This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
The end of the year is a common time for people to think about what has happened during the past 12 months and to set goals for the next year. The staff at Carson City Health and Human Services, your health department, has taken some time to think about our successes in 2018. Below are a few of these highlights.
Working with Western Nevada College, Human Services co-hosted the Spring Job Fair. Fifty-six employers were there to conduct interviews. These employers were also able to give more information on open positions. Eighty-nine jobseekers came ready to interview. The next job fair is scheduled for March 29.
A Housing Our Workforce Summit was held in July. It was an information sharing meeting to bring social service agencies together with investors, developers and property managers.
CCHHS case managers are working with the court system and the Carson City Jail to develop plans for individuals when released. The goal of these plans is to assist the individual with being a law-abiding citizen. We worked with the Sheriff’s Office and Partnership Carson City to bring Dr. Emily Salisbury from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She gave some guidance to our community on promoting gender and trauma responsive strategies to the Carson City Jail.
Clinical Services continued to provide family planning services and immunizations to our community.
In 2018, a new shingles vaccine was recommended for those 50 years of age and older. So, if you had a shingles vaccine in 2017 or before, it is now recommended you receive this new shingles vaccine. What’s the difference? Zostavax was given in a one-time dose. For Shingrix, two does are needed — two to six months apart. Shingrix is proving to be more effective than Zostavax. Studies show Shingrix reduces the risk of shingles by 90 to 97 percent in those 50 years of age and older. Zostavax didn’t show this same rate or protection for those older than the age of 50. There is a nationwide shortage of this new vaccine. So, plan to keep checking with your doctor, the health department and pharmacies throughout 2019 for the availability of this new vaccine.
Disease Control and Prevention:
The Disease Control and Prevention Division launched a new restaurant grading system that concentrates on foodborne illness risk factors. This new system requires placards be placed near the entrance of each restaurant. This allows the public to see the food safety rating, based on the last inspection.
The Tobacco Control and Prevention program’s grant allowed us to provide some funding for Nevada Health Centers and Carson Tahoe Health to have an electronic referral process to Nevada’s Quitline. This allows healthcare providers to electronically refer patients to the Nevada Quitline if there’s the desire to quit. A toolkit was developed for apartment and condo owners and managers. This toolkit outlines the financial and health benefits of being smoke-free. In addition, tobacco and vaping presentations were conducted to high school youth in Carson City and Douglas County.
The Diabetes Prevention program held two diabetes screening events at local food banks and at the Ron Wood Family Resource Center.
Public Health Preparedness:
In 2018, Preparedness staff completed several significant community projects. The first of these was the door-to-door community assessment of Carson City residents to determine the level of household preparedness for an emergency. We assessed whether residents would evacuate to shelters, if households kept a three-day supply of food and water, and if residents have prepared for their pets during an emergency. This same assessment will be completed in Douglas County in May 2019. The results from these assessments will be used to create a community education campaign to begin in late 2019.
Preparedness staff also vaccinated more than 4,900 people within our community including seniors and children. In addition to vaccination clinics offered in the schools, Preparedness staff offered a drive-thru flu clinic on Oct. 6 across from the Carson City Department of Motor Vehicles office. This drive-through event allowed Carson City to test its emergency distribution plan to get a lot of medications to many people in a short amount of time. Preparedness staff teamed up with the Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS, Public Works, the HOSA club from Carson High School, Western Nevada Medical Reserve Corps and the Community Emergency Response Team. Thank you to all of the Carson City and Douglas County residents who came out to help us practice this process.
For information about services and programs available to you, through Carson City Health and Human Services, visit our website at gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/cchhs or call us at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.