Tuesday, May 29, 2012

HIV Testing Day is June 27, 2012

June 27, 2012 is National HIV Testing Day. Across the country, public health partners will be encouraging people to take the test and take control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once, as part of their routine health care. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 21% of HIV-positive people don’t know they are infected and may be transmitting HIV without knowing it.
In Jefferson County, residents are encouraged to get tested and to learn more about HIV and the current status of the AIDS epidemic.
JCPH HIV Counseling and Testing Appointments
Arvada: 303-275-7555; Lakewood: 303-239-7078

JCPH HIV Recorded Information Line 303-239-7036

Protecting Youth from Tobacco

Preventing tobacco use among youth is a major focus of the JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative because tobacco use and the addiction that follows often begins in adolescence. Tobacco use is one of Colorado's most serious public health problems.  Find out what’s happening in Jefferson County around protecting youth from the harms of tobacco, consider joining a tobacco prevention community coalition in Lakewood, Golden, Unincorporated Jeffco or Wheat Ridge.  Call 303-275-7555 or visit any of the coalition web sites.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Property Owners Take Charge

Mosquito surveillance & control for West Nile Virus in 2012
West Nile Virus (WNV) season is here and with the mosquitoes, comes the need for property owners to provide mosquito monitoring and control activities on their property. In past years, standing water on properties throughout the County was evaluated by a mosquito control contractor hired through JCPH and water was treated if mosquito larvae were found. Due to budget constraints, as of 2011, JCPH no longer provides this service. Eliminating standing water is the most effective way to stop mosquito breeding. If the water cannot be eliminated, the installation of an aerator to keep the water flowing is the next best step.   >> Brochure     How to Protect your Home.

JCPH Produce & Health Fair

JCPH Nutrition Services has organized three produce and health fairs again this year for low-income residents and seniors who may not otherwise have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Now in its fifth year, Jefferson County Public Health’s produce fairs encourage residents to make eating fresh produce a priority and promote a healthy lifestyle. Download flyer

Where:    Healing Waters Family Center, 6475 West 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge CO 80214
When:      Fridays: July 13, 2012; August 10, 2012
Time:       9 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Each adult will receive a bag of FREE fruits & vegetables. No income or residential requirements to participate. To volunteer, donate produce, or for more information call: 303.239.7126

JCPH Nutrition Services has a wealth of information on healthy eating, check out their newsletter for families.

A slideshow of last month’s produce fair is available on our flickr account: http://bit.ly/LEFQAG

Prevent Animal-Borne Diseases

Rabies, West Nile Virus, Western Equine Encephalitis, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Bubonic Plague, Tularemia, and Colorado Tick Fever are all diseases that can be carried by various animals and insects (rodents, mosquitoes or ticks) and then transmitted to humans. JCPH recommends everyone help control the presence of rodents and mosquitoes around their home. When heading outdoors, particularly to areas where wild animals and insects are active, be sure to wear insect repellant, appropriate clothing and protect your pets from fleas and ticks. Remember not to handle sick or dead animals or animal waste. A few precautions go a long way towards preventing animal-borne disease. For more information on Animal Borne Disease Prevention, check out our Brochure, or got to our Zoonosis web page.

Injury Facts Hurt . . . Colorado had the 17th Highest Rate of Injury Deaths in U.S.

“The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report” recently released by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), highlights injuries as a major public health problem in the United States and concludes that millions of injuries could be prevented each year if more states adopted additional research-based injury prevention policies, and if programs were fully implemented and enforced. According to the report, injuries – including those caused by accidents and violence -- are the third-leading cause of death nationally – and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44. One person dies from an injury every three minutes. Every year, injuries lead to $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.

Injury Prevention is a Colorado Winnable Battle. JCPH’s Injury Prevention Program works with partners at the state and local levels on a variety of injury prevention initiatives, including safe driving, safe sleep and fall prevention. Read Report  >>  view web site  >>  view Colorado page

Handouts to use:   Fall Prevention     >>   Safe Sleep    >>    Teen Driving     >>   JCPH Student PSA video

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Weight of the Nation

Public Health encourages Jefferson County residents to watch the HBO documentary, “The Weight of the Nation.” The four-hour, four-part documentary gives the nation’s obesity crisis a face and sounds an alarm that is difficult to ignore. Obesity affects 36% of American adults and 17% of American children and leads to multiple negative health consequences. “To win,” says the series’ subtitle, “we have to lose.”

It is time to put knowledge into action. Here are some tips for encouraging healthy eating habits, also check out some other educational handouts about healthy eating under “N” for nutrition on our educational handout page.

Livewell Colorado is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. In addition to educating and inspiring people to make healthy choices, LiveWell Colorado focuses on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. Check out the LiveWell Colorado web site and join the movement. The City of Wheat Ridge is one of the LiveWell Colorado communities. Check out some of the exciting work being done to transform 38th Avenue into a Safer, Pedestrian/Bicyclist-Friendly, Vibrant Main Street.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Power of Nursing to Change Lives . . . Jefferson County Nurse Family Partnership Program

Jefferson County Public Health’s (JCPH) nurse home visitor, Val Carberry and her client, Rita Erickson, were spotlighted in a NY Times online opinion article, “The Power of Nursing” on May 16, 2012. The article conveys the enormous return on investment of this federally funded program, estimated at $5.70 in benefits to society for every dollar spent. It also clearly points out the power of the NFP Partners for Healthy Partners Program in Jefferson County, Colorado to change people’s lives dramatically and positively forever.

Public Health Nurse, Val Carberry has been a nurse for 28 years and has worked with more than 150 mothers in the JCPH Nurse Family Partnership Partners for Healthy Families Program. “When a woman becomes pregnant whether she’s 14 or 40, there’s this window of opportunity, they want to do what’s right. They want to change bad behaviors, tobacco, alcohol, using a seat belt, anything. As nurses, we’re able to come in and become part of their lives at that point in time. It’s a golden moment. But you have to be persistent. And you have to be open and nonjudgmental.”
Jefferson County Nurse Family Partnership's Val Carberry
interacts with infant

The article also describes a relationship between a public health nurse and a young mother and how the support of that relationship gave hope and encouragement to change, to adopt healthy behaviors and to create a new life. It is the type of story, JCPH’s nurses, nutritionists and other employees who work every day with Jefferson County’s populations know well. It is the type of story behind so many of public health’s interactions with the public we serve. In a very real sense these types of successes, accomplishments, support and partnerships are what public health is all about.

The following is excerpted from the Power of Nursing article:

“Consider the relationship between Rita Erickson and Valerie Carberry. Rita had had a methadone addiction for 12 years and was living from place to place in Lakewood, Colo. She found out she was pregnant; a parole officer told her about NFP. “I’d burned bridges with my family,” Rita told me. “I was running around with the wrong people. I didn’t have anyone I could ask about being pregnant.” In the early months, Valerie had to chase her around town, Rita recalled. “I was worried she might say, ‘This is too much hassle. Come back when you have your act together.’ But she stuck with me.”

Over the next two years, they embarked on a journey together. “I had a zillion questions,” Rita recalled. “I was really nervous at first. I had lived most of my adult life as a drug addict. I didn’t know how to take care of myself.” On visits, they discussed everything: prenatal care, nutrition, exercise, delivery options. After Rita’s daughter, Danika, was born, they focused on things like how to recognize feeding and disengagement cues, remembering to sleep when the baby sleeps, how to manage child care so Rita could go back to school. For Rita, what made the biggest impression was hearing about how a baby’s brain develops — how vital it was to talk and read a lot to Danika, and to use “love and logic” so she develops empathy. Once Valerie explained that when babies are touching their hands, they’re discovering that they have two. “To me that was really amazing,” Rita said.

This month, Rita is graduating from Red Rocks Community College with an associate degree in business administration. She’s going to transfer to Regis University to do a bachelors degree. Her faculty selected her as outstanding graduate based on leadership and academic achievement — and she was asked to lead the graduation procession and give one of the commencement speeches. Danika is thriving, Rita said. Recently, she came home from preschool and announced: “Mommy, I didn’t have a good day at school today because I made some bad decisions and you wouldn’t be proud of me.” (She had pushed another child on the playground.) As for the NFP, Rita says that it helped her recover from her own bad decisions. When Valerie came along, she needed help badly. “I didn’t care about my life. I didn’t care about anything. I never ever thought I would have ended up where I am today.”

For more information:

Jefferson County Public Health: NFP Partners for Healthy Families Program

Nurse Family Partnership: http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/