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:




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.


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.



April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Everyone deserves a life free of violence. Sexual violence is an urgent public health problem that impacts millions of women and men each year. Nearly 1 in 5 women (19.3%) and 1 in 59 men (1.7%) have been raped in their lifetime.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and each day of the year is an opportunity to create change for the future.

Take steps to make a difference:

  • Be an engaged bystander: intervene when you witness behaviors that promote sexual violence.
  • Contact your local rape crisis center to volunteer or to obtain resources. For contact information, visit: http://www.nccasa.org/need-help/nc-rape-crisis-centers. In Chatham County, please visit Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services (FVRC) at http://www.fvrc.org/.
  • Talk to your friends about healthy relationships.
  • Challenge myths and stereotypes about sexual assault.
  • Promote healthy, respectful relationships in families by:
    • Fostering healthy parent-child relationships.
    • Developing positive dynamics and emotionally supportive environments.
  • Provide support and listen to survivors of sexual violence.

When everyone is involved, prevention is possible. For more information, visit nsvrc.org and nccasa.org.


Public Health Month is Here!

Did you know that for every $1 invested in food and nutrition edapha_infographicucation there is a $10 return in reduced health care costs? Or that childhood immunizations save $9.9 million in direct health care costs? Public Health saves lives and saves money too. Public Health week is April 6th-10th, 2016 but the Chatham Public Health Department celebrates the whole month of April! Check out the National Public Health Week website to see how we can become the healthiest nation in the world by 2030.

Here are some more public health facts from nphw.org

  • Over 24 million homes have lead-based paint hazards, which put children at risk of lead poisoning.
  • In 2013, nearly 5,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions.3 The majority of these deaths are in low-income communities and communities of color, where sidewalks and streets are more likely to be poorly maintained.
  • Many urban neighborhoods and rural towns have plenty of fast food chains and convenience stores but not enough grocery stores selling fresh, healthy and affordable food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 23.5 million people in the U.S. live in a food desert.
  • Warmer weather exacerbates the risks of strokes, heart attacks, asthma attacks, and the spread of mosquito- and tick-borne diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
  • In 2012, the Institute of Medicine reported that “the current generation of children and young adults in the United States could become the first generation to experience shorter life spans and fewer healthy years of life than those of their parents.”