Friday, February 28, 2014

Rethink Your Drink

Extra calories from added sugar—like those in sugary drinks— contribute significantly to overweight and obesity. In fact, sugary drinks are the largest contributor of added sugar in the diet. Public health encourages everyone to drink water. Every system in your body depends on water, it helps flush toxins from your body, carries nutrients to your cells, and aids in many other important functions. Download the JCPH sugar shockers flyer. Download the Rethink Your Drink flyer. Check out these Rethink your drink recipe from California: Cumcumber Mint Breeze or Strawberry Pineapple Lemonade.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jefferson County Public Health Applauds CVS Caremark’s Decision to Discontinue Sales of Tobacco Products at all CVS/Pharmacy Locations

CVS Caremark, the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States, announced on February 5, 2014 that it will discontinue the sales of all tobacco products in its more than 7,600 stores starting October 1, 2014. This is the first national pharmacy chain to take this important step that will significantly benefit the health of our populations nationwide. Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Caremark, was quoted in the company’s news release saying, "Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose."

Jefferson County Public Health applauds CVS Caremark for recognizing the enormous burden that tobacco places on our nation, communities, and loved ones and for taking a bold stand for public health despite the financial losses they may incur. Per the company’s news release, it is estimated that it will lose approximately $2 billion in revenues on an annual basis from the tobacco shopper.

Kick Butts Day

National Kick Butts Day is Wednesday March 19, 2014! Although it is only one day out of the year, the goal is to make every day Kick Butts Day. The day empowers youth in our community to stand out, speak up and seize control against tobacco companies targeting youth. Visit to get ideas about encouraging youth to speak up.

In Jefferson County, The Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance & local youth Breath Easy (BE) Teams are hosting a Kick Butts Day Dinner and educational presentation. Come and enjoy a complimentary dinner and learn about how the tobacco industry is targeting youth with SWEET, CHEAP & DEADLY tobacco products. The dinner will be held March 19, 2014 from 5 -7 pm at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center in the Carnation Room. Please RSVP by March 14 to .

If you’ve been trying to kick the habit, Jefferson County Public Health has resources to help. Click here for more information. The Quit Line, 1-800-Quit-Now is also a great resource for those who are on the path to quitting!

Health is so much more than healthcare . . . Community Health Improvement Plan update

Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is excited to have submitted its preliminary community health improvement plan to the State Board of Health and to make it available to the residents and visitors of Jefferson County. The preliminary plan meets the requirements of Senate Bill 194, the Colorado Public Health Reauthorization Act, which directs all local health departments in Colorado to develop a health improvement plan every five years.

For JCPH, the completion of the preliminary community health improvement plan is also the beginning of a multi-year action plan to increase access to healthy food and physical activity while also reducing psychosocial stressors in our county. We know our goal and our target audience (lov-income children ages 0-18), now we hope to involve as many residents and stakeholders as possible to agree upon best strategies and implementation. Receive updates and quarterly meeting requests by contacting Erika Jermé at or 303-271-5737.

For more information, visit

Get ACTIVE . . . Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure and improve health

Products that claim to lower blood pressure and cholesterol may or may not work, but regular physical activity has been proven to prevent and control these conditions. Just 30 minutes a day is enough to make your heart more efficient at pumping blood, and when your heart is better at pumping blood your blood pressure will decrease. Moderate to vigorous physical activity also lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. If 30 minutes at a time is too much, you can break it up and do 10 minutes at a time throughout your day.  Kids need at least 60 minutes of active and vigorous play each day to stay healthy, and one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to meet this goal is by playing outside.  Jefferson County partners with Jeffco Open Space to encourage physical activity.

Check out the Open Space Parks and trails web page
View the national Let’s Move web site.

California Bill Seeks Warnings on Sugary Drinks

California would become the first state to require warning labels on sodas and other sugary drinks under a proposal a California state lawmaker announced on February 13, 2014. The bill, SB1000, by Sen. William Monning D-Carmel, would require manufacturers to place warnings on beverage containers that have added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories in every 12 ounces. The label would read, “state of California safety warning.” The bill has the backing of the California Medical Association and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy. Sponsors of the bill note that there is overwhelming research showing the link between sugary drinks and health problems, adding that the wording was developed by a national panel of nutrition and public health experts.

Read ABC news story

“Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” . . . JCPH Celebrates March as National Nutrition Month

JCPH dietitians and WIC educators (Women, Infants and Children) are celebrating National Nutrition Month by offering healthy recipes for you to “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” as this year theme encourages. Eating a variety of foods can help keep meals interesting by adding new flavors. Beginning March 17, JCPH Nutrition Services will provide food demonstrations and healthy recipes for their WIC clients in the Jeffco WIC clinics, Arvada, Lakewood and Edgewater. Visit the JCPH nutrition web page or our pinterest recipe board to get recipes for your family! Mix together a little physical activity, and you’ve got the recipe for a healthier Jefferson County!

Jefferson County Nutrition Services provides nutrition education and counseling, the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Program and more. For more information or to enroll in the WIC Program, call our Lakewood office at 303-239-7143.

Here is a sample recipe from WIC Registered Dietitian, Kelsey Rivera.

Hummus is a Middle Eastern bean dip rich in protein, iron and calcium. It makes a wonderful snack or appetizer. Serve with warm pita bread, crackers or veggies. 
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 15 Minutes
Yield: 2.5 cups

1 clove garlic
1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved
4 tablespoons lemon juice or orange juice for a sweeter dip
2 tablespoons tahini*
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. In a blender or food processor, chop the garlic to a fine paste. Add the garbanzo beans and reserved liquid and puree. Add the lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper; blend until creamy and well mixed.
2. Transfer the mixture to a medium serving bowl and serve with crackers, pita breads, or veggies. You can also store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Recipe adapted from

*Tahini is a ground sesame seed paste, similar to peanut butter and rich in calcium. Look for tahini in a glass jar or a can in the ethnic foods aisle of your regular grocery store.
If you cannot find tahini or choose not to use it, you can leave it out of the hummus but will have a slightly different taste and may need to add more olive oil to get a smoother product.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Prenatal Plus . . . Choose to have a healthy pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of change, growth, discovery and plenty of questions. Prenatal Plus can help you, your baby and your family in a variety of areas, including nutrition, cutting back or quitting smoking and preparing for labor and delivery.

Prenatal Plus can also help you find and access community resources. Whether you're expecting your first child or your fifth, the Prenatal Plus Program can provide you with valuable information and support.

The Prenatal Plus team consists of a Public Health Nurse Care Coordinator, a Registered Dietician and a Mental Health Professional. Women are seen in the office and at home for visits throughout the pregnancy and for up to two months after the baby is born.

Prenatal Plus team members empower women to make lifestyle choices that positively affect their pregnancies and result in healthier babies.
Confidential Services
  • Prenatal Plus staff can talk privately with you about: 
  • Medicaid 
  • Tobacco use 
  • Healthy eating 
  • Doctor's visits 
  • Birth control methods 
  • A safe place to stay 
  • How to care for baby 
  • Personal problems and other things important to you, your family and your baby. 
For more information, please contact the Prenatal Plus program at 303-232-6301 or visit our website.

Need answers to your questions about sexual health? We are here for you.

Jefferson County Public Health’s Family Planning program reminds adults and youth that preventing unplanned pregnancies is one of the most important things you can do for your reproductive health. In addition, February happens to be National Condom Month and a perfect time to remind everyone that safe sex means more than using birth control, it also means using a condom. 

While various forms of birth control may prevent pregnancies, they do not prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you are sexually active and have not been using a condom, you are at risk. Get tested at one of our clinic locations in Lakewood or Arvada. Call 303-232-6301 for an appointment. If you have any questions and need answers, text 720 446-TISH (8474), the Teen Information Sexual Health line is confidential and answered regularly by one of our public health nurses.

Protect your home from radon gas

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. This naturally occuring, colorless and odorless gas can seep into your home without your knowing it. Jefferson County Public Health urges homeowners to test their home for radon gas. Testing requires all windows and doors be closed, but is simple to do. Stop by our new location at 645 Parfet Street in Lakewood to get your test kit. During the month of February 2014, kits will be available for free on a first come, first serve basis. Once the free coupons run out, residents will be charged $10.00 for each kit. Long-term test kits are also available at local hardware stores, supermarkets and other retail outlets. For more information on radon, radon testing, and radon mitigation, call 1-800-846-3986 or JCPH Environmental Specialist John Moody at 303-271-5714.


JCPH encourages families to learn more about some of the national tobacco prevention campaigns held in February and March 2014.

  • Great American Spit Out, February 21, 2014: On this day, chew tobacco users are asked to skip the dip and go just one day without tobacco. The day is just one component of Through with Chew Week. Chew tobacco users are also encouraged to watch The Sean Marsee Story, a powerful video of Sean’s brother telling the story of how Sean, a 19-year old track athlete, died from the effects of spit tobacco. 
  • March 19, 2014, Kick Butts Day: A national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and seize control against Big Tobacco. Teachers, parents, youth and health advocates are encouraged to help raise awareness of the toll tobacco takes on our communities, encourage youth to stay tobacco-free and urge strong action to protect kids from tobacco. 
Visit to learn more about tobacco prevention initiatives in Jefferson County.

Sweet Cheap and Deadly . . . Jeffco Youth Raise Awareness of Tobacco Marketing Tactics

Jefferson County youth expressed concern about the candy-flavored, cheap tobacco products currently available in stores at the annual Breathe Easy (BE) Team Youth Advocacy Workshop back in October 2013. Motivated and alarmed by the tobacco industry’ s marketing tactics, the students came together and developed the concept for “Sweet, Cheap and Deadly,” an educational campaign to raise awareness about how the tobacco industry is targeting youth. Using strategies such as retail-level promotions, discounted pricing and the use of flavors and additives intended to attract and addict young people, the tobacco industry lures youth to their products. The Sweet, Cheap and Deadly campaign involves observational scans to assess tobacco industry marketing in local retail outlets as well as educational outreach at schools, counter marketing activities and opportunities to speak with local leaders about the problem of cheap, flavored tobacco. During the week of February 10, 2014, BE Teams will host information tables at Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Golden, Jefferson and Alameda High Schools to educate their peers about deceptive tobacco industry tactics. Outreach will include collecting signatures from students who are interested in taking a stand against Big Tobacco’s concerted efforts to manipulate teens. BE Team students will have a chance to present what they learned to community members on Kick Butts Day (March 19, 2014), a national day of activism to empower youth to speak out against the tobacco industry.

If you would like to know more about the “Sweet, Cheap and Deadly” campaign or the BE Team, contact Christie Preston, Youth Engagement Coordinator at Jefferson County Public Health at 303-275-7565 or

The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report released last month highlighted the fact that tobacco control efforts have averted at least 8 million early deaths since 1965, but there is still much work to be done. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5.6 million children alive today will die prematurely from smoking unless steps are made to stop the tobacco epidemic. View the devastating effects of smoking in Colorado and across the country.

Public health takes on obesity: A route to better health

Public health experts across the country agree, we have a growing problem.

Obesity is a serious and costly health problem facing our nation. The number of kids and teens who are obese has nearly tripled in the past three decades, leading to a generation at risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other serious health problems. However, there is hope. For the first time in recent years, obesity rates have declined. Innovative public health approaches and partnerships are contributing to improved food choices and creating opportunities for physical activity and are helping to curb obesity. View and share the APHA infographic on obesity.

Learn more about Jefferson County Public Health and our efforts to improve healthy eating and active living for everyone in the County.

FREE Heart Month Blood Pressure Screenings at Walgreens During February

During February, in honor of American Heart Month, Walgreens pharmacists will be conducting FREE blood pressure testing and consultations*. Having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease, so getting your blood pressure tested and understanding your numbers is a simple step you can take that can make a big difference in keeping your heart healthy. This service is available nationwide at more than 8,000 locations, so stop by the pharmacy anytime – no appointment necessary.
* Restrictions apply. See participating location or for full terms and conditions.

High blood pressure management is a key strategy of the Million Hearts Initiative, a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years. Walgreens is a Colorado partner in this initiative and you can be a partner too. Be one in a million - make your commitment and pledge today.

Get Your Heart Into It . . . Wear Red on February 7, 2014

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but heart disease is preventable and controllable.

Jefferson County Public Health reminds everyone that Friday, February 7, 2014 is National Wear Red Day. Wearing something red on February 7, is a simple, powerful way to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke.

Jefferson County Public Health is organizing a photo opportunity at the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Building, 100 Jefferson County Parkway in Golden on Friday, February 7, 2014 at 12 noon. Please join us and wear your favorite red.

Jefferson County recently completed a comprehensive health assessment and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Jefferson County. It accounted for more than 24 percent of all deaths in 2011. Heart disease and stroke are the most common types of cardiovascular disease. Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Jefferson County, the number of deaths has declined over the past 10 years. Heart disease can often be prevented. Tackling known risk factors such as tobacco use, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and inactive lifestyle can greatly reduce risks for illness and death from heart disease.

It’s important that individuals talk to a medical provider about risk factors, screening tests, lifestyle changes, and treatment services to prevent heart disease.
  • For more information on heart disease and prevention, please visit the American Heart Association

Jefferson County Public Health is committed to promoting health, preserving the environment and preventing injury and disease for the residents of Jefferson County, Colorado. Please call 303-232-6301 or visit our web site at for more information.

Jefferson County Public Health partners with Jeffco Open Space to promote healthy living. Jeffco Open Space focuses on the benefits of getting outdoors for physical and mental health, and conveying the importance of nature and the environment to youth and families. To learn more about the 28 Open Space Parks in Jefferson County visit