Want to help in an emergency? Sign up for the Va MRC

medical reserve corps at an eventWhen emergencies like hurricanes hit Virginia, there are ways you can help. One way is by joining the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  Virginia’s MRC is a force of dedicated volunteers who stand ready to support the community in the event of a public health emergency. Each of Virginia’s 27 local MRC units is comprised of teams of medical and public health professionals who, along with interested community members, volunteer their skills, expertise and time to support ongoing public health initiatives and assist during emergencies throughout Virginia. Learn more and sign up.

Advance Healthcare Directive Registry

man lying with laptop drinking coffee or teaAll adults can benefit from thinking about what their health care choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves.  These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know what they are.  VDH provides a free, secure tool to store end of life documents that protect your legal rights and ensure your medical wishes are honored if you are unable to manage your own care.  Visit the Advance Health Care Directive Registry to get started.

National Infant Immunization Week

This week, the Virginia Department of Health celebrates National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW).

NIIW is an annual observance that highlights the importance of vaccines for infants. The week celebrates the work of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

As part of NIIW, one healthcare provider in Virginia is selected as the state winner of the CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award. This award recognizes a provider who contributes to public health by promoting childhood immunization.

This year’s CDC Childhood Immunization Champion Award winner is Dr. Cyrelda Fermin of Alexandria, VA. Dr. Fermin is a pediatrician who speaks English, Filipino, and Spanish. She uses her multilingual abilities to provide care for families who are not native English speakers. Through her efforts, she has helped ensure high pediatric immunization rates in her community.

Congratulations, Dr. Fermin! And congratulations to Donna Deadrick of Carilion Children’s Pediatric Medicine and Cathie Harrington of Wythe Physicians Practices who were also nominated. The hard work of healthcare professionals across the state helps to ensure a healthy start for Virginia’s youngest residents. VDH thanks everyone who serves as an immunization champion for their community!

National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. The theme for 2018 is Partnering for Health Equity.
 
The theme emphasizes the importance of partnerships at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels that help reduce the gap in health and health care for minorities.
 
VDH, through the Office of Health Equity, has an opportunity to renew its commitment to reduce health disparities and improve the health of minorities.
 
To learn more about the Office of Health Equity and its programs, please visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity.

Request for Applications: Sexual Risk Avoidance Education

The Virginia Department of Health’s Abstinence Education Program “Sexual Risk Avoidance Education” is excited to announce the release of our Request for Applications (RFA)! In order to be eligible for “Sexual Risk Avoidance Education” funding, all agencies must apply through this competitive process. The RFA can be located at www.eva.virginia.gov, RFA No. 705AO150, or under “Sexual Risk Avoidance Education”. Applications must be submitted by May 18, 2018 at 2:00pm EST.

Information on Mumps

  • Cases of mumps have recently been identified in Virginia, particularly among college-aged students. Local health department staff have been investigating these cases to determine epidemiologic links between them.
  • Mumps is an acute viral illness most often characterized by parotitis (swelling of the salivary glands), orchitis (swelling of the testes), or oophoritis (swelling of the ovaries) unexplained by a more likely diagnosis. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, myalgia, anorexia, malaise, and headache. However, mumps infection may present as only nonspecific or primary respiratory symptoms and up to 20% of infections are asymptomatic.
  • The incubation period for mumps is roughly 18 days (range 12-25 days) and individuals are infectious from 3 days before until 5 days after the onset of parotitis.
  • While two-dose vaccination with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps infection, the vaccine is not 100 percent effective.
  • If you are experiencing signs/symptoms of mumps, please contact your health care provider.
  • Local health departments also offer many routine vaccinations. Contact your local health department for more information.
  • A fact sheet on mumps may be found at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/epidemiology-fact-sheets/mumps/

National Public Health Week- Day 3

Each year, the first week of April serves as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. Check back each day this week to learn more about what some local health districts are doing this year to celebrate public health and focus on making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation:

Richmond City Health District

Richmond City Health District (RCHD) is taking a different approach this year and bringing focus to one single topic: how the kinds of neighborhoods we live in create (or limit) our ability to pursue health and well-being. RCHD has partnered with 21 other organizations who are all in the housing space, or are deeply interested in the topic of mixed-income and mixed-use communities, for a campaign called The Power of Home. The campaign will include a spread in Style Weekly, 4 podcasts with local and national housing experts, social media messaging across all mediums, an email newsletter to 700 + RCHD contacts and an interview with RCHD Health Director Dr. Danny Avula on WRIR (97.3) on Monday, April 9 at 12pm. Learn more about RCHD and The Power of Home at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/richmond-city/.

National Public Health Week- Day 2

Each year, the first week of April serves as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. Check back each day this week to learn more about what some local health districts are doing this year to celebrate public health and focus on making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation:

Crater Health District

Crater Health District is offering a packed schedule of National Public Health Week events this year, including a Health Education Outreach Fair, Farmer’s Market stands at local health departments, workshops, community conversations, and even a Public Health Parade! See the full schedule and learn more at www.craterhd.net

National Public Health Week – Day 1

Each year, the first week of April serves as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation’s health. Check back each day this week to learn more about what some local health districts are doing this year to celebrate public health and focus on making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation:

Chesapeake Health District

As part of both National Public Health Week and National Start Walking Day, Chesapeake Health District (CHD) is partnering with Portsmouth Health District for a walk across the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge on Wednesday, April 4 at 10am. For more information, call 757-382-8650. CHD is also taking their FREE Family Planning Express service to Southside Baptist Church in South Norfolk every 2nd and 4th Thursday, no appointment necessary. Learn more at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/chesapeake/.