Somerset County Residents – What are your Community’s Health Needs?

Healthier Somerset, an organization of which Montgomery Twp. Health Department is an active member, is conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment Survey. By taking a few minutes to complete these questions, you will help us identify the most important health needs in your community so that we can develop goals to meet them. Click here to take survey

Share this Survey URL with fellow Somerset County Residents: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4283596/8566-RWJBH

Your willingness to complete the survey is a clear indication that you care about your personal health, the health of your family and the health of your community.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. All responses are kept completely anonymous and your feedback will provide extremely valuable insights that will be used to influence future Public Health programming and services for your community.

Let’s shape the future of Public Health for your community together.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 12, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month;
Take the Pledge for ‘80% by 2018 and Beyond’

SOMERVILLE – The Somerset County Board of Freeholders and the Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition, along with its partners, are encouraging residents to get screened for colorectal cancer and to make good food and lifestyle choices that can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

A proclamation declaring March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month was presented at the Feb. 27 Somerset County freeholders’ meeting.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colorectal cancer affects both men and women, is the second leading cancer-related killer in the United States and is the third most common cancer in men and women.

“Please help us spread the word that colorectal cancer is preventable and outcomes are better when cancer is found at an early stage,” said Freeholder Patricia Walsh, public health and safety liaison.

An information table with literature about colon cancer is in the lobby of the county administration building, located at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, through March 30. You can pick up a Fiber-Fridays calendar, with tips on how to add delicious fiber-rich foods to your diet, as well as resources to help you take charge of your health. An online version of the calendar with interactive links can be found at http://bit.ly/ColonCan17

“Screening for colon cancer has been proven to save lives, which is especially important since in its early stages there are no symptoms,” said Freeholder Walsh, “yet many people don’t get tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, are not aware of available testing options or they believe they can’t afford the cost of being tested.

“Starting in March, we hope to enlist all RCDC members and community members at large to join us in this prevention effort,” she said. “We encourage residents age 50 and above, or younger people who have risk factors and a family history of colon cancer, to learn about the importance of screenings and lifestyle choices.”

Several screening methods are available, including take-home options. Many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and local resources are available to help people who are uninsured.

The RCDC is encouraging residents to add fiber-rich foods to their diet through its “Fiber Matters: Fiber Fridays” initiative by designating Fridays during March as a jumping-off point to a more healthful lifestyle.

In addition, the RCDC and its partners have taken the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018 & Beyond” initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, an organization co-founded by the ACS and CDC.

The pledge is a shared goal to have 80 percent of adults age 50 and above regularly screened for colorectal cancer. More than 500 organizations already have signed the pledge to make this goal a priority. Achieving this goal would prevent 277,000 cases of colorectal cancer and 203,000 deaths by 2030.  To be part of this initiative, you can take the pledge at http://bit.ly/PledgeColonC

The RCDC, through its multi-year educational campaign and working with health care providers, has promoted projects to increase the number of people going for early-detection cancer screenings in Morris and Somerset counties for close to a decade.

For additional information on free educational programs offered in both counties during the month of March, contact RCDC Coordinator Lucille Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or ytalbot@co.somerset.nj.us.

You can follow the Somerset County Department of Health on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SCHealthDept for additional tips during the month of March.

Somerset County residents can learn if they are eligible for low-cost or reduced-cost medical care, including exams and screenings, by calling Zufall Health Center in Somerville at (908) 526-2335. (Se habla español.)

The Morris-Somerset Regional Chronic Disease Coalition is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Office of Cancer Control and Prevention, and is administered by the Somerset County Department of Health.

For more information, to become a member or to learn more about available cancer resources, screening locations, dates, times and eligibility, contact RCDC Public Health Consultant Lucille Y-Talbot at (908) 203-6077 or YTalbot@co.somerset.nj.us

To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information, sign up for free email alerts at www.co.somerset.nj.us/subscribe or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Carbon Monoxide from Hookah Smoking: An Unusual Source of Poisoning

– Public Health Alert – Message from the NJ Poison Control Center

(Newark, NJ) – Warning. Do NOT smoke hookah pipes in small and/or poorly ventilated spaces (i.e. basements, sheds, dorm rooms, vehicles, attics, boat cabins).

Case: A young adult male passed out after smoking hookah in a small, poorly ventilated room. The patient was transported to the emergency room and was diagnosed with severe carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning; received oxygen and was transferred to a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for further medical care. The long-term neurologic effects are not yet known.

While most people think of gas appliances, heating systems, portable gas generators, charcoal or gas grills, and chimney flues as potential sources of carbon monoxide, smoking hookah is quickly gaining recognition among the healthcare community as a potential source. There are approximately 100 cases reported in the medical literature discussing the risk for CO poisoning to hookah smokers and those around them. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning depends on the size of the space you are smoking in, the number of people smoking in that space and how well ventilated the space is.

“As we see every heating season, carbon monoxide can and does kill,” says Diane Calello, MD, NJ Poison Control Center Executive and Medical Director, Rutgers NJ Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine. Carbon monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer” for a reason. It is a gas that gives no warning – you cannot see it, smell it or taste it. “While the risk of CO poisoning from hookah smoke is recognized among healthcare providers, the risk seems less familiar to hookah smokers themselves.”

Hookah pipes, also known as waterpipes, use charcoal in the process of producing vapor. Unfortunately, charcoal also produces carbon monoxide gas. This potentially deadly gas is inhaled along with the tobacco smoke, possibly leading to severe CO poisoning, particularly if ventilation is poor. Symptoms may include headaches, sleepiness, fatigue, confusion and irritability at low levels. At higher levels, it can result in nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, impaired vision and coordination, brain damage, and death. Unfortunately, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with symptoms of viral illnesses like the common cold or seasonal flu.

“Prevention and early detection are crucial in preventing injury and even death from carbon monoxide,” says Calello. “The well-being of hookah smokers and those around them depend on it.”

Call to Action: Any tobacco use, particularly any use associated with an additional risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, is not recommended.  Individuals who nevertheless choose to use hookah pipes should only do so in well-ventilated areas. Have battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the building and near every sleeping area. Replace your CO detector every five to seven years because the sensors can degrade. Remember to check the batteries of both detectors (fire and CO) when changing the clocks twice a year for daylight savings time.

CO poisoning is serious and should be handled as a medical emergency. Get help immediately if you suspect someone was exposed to carbon monoxide. Call the NJ Poison Control Center unless the person is unconscious, not breathing, hard to wake up, or seizing, then call 9-1-1. Poison control centers are a great resource for information and emergencies. Keep us at your fingertips. Save the Poison Help number (1-800-222-1222) as a contact in your cell phone.

Help is Just a Phone Call Away!

We are social. Join us on Facebook (@NJPIES) and Twitter (@NJPoisonCenter) for breaking news, safety tips, trivia questions, etc.

Real People. Real Answers.

 Available for Media Interviews

Diane P. Calello, MD, Executive and Medical Director, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES)

Bruce Ruck, Pharm.D., Managing Director, New Jersey Poison Information and Education System (NJPIES)

 About NJPIES
Chartered in 1983, the New Jersey Poison Information & Education System (NJPIES) is New Jersey’s only poison control center. Medical professionals such as physicians, registered nurses and pharmacists offer free consultation through hotline services (telephone, text and chat) regarding poison emergencies and provide information on poison prevention, drugs, food poisoning, animal bites and more. In addition, it tracks incidences of adverse reactions to food, drugs and vaccines in order to monitor potential public health issues and provide data to the New Jersey Department of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NJPIES’ confidential services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. When needed, NJPIES responds to other emergent health issues by expanding hotline services.

NJPIES is designated as the state’s regional poison control center by the New Jersey Department of Health and the American Association of Poison Control Centers. It is a division of the Department of Emergency Medicine of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. NJPIES has a state-of-the-art center located at Rutgers Health Sciences in Newark. NJPIES is funded, in part, by the NJ Department of Health, NJ Hospitals and the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

New Jersey residents should save the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, in their mobile phones and post the number somewhere visible in their home. NJPIES is also available via text 8002221222@njpies.org and chat www.njpies.org.

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 About Rutgers

Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities. Serving more than 65,000 students on campuses, centers, institutes and other locations throughout the state, Rutgers is the only public university in New Jersey that is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) is the health care education, research, and clinical division of Rutgers University, comprising nine schools and their attendant faculty practices, centers, institutes and clinics; New Jersey’s leading comprehensive cancer care center; and New Jersey’s largest behavioral health care network.

NJ American Water Implements Temporary Treatment Changes in Water Treatment Plants

American Water Press Release

Media Contact: Denise Venuti Free

Director of Communications and External Affairs

856-782-2316

Denise.Free@amwater.com

VOORHEES, NJ (January 30, 2018) – As part of an annual maintenance program for its water distribution system, New Jersey American Water will temporarily change the water treatment process from a chloramine (combined) residual to free chlorine residual at the company’s Raritan-Millstone and Canal Road Surface Water Treatment plants. These plants serve New Jersey American Water customers in the following counties: Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union.

“This periodic, scheduled change in disinfectant is a standard water treatment practice that allows us to continue to ensure safe, high-quality water for our customers,” said Anthony Matarazzo, Director of Water Quality and Environmental Management, New Jersey American Water. “We perform this distribution system maintenance program every year as an added measure to further disinfect the pipelines in our distribution system.”

The temporary treatment process will begin the week of February 12, 2018, and continue until the end of March 2018. During this period, some customers may notice a slight taste and smell of chlorine in their water. This is normal and will only be temporary until the system maintenance is complete. Customers who wish to reduce the taste of chlorine can place water in an uncovered glass container in the refrigerator overnight to dissipate chlorine faster.

“As always, we will continue to monitor water quality in the system to ensure that customers receive water that meets or is better than federal and state drinking water standards,” Matarazzo said.

The temporary treatment change applies to New Jersey American Water customers in the following communities. (Communities with an asterisk purchase water from New Jersey American Water.)

Hunterdon County: Flemington Borough*, Frenchtown Borough, Raritan Township, Readington Township, and Tewksbury Township

Mercer County: Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Princeton Borough, Princeton Junction, Princeton Township and West Windsor Township

Middlesex County: Cranbury Township, Dunellen Borough, Edison Township, Jamesburg Borough, Middlesex Borough, Monroe Township, North Brunswick*, Piscataway Township, Plainsboro Township, South Brunswick Township and South Plainfield Borough

Somerset County: Bedminster Township, Bernards Township, Bernardsville Borough, Bound Brook Borough, Branchburg Township, Bridgewater Township, Far Hills Borough, Franklin Township, Green Brook Township, Hillsborough Township, Manville Borough, Millstone Borough, Montgomery Township, North Plainfield Borough, Peapack & Gladstone Borough, Raritan Borough, Somerville Borough, South Bound Brook Borough, Warren Township and Watchung Borough

Union County: Berkley Heights Township, City of Rahway*, Clark Township, Cranford Township, Fanwood Borough, Garwood Borough, Hillside Township, Kenilworth Borough, Linden City, Mountainside Borough, New Providence Borough, Plainfield City, Roselle Borough, Roselle Park Borough, Scotch Plains Township, Springfield Township, Summit City, Union Township, Westfield Township and Winfield Park Township*

New Jersey American Water has used chloramines in its water treatment process since the 1970s. For more information, visit newjerseyamwater.com.

###

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.7 million people. More information can be found at newjerseyamwater.com. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company.  The company employs 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

Upcoming Programs

  1. Presentation on Adverse Childhood Experiences by Resilient Youth of Somerset Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 6 PM in Somerville (27 Warren Street, Conference Room 1). This presentation is free for you to implement, so you may decide to bring it to your agency after previewing it!  (Flyer)
  2. Somerset County 4-H Center. New Photography & Healthy Living Fun clubs are starting on February 1st at 7pm in the Ted Blum 4-H Center. These clubs are for students in grades 4th-13th (1 year out of high school). There is no cost to join to the club.  (Flyer)
  3. Trauma – How It Impacts the Individual and Those Around Them. Tuesday February 6th | 6:00pm to 8:00pm. TriCounty CMO | 1st Floor Conference Room | 3040 Route 22 West | Branchburg, NJ. This presentation will review the different forms and symptoms of trauma and how it will impact the brain, relationships, and family dynamics. It will also explore secondary trauma, which impacts family friends and providers. It will provide information on treatment, how to be supportive, and self-care for all impacted by trauma. (Flyer)
  4. Life Planning: Who will care for my loved one when I am gone? Presented by Jason Miller, Director of Social Services, Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of NJ. Program is to educate families who have a loved one with a significant disability about the importance of planning for the individual’s future support. February 22nd, 6-8pm at 315 W. Washington Ave., Washington NJ, 07882.  (Flyer) 
  5. The Faith Community Nursing Ministry of Montgomery Evangelical Free Church will be hosting “ExcelAbility – Beyond Disability” on March 17, 2018 from 9:30am – 12:30pm at Montgomery Evangelical Free Church 246 Bellemead Griggstown Rd, Belle Mead, NJ 08502. Those with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, their caregivers, families, and friends will be motivated and provided with information to empower them to EXCEL and think differently about disabilities. (FLYER) 

Please share with your staff and community contacts!

REMINDER: Next Alliance Meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12, 2018 at the Otto Kaufman Community Center (356 Skillman Rd, Skillman, NJ 08558)

Flu Season is Upon Us

The Health Department has reports of increasing numbers of influenza cases in schools and businesses in our area.  We are working closely with the School District to make sure that prevention measures are in place.

The flu vaccine, while not perfect, offers significant protection from the most severe complications of flu—talk with your doctor about getting the flu shot if you haven’t already done so.

Information about the Flu:

Be alert for symptoms in your family: Fever, body aches, coughing. The disease is spread by coughing, sneezing, and contact with contaminated surfaces.

You can help fight the spread of the flu:

  • Cover your cough with a tissue, or cough into your elbow
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant spray that is labeled to kill flu virus.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.  Do not send your child to school if s/he is sick!

 Check out these links:

NJ Department of Health –“Prevent the Spread of Flu”

NJ Respiratory Virus Surveillance Report (Week ending January 13, 2018)

Centers for Disease Control handout on preventing the spread of flu

 

 

Free Rabies Vaccination Clinic – Jan. 20 for Dogs & Cats

Protect your pet (and your community)! Saturday, January 20, 2018

Montgomery Fire Company #2 New Location! 

Located at 529 Route 518 in Blawenburg

DOGS:  9:00 am – 10:30 am

CATS:   10:30 am-12:00 noon

Dog & Cat licenses will also be available for purchase that day:
  • $20 for a neutered dog, $23 for non-neutered dog,
  • $10 for a neutered cat; $15 for a non-neutered cat
  • cash or check please.
For Safety’s sake
Please, no children under age 7.
Dogs must be on a short, sturdy leash—No retractable leashes!
Use of a soft muzzle is encouraged.
Dogs must be under control of an adult at all times.
Cats must be in a carrier

For more information, call Montgomery Township Animal Control 908-359-8211 x247

Radon Awareness Month – Test Kits Available

The Montgomery Township Health Department is working with the Greater Somerset Public Health Partnership (GSPHP) to recognize January as Radon Awareness Month.

Radon is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas that occurs naturally in soil. It is released from the natural decay of the elements uranium, thorium and radium, and occurs in higher concentrations in certain areas of the state, including Somerset County.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon is associated with 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.

“In an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to radon gas, residents are urged to test their homes,” said Stephanie Carey, Health Officer of Montgomery Township.  “It’s not uncommon to find that homes on the same block will have different test results. Even if your neighbor’s home is not affected by radon gas, it does not mean that your home is in an acceptable range.”

Starting on Monday, January 2, to help residents to test their homes, one radon kit per household will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for $10 at the Montgomery Township Health Department.  Radon kits may be picked up at the Montgomery Township Health Department, 2261 Route 206, Belle Mead while supplies last.

For more information on radon testing or mitigation, contact the Montgomery Health Department at (908) 359-8211.

Flu Season is here – Did you get your flu shot yet?

Flu Season is here – Did you get your flu shot yet?

 

Free Flu Vaccination Clinic

Thursday, December 14, 5PM to 8PM, Otto Kaufman Community Center

 Vaccinating ages 4 to 104 (under 18 must be accompanied by parent)  

Walk-ins are welcome, but for faster service, make an appointment.  Call the Health Department at 908-359-8211, x 227 or email health@twp.montgomery.nj.us

It’s time to share– time with family, presents—and germs! Protect your family from the flu, in time for the Holidays!

The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccination against influenza for all people over 6 months of age.  The flu shot protects you and those around you.  Flu can be especially serious in seniors, young children, pregnant women, and people with conditions like asthma and diabetes.

The Health Department is giving the quadrivalent flu vaccine which does not contain preservatives, including thimerosal. The vaccine is called quadrivalent because it offers protection against four different  flu virus strains that research shows will be most common during this flu season: two influenza A virus strains and two influenza B virus strains.

The flu shot is Free to residents of Montgomery, and the Boroughs of Hopewell, Pennington, and Rocky Hill; first responders; Municipal/District employees, and Medicare recipients.  Free-will donations accepted.

Public Hearing to Prevent Youth Access to Electronic Smoking Devices in Town