase in severe weather events, like flooding, heat waves, wildfires, droughts and large storms, the mental and emotional impact of the environment is expected to grow. In the article, British psychologist James Rubin said the impact of climate on mental health needs to be given attention.

“There are a whole host of stressors around (flooding),” said Rubin, whose research centered around the impact of floods. “Preventing (climate change) from happening, from worsening and intervening is really important.”

To learn more about the impact of climate change on health, watch the videos from the national Climate and Health Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., in February. The conference was hosted by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, APHA, The Climate Reality Project, Harvard Global Health Institute and the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment with support from the Turner Foundation and other organizations.

Celebrate National Public Health Week — April 3-9, 2017 — by learning more about JCPH

From immunizations to restaurant inspections, from early childhood health to emergency preparedness, the programs at Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) affect our communities each day.

That’s why we celebrated National Public Health Week from April 3-9, 2017. It’s a chance to tell you about all the ways we can serve you and your family, and an opportunity to make a difference.

The theme for 2017 National Public Health Week is “Healthiest Nation 2030,” and is based around The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) goal to cultivate the healthiest nation in the world in just one generation. Jefferson County Public Health is joining the APHA in this goal by advocating for healthy and equitable policies, the power of prevention, successful community partnerships and the importance of a strong public health system.

Each day this week, JCPH we shared videos on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel to highlight some of the programs and people that work to keep our communities healthy and safe. We encourage all members of the community to celebrate National Public Health Week by engaging with us on social media and sharing the ways public health makes a difference in their lives using the hashtag #JCPH.

Here's the link to our YouTube channel where you can find our videos:

Other ways to get involved any time of year:

  • Join a local public health coalition. The Healthy Jeffco Network is a partnership of more than 400 community partners in seven coalitions who work to make the county a healthier place to live, learn, work and play. The coalitions include: Active Living, Food Policy, Jeffco Sips Smart, Health in Early Childhood, School Wellness, Preventive Care & Behavioral Health Resources and Jeffco Thrives. Visit Healthy Jeffco’s website to learn more about how to get involved.
  • Attend a screening for The Raising of America. The Raising of America is a documentary that explores how a strong start for all children can lead to a healthier, more equitable America. Healthy Jeffco’s Health in Early Childhood Coalition will host a screening and community discussion about the film from 5-7 p.m. April 17, 2017 at the Golden Library. To RSVP or get more information, go to

  • Get yourself, your family and your pets immunized! From infancy to adulthood, immunizations help prevent serious illness and even death. The Jefferson County Public Health clinic at 645 Parfet Street in Lakewood offers vaccines for the whole family. Remember to take care of furry family members, too — important vaccines, such as the rabies vaccine, are essential to maintaining health and safety for Fido. 

  • Join a local prevention team. Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in Colorado. You can help prevent youth tobacco use and support smoke-free environments in your community by joining an action committee such as the Smoke-Free Places Action Committee or the Citizens for a Healthier Lakewood coalition. Learn more about these groups and more by visiting

  • Test the water and air around your home. Keeping your family as healthy as possible starts at home. You can create healthier environments by testing your home for radon gas, testing your well water for contaminants, and more. Learn more about air and water quality at
  • Visit us online at for more information about all our services.

Follow Jefferson County Public Health on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to see behind-the-scenes videos of our programs and keep up with the latest in public health. To learn more about National Public Health Week and ways you can get involved in making a healthier America, go to

Colorado nutrition program teaches gardening to get kids to eat veggies

A nutrition assistance program in Colorado is working to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in children’s diets by teaching them more about gardening, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The statewide program, called “Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants, launched in March in child care centers and homes supported by the Colorado Child and Adult Food Care Program, a health department program that provides nutrition assistance and education to care programs serving low-income Coloradans.

“The CHOP program provides children experience in growing their own food,” said Tanya O’Connor, nutrition consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Gardening will help these children experience the wonder and bounty of nature while developing healthy eating habits for a lifetime.”

The CHOP program aims to teach children the behaviors that lead to a healthier lifestyle. In Jefferson County, 92 percent of children consume less than the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. One of every three Jefferson County adults consumes less than one serving of fruit each day.

To change this, the CHOP program includes gardening to its nutrition curriculum and encourages participating day care centers and homes to plant gardens.

Learn more about the program here: Cooking up Healthy Options with Plants.
The Jefferson County Food Policy Council aims to increase equitable access to healthy, local and affordable food and support a sustainable community food system. To learn more about the council or become a member, go to

To learn more about WIC, which provides supplemental nutrition to families in Jefferson County, go to