Free Stop Smoking Classes in June

The Chatham County Public Health Department is offering free tobacco qsmart_red2smcessation classes for the second time this year, this time in June in Siler City, to both county residents and county employees. Don’t miss this opportunity to receive personal instruction from experienced staff and get your summer off to a healthy start.

Previous classes held in Pittsboro this year were a big success in helping several individuals kick the habit for good. Participants will receive a free QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit and support from fellow program attendees during the three sessions. Sessions will be held on Monday and Wednesdays after work, from 5:30-6:45 pm.

Want to learn more? Join us for an information session on Wednesday, June 3rd, at 5:30 pm at the Chatham Hospital, in the Chatham Medical Park Office Building, Suite #140 located on the first floor. Space is limited. Please contact Jennifer Park by email at to register in advance.


Quit Smoking Today!

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of death and disability in N.C. and the U.S. Menthol cigarettes are aggressively promoted in African American communities and are often the first cigarettes used by teens.

The National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (NAATPN), which is based in Durham, N.C.,  is joined by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, faith-based institutions, and other partners to promote World No Tobacco Day (May 31) as No Menthol Sunday.

In conjunction with World No Tobacco Day and No Menthol Sunday, QuitlineNC (1-800-QuitNow or 1-800-784-8669) will offer eight weeks of free nicotine patches to those who call May 20-31, while supplies last.

QuitlineNC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help all tobacco users who want to quit. They are not judgmental – they meet you where you are and help you make a plan for quitting tobacco that works for you!  Getting help to quit tobacco can double or triple someone’s chances of quitting successfully. Coaching from QuitlineNC and medication, such as nicotine patches, is a successful combination.

You can use the flyer to the right to promote QuitlineNRTFlyer2015World No Tobacco Week and Free Nicotine Patches.

NAATPN has also created a downloadable No Menthol Sunday Toolkit to allow any communities of faith – particularly in African American communities, to focus on the addictiveness and deadliness of mentholated tobacco products on that Sunday. Learn more by downloading your toolkit here. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the toolkit.


It’s National Women’s Health Week!

Dear women of Chatham County,RR1 2014

It’s time we celebrate our health. While here at the Chatham County Public Health Department (CCPHD) we think about health every day, national observances are a great way to focus on specific health topics. This week, May 10th-May 16th, is National Women’s Health Week.

So, women of Chatham County, all 35,585 of you (yes, women account for over half of the over 68,000 people living in Chatham County)*, let’s talk about what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy.

  1. Schedule a well-woman visit with your doctor or nurse. A well-women visit is exactly that. It’s a visit to your provider to discuss your overall health and wellness. A well-woman visit is your opportunity to talk with your provider about your overall health, family history, and any health concerns you might have. Do you want to quit smoking? Lose weight? Have a family history of high blood pressure? Diabetes? They’ll help you determine the best plan of action. They’ll also help you identify any tests or screenings you might need (see #2 below). Your well-women exam is considered a preventative service under the Affordable Care Act, meaning it helps to prevent future health problems and is covered by most health plans at no cost. So this week, if you haven’t had your well-women visit this year, call your provider and schedule it. If you do not have a provider, are uninsured or have Medicare or Medicaid, CCPHD can help. We provide preventative health services, including physicals. Fees charged for most services are based on a sliding scale according to income guidelines and/or insurance coverage (private, Medicare and Medicaid). Most insurances are accepted. For more information on the services provided by CCPHD, visit our Clinical Services page. To set up an appointment, call the clinic at 919-742-5641.
  2. Learn which steps and screenings you need and at what age. The measures you need to take to stay healthy change as you age. Make sure you’re staying up-to-date on your needed screenings! Take a moment and learn about the screenings recommended for you on the National Women’s Health Week “Steps for Better Health by Age”, where they have broken down needed screenings by age. Use this list as a conversation starter at your next well-woman exam.
  3. Review the many preventive services for women covered under the Affordable Care Act. Just like your well-woman visit is covered as a preventative service under the Affordable Care Act, there are other preventative services, such contraception, breastfeeding support and counseling, osteoporosis screening, and more that are covered. Be an advocate for your health and find out what services are covered on the website.
  4. Spread the word. So, women of Chatham County, this is the part where we raise our 35,585 collective voices. Make your appointment, get informed on screenings and preventative health coverage, and then share what you know with others. Send a link to this article. Talk to someone about the importance of well-women checks and preventative healthcare. Encourage someone to make a well-women appointment. Let’s not just make sure we’re our healthiest selves, but all 35,585 of us, our mothers, daughters, sisters, coworkers and friends, are their healthiest selves too.

PS Men of Chatham (the 33,243 of you) just because it’s National Women’s Health Week doesn’t leave you out. Think of all the women in your life. You can be an advocate too. Talk to the women in your life about the importance of preventative care, and schedule your own check-up.

* US Census Quick Facts:


May is Mental Health Awareness Month

This month we celebrate the importance of raising awareness around mental health issues and services. This is especially timely for Chatham County, as mental_health2access to mental health services was named a health priority in last year’s Community Health Assessment. Delving into the numbers, it is easy to see why this issue is so important. In the 2014 Youth Health Behavior Survey, 7.6% of high school students and 5.9% of middle school students said they had attempted suicide in the past year. 12.6% of students said they had seriously considered suicide in that period. In a 2013 survey, 43% of students grades three through ten said they had been bullied at school.

Accessing mental health services can be a huge challenge. In addition to the stigma around mental health issues that could keep someone from seeking necessary treatment, many don’t know where to go for help. Of the adults we surveyed for last year’s assessment, 63% did not know where to refer someone for mental health services. As you can see, mental health is a major issue in Chatham County, and we are working collaboratively to address it.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month. There are many things that you can do to help. First, look out for those around you. If you or someone you know could benefit from talking with someone, reach out for help. Cardinal Innovations offers a range of services, including a crisis hotline. Learn more about the issue. Finally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has additional ideas of ways you can get involved.

We can all benefit from addressing mental health issues. Together, we can take a stand for better mental health.


Congratulations 2015 Board of Health Award Recipients!

At its monthly meeting on April 27th, the Chatham County Board of HealthBOH Award winners with prize recognized individuals who work daily to improve the health of Chatham County residents. The awards, which were presented by Board of Health Chair John Kessler, are given annually to an employee, supervisor, and community partner who embody the mission of the health department.

The recipient of the 2015 Community Health Partnership Award was Lyn Smith, who is the Department Chair for the Healthful Living and Physical Education Department at Northwood High School. “Ms. Smith has collaborated with the health department for over six years to bring evidence-based sexual and reproductive health resources into her classroom,” said Health Promotion Coordinator Anna Stormzand. “Ms. Smith’s work with the health department is an excellent example of a community partnership between the school district and the public health department.”

The second award of the evening went to Roxana Lopez, who was named the 2015 Employee of the Year. Ms. Lopez, Office Assistant in the Environmental Health Division, is well-regarded by all of her colleagues at the health department and always willing to lend a hand. According to Environmental Health Director Anne Lowry, “Roxana does her job as well as looks at the overall goals of the health department to determine if there is more she can do to help meet our goals. She never shies away from extra duties.”

Dr. Kessler presented the final award to Animal Services Director Leigh Anne Garrard, who is the 2015 Supervisor of the Year. Since joining the agency in 2012, Ms. Garrard has earned the respect of colleagues and community partners alike for her dedication to animal welfare and improving the health of Chatham County residents and their pets. “Leigh Anne has a very difficult job, but handles every situation professionally and consistently puts others first. She is very deserving of this honor,” said Health Director Layton Long.

The Chatham County Public Health Department would like to congratulate Ms. Smith, Ms. Lopez, and Ms. Garrard and thank them for their service to Chatham County.

2015 BOH Awards in order L to R Smith Lopez Garrard

From Left to Right: Lyn Smith, Roxana Lopez, Leigh Anne Garrard