Health Department was busy in 2021 with Covid response, other public health issues
Press Release, Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments
As 2021 comes to an end, the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health) want to wish you a healthy and Happy New Year!
2021 was a very busy year for the Health Department and a majority of staff efforts were focused on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, staff have also been working hard to ensure conditions in the community promote optimal health for the residents we serve.
The Community Health Services staff have been working diligently at Covid-19 testing and vaccination clinics, conducting Covid-19 case investigations and gathering/analyzing local Covid-19 data.
In addition, staff have been educating on lead poisoning, investigating disease/foodborne illness outbreaks, providing guidance to pregnant moms and families with new babies as well as providing migrant health outreach to assist farm workers in both counties.
Staff of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness team have been instrumental in planning, organizing and implementing the mass testing and vaccination clinics that occurred throughout the first six months of 2021. In the last six months, staff have been administering smaller testing and vaccination clinics that have been held weekly at the respective health departments.
The Environmental Health Team members have been active in assisting with Covid-19 testing and vaccination clinics, but also assuring the community is safe from foodborne illnesses by conducting food inspections and issuing health permits to temporary food service establishments. Staff have also been inspecting septic systems, enforcing the NYS Clean Indoor Air Act, and offering free rabies clinics in both counties.
The Lead Program continues to promote education and outreach to enhance lead poisoning prevention and promote testing of children to determine potential lead exposure. Through a federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, GO Health addresses lead-based paint hazards and other housing issues by funding health-related home repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to eligible homeowners and landlords.
In October, GO Health was awarded a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand the primary prevention of childhood lead poisoning to the entire GLOW region.
Staff within our Children’s Programs spent the first half of 2021 assisting with Covid-19 contact tracing and vaccination clinics. In the second half of the year, Service Coordinators have been instrumental in assisting parents and caregivers during the Covid-19 pandemic. They provided education, case management, support and referrals to help children succeed and have a good quality of life.
The Public Health Education team have worked diligently to provide up-to-date data and information related to Covid-19 to the community through press briefings, press releases, social media and website updates. GO Health launched their joint website this past spring, which is a centralized location for residents of Genesee and Orleans Counties to access forms and find resources.
Weights & Measures (W&M) completed 345 inspections accounting for over 1,160 devices within the two counties. These tests involved pumping more than 21,000 gallons of fuel and using more than 5 million pounds of test weight ensuring all commercial weighing and measuring devices meet NYS standards. The department collected 132 fuel samples confirming fuel sold within both counties meet a variety of parameters. In the last two years, the W&M program has shown a savings in excess of $100,000 through GO Health shared services.
In 2022, Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming Counties will be developing the new 2022-2024 tri-county Community Health Assessment (CHA)/Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and in partnership with local hospital systems, Community Services Plan. We will be looking for community members in all three counties to assist in the process by participating in community conversations and taking the Community Health Assessment survey. We are also looking forward to completing the Public Health Accreditation Process in November of 2022.
“It is our pleasure to serve the residents of Genesee and Orleans counties,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments. “We thank you for the opportunity and look forward to a productive 2022. We wish everyone a safe, healthy and happy New Year.”
For information about GO Health, visit GOHealthny.org. For the Genesee County Health Department, call 585-344-2580 ext. 5555 and for the Orleans County Health Department, call 585-589-3278.