Monday, December 2, 2013

World AIDS Day December 1, 2013

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2013 serves as an important reminder to everyone that HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Since the beginning of the HIV and AIDS epidemic more than half a million people have died of AIDS in the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Surveillance Report) – that is equivalent to the entire population of Jefferson County. There are currently more than one million people living with HIV and AIDS in the U.S. and approximately one-fifth of these are unaware of their infection.

That means the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS is still very much present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates approximately 56,000 Americans are infected with HIV each year. So, this December 1st, Put the Red Ribbon back on and join in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Resources:

Jefferson County Public Health offers screening, diagnosis and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at our Arvada and Lakewood locations. If you have ever had a sexually transmitted disease, you may be at risk for HIV infection. JCPH also offers anonymous and confidential HIV counseling and testing. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact: 303-232-6301
Download the JCPH HIV Testing and Counseling brochure

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/default.htm
JCPH HIV Testing and Counseling Program

Give the Gift of a Hunger-Free Holiday

Each year, the Action Center in Jefferson County distributes food boxes to struggling families during the holidays. Give the gift of hunger-free holiday by donating items in need to the Action Center or other food bank of your choice. Donating food can ease the strain on tight budgets for many families in Jefferson County.

The Action Center Urgent Food Needs List: Dried Mashed Potatoes, Yams, Turkey Gravy, Corn Bread (mix), Stuffing (mix), Pie Filling, Olives, Chicken Broth, Bread, Dessert items and other holiday extras. Canned food, peanut butter, tuna, a bag of rice, pasta or beans or any non-perishable food would also be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in volunteering for Food Box distribution please call 303.237.7704 ext. 244. Visit the Action Center’s volunteer web page.

When you are grocery shopping this weekend please buy a few foods from the above list to donate. Together we can help give many families a Happy Holiday season.

Think Toy Safety

Picking the perfect toy for that special child in your life can be fun. Knowing that the toy is safe and won’t cause a tragic injury is priceless. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency created to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with some 15,000 types of consumer products, including toys. Choking on small parts, small balls and balloons remains a leading cause of toy-related deaths and injuries. Here are some tips to help you with your toy selection:
  • Think about toy safety when shopping for the holidays. Buy toys that are right for the child's age, interests and skill levels.
  • Look for labels to help you judge which toys might not be safe, especially for infants and children under age three. The law bans small parts in toys for children under three and requires an explicit, prominent warning label on toys with small parts for children between the ages of three and six. In addition, balls with a diameter smaller than 1.75 inches are banned for children under three years old. 
Resources

Eyes and Thoughts on the Road Please

Jefferson County Public Health reminds everyone to stay safe while driving this holiday season. That means, among other things, finding a designated driver if you plan on drinking any alcohol while out and about; using your seatbelt and having your children properly restrained in age-appropriate car seats or boosters; and, it means, not using your cell phone while driving. Here are some tips from the National Safety Council on cell-free driving.


Before you drive
  • Develop a habit of turning off your cell phone when you get in your vehicle, and turning it back on when you are done driving. If you can’t turn your phone off, put it on vibrate or silent mode. 
  • Put your cell phone in your trunk to avoid temptation.
  • Record a voicemail greeting telling callers it is not safe to make calls while driving, and you will return their call as soon as you are able.
  • If you spend a lot of time on the road, organize your route and schedule to allow time to make and return phone calls from the parking lot of one location before leaving to drive to the next one. This strategy has helped employees who drive frequently to maintain productivity and accessibility.
While you drive
  • Do not make or answer cell phone calls, even with hands-free devices. If you must make an emergency call, leave the road and park in a safe area.
  • Do not send or read text messages or email.
  • If you are driving with a passenger, allow them to operate the phone.
  • Let someone else drive so that you can freely make or receive calls.
For more information on safe driving and injury prevention in general, visit the Jefferson County Public Health website.

A Public Health Smart Holiday Season . . . Wash your Hands, Stay Home if You’re Sick!

It’s the time of year for parties, get-togethers and celebrations. It’s also flu season and a common time for the spread of disease and illness. Following basic public health practices during the holidays, such as washing hands, staying home if you’re sick and adhering to proper food handling and preparation techniques, can help you and your family from getting sick or from spreading illness to others.

Stay Home if You’re Sick (poster); Wash Your Hands (brochure) You have a Role in Food Safety (handout) JCPH Flu shots (web page) Stop the spread of germs (web page)

Wash, Wash, Wash and Wash again! December 1-7, 2013 is National Handwashing Week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers an excellent Feature on Handwashing .

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Too Fat to Fight . . . Obesity and Overweight just might be a National Security Issue

Obese and overweight are not the way to be if you want to join the army. MISSION READINESS, a national nonprofit group of retired generals and admirals wants people to know that obesity and overweight just might be a national security issue. National surveys conducted for the military indicate that approximately one in four young adults is unable to serve because of excess body fat. Poor nutrition and a lack of physical exercise not only leave many young people too heavy to join but they also create challenges for those accepted, such as increased strains or fractures. According to a Pentagon study, the number of Army soldiers booted for being overweight has jumped tenfold in the past five years from 168 in 2008 to 1,815. In the Marine Corps, the figure nearly doubled from 102 in 2010 to 186 in 2011 but dropped to 132 last year.

Prediabetes . . . Are you at risk?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 1 of every 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes. That is approximately 79 million Americans aged 20 years or older living with prediabetes, and most of them don’t know they have it. A person with prediabetes has a blood sugar level higher than normal, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes.

Prediabetes is a serious health condition that increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 5 years. Prediabetes does not have to lead to type 2 diabetes. Colorado is one of many states participating in the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes. This program is now being offered at work places and community-based organizations across Colorado and has been shown to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. To learn more about the Diabetes Prevention Program and where programs are located throughout Colorado, please visit the website or call 1-800-DIABETES.

A recent community health assessment conducted in Jefferson County shows that from 2001 to 2010 there was an 89% increase in diabetes among adults in Jefferson County. This is just one of the many health trends we hope to reverse in the coming years with our community health improvement plan. Find out how you can get involved in creating a healthier Jefferson County, Colorado at www.healthypeoplehealthyplacesjeffco.com.

It is Not Too Late to Get Your Flu Shot

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot, that is the recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials nationwide. A recent study of influenza associated pediatric deaths in the United States supports those recommendations and just might compel parents who have waived their children’s vaccinations to reconsider. The report shows that flu-related deaths occurred in many healthy children and that most of the deaths were in children who had not received a seasonal flu vaccination. Read more here: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/flu-children-impact.htm . Jefferson County Public Health offers flu vaccinations to children and adults. Please call to make an appointment: 303-232-6301. For more information, please visit our influenza web page.

Wonder if you have the flu or just a bad cold? Download our flu or cold brochure.

Get Support for Quitting During the Great American Smokeout

Jefferson County Public Health encourages all tobacco users, whether you smoke or use other tobacco products, to Quit for A Day or Quit for Life during the Great American Smokeout, November 21, 2013.

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke causes 443,000—or 1 in 5 deaths each year in the United States.

If you want to take the tobacco-free challenge, there are steps to take now that will help you prepare and significantly increase your chances for success.

Resources
  • Colorado offers numerous resources to help you quit smoking or quit using other tobacco products. Visit www.tobaccofreeco.org to learn more or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • COQuitMobile is a free text-based program that places you on the path to a life free from tobacco.
  • You may also visit the Ready to Quit page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco website for a list of additional resources to help you quit.
  • Tips From Former Smokers is a powerful CDC national campaign that encourages people to quit smoking by highlighting the toll that smoking-related illnesses take on smokers and their loved ones.
  • View this American Lung Association fact sheet about what resources are covered under the new guidelines of the Affordable Care Act. 
Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative is working with students, parents and community members to educate about the harms of tobacco in our communities and to promote tobacco-free living. For more information or to get involved, please visit: www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email us at tobaccofree@jeffco.us or call Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.

The Journey of Quitting . . . New Video Shares Personal Success Stories

Ever wonder why you or your loved one is having such a hard time quitting smoking, and staying quit? A group of ex-smokers wants you to know that while quitting may be hard, it is possible and absolutely worth it. These former tobacco users share their stories in a new video, “The Journey of Quitting.” Produced in partnership with the Red Rocks Community College Tobacco Cessation Project and Jefferson County Public Health the video tells the stories of nine former smokers and their personal journeys to becoming free from tobacco.

If you are struggling with tobacco or have a loved one that is, give yourself the gift of 20 minutes to view this video and learn tips and lessons from those who have been successful. View this video at: http://tobaccofreejeffco.com/how-to-quit.html .

It’s Turkey Time . . . Prevent Foodborne Illness this Holiday Season

Whether you are cooking for yourself, your family or a whole bunch of people, it is important to be aware of safety issues when thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey. A few simple steps can help keep foodborne illness off the menu this Thanksgiving.  
  • Safe Thawing-Thawing turkeys must be kept out of the "danger zone" temperature (between 40 and 140°F) — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. See Safe Methods for Thawing, (Spanish version).  
  • Safe Preparation-Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.
  • Safe Stuffing-Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness. Follow these steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffingExternal Web Site Icon; Spanish language instructionsExternal Web Site Icon.
  • Safe Cooking-Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit FoodSafety.gov's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

Other resources:
Download JCPH turkey time handout    view  the JCPH Food Safety web  page

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Rising Among Women

Globally, people are spending more and more time engaged in sedentary behaviors. Computers, television, and other electronic devices are encouraging physical inactivity as well as sedentary jobs and modes of transportation.

In a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who  were physically inactive and spent 10 hours or more sitting each day were at 63% greater risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) when compared with women who were regularly active.
It is also important to note that women who met physical activity guidelines but sat for long periods each day had an increased CVD risk. Due to the results of this study, the Jefferson County Public Health Department challenges you to get up and move around throughout your day!


Here is an idea to help take care of your heart and your loved ones hearts!  Participate in the Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.  

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, all Americans are encouraged to take a stand and work together to end domestic violence. Jefferson County Public Health recognizes that members of our community suffer needlessly due to domestic violence. Many JCPH programs provide education and support to families including, Nurse Family Partnership, WIC, Prenatal Plus and Family Planning.

If you or someone you know is being abused, there is help. Please call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Watch the White House’s video entitled, “1 is 2 Many”.

To learn more about creating healthy relationships in your life or to find more resources for getting out of a relationship that is unhealthy, watch this special episode of Sex Ed With Mel. . . In 30 Minutes or Less.

World Food Day - Oct 24th

On October 24th, people all over the country will celebrate World Food Day, the nationwide movement for healthy, affordable, sustainable food. The goal of this day is to help people “eat real.” That means, no sugary drinks, processed and pre-packages, salty foods and fatty meats. On this day, we encourage you to eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and sustainably raised protein.

Today’s typical diet is contributing to some of the leading causes of death and disease in our country, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The reality is that these health issues are costing Americans almost $150 billion every year. By eating healthier, you are not only saving your health, but your tax dollars too. And, who knows? You may find that you enjoy eating nutritious foods. Let this October 24th be the start of a new healthier you!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 1st is the kick off date for Breast Cancer Awareness month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in American women. (Skin cancer is the first.) In 2009, over 211,000 women were diagnosed with the disease. By getting the necessary exams, you can increase your chances of finding out early on, if you have breast cancer. Mammograms are the best method to detect breast cancer before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. JCPH offers breast examinations during regular visits to the Family Planning Clinic and refers clients out for mammograms as needed. For information on mammograms, or to schedule one, please visit the Women’s Wellness Connection.

“I Am a Smoke-Free Zone”

Jefferson County Public Health is proud to help launch “I Am A Smoke-Free Zone,” a new education campaign with a focus on limiting children’s exposure to secondhand smoke. “The campaign’s message that children are “smoke-free zones” is important,” said Donna Viverette, JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative Supervisor. She also stated, “We know secondhand smoke is harmful to everyone and that children are often the innocent bystanders. This campaign reminds people to protect kids by not smoking around them and helping them to avoid others’ tobacco smoke as well.”

The campaign focuses on common myths about secondhand smoke:
  1. The myth that blowing your smoke out a window or door prevents secondhand smoke exposure, 
  2. The myth that ventilation in a home or car is a good strategy, 
  3. The myth that room deodorizers can minimize risk, and 
  4. The myth that if it’s not enough to smoke in another room, open windows, and get rid of the odor, then the only other option is to quit.
According to Viverette, “The only way to fully protect children against secondhand smoke is to make cars and homes 100% smoke-free and never smoke around children,” said Viverette.

In children aged 18 months or younger, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for an estimated 150,000–300,000 new cases of bronchitis and pneumonia annually and approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States.

For more information on how to protect children from secondhand smoke go to IAmASmoke-FreeZone.org or visit Tobacco-Free Jeffco online.

After the Rain

The recent floods in Jefferson County have caused severe damage and left many homeowners with significant challenges to recovery. Jefferson County has put together a new disaster recovery web page to help community members impacted by the flood. Public health also offers important resources on water quality, food safety and other issues that may arise.

The next few months, even years, will be a time to come together and rebuild. There are many opportunities for you to get involved. Visit HelpColoradoNow.com to make donations that will also support area hunger-relief organizations.

If you have been affected directly by the recent floods, there are resources to help. The Hunger Free Hotline is a free, bilingual and confidential hotline that can connect you to food and nutrition resources. It's open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (855) 855-4626

Cleaning up after a flood can be a very difficult task. The Colorado State University Extension Office has created this fact sheet with cleaning tips and information to help you know what food items you should keep or discard. This not only applies to those directly impacted by the floods but individuals and groups wanting to donate produce or other foods to local food banks and pantries.

For more information on mold, please see the Environmental Protection Agency’s fact sheet.

Public Health is here to help with resources and information. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has compiled this list of resources that may be of help.  If you have questions regarding water or food safety issues, please call Jefferson County Public Health Environmental Health Services at 303-271-5700. If you are in need of a Tetanus shot before beginning clean-up, please call 303-232-6301. 
  • For current information on the flood in Jefferson County, visit the Disaster Relief page.

The Community has Spoken and Mental Health, Physical Inactivity and Poor Diet are Top Concerns

Healthy People, Healthy Places Jeffco, a collaboration of community organizations, health and other service providers, government agencies, worksites, and residents, committed to building a healthier Jefferson County completed its community engagement process and the results are in. Input was gathered during five community meetings, from an online survey and from members of a multi-sector on the newly formed Jefferson County Health Council. Information about the five risk factors (physical inactivity, psychosocial stressors, poor diet, tobacco use and exposure and alcohol use) was presented to all participants. These five risk factors play a role in Jefferson County’s leading causes of death. Participants were asked to prioritize which risk factors the community should commit to working on in their community health improvement plan (CHIP). Prioritization of the risk factors was accomplished by having all participants distribute $100 in play money on the risk factors they felt deserved the most attention.

The community has spoken and physical inactivity, poor diet and psychosocial stressors were overwhelmingly ranked as the highest priorities to address. With the combined rankings from all engagement efforts, $100 would be distributed as follows:

  • Physical inactivity - $29
  • Psychosocial stressors - $28
  • Poor diet - $25
  • Tobacco use and exposure - $9
  • Alcohol use - $9

Healthy People, Healthy Places Jeffco has responded to these results by convening work groups on physical activity and access to healthy food. Both work groups will also tackle psychosocial stressors as it relates.

The problem of psychosocial stress in our communities is real and it can directly impact the choices people make around physical activity and eating. For example, people who have trouble paying the rent, or who don’t live in safe neighborhoods, or don’t have an opportunity for higher education and better living wages, live with higher levels of chronic psychosocial stress. This chronic stress puts them at a greater risk of developing a range of diseases. In addition, the social and economic factors that produce this stress make it harder for them to make healthy choices: people who live in lower-income neighborhoods tend to be surrounded by liquor stores and corner stores that sell non-nutritious food items and cigarettes, and they’re less likely to have places nearby to buy healthy food and safe places to be active . By looking at ways to remove barriers to healthy eating and active living, the work groups hope to also reduce psychosocial stress in Jefferson County.

The CHIP process is an effective way to translate data into action by building partnerships, focusing on key priorities and targeting resources. Ultimately, our goal is to improve the health of all Jefferson County residents.

For more information:
  • To watch the video used in the survey about the risk factors related to health in Jefferson County, please click here. (Please note that the survey is no longer active.)
  • To read our Community Health Assessment, please click here.
To get involved in creating a healthier Jefferson County, please visit healthypeoplehealthyplacesjeffco.com or contact Erika Jermé, MScPl, JCPH Community Health Improvement Planner, at 303-271-5737 or at ejerme@jeffco.us.

Monday, September 23, 2013

After the Rain

The recent flooding has affected many families and businesses in Colorado and in Jefferson County. With the rains, came much loss and heartache. The next few months, even years, will be a time to come together and rebuild.



via Storify http://sfy.co/tEm2 -- September 23, 2013 at 02:39PM

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Protecting Youth from Tobacco . . . A Special Engagement for Youth!

Youth populations remain one of the main targets of the tobacco industry's marketing tactics. The Tobacco Free Jeffco Alliance is meeting to address youth tobacco prevention needs and identify ways to reduce the toll of tobacco on our communities. Please join us for dinner and discussion on September 4th from 4:30pm-6:30pm in the Lookout Mountain Room at the Jefferson County Courts and Admin Building (100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80401). Contact tobaccofree@jeffco.us or 303-275-7555 to RSVP.

Despite the tobacco industry’s efforts to counter life-saving tobacco prevention policies, young people continue to demonstrate the power behind their voices. One way young people in Jefferson County are becoming engaged in tobacco prevention efforts is by joining local Breathe Easy (BE) teams. BE teams have made significant gains in shaping tobacco-free norms and decreasing youth access to tobacco products in Jefferson County communities. To learn more about opportunities for your high school student to get involved, please contact Nicole at nswagger@jeffco.us or 303-239-7007.

Safe Medication Disposal

Do you know how to safely dispose of medications? More than 60,000 young children under the age of five are seen in hospital emergency rooms each year due to accidental poisoning. In addition, it is important to realize that flushing and putting unused medications in the trash can pollute our lakes, streams and water supplies. A recent study shows that 80% of US streams contain small amounts of human medicine.

The best way to dispose of your unused medication is at a medication collection site. Please do not flush medication down the toilet. If you cannot get to a site, please take the following precautions when placing it in the trash:
  • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, capsule etc.), add water to dissolve it.
  • Add kitty litter, coffee grounds or anything that would make it less appealing for children or pets to eat, to the bag.
  • Remove and destroy all identifying information on the prescription label on the medication containers before recycling or throwing them away.
  • Wrap sealed plastic bags and all empty containers in newspaper before putting them in the trash. This will help make sure that your unused medication is not easily seen and does not get into the wrong hands or eaten by a pet.
  • Put disposed medication in your trash can on the same day as your trash pick up. Leaving it in the trash over night or for just one day is enough time for someone else to find it. 
For more information and medication collection sites in Jefferson County see our brochure. You can also get more information through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Hazardous Materials and Waste Division or visit www.coloradomedtakeback.info.

Love Your Pets? Protect against Rabies

September 28, 2013 is World Rabies Day. By keeping your pets vaccinated against rabies, you are not only protecting them, but you are protecting yourself and your family too. Show your pets how much you love them by honoring September 28th and getting them vaccinated.

The Foothills Animal Shelter offers rabies vaccinations for your dog or cat for only $15. Please visit their website or call 303-278-7575 for more information. The JCPH animal borne disease program works to monitor and respond to disease threats in the county. Please read our animal borne disease newsletter for up-to-date information and data.

Are You Prepared for a Public Health Emergency?

In the event of a disaster, will you and your family be prepared? 

September has been coined as Emergency Preparedness Month. JCPH urges you to make this month a time to get prepared. Assemble an emergency supply kit, make your emergency plans and stay informed. It is also important and get involved in helping your family, your business, and your community be ready for emergencies. Please visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website for tools to help. It is also important for you to know that the Jefferson County Public Health’s Emergency Preparedness team works very hard to serve the public health needs of the community before, during and after an event. To learn more, visit our Emergency Preparedness webpage.

Keeping Your Baby Safe at Bedtime

As a parent, you are in charge of your baby’s health and safety. Jefferson County Public Health reminds all parents and caregivers that sleep time for baby should be no exception. As tempting as it might be to share a bed and snuggle with your baby, the truth is, it is not safe and could be life threatening. The risk of suffocation is real. Never share a bed or sleeping space with an infant. Protect your baby by making sure that anyone else who might be putting the baby down for sleep, including grandparents and other family members, understands the importance of a safe sleep environment and follows these few steps.

Create a safe sleep environment for infants. This will reduce risk of suffocation, as well as sudden unexplained infant death syndrome (SUIDS).
remove all items from the crib, including crib bumpers, blankets and toys.
Be sure to place infants on their backs to sleep and keep them warm by using a simple sleep sack or one-piece sleep wear.

Some parents and caregivers feel more comfortable having the infant sleep in the same room, and that’s ok! Place your baby in a portable sleeping crib or bassinette next to your bed.

To learn more about keeping your baby safe at bedtime, please watch the Jefferson County Public Health safe sleep video or download our brochure.

Excellence in Food Safety Class Celebrates 20 Years

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its Excellence in Food Safety Class (EFS) on September 10th, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. during the Food Safety Forum, which is held each month at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. The celebration offers an opportunity to thank the many individuals, food safety operators and food handlers who have made food safety their mission during National Food Safety Education Month this September 2013.

The Excellence in Food Safety (EFS) Class was developed in 1993 by dedicated staff in the Jefferson County Public Health Food Safety Program and an enthusiastic group of local restaurant owners and operators. The EFS class was one of the first in the state provided by a local health department.

Dave Hooker, supervisor of the JCPH Food Safety Program explains, “Several food handlers from the Lakewood Country Club attended the first class. Since then over 9,000 food handlers from hundreds of Jefferson County restaurants, schools, and grocery stores have taken the class and improved their food handling and preparation techniques.”

The decision to develop a classroom style food safety class was triggered by several foodborne illness incidents that occurred in the early 1990s and raised awareness nationwide of the importance of food safety. These included the 1993 Jack in the Box E coli 0157:H7 outbreak and the 1993 Milwaukee outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis associated with water.

Today’s EFS Classes continue to be current and cover the latest in food safety information in addition to any updates in the Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules & Regulations. Students are able to participate in hand washing demonstrations, pop quizzes, and a final quiz to test their food safety knowledge. The cost of the class hasn’t changed much in twenty years. It is only $10.00. “We want to keep the cost low so that as many food handlers as possible can attend”, said Dave Hooker.

To sign up for a class, contact Jefferson County Public Health at 303-271-5700 or view our web page and download the class brochure. A convenient online class is also available in 5 languages at www.jeffco.statefoodsafety.com.

Back to School Safer and Healthier!

As Jefferson County students go back to school, its important to keep a few public health lessons in mind. Eating healthy, staying active, staying up to date on immunizations, and knowing the signs of bullying are ways to make sure that kids have a healthy and safe start to the school year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tips to help you stay ahead of the curve this year. Please visit their website for more information.

Jefferson County Public Health is holding special immunization clinics at their Lakewood clinic for school age children and their siblings on the following dates:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

To make an immunization appointment for your child, please call 303-232-6301.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jefferson County Seeks Public Input for Health Improvement Plan . . .

Online Survey Available



via Storify http://sfy.co/gQ3z -- August 19, 2013 at 01:54PM

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Join American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study

Fight back against cancer by enrolling in the American Cancer Society’s new research study called Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). By joining CPS-3, participants can help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which will ultimately save more lives!

To be eligible to enroll in CPS-3, men and women should:
  • be between 30 and 65 years old
  • have no personal history of cancer (this does not include basal or squamous cell skin cancer)
  • be willing to make a long-term commitment to the study which simply involves completing periodic follow-up questionnaires.
Enrollment is free and will take place at various locations throughout Colorado during September. To schedule your 30-minute enrollment appointment, click on the location below most convenient for you.

Enrollment sites in the surrounding Denver area
Denver West September 14-20 ; Longmont September 4-7; Denver South September 10-13; Aurora September 10-14;

Sex Ed with Mel in 30 minutes or less

The more you know about sexual health, the more you can protect yourself. Watch one or all of the sex ed with Mel episodes:
  • Click here to watch "How To Use a Condom" 
  • Click here to watch "STDs" 
  • Click here to watch "Family Planning" 
  • Click here to watch "Birth Control" 
  • Click here to watch "Hormonal Birth Control" 
  • Click here to watch "Long Lasting Methods of Birth Control"

Breast Milk for Thought

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, 2013 and is celebrating 21 years of promoting the healthy benefits of breastfeeding. This year’s theme, “Breastfeeding Support Close to Mothers” highlights the importance of breastfeeding counselors which JCPH offers to its Women, Infant and Children (WIC) Program clients during pregnancy and throughout their breastfeeding experience. Not only is breast milk rich in nutrients and antibodies protecting infants from disease, but it also is easier to digest and can help moms bond with their baby. JCPH Nutrition Services offers breast feeding classes as well as certified lactation counselors to assist women with a successful breast feeding experience. The department also supports breastfeeding in the workplace and offers a comfortable workplace lactation room for moms and their infants. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adults Need Immunizations Too . . . the Cocoon Strategy

JCPH urges everyone to be sure they are up-to-date on vaccinations, including adults. Back in 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending the vaccine strategy of cocooning to protect infants from becoming infected with pertussis. The strategy works by protecting adults, family and caregivers and any individuals who come into regular contact with infants who are either too young to receive vaccine, or who are not fully vaccinated. By vaccinating individuals who are most likely to be around the infant with the pertussis booster, a cocoon of protection is established around the baby.

Due to an ongoing increase in reported pertussis cases throughout Colorado, Tdap is recommended for all adults, children 11 through 18 yrs, and for pregnant women with EACH pregnancy. This is especially important for anyone who lives with an infant and for childcare providers. To make an appointment, call 303-232-6301.

JCPH Immunization Webpage

CDC Pertussis Information

Health Insurance 101 - Understanding Health Insurance in Colorado

No one likes to be sick and paying the health care bill can be even worse, especially if you don’t have health insurance. Health care is expensive and the costs keep going up. For those without medical insurance to help pay, a serious injury or illness can be absolutely devastating. No coverage can leave you with high health care bills you cannot afford, too little or the wrong kind of coverage, and you won’t have enough protection.

If you live in Colorado, Connect for Health Colorado is the Health Insurance Marketplace to serve you. Instead of HealthCare.gov, you’ll use the Connect for Health Colorado website to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013. Visit Connect for Health Colorado now to learn more.

Learn more on this web site.

Quitting Tobacco and Avoiding Tobacco Smoke Saves Lives

An interest in improving health, the environment and safety has communities and businesses across the country working to protect everyone from the dangers of tobacco smoke. In Jefferson County, the JCPH Tobacco Prevention Program has implemented two new messaging campaigns designed to get people thinking about the harms of tobacco and tobacco smoke and to begin taking steps to live tobacco free and provide tobacco free environments for everyone.

“My Greatest Enemy” is being used by Jefferson County Public Health to highlight the harms and addiction of cigarette smoking and tobacco and the stories of those who fight back and win life’s battles. Many fight and survive depression, cancer, drug abuse and much more only to find themselves facing what may be an even greater enemy - tobacco addiction. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that more deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from illegal drug use, alcohol use, HIV, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined in the United States.

Look for “My Greatest Enemy” ads throughout the summer in local print publications, inside buses and on bus shelters. If you would like a “My Greatest Enemy” poster for your organization or business, please visit www.tobaccofreejeffco.com or contact Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.

“We Share the Air!” is the title of the new health message campaign intended to inform Jefferson County residents about the harms of exposure to any amount of tobacco smoke in any environment, indoors and outdoors. The 2010 US Surgeon General report clearly states that even occasional, low levels of exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous. “We Share the Air” emphasizes that secondhand smoke outside…is still secondhand smoke and is still dangerous.
Whether in your home or vehicle, at work, or while visiting outdoor public recreation areas, there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke for anyone. By taking steps to protect yourself and others, you can reduce the risk of exposure and help to make the air we share healthier for all.


Parents! Add Immunizations to your School Readiness Checklist

Books, backpacks, clothes, pencils and IMMUNIZATIONS!
  • Immunizations can save your child’s life and the lives of others from preventable diseases 
  • Vaccination is safe and effective. 
  • Immunizations can save your family time and money by preventing costly illnesses. 
To get your child/children up-to-date on immunizations, make an appointment with your healthcare provider or Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH).

August is National Immunization Awareness month.
All JCPH Immunization clinics are by appointment only!
Call 303-232-6301 to schedule an appointment in 
Arvada or Lakewood

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Do You Know the 4 D’s of West Nile Virus Prevention?

The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from mosquito bites, is to follow the four D’s: Drain, Dusk/Dawn, Dress, DEET.

DRAIN: Drain or empty standing water around your home and neighborhood, since that is where mosquitoes lay their eggs

DUSK/DAWN: Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning (dusk and dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times when mosquitoes are most active

DRESS: Dress in long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn or in areas where mosquitoes are active. Wearing light-colored clothing may also help prevent being bitten.

DEET, Picariden or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus: Wear insect repellant containing either DEET, Picariden or oil of lemon eucalyptus.


  •  Follow label instructions
  •  Apply repellants to exposed skin and/or clothing.
  • Never use repellants over cuts, wounds or irritated skin
  •  If using DEET, choose the concentration that best fits the amount of time spent outside. 25 percent DEET lasts up to 5 hours, 5 percent lasts 45-90 minutes. Use a concentration of 30 percent or less for children.
  • DEET should not be used on children less than 6 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children less than 3 years of age. 

Sun Safety

At 93 million miles away . . . . You could Miss the Warning Label
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and it is preventable. Use sunscreen, cover up and seek shade.
·      Learn more and protect yourself: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/index.htm
·      Skin cancer in Colorado


Safe Sex

Access to sexual and reproductive health services is essential for healthy populations. JCPH supports all women’s and men’s rights to such access. The Family Planning Program provides comprehensive contraceptive services to Jefferson County residents. Services include education, counseling, medical examination, treatment and birth control methods for men and women.
Reproductive health and birth control (family planning) services are available at our Arvada and Lakewood locations. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale and to people with Medicaid. No one is denied services due to the inability to pay.  In addition to providing birth control pills and condoms to prevent unintended pregnancies, the department offers alternatives through long acting birth control methods, including no scalpel vasectomy for men. Remember, some activities are definitely high risk for HIV, STIs and Hepatitis infection. Protect yourself and your partner . . . wear a condom and get tested!
·         For appointments in Lakewood: 303-239-7078 or in Arvada: 303-275-7500.
·         View the JCPH Sex Ed with Mel video on birth control
·         Youth and young adults in Jefferson County can also use Go Ask TISH to get answers about their sexual health.

·         Get with Public Health, like us on Facebook

Splish. Splash. Practice Healthy Swimming Behaviors

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) encourages healthy swimming behaviors to reduce the risk of recreational water illnesses.  Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are illnesses that are spread by swallowing, breathing or having contact with contaminated water from swimming pools, spas, lakes, rivers or oceans. RWIs can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal, skin, respiratory, neurological and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crptosporidium, Giradia, Shigella, norovirus and E. coli.
Practice healthy swimming behaviors:
·         Refrain from swimming when ill, especially if you have diarrhea.
·         Avoid swallowing pool water or even getting in your mouth
·         Shower before swimming and wash hands after using bathroom or changing diapers. Change diapers in bathroom and not at poolside or near water.
EHS performs routine inspections of year round public and semi-public pools/spas. Follow up inspections are performed as needed. JCPH also offers a two-day course is designed to prepare individuals in the basic knowledge, techniques, and skills of pool-spa operations.
Pool/Spa Certification Course

  • For more information about Recreational Water Illness Prevention and Healthy Swimming, contact Leslie Frank, Environmental Health Specialist at 303-271-5776 or email at: lefrank@jeffco.us
  • Information can also be found on the Centers for Disease Control web site at: www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming.

In some areas of Jefferson County, a substantial number of residential dwellings receive water from private wells. The department recommends that well water be tested for certain contaminants. JCPH Water Quality page:  http://jeffco.us/public-health/water-quality/drinking-water-wells/