Weekly Message – October 15, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

Well, my “Listening Tour” of the Commonwealth got off to a fantastic start in Charlottesville this past week. I hope you all have had a chance to see the news clip from the NBC affiliate in Charlottesville, and there was a good article in the October 12th issue of Charlottesville’s newspaper, The Daily Progress. Some 100 people filled the University of Virginia’s Alumni Hall on October 10th to participate in a Town Hall discussion with me about public health. Earlier in the day, I had a wonderful and enlightening discussion with the staff at the Louisa Health Department, who educated me about the health concerns of the population they serve. Later, in Charlottesville, I had the opportunity to go out on a restaurant inspection.

This coming week, the “Listening Tour” heads to southwest Virginia. On Wednesday, October 17th, I’ll be speaking at UVA Wise, and, on October 18th, I’ll join colleagues from DMAS and DBHDS at an event in Roanoke aimed at increasing provider participation in Medicaid expansion.

One of the major themes I’ll address during the tour is the need to ensure living conditions that promote health and foster well-being, including our most vulnerable populations – rural communities and communities of color. We seek to conduct our efforts to improve population health through a health equity lens. Along those lines, I want to encourage all those who can do so to attend this week’s “Health Equity Conference and Think Tank,” which is our Office of Health Equity’s inaugural national conference. The gathering, entitled “Sowing the Seeds of Health Equity: Growing Healthy, Connected Communities,” will be held October 17-18. Register today!

Finally, October is “Domestic Violence Awareness” month. We’re posting an infographic on our Web site to highlight the need to end domestic and intimate partner violence. Let’s all do what we can to end this violence.

Have a great week!

Norm

(Pronouns: he, his, him)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence, also known as intimate partner violence, happens to women and men. Intimate partner violence includes:

  • physical violence,
  • sexual violence,
  • threats of physical or sexual violence,
  • stalking and
  • emotional or psychological abuse

by a current or former intimate partner. This type of violence can happen to anyone, even if you aren’t sexually intimate. It can range from a single episode of violence to severe episodes over many years.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Virginia Family Violence & Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-838-8238 or the LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline, 1-800-356-6998. If you are not able to call you can text, 804-793-9999. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Rabies Awareness

September 24-September 30 is Rabies Awareness Week in Virginia. Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system, and is most commonly found in wild animals, such as raccoons, foxes and skunks. Virginia’s Rabies Awareness Week centers around World Rabies Day, which falls this year on September 28.

There are many ways you can prevent and control the spread of rabies:

  • Have your veterinarian vaccinate your dogs, cats, ferrets, and selected livestock. Keep the vaccinations up-to-date.
  • If your pet is attacked or bitten by a wild animal, report it to the local health or animal control authorities. Be sure your vaccinated dog, cat, or ferret receives a booster vaccination.
  • Limit the possibility of exposure by keeping your animals on your property. Don’t let pets roam free.
  • Do not leave garbage or pet food outside. It may attract wild or stray animals.
  • Do not keep wild animals as pets. Enjoy all wild animals from a distance, even if they seem friendly. A rabid animal sometimes acts tame. If you see an animal acting strangely, report it to your local animal control department and do not approach it.
  • Contact your local health department if you think you or your pet may have been exposed.

Do Your Part- Be Septic Smart!

One quarter of U.S. homes have septic systems. It’s important to maintain your system to protect your home, health, environment and property value. The Environmental Protection Agency offers many tips.

At VDH, the Division of Onsite Sewage and Water Services program protects public health and ground water quality through its wastewater program. Read more about the office.

Protect Your Pipes

Think at the Sink

National Preparedness Month – Week 2

Graphic shows an image of a beige color home with trees surrounding it and a red car in the driveway. Surrounding the image of the home is arrows pointed at different areas giving tips on how to keep each part of the home secure.

  1. Know basic home maintenance to protect your family and home.
  • Put smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace them when they are 10 years old.
  • Protect your family by installing a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Have chimneys and vents cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year to prevent home fires.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from your furnace, water heater, and other heat-generating equipment.
  1. Do you know how to turn off the gas in your home? Learn how to turn off utilities like natural gas in case you ever have a gas emergency in your home.
  2. Be prepared for a power outage by having enough food, water, batteries, flashlight & meds for all family members to last for at least 72 hours: ready.gov/kit.
  3. Know basic First Aid, CPR and Fire Safety skills. Practice how to “Drop down onto your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with your arms. Hold on to any sturdy covering until the shaking stops. Learn actions to save a life: https://community.fema.gov/until-help-arrives.

 

National Preparedness Month – Make A Plan

Make a Plan. Include your specific health and safety needs when creating your emergency plan. ready.gov/myplan

Are you prepared? Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes. Establish a plan today to include where the family will meet during a disaster or an emergency.  To start developing a plan consider these 4 steps:

Step 1: Discuss the following questions before developing a plan.

Step 2: Consider specific needs in your household.  Consider the supplies and specific daily living needs for those your household.

  • Different ages
  • Dietary needs
  • Languages spoken
  • Pet or service animals
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan.

Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household.

Pfizer, Inc. Issues A Voluntary Nationwide Recall Of One Lot Of Children’s Advil® Suspension Bubble Gum Flavored 4 FL OZ Bottle

Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, a division of Pfizer Inc., is voluntarily recalling one lot of Children’s Advil® Suspension Bubble Gum Flavored 4 FL OZ Bottle because of customer complaints that the dosage cup provided is marked in teaspoons and the instructions on the label are described in milliliters (mL). Read more.