Health Department Lauded for Flu-Prevention Efforts

Post Date:05/01/2018 3:30 PM

Freeholder Patricia Walsh has announced that the Somerset County Department of Health has been named to the 2017-18 New Jersey Influenza Honor Roll.

“The health department’s ability to forecast, plan and adapt the flu-prevention program to meet ever-fluid challenges has been essential to its ongoing success in ensuring a healthier community,” said Freeholder Walsh, county health and public safety liaison.

The county health department administered 504 flu shots at 14 flu-shot clinics held in Manville, North Plainfield, Franklin and Somerville from September 2017 through February 2018. A drive-thru flu-shot clinic was held in October 2017 at the county’s public works facility in Hillsborough.

A well-developed and -executed outreach plan was the key to the health department’s success in meeting the changing needs of county residents. Press releases and social media were not enough to reach a wide range of target audiences; traditional methods of posters, flyers, community partners and personal contact were essential to ensure widespread awareness of flu-clinic dates and locations.

County health staff also successfully tested two new strategies during this season’s flu clinics: a “clinic in a box” approach to organizing and transporting supplies, and a crowd-control system in which patients were called by number to receive their vaccinations.

“Seasonal influenza is a common virus that can have devastating consequences, making it extremely important to institute community-based efforts to reduce the burden of the disease,” New Jersey Epidemiologist and Assistant Health Commissioner Christina Tan, M.D., M.P.H. said in a letter congratulating the Somerset County health team. “We would like to thank you for your commitment to protecting the health of the community and the citizens of New Jersey through your efforts during this past flu season.”

While the worst of the flu season is behind us, it’s still important for people to follow through with good health habits regardless of the season: cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often, and stay home when sick. The Somerset County Department of Health is already working on activities for the fall and the 2018-2019 flu season.

For more information, visit the health department’s website, sign up for free email alerts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

North Plainfield flu clinic
This is one of several posters used by the Somerset County Health Department to publicize flu-shot clinics this past flu season.

 

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Namitha Reddy, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer

Phone: 908-231-7155
 After Hours: For emergencies, dial 9-1-1
 Fax: 908-704-8042 
 Mail: 27 Warren Street, P.O. Box 3000 Somerville, NJ 08876
 Email: HealthDept@co.somerset.nj.us
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What We Do:

The Somerset County Department of Health is dedicated to fostering healthy lifestyles and a safe environment through effective leadership in public health, comprehensive planning, development of proactive community partnerships and a continued commitment to public health service.  Additionally, SCDOH is the lead agency responsible for countywide Public Health emergency planning and response activities.  

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If you live in any other township, please contact your local health department.