Health and Wellness

Health and Wellness

Let us know how we are doing! Call our Customer Service Feedback Line at 314-615-SERV (7378) and leave us a message!


Contact your Health Department

Follow your Health Department on Facebook or Twitter

 

2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  |  2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005

2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001  |  2000  |  1999  |  1998  |  1997


 

Department of Health Newsroom 2014

July 29, 2014: First Case of Chikungunya Reported in Saint Louis County
July 1, 2014: John C. Murphy Health Center Now Offering Walk-In School Physicals and Immunizations
June 30, 2014: County Health Department Urges Caution during Hot Weather
June 5, 2014: County Health Department Urges Precautions to Stop the Spread of Shigella
May 14, 2014: Two Rabid Bats Found in St. Louis County
April 30, 2014: Saint Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Program Is One of the Best in the Region
April 9, 2014: Community Celebration Health and Resource Fair
April 7, 2014: Emergencies Happen - Don’t Panic – Be Prepared
February 26, 2014: County Health Department’s Main Offices in Berkeley Reopen Following Repairs
February 18, 2014: Public Health Services to Remain Temporarily Relocated for a Second Week Following Water Line Break at Saint Louis County Department of Health
February 10, 2014: Services Temporarily Relocated Following Water Line Break at Saint Louis County Department of Health
February 9, 2014: Water Line Breaks at Saint Louis County Department of Health
February 3, 2014: Saint Louis County Department of Health Going for “Gold”
January 14, 2014: Significant Rise in Number of Severe Flu Cases
January 9, 2014: Significant Rise in Number of Severe Flu Cases
January 2, 2014: County Health Department Strongly Advises Everyone Be Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu


First Case of Chikungunya Reported in Saint Louis County
Case is Travel-Related and Was Not Contracted Locally


(July 29, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is reporting its first case of Chikungunya – a virus spread by mosquitoes. The patient did not contract the disease locally, but while travelling in the Caribbean.


Although this is the first case reported in St. Louis County, there have been approximately 300 travel-related cases reported throughout the United States. Only two cases in the contiguous U.S. have been locally-transmitted – both of them in Florida.


Most people infected with Chikungunya will develop symptoms within 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain, but patients can also experience headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and a rash. Although the symptoms can be severe, Chikungunya is not often fatal.


Chikungunya can only be transmitted by a mosquito bite. It cannot be transmitted by person-to-person contact. In addition, there are only two species of mosquito that can carry Chikungunya – only one of which is found in the St. Louis area (Aedus albopictus). Currently, the mosquitos in the St. Louis region do not carry Chikungunya.


The Saint Louis County Department of Health’s Vector Control Services Program works to reduce the number of mosquitos in the area, focusing on those species that carry disease.


Residents can also help reduce opportunities for mosquitos to flourish as well as reduce their chances of being bitten by doing the following:


  • Remove all standing water: At least once a week, drain water from garbage cans, buckets, toys, flowerpots, wading pools, pet dishes, and other objects that can collect water. Change water in birdbaths at least once a week.
  • Keep gutters clean and repair any tears in door and window screens.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and light colors when outdoors.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing DEET.
  • Look for products containing the active ingredient methoprene or Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) to place in birdbaths or ponds, to prevent mosquitoes from developing.
  • Eliminate unkempt vegetation to eliminate breeding and resting areas for mosquitoes.

  • For more information about Chikungunya, please visit the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website:


    www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/




    John C. Murphy Health Center Now Offering Walk-In School Physicals and Immunizations


    (July 1, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is now offering walk-in school physicals and immunizations at its John C. Murphy Health Center every Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


    “It may seem like summer only just started,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department, “but the next school year is just around the corner. By providing walk-in school immunizations and physicals, we’re hoping to help parents beat the end-of-summer rush.”


    The John C. Murphy Health Center is located at 6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley. Those interested in a walk-in school physical or immunizations for their child should arrive at the center between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and have with them their child’s immunization record and proof of insurance. For those without insurance, proof of residency in St. Louis County is required to be considered for the department’s sliding fee program.


    For more information about the health department’s three health centers, please visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HealthCentersandMedicalServices




    County Health Department Urges Caution during Hot Weather


    (June 30, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is urging caution and common sense today and during any other hot days this summer.


    “St. Louis experiences extreme heat almost every year and it’s important to observe common sense precautions whenever this happens,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the health department.


    Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the health department recommends the following:


  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.
  • Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.
  • Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.
  • Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.
  • Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.
  • Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly –especially young children and the elderly. Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.
  • Use air-conditioning whenever in a vehicle or roll down the windows if there is no air conditioning. Never leave a child or a pet in a parked car without air conditioning!
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion. If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops. If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately. Heat stroke is life threatening!

  • If a person is unable to keep his or her residence cool and needs to find a cooling center, that person is urged to call the United Way of Greater Saint Louis by dialing 211 from his or her home landline phone, or by dialing 1-800-427-4626 from any other type of phone.


    Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise. Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:


  • Regularly check a pet’s water to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions. Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area. You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.
  • Provide a shady spot for pets. A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.
  • Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle. Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.

  • For more information, please visit the department’s Heat Safety Tips webpage at:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HotWeatherSafetyTips


    The Saint Louis County Department of Health is a member of Operation Weather Survival – a network of public and private organizations that collaborate, coordinate resources, and help educate the public to prevent illness, injury, and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather. More information about Operation Weather Survival can be found at:


    www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=operationweathersurvivalnew2




    County Health Department Urges Precautions to Stop the Spread of Shigella


    (June 5, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health has received 71 case reports of shigellosis in the area since the start of the year. During this same time period in 2013, only two such cases were reported. The department is strongly urging residents to take preventative steps to stop the spread of the disease.


    “All of us can play an important role is preventing the spread of shigellosis,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “We urge parents, daycare providers, the medical community, and the general public to follow all the basic precautions needed to stop more infections from occurring.”


    Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that frequently affects children in daycare settings. The primary symptom is diarrhea, but other symptoms can include stomach cramping, nausea, fever, and vomiting.


    A large proportion of the cases reported so far this year have occurred among the staff and attendees of daycare centers and their families. Infections are highly contagious, spreading easily among children, staff, and families.


    The department is recommending residents immediately take the following basic precautions to stop the spread of shigellosis in the community:


  • The most important step to prevent the spread of shigellosis is proper hand washing, particularly after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before and after eating.
  • Parents should make sure children with diarrhea do not attend daycare, see their medical provider, and remain at home until released to return to daycare by the department of health.
  • Daycare operators should exclude ill children and staff from attendance or work. Every effort should be made to maintain the highest level of sanitation in each center by reinforcing the need for frequent hand washing and for the careful attention to disinfection of toys and surfaces, particularly around diapering areas.
  • If a person has been ill, he or she should refrain from recreational water venues for one week after all symptoms resolve.
  • Food handlers should be excluded from work during an illness and until released to return to work by the department of health.
  • Physicians are urged to be aware that children who attend daycare, their families, and daycare employees are at risk of shigellosis at this time. If a healthcare provider suspects a diagnosis of shigellosis, it should be reported immediately to the Saint Louis County Department of Health by calling 314-615-1630 so that measures to prevent the spread can be rapidly undertaken.

  • For more information about shigellosis, please visit:


    www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/shigellosis/




    Two Rabid Bats Found in St. Louis County
    Health Department Cautions Residents about Interaction with Wildlife


    (May 14, 2014) – Two bats found in St. Louis County have tested positive for rabies – the first animals to test positive for rabies in the county this year. The positive tests serve as a reminder that residents must be cautious around wildlife in St. Louis County.


    “Spring is here and area bats are awakening from hibernation,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “I cannot stress enough how important it is that residents not try to handle wild animals because some of them can carry rabies.”


    Any county resident who encounters a live or dead bat in their home is urged to call the health department immediately. Residents should not attempt to capture a live bat but should confine it to the room where it was discovered so that animal control officers can collect it for possible rabies testing.


    Never release a bat found in a home if it was present while people were sleeping or in the same room with children or adults who, due to health or age, may not be able to describe the extent of their exposure.


    During regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), call 314-615-0650. After business hours, call 314-889-2341.


    “Last year, there were a total of five rabid bats recovered in St. Louis County,” said Dr. Gunn.


    Health officials regularly urge people to be aware of and cautious around all wildlife, especially bats, and to avoid direct contact with any animal that is behaving strangely. Children should be taught to stay a safe distance away from any unknown animals.


    Residents should also check with their veterinarians on the immunization status of their pets. Because rabies can be readily passed from wild animals to domestic pets, the first line of defense is to make sure all cats and dogs are properly vaccinated, as required by county ordinance. Once transmitted, the disease of rabies has no cure and is almost always fatal.


    Most bats do not carry rabies and in fact perform a beneficial service by eating large quantities of insects. But if one bat in a colony contracts rabies, chances are it will spread to other members of the colony.


    For more information about pet vaccinations, visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/AnimalandMosquitoControl




    Saint Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Program Is One of the Best in the Region


    (April 30, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health’s Animal Care and Control Program is one of the best in the region as demonstrated by its performance and by the recognitions it has received from other animal welfare organizations in recent years.


    “Several news stories have raised questions about our Animal Care and Control Program,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health, “but by any indicator you use, we are operating one of the finest animal care organizations in the area. We are also part of a large regional coalition of animal welfare organizations that includes the Humane Society of Missouri and the Animal Protective Association of Missouri and work with over 90 local rescue groups to promote animal adoption.”


    In 2012, the Missouri Animal Control Association recognized St. Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Program for being the “Outstanding Animal Welfare Agency” of the year. Also in 2012, Purina accepted the county program into its “Purina Shelter Program” – the only government-run shelter in the nation to be so honored – and cited its programmatic improvements as the reason for its inclusion.


    These improvements began in 2007 when County Executive Dooley proposed and the St. Louis County Council approved a strategic plan to improve the county’s animal care and control program. Included in that strategic plan were four goals: 1) to increase the number of adoptions; 2) to reduce the number of unnecessary euthanasias; 3) to increase the number of animals the program can handle; and 4) to improve the conditions for animals held in the program’s facilities.


    Seven years later and all four goals have been realized: the percentage of animals being “live-released” has gone from 32% to 52% of animals taken in; the program has reduced the number of “for space” euthanasias to zero; the program has increased the number of animals it can handle at one time from 250 to 600; and the animals in the program’s care are now housed in a much more spacious and well-lit facility that is much better equipped to handle their needs.


    “When we started this improvement process,” said Dr. Gunn, “we had no formal partnerships with any animal welfare organizations and we worked, at best, with only about 10 local rescue groups. Today the facts demonstrate that things have clearly changed: this program is now one of the very best there is – not only in the region, but in the entire Midwest.”


    The program puts a priority on reuniting lost pets with their owners and on finding “forever homes” for the animals in their care without owners. Within two hours of arriving at the county’s facility at 10521 Baur Blvd. in Olivette, lost pets are added to the website STLLostPets.org.


    Stray animals that are picked up are evaluated for their adoptability and then observed for the state-required amount of time before being put up for adoption (if suitable). Adoptable pets are put on several different websites, including PetHarbor.com, PetFinder.com, and AdoptAPet.com. In addition, they are featured on the program’s Facebook page and are recognized each Thursday morning on Channel 5’s Sammy’s Stars program.


    St. Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Program also boasts the cheapest adoption fee in the region. For just $40, qualified people can adopt a pet suitable to their needs. That $40 includes spaying or neutering, all the required vaccinations, and a microchip.


    For more information about St. Louis County’s Animal Care and Control Program or to learn more about how to adopt an animal, please visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/AnimalandMosquitoControl




    Community Celebration Health and Resource Fair
    Celebrating National Public Health Week 2014 “Public Health: Start Here”


    (April 9, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is hosting its Second Annual Community Celebration Health and Resource Fair on Saturday, April 12th, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at its Health Campus at 6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley (63134). The event is being held to highlight its public health service to the community and to recognize and celebrate National Public Health Week 2014.


    “Public health efforts play an important role in all our lives – even when we are unaware of them,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the health department. “From the start of your day when you brush your teeth until you lay your head down on a pillow each evening, public health agencies are playing a role in keeping you and your family safe and healthy. That is something worth celebrating.”


    The Community Celebration will feature free health screenings, health information, music, performances, the health department’s Mobile Medical Unit, free electronics recycling, secure paper shredding and recycling, fire trucks from the City of Berkeley, face-painting by Cookie the Clown, and much, much more. The Radio Disney Road Crew will also be on hand to provide entertainment. All residents of Saint Louis County are invited to attend.


    St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley will also be there to present the department with a proclamation declaring April 7th through 13th “National Public Health Week 2014” in St. Louis County.


    National Public Health Week is an annual nationwide recognition and celebration of the public health efforts that help maintain the American standard of living. This year’s theme is “Public Health: Start Here”. The annual event is used to raise awareness of the many public health efforts in local communities all across the nation.


    Among the many programs run by the health department to protect public health are programs for milk testing, animal control, tobacco cessation, vital records management, disease tracking, emergency preparedness, immunizations, primary health clinics, recycling education, restaurant inspections, lead testing, and mosquito control.


    For more information about the Community Celebration, visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/CommunityCelebration


    For more information about National Public Health Week, visit:


    www.nphw.org




    Emergencies Happen - Don’t Panic – Be Prepared
    A Regional Press Release


    (April 7, 2014) – Are you and your family prepared for a man-made or natural emergency? How about your neighborhood, community, business, or place of employment? Studies show that approximately 37 percent of Americans are not preparing for disasters because they believe the government or other responders will be available to help them. This year, during National Public Health Week celebrations in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, local public health officials are asking residents and businesses to do their part by preparing for public health emergencies now, before they occur.


    “Preparing for, responding to, and recovering from public health emergencies are ongoing concerns for public health officials,” said Pamela Rice Walker, director of Health for the City of St. Louis Department of Health. “But everyone has a responsibility to prepare and everyone has a role in preparing.”


    “The type of emergency, the size of the area affected, communications and power outages, and even road conditions can hamper emergency response efforts or require that resources be initially deployed elsewhere,” said Dolores J. Gunn, MD, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “Because of these realities, residents must be ready to care for their own immediate needs until help arrives. We recommend that everyone be able to be selfsufficient for at least three days. That may include taking care of your own shelter, food, water, and first aid.”


    Local public health officials in the St. Louis metropolitan area encourage citizens to follow three basic steps to prepare for emergencies: create a plan, prepare an emergency supply kit, and listen for information once the emergency happens.


    “We know that fear and anxiety can be reduced if we prepare. Also, preparing can reduce loss or even avoid certain impacts entirely,” said Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside, Public Health Administrator Eastside Health District.


    “Creating a plan that includes emergency contact information and what to do if you have to evacuate or stay in one place can save time and prevent stress,” said Kevin Hutchison Executive Director St. Clair County Health Department.


    “An emergency supply kit will be needed to help you sustain yourself until help arrives,” said Toni Corona, Public Health Administrator of Madison County, Illinois Health Department. “Stock your kit with at least one gallon of water per person for three days, canned and dried foods, a list of prescription drugs, first aid items, and a crank or battery-powered radio.”


    During an emergency, city, county, and state officials will be issuing information on what to do and where to go. “It’s important to not panic when an emergency happens. Staying calm will allow you to take in as much information about the situation as possible, assess matters, and make better decisions to protect your family,” said Julie Eckstein, director for St. Charles County’s Department of Community Health and the Environment.


    Local public health departments in the greater St. Louis metropolitan region are working together to address public health concerns that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Contact your health department for additional information about National Public Health Week or about preparing for public health emergencies.


    To view a printable copy of the press release click on the link below:


    Emergency Preparedness during National Public Health Week 2014



    County Health Department’s Main Offices in Berkeley Reopen Following Repairs
    Full Array of Public Health Services Once Again Offered at Health Campus


    (February 26, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health’s main facility has reopened following repairs there following a water line break on February 8th. All public health services are once again being offered at the Health Campus, located at 6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley.


    “I’m quite happy to report that our Health Campus is back open!” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department. “Thanks to Clayco and the County Department of Public Works, the facility was restored to its original condition in less than three weeks. Nevertheless, we certainly apologize to our constituents for the inconvenience this disruption may have caused.”


    On Saturday, February 8th, a water line on the second floor of the facility broke, filling portions of the building with water that damaged certain offices. The location was closed immediately to both the public and non-essential staff to allow for repair work.


    To minimize the inconvenience this might have caused the public, all the services normally offered at the location were transferred to other sites by Tuesday morning (February 11th), including the Office of Vital Records, dental and health services, W.I.C. services, and environmental notification services. All those services have now been returned to the Berkeley location.


    For a complete list of the services offered by the Saint Louis County Department of Health and locations where those services are offered, please visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness



    Public Health Services to Remain Temporarily Relocated for a Second Week Following Water Line Break at Saint Louis County Department of Health


    (February 18, 2014) – Public health services normally offered at the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s main facility in Berkeley will continue to be temporarily offered at alternate locations this week because of repair work being done there following a water line break on Saturday, February 8th.


    “I’m happy to report that the repair work is well underway at our Health Campus,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department, “but it isn’t finished yet, so we’re going to continue providing our services at alternate locations for the time being. We hope to have a better idea later this week of when our Health Campus will be able to reopen.”


    All vital record services (birth and death certificates), dental services, medical services, and W.I.C. services normally provided at the facility in Berkeley have been temporarily relocated to the North Central Community Health Center at 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn. All patients with appointments are being contacted by department staff about the location change.


    In addition to the North Central Community Health Center, those needing W.I.C. services can also use one of the department’s three other W.I.C. sites:


    Mayfair Plaza - W.I.C. Office

    244 Mayfair Plaza Shopping Center

    Florissant, MO 63033

     

    North County Government Office

    21 Village Square Shopping Center

    Hazelwood, MO 63042

     

    South County Health Center

    4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

    Sunset Hills, MO 63127


    Restaurants and other businesses needing plan/review services are being asked to visit one of the county’s three satellite offices until repairs are complete:


    NORTH COUNTY

    21 Village Square Shopping Center

    Hazelwood, MO 63042

     

    SOUTH COUNTY

    4546 Lemay Ferry Rd.

    Keller Plaza

    St. Louis, MO 63129

     

    WEST COUNTY

    74 Clarkson Wilson Center

    Chesterfield, MO 63017


    Businesses needing to submit asbestos notifications or demolition release authorizations are being asked to visit one of the following two county satellite offices:


    SOUTH COUNTY

    4546 Lemay Ferry Rd.

    Keller Plaza

    St. Louis, MO 63129

     

    WEST COUNTY

    74 Clarkson Wilson Center

    Chesterfield, MO 63017


    As additional information becomes available, the department will continue to provide updates. Residents needing more information about the water line break and its effect on services can call the department at (314) 615-0600 or visit:


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/WaterLineBreak



    Services Temporarily Relocated Following Water Line Break at Saint Louis County Department of Health


    (February 10, 2014) – A water line at the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s main building in Berkeley broke on Saturday causing damage to part of the building. While the extent of damage is assessed and repairs made, the building will be closed to the public. All major services have been temporarily relocated to other facilities.


    “Despite the inconvenience of having our main facility down for repairs, the Saint Louis County Department of Health is determined to continue providing the excellent public health services that county residents expect,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department.


    All dental, medical, and W.I.C. services provided at the Health Campus have already been relocated to the North Central Community Health Center at 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn, a facility also operated by the department. Patients with appointments this week are being contacted by department staff about the change.


    In addition to the North Central Community Health Center, those needing W.I.C. services can also use one of the department’s three other W.I.C. sites:


    Mayfair Plaza - W.I.C. Office

    244 Mayfair Plaza Shopping Center

    Florissant, MO 63033

     

    North County Government Office

    21 Village Square Shopping Center

    Hazelwood, MO 63042

     

    South County Health Center

    4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

    Sunset Hills, MO 63127


    The Office of Vital Records, which provides birth and death certificates to the general public, is also being relocated to the North Central Community Health Center; however the new temporary location will not be operational until Tuesday morning. Residents needing birth or death certificates can still order them online by visiting https://ww5.stlouisco.com/doh/vitals/vitalrecords/default.aspx or by phone by calling 1-866-225-2072.


    Restaurants and other facilities needing plan/review services are being asked to visit one of the county’s three satellite offices this week:


    NORTH COUNTY

    21 Village Square Shopping Center

    Hazelwood, MO 63042

     

    SOUTH COUNTY

    4546 Lemay Ferry Rd.

    Keller Plaza

    St. Louis, MO 63129

     

    WEST COUNTY

    74 Clarkson Wilson Center

    Chesterfield, MO 63017


    Businesses needing to submit asbestos notifications or demolition release authorizations are being asked to visit one of the following two county satellite offices:


    SOUTH COUNTY

    4546 Lemay Ferry Rd.

    Keller Plaza

    St. Louis, MO 63129

     

    WEST COUNTY

    74 Clarkson Wilson Center

    Chesterfield, MO 63017


    As additional information becomes available, the department will continue to provide updates. Residents needing more information about the water line break and its effect on services can call the department at (314) 615-0600 or visit


    www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/WaterLineBreak



    Water Line Breaks at Saint Louis County Department of Health
    Services Being Temporarily Relocated While Repairs Are Made


    (February 9, 2014) – A water line at the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s main building in Berkeley broke on Saturday causing damage to part of the building. While damage is assessed and repairs are made, the building will be closed to the public. All its major services are being temporarily relocated to other facilities.


    “One of the fire sprinkler pipes burst sometime on Saturday spraying a substantial amount of water into parts of the building,” said Dr. Gunn, director of the department. “We are still assessing the situation to determine the extent of the damage, why the pipe failed, and how long it will take to make repairs.”


    Most services are being immediately relocated to the North Central Community Health Center, which is also operated by the department. The facility is located at 4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn. Services being relocated there include all dental and medical services, medical records, and W.I.C. services. Patients with appointments scheduled this week are being contacted today and tomorrow by department staff.


    The Office of Vital Records, which provides birth and death certificates to the general public, is also being relocated to the North Central Community Health Center; however the new temporary location will not be operational until Tuesday morning. Residents needing birth or death certificates can still order them online by visiting https://ww5.stlouisco.com/doh/vitals/vitalrecords/default.aspx or by phone by calling 1-866-225-2072. Residents needing a birth or death certificate on Monday are encouraged to visit the Offices of Vital Records in St. Louis City or in St. Charles.


    Restaurants and other facilities needing plan/review services are being asked to visit one of the county’s three satellite offices this week:


    NORTH COUNTY

    21 Village Square Shopping Center

    Hazelwood, MO 63042

     

    SOUTH COUNTY

    4546 Lemay Ferry Rd.

    Keller Plaza

    St. Louis, MO 63129

     

    WEST COUNTY

    74 Clarkson Wilson Center

    Chesterfield, MO 63017



    Saint Louis County Department of Health Going for “Gold”
    Accreditation by National Board Would Be a First for Region


    (February 3, 2014) – While U.S. athletes prepare to go for gold in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, the Saint Louis County Department of Health has been prepping for their own gold medal – national accreditation.


    The Saint Louis County Department of Health currently holds statewide accreditation, having received and maintained 100 percent comprehensive accreditation for more than five years. The statewide honor was the highest achievable until recently. The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), the national accrediting organization for public health departments, is now offering national certification and Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, health department director, said her team is ready to compete.


    “We are excited about this opportunity and we’ve been meeting with our community partners, elected officials, and community leaders for more than a year to get ready for this,” Gunn said. The county health department would be the first nationally accredited public health department in the eastern Missouri region according to Gunn.


    The PHAB accreditation process consists of seven steps: (1) Pre-application; (2) Application; (3) Documentation Selection and Submission; (4) Site Visit; (5) Accreditation Decision; (6) Reports; and (7) Reaccreditation.


    One of the most important steps is the development of a comprehensive strategic plan. Dr. Gunn and her team developed five strategic priorities in January. Those priorities center around communication to enhance access to healthcare and improved health literacy, a Community Health Improvement Plan to address chronic disease, public health workforce development, performance management and data management systems to monitor progress and communicate results, and age-friendly programs and services to meet population needs.


    “We took feedback from a lot of different areas including elected officials, the hospital systems, regional health agencies, and local non-profits,” Gunn said. Three major reports also shaped the plan: a Community Themes and Strengths Assessment, a Local Public Health Systems Assessment, and a Forces of Change Assessment.


    The execution of the strategic priorities requires the realignment of existing staff and the addition of three epidemiologists. These steps put the department in excellent position to achieve national accreditation according to Gunn.


    Three health department employees will have begin new assignments this week as part of the realignment.


    Jade James, M.D. M.P.H., an Obstetrician and Director of Research and Medical Services, will also become the Deputy Director of Health for the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Dr. James will assist the director in the overall implementation of the strategic plan for the DOH. She will also assist with the implementation and execution of the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which includes monitoring chronic disease across populations. Dr. James is a highly respected physician in the community. She is compassionate and dedicated. In addition, to receiving her degree of medicine from Meharry Medical College, she received her Master’s in Public Health and Health Policy from Saint Louis University.


    Velda Jamison has also accepted the additional responsibilities to ensure current health data systems among the county department of health, the state health department, and local health partners are able to collect and report specific public health data. She will also manage fleet and facility services to meet demand. For over 30 years Ms. Jamison has proven to be an exemplary employee and leads by example. She has made significant contributions to the department as Health Information Program Manager for the past three years. She attended St. Louis Community College and is a certified IT Network Administrator and Implementation Manager.


    Desiree Whitlock, a community health educator and leader, will become Special Assistant to the Director. Her new responsibilities will include education and outreach to the St. Louis County Council, municipalities, and local elected officials relating to public health issues in their communities. She will also staff special projects as needed. Ms. Whitlock is a graduate of Fisk University and received her Master’s in Health Administration from Lindenwood University.


    This week, the health department will provide its community health partners and officials in area municipalities with copies of the strategic priorities and the supporting data, Gunn said.


    About PHAB

    A nonprofit organization, PHAB is dedicated to improving and protecting the health of the public by advancing the quality and performance of Tribal, state, local, and territorial public health departments. This is the first time national accreditation has been offered. Incorporated in May 2007, PHAB works closely with several organizations that represent the wide variety of public health departments and structures across the country. These partners include: the American Public Health Association (APHA), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH), the National Indian Health Board (NIHB), the National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI), and the Public Health Foundation (PHF).



    Significant Rise in Number of Severe Flu Cases
    County Health Department Offering Free Flu Vaccinations This Week


    (January 14, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is responding to a significant increase in the number of severe flu cases in the area by offering free flu vaccinations to those six months of age and older at three clinics this week.


    Regional hospitals have been reporting unusually severe cases of flu this year – especially among young and middle-aged adults with many requiring hospitalization and some resulting in death. The Saint Louis County Department of Health, BJC HealthCare, and SSM Health Care are urging all individuals six months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.


    The dates, times, and locations for the three free flu vaccination clinics are:


    North Central Community Health Center

    4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn (63121)

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    John C. Murphy Health Center

    6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley (63134)

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    South County Health Center

    4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills (63127)

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    If you think you may have already contracted the flu, it is recommended that you contact your health care provider for follow up and possible treatment – especially if you have a fever of 100° F or higher. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


    Residents still needing a seasonal flu vaccination who aren’t able to visit one of the free vaccination clinics next week can visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s flu website to find other locations offering vaccine:

    www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com


    Saint Louis County’s latest flu numbers can be viewed at:


    www.stlouisco.com/Portals/8/docs/Health/Flu%20Reports/Influenza-Report_010814.pdf




    Significant Rise in Number of Severe Flu Cases
    County Health Department to Offer Free Flu Vaccinations


    (January 9, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is responding to a significant increase in the number of severe flu cases in the area by offering free flu vaccinations to those six months of age and older at clinics next week.


    Regional hospitals are reporting unusually severe cases of flu this year – especially among young and middle-aged adults with many requiring hospitalization and some resulting in death. The Saint Louis County Department of Health, BJC HealthCare, and SSM Health Care are urging all individuals six months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible.


    “The best protection against the flu is vaccination,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the Saint Louis County Department of Health. “Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself. It’s also about protecting others. If you don’t catch the flu, then you won’t spread the flu.”


    The dates, times, and locations for the three free flu vaccination clinics are:


    North Central Community Health Center

    4000 Jennings Station Road in Pine Lawn (63121)

    Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    John C. Murphy Health Center

    6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley (63134)

    Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    South County Health Center

    4580 South Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills (63127)

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    12:00 p.m. (noon) to 4:00 p.m.


    If you think you may have already contracted the flu, it is recommended that you contact your health care provider for follow up and possible treatment – especially if you have a fever of 100° F or higher. Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, tiredness or fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


    Residents still needing a seasonal flu vaccination who aren’t able to visit one of the free vaccination clinics next week can visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s flu website to find other locations offering vaccine:

    www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com


    Saint Louis County’s latest flu numbers can be viewed at:


    www.stlouisco.com/Portals/8/docs/Health/Flu%20Reports/Influenza-Report_010814.pdf




    County Health Department Strongly Advises Everyone Be Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu


    (January 2, 2014) – The Saint Louis County Department of Health is strongly advising that all residents be vaccinated against the seasonal flu. The number of flu cases in the St. Louis area has more than doubled over the last two weeks and vaccination is the best way to stop that trend.


    “We have seen significantly more cases of seasonal flu over the last two weeks – especially among teenagers and young adults – and this concerns us because this is a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Dr. Dolores J. Gunn, director of the department.


    Added Dr. Gunn, “Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself – it’s also about protecting others. If you don’t catch the flu, then you can’t spread it to those who are more vulnerable like infants, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.”


    Residents needing a seasonal flu vaccine can visit the Saint Louis County Department of Health’s flu website to find out where they can go to be vaccinated:


    www.SaintLouisCountyFlu.com


    Each flu season, between 15 and 60 million Americans are infected by seasonal flu each flu, depending on the severity of the outbreak. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu-related complications and around 36,000 of them die.


    There is currently no shortage of flu vaccine or antiviral medication in the St. Louis area; however, the department will continue to monitor the availability of vaccine and antiviral medications in collaboration with health care providers.


    Other standard precautions being urged by the county health department are:


  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve – not into your hands.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing, or before preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible (this is how the flu virus spreads).
  • Keep a supply of flu-related foods and medicines in your home to avoid having to shop after you get sick.
  • Maintain a distance of three feet between you and others, especially if you think you are sick.
  • If you or your child does get sick, stay at home until fully recovered.
  • Talk to medical providers by phone to avoid in-person contact.