Tag Archives: Chatham County

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



2014 Chatham County Community Health Report now Available!

It’s been over a year since we started the 2014 Community Health Assessment, and we are excited to announce that the final report has been completed! The report, which was approved by the Board of Health last month, has been submitted to the NC Division of Public Health for review. For the first time, the Chatham County Public Health Department and Chatham Hospital conducted the CHA as a collaborative effort.

Click the image above for the full report

Click the image above for the full report

The full report and the executive summary (English and Spanish) can be downloaded at www.chathamnc.org/reports. Printed copies of these documents will also be available at the health department’s Siler City and Pittsboro sites, Chatham Hospital, local libraries, and other locations around the county.

The purpose of the Community Health Assessment, or CHA, is to foster a better understanding of the health needs of Chatham County residents. The CHA process is used to establish health priorities for the next three years and culminates in an action plan to address these priorities. The CHA helps local agencies and organizations working on health issues to plan and coordinate their efforts, and to ensure that the most pressing health concerns are being addressed.

So, what are the health priorities for the next three years? After months of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, the Steering Committee established these three health priorities for the county:

  • Obesity
  • Access to Mental Health Services
  • Access to Healthcare

For more information about these, and other, health issues in Chatham, check out the report and/or executive summaries.

While this is the end of the assessment phase of the process, the work is no where near complete. The newly formed Chatham Health Alliance will determine strategies to address these issues locally, and then work collectively to enact those strategies. If you would like to learn more about the Alliance, contact Mike Zelek at michael.zelek@chathamnc.org.

We would also like to thank the many volunteers who made the process a success, including Steering Committee members, data collection volunteers, and the hundreds of county residents who shared their perspectives through surveys and focus groups. We could not have done it without you!


Free Quitsmart Classes to be offered to Chatham residents

Are you ready to quit smoking or using tobacco?

For the first time, the Chatham County Public Health Department is offering free tobacco cessation classes beginning in January to both county residents andqsmart_red2sm county employees. If your new year’s resolution is to quit using tobacco, don’t miss this opportunity to receive personal instruction from experienced staff to help you. Last year’s classes were a big success, helping several county employees kick the habit for good.

Participants will receive a free QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit and support from fellow program attendees who are in the same boat during the three sessions.

Want to learn more? Join us on Wednesday, January 21st at 5:30 pm at the Central Carolina Community College Campus, in the main administrative building, conference room #1. Contact Anna Stormzand by email at anna.stormzand@chathamnc.org to sign up.


Ebola Update and Information

There has been a lot in the news regarding the Ebola outbreak in west Africa. We continue to work with local and state health agencies to get updated on the situation and to ensure that we understand the protocol should anyone return from one of these areas and suspect that they have Ebola. The infographic below has useful information for those who have recently traveled to one of the countries where cases of Ebola have been identified.

Ebola Handout_Health Departments_08 11 2014_FINAL (2)


For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/index.html



April is Tick and Mosquito-borne Disease Awareness Month

Governor Pat McCrory recently declared this month “Tick and Mosquito-borne Disease Awareness Month” to bring attention to several illnesses that plague MosquitoNorth Carolina. From mosquito-borne illnesses like LaCrosse and West Nile viruses to tick-borne ailments like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, we must all take necessary steps to protect our health. In Chatham County, tick-borne illnesses are a major concern, with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever topping the list each year.

With summer fast approaching and people spending more time outdoors, it is important for everyone to take precautions to against tick and mosquito bites. TBIs 2012Tick and mosquito-borne infections cause illnesses and deaths in North Carolina each year, with more than 800 cases reported in 2013. The vast majority of infections occur in the months of June through September. See what actions you can take to protect yourself!