September 6th is Protect Your Groundwater Day

PROTECT YOUR GROUNDWATER DAY:

A call to protect public health and the environment

The Chatham County Public Health Department in conjunction with the National Ground Water Association encourages every person to protect public health and the health of the environment by protecting groundwater, beginning on Protect Your Groundwater Day, September 6.

In North Carolina, 52% percent of the population regularly depends on groundwater, and 2.7 million North Carolinians rely on privately owned and operated household water wells for their drinking water supply. Another 1.5 million residents rely on groundwater-supplied community water systems.

For household water well owners, managing the well system and one’s property can make a difference in water quality. People who do not use household wells also can make a difference in groundwater quality—for instance, by how they store, use, and dispose of hazardous household substances, or how well they maintain their septic systems.

Additionally, with drought gripping parts of the United States, protecting groundwater through conservation is more important than ever.

Protect Your Groundwater Day is an occasion for every citizen to ACT: Acknowledge the issue, Consider how it applies to you, then Take action. Here are some action steps individuals can take.

  • Inspect your well and sample the water annually
  • Repair failing septic systems
  • Permanently abandon wells that are no longer in use
  • Store hazardous chemicals including gasoline and fertilizer a safe distance from your well.

For more information about the above steps or other actions you can take to protect groundwater, please contact the Chatham County Environmental Health Division at 919-542-8208.

GWday

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August is National Breastfeeding Month

Breastmilk is healthy!  Breastmilk provides the nutrition babies need to grow healthy and strong.  Disease-fighting antibodies are also passed from mother to child through breastmilk and help babies fight illness as their immune systems develop.

Breastfeeding is convenient!  No need to sterilize bottles or mix formula in the middle of the night – hungry babies can get right to feeding.

Breastfeeding promotes bonding!  Babies need skin-to-skin contact to help them feel safe and secure.  This skin-to-skin contact also benefits moms because it boosts oxytocin levels which increases relaxation and can help the body heal after giving birth.

Breastfeeding is free!  Babies are expensive – cribs, car seats, adorable outfits with tiny shoes, diapers (oh, so many diapers!) – these expenses add up quickly.  Formula and feeding supplies can cost over $1500 each year, but breastmilk doesn’t cost a penny!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life and continue to breastfeed as solid foods are introduced for at least 12 months after birth.

Many resources are available for breastfeeding support in and around Chatham County.  The Chatham County Public Health Department offers breastfeeding support at our Siler City clinic through certified lactation educators.  A breastfeeding peer counselor is available for consultations at the Siler City Community Health Center.  The Women’s Birth & Wellness Center in Chapel Hill (www.ncbirthcenter.org) offers a variety of lactation services, including classes, consultations, and connections to support groups.  Phone support for breastfeeding is also available through UNC’s Warmline at (919) 966-4148 or toll-free at (866) 428-5608.

To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, talk with your doctor or visit www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding.

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Put Cancer Prevention on Your Back-to-School List

It’s August, which means the first day of school is fast approaching.  School supplies are loaded into backpacks and outfits have been chosen to make that perfect first impression of the new school year, but are your children up-to-date on their vaccinations?

Don’t forget to schedule well-child visits or sports physicals to make sure your children are healthy and protected from vaccine-preventable illnesses like whooping cough and meningitis.  At the appointment, be sure to ask your doctor about getting your sons and daughters vaccinated against HPV.

The HPV vaccine protects against a number of cancers, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, throat, tongue, tonsil, penile, and anal cancer.  HPV, or human papillomavirus, is very common – around 79 million people in the United States are currently infected with HPV, most in their teens and early 20s.

HPV vaccination is given in a series of three doses and is most effective when provided to children age 11 or 12 years, but it’s not too late if your children weren’t vaccinated at that age.  The HPV vaccine is recommended for teens and young adults up to age 26 years.

The Chatham County Public Health Department offers HPV vaccination at our Siler City clinic.  The vaccine is available for females and males age 9 to 26 years; your insurance will be billed or you will be charged a flat fee of $170 at the time of visit.  The HPV vaccine is available at no charge for children age 9 to 18 years who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid eligible, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or an unaccompanied minor with no proof of insurance.

The clinic is located at 1000 South 10th Avenue in Siler City and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  Call (919) 742-5641 to set up an appointment.

For more information about the HPV vaccine, visit:

http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HPVvaccine/index.html.

HPVchild

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Free Tobacco Cessation Classes this Summer

Tobacco cessation classes will begin on June 27th for all Chatham County residents and employees. Don’t miss this opportunity to receive personal instruction from experienced staff from the Chatham County Public Health Department. QuitSmart is a proven effective program to help quit all types of qsmart_red2smtobacco, including dip/chew and electronic cigarettes. Participants will receive a free QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit and all sessions are provided free of charge. In addition, a two week supply of nicotine replacement patches will be given to participants for free. These sessions will be held after work from 5:30 pm-6:45 pm on June 27th, July 11th, and July 13th. All sessions will be held at Chatham Hospital in Siler City (located at 163 Chatham Medical Park Drive, Suite 140 in the Chatham Medical Park Office Building).

Please contact Jennifer Park at jennifer.park@chathamnc.org (919-545-8444) or Anna Stormzand at anna.stormzand@chathamnc.org (919-545-8445) to reserve your spot or for more information.

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2015 Health of Chatham Report now Available

2015 SOTCH Photo

The 2015 Health of Chatham report is now available online. Click here to view the report, which is available in English and Spanish. The annual report provides updates on progress and status of the health priorities, which were determined through the 2014 Community Health Assessment process.

 

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