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Health Matters 
July 2019
Welcome to the new Chemung County Health Department newsletter!
This quarterly newsletter provides updates on available services, relevant health information, and upcoming events.

For ongoing information from the Health Department, like our Facebook page and get entered to win a free vegan cookbook!
Director's Column
Peter Buzzetti III, MPH
Public Health Director
This is an exciting time for public health.  In April, the Governor signed a law that lowers the blood lead action level from 15 micrograms per deciliter to 5 micrograms per deciliter.  This is a “win” for public health as the actions previously taken at 15 will now be taken at 5 (case management, environmental assessment of homes, etc.).  The downside is that funding from NYS to cover the increased workload was not included. 
In June the Governor signed a law eliminating the non-medial exemption for vaccination for children.  This was done as a response to the measles outbreak that has grown in downstate New York.  While the short time frame for parents to obtain the necessary vaccinations for their children is presenting challenges to local medical providers, this is considered another “win” for public health.
At the end of the New York State legislative session in June the push for legalization of recreational marijuana failed.  We will continue to discuss the public health implications of legalizing marijuana with the prospect of this possibility. 
The Chemung County Health Department has begun to create informative fact sheets on many topics.  Thus far we have released fact sheets for tick bite prevention, food service inspections, and measles.  We will continue to produce and release fact sheets on additional topics.
Public Health Clinic

This summer, make sun safety an everyday habit so you can avoid getting a sunburn and lower your risk of getting skin cancer.  Exposure to the sun’s rays happens when you’re doing everyday things like biking, gardening, and walking.  Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but it is most common in areas exposed to sunlight, such as the face, neck, hands, and arms.  Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays causes most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer.  UV rays can reach deep into human skin  damaging connective tissue and the skin’s DNA. 

Here's some facts to help you stay sun smart:

  • The sun is at its strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM.  Whenever possible, stay in the shade, especially during late morning through mid-afternoon. 
  • You can still be exposed to UV rays on cloudy days!  Even on cloudy days, use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection.
  • Apply sunscreen liberally at least 20 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply at least every 2 hours and each time you get out of the water or sweat heavily.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, sun hats and sunglasses.
  • Avoid  tanning beds.  Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays while using indoor tanning beds increases your risk for skin cancer.  
Southern Tier Cancer Services Program
This summer, Southern Tier Cancer Services Program is partnering with the City of Elmira to raise awareness about breast cancer. Did you know that most women who get breast cancer have no known risk factors and no history of the disease in their families? Early detection is important because it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. There are different symptoms of breast cancer, and some people have no symptoms at all. If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.
Uninsured? Cancer Services can help - Call 873-1500 for free cancer screenings.
Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition
World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is an international awareness day held every year on May 31st. This year, STTAC partnered with Elmira Economic Opportunity Program (EOP) to host a luncheon, providing partners and stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the local impact of tobacco on residents of the City of Elmira.

Studies show that tobacco companies heavily market their products to low-income, high-minority communities, primarily through local stores. As a result, people with lower-income and lower-education are significantly more likely to suffer from tobacco-related diseases.

Locally, Chemung County smoking rates are significantly higher, 25.9%, than the NYS rate, 14.2%.

This event was just the beginning of creating change that will uplift the health and well being of Chemung residents. To provide your input and get involved with these ongoing efforts, take our survey!
Chemung & Schuyler WIC
Women, Infants & Children

WIC has a new eWIC Card! Benefits include:

  • No more paper checks
  • Only buy the food you need each time
  • One card for the whole family
  • Easier and more discreet checkout at the store

Follow us on Facebook to hear about new programs and healthy tips for you and your children!

Environmental Health
Rabies is a virus which affects mammals, including humans and our pets, and is transmitted through saliva, most commonly from the bite or scratch of an infected animal. As with any disease, prevention is the best medicine.  Chemung County Health Departmento recommends these tips to protect yourself and your family:
  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccines up-to-date- NYS law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets four months of age or older be vaccinated against this deadly disease.
  • Do not feed any wild or stray animals and discourage them from seeking food near your home.
  • Keep garbage cans tightly covered and avoid storing any food, including pet food, outside.
  • Do not approach or handle any unknown wild or domestic animal, especially if it is acting in an unusual manner. If you find a baby wild animal that appears to be orphaned, do not handle the animal, and contact the Chemung County health Department for a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
  • Teach children to never approach any unfamiliar animal, even if the animal appears friendly, and to tell an adult immediately if they are bitten or scratched by any animal.
  • Keep bats out of homes and other living spaces by sealing small openings and keeping unscreened doors and windows closed.
  • Wash any animal bites immediately with soap and water and contact your health care provider immediately. Call the Chemung County Health Department to arrange for testing.
Click here for more information.
Home Health
Chemung County’s Certified Home Health Agency provides the following services to help you and your family manage your illness at home:
  • Case management (care coordination by our nursing staff)
  • Infusion therapy
  • Wound care management
  • Diabetes counseling.
  • Education to promote independent living. 
  • Medication management.
For more information, call 607-737-3563 or visit our website.
Chemung County Vital Records
Certificates for Births and Deaths that occurred in Chemung County are available through this office. Our hours are Monday - Friday 8:30am -4:30pm, closed noon -1pm.

For more information, call 607-737-2018 or visit our website.
Healthy Tips
Together We Can Change the World
“You can argue all day about whether one person not using straws or going vegan makes a global difference. The point is the mindset. We need to change our thinking from this idea that the earth is a bottomless pit of resources and start acting like what we do matters. Changing the philosophy of cultures and societies starts with individuals changing their own hearts and minds. That’s the importance of grassroots action. It’s not that my composting will empty landfills of food waste, but my changed mind and heart may influence others. And that could spread and change the world.” 
– Olga Evans
10 Benefits of Buying Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
at Farmers' Markets
  1. Help Build Your Community By Supporting Local Farmers!
  2. It’s Fun and a Great Way to Get Your Kids Involved.
  3. You Can Try A New Fruit Or Vegetable!
  4. Cheaper Organic Fruits & Veggies
  5. Safer Foods- Less Transportation and Handling of Food.
  6. Eat Seasonally
  7. Better Taste
  8. Fresher Fruits & Veggies
  9. It's Healthy! Fresh Fruit And Vegetables Are Full Of Antioxidants And Phytonutrients.
  10. Great Variety
Find a farmers' market near you! 
Fitness for Chemung
Chemung County Job Openings

           Posting Date: Jul 12, 2019 12:15 PM    End Date: Jul 19, 2019 04:30 PM

Upcoming Events

Park Prize Pursuit is happening all summer long! 

It's easy -

   Step 1: Download the clues here
   Step 2: Visit parks and find clues
   Step 3: Enter your answers to the
   clues for chances to win prizes here!

Free and open to all ages!

Reality Check is a youth advocacy program for teens 13-18 years old who want to become leaders in their communities! Through creating the first tobacco free generation, youth are empowered to let their voices be heard and create lasting change. In Reality Check, youth get to travel, learn their strengths, and make new friends all across the state! 
Know a youth that would like to get involved? Contact Samantha White at or 737-2858.
Our mailing address is:
103 Washington Street
Elmira, NY 14901 

For questions, contact:

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Chemung County Health Department · 103 Washington St · Elmira, NY 14901-3220 · USA

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