2017 Annual Report
FROM THE DESK OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR
It is my pleasure to present to you the Cattaraugus County Health Department’s 2017 Annual Report. This report provides a brief overview of the many services that the department provides in an effort to preserve and promote public health in Cattaraugus County.
This year the department received national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and I am immensely proud of the accreditation team and the entire Cattaraugus County Health Department for all the hard work and dedication shown in reaching this achievement. Being one of the first five local Health Departments in New York State to reach this honor is most exhilarating and profound.
Accreditation demonstrates that a public health agency meets or exceeds a common set of national standards; has the capacity to provide core public health services; and is continually striving to improve service, value, and accountability to stakeholders, including the residents it serves.
The department was notably active with the Heroin-Opioid Task Force during a time when opioids took several county residents lives. Members of the Heroin-Opioid Task Force (in their various work capacities) were successful in developing a resource directory, expanding both professional and community naloxone (narcan) trainings, increasing the number of residential beds, increasing the number of drug drop boxes, expanding the number of medication assistant treatment facilities, removing large quantities of drugs off the street, and most importantly, leveling off the number of opioid related deaths in the community.
The department continues to work on its Community Health Improvement Plan, collaborating with community providers to increase the screening rates for diabetes and preventable cancers (breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, lung and skin). An educational campaign to reduce the adult smoking rates continues to be on-going, but this year the department collaborated with community partners to expand the tobacco education campaign to include education on the adverse effects of smoking in cars with children under fourteen years of age.
In a campaign to promote the connection of oral health and overall health, the department partnership with Remote Area Medical, Saint Bonaventure University, and the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, in planning a free health fair, offering free medical and dental services over a weekend for the very needy, and working poor. Remote Area Medical (RAM) set up 40 -50 dental operatories and provided all the necessary instruments and supplies, primary care physicians provided general medical exams, and dermatologists offered skin cancer screenings. Optometrists gave free refractory exams and same day milling and fitting of glasses.
Finally, the Cattaraugus County Health Department is pleased to share this annual report with you and would like to thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with our dynamic programs and quality services. It is a pleasure to serve our residents and we look forward to maintaining a healthy relationship with you in the upcoming years.
Kevin D. Watkins, M.D., M.P.H.