Why Public Health?

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The Public Health Nurse (or PHN) is responsible for many facets of public health. Working in conjunction with the Board of Health, this office covers:

  • Vaccinations (especially flu!)
  • Wellness monitoring: blood pressures, blood sugar checks, weight checks, etc.
  • Health education: materials are available in the office on chronic conditions (such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.), as well as quitting smoking, infectious disease prevention, and more
  • Infectious disease surveillance: The PHN is responsible for monitoring individual cases and outbreaks of infectious diseases such as lyme, influenza, salmonella, and many others (a list of mandated reportable diseases to local boards of health can be found here). If diagnosed with one of these diseases, you may receive a phone call from the office to ask some follow up questions (although this does not apply to all diseases mentioned on the aforementioned list). 
  • Tuberculosis: The PHN offers TB testing for anyone, at a cost of $15 (to help cover the cost of the testing solution used). The PHN is also responsible for follow-up and monitoring of any active TB cases in town.
  • Sharps disposal: Many residents use needles/syringes for management of chronic diseases. Safe disposal is the first step to preventing spread of infectious diseases and is the key to unnecessary medical costs caused by accidental needlesticks. 
  • Emergency preparedness: An emergency can strike at any time! The PHN is committed to assuring a plan is in place for the residents of both towns should a public health emergency arise. 
  • Car seat safety: Anyone is welcome to sschedule an appointment for a car seat installation or safety check to make sure their child is safe while in the vehicle.

As you can see, there's a lot more to public health than just flu shots! Please check the links on the sidebar for more detailed information on all topics listed above.