National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 13th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Jefferson County Law Enforcement Center at 606 3rd Street, Fairbury, NE. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 366 tons (over 730,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 7.1 million pounds—more than 3,500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 29 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website or call the Sheriff’s Office at 402-729-2284.

Controlled Burns in Kansas Temporarily Affecting Outdoor Air Quality

Extensive agricultural burns in Kansas have caused temporary air quality issues in our area. Winds carrying particles and gases from these fires can make conditions like heart disease, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema worse and trigger asthma attacks. While most people will not be affected, people with these chronic respiratory health conditions should pay special attention to outdoor air conditions and take appropriate action if necessary.

If you are concerned about air quality and your health, consider:

  • Staying indoors as much as possible
  • Keeping your windows and doors closed
  • Avoiding strenuous activity outdoors
  • Making sure that your vehicle’s air conditioner is set to “re-circulate”

If you experience excessive coughing, tightness in the chest, or chest pains, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

This kind of planned agricultural burning is common in the spring months. The closest air quality monitoring station is in Lincoln, where they track a variety of air pollutants that can affect our health, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulate matter.

For more information, contact Public Health Solutions at 402-826-3880.

 

Good Question – Do you have a cold or the flu?

The flu is different from a cold. A cold will come on gradually with various symptoms, and the flu will come on suddenly. People who have the flu may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever – chills/feeling feverish
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may occur; this is more common in children than adults.

*Not everyone will experience a fever with the flu.

Flu vs. Cold

Signs & Symptoms Influenza (Flu) Cold
Symptom onset  Abrupt Gradual
Fever Usual; lasts 3-4 days Rare
Aches Usual; often severe Slight
Chills Fairly common Uncommon
Fatigue, weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes Common
Stuffy nose Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common; can be severe Mild to moderate; hacking cough
Headache Common Rare

 

For more information go to Center of Disease Control Flu & Symptom Severity

Click here for more information about the PHS Immunization Clinic. You can ask your health provider about immunizations or call PHS at 402-826-3880

Dental Day Is Coming! -Feb 3rd

Annually, the first Friday in February UNMC College of Dentistry hosts a Dental Day for children across Nebraska. Public Health Solutions has partnered with UNMC to make sure that the uninsured and underinsured children of our district are able to get free dental work. The next Dental Day will be held on Friday, February 3rd, 2017. The deadline to apply is January 20th, 2017. To enroll your children, you can contact Public Health Solutions for more information, or you can fill out the application form  and return it to our offices.

Once the form is filled out, signed, and received by Public Health Solutions, we will contact a local dental professional to set up a free pre-screening exam that is needed before the February 3rd clinic. The exam is very quick and simple, and will let the Dental College know your child’s dental needs.

The clinic will be held at the University’s East Campus  (40th & Holdredge) in Lincoln  and families need to check in at 8:00am. Parents will be able to wait in the clinic’s waiting room while the children are in the clinic or are doing fun and educational activities between treatments. Please be prepared to be there a full day, as some procedures may take a long time. Your child will be given lunch and there are vending machines in the building. Free coffee will be available, and there are also a few restaurants in the area.

If you need transportation, Public Health Solutions can try to help you, so please let us know!

Obtenga una copia de la aplicación en español !

 

 

 

 

Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready?

In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car including:

  • Jumper cables: might want to include flares or reflective triangle
  • Flashlights: with extra batteries or  hand crank flashlight
  • First Aid Kit: remember any necessary medications, baby formula and diapers if you have a small child
  • Food: non-perishable food such as canned food, and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
  • Manual can opener
  • Water
  • Basic toolkit: pliers, wrench, screwdriver
  • Pet supplies: food and water
  • Radio: battery or hand cranked
  • Cat litter or sand: for better tire traction
  • Small shovel
  • Ice scraper
  • Clothes: warm clothes, gloves, hat sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Charged cell phone: and car charger

Some other tips are:

  • Keep your gas tank full or nearly full. Never travel with a low gas tank
  • Check windshield wipers and replace if needed
  • Keep windshield washer fluid full with a winter solution
  • Check or have a mechanic give your a car a “winter check-up” to make sure it is in good working condition and tires do not need replaced

 

For more tips on preparing your home and vehicles for winter go to https://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/index.html

 

Colon Cancer Campaign Winner

CC Winner 3Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but it does not have to be. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
Public Health Solutions promoted a campaign for colon cancer screening during colon cancer awareness month in  March. During this campaign PHS distributed free, in-home colon cancer test kits called FOBT kits to residents of Saline, Thayer, Gage, Jefferson, and Fillmore Nebraska Counties. FOBT kits are recommended to be completed annually by everyone. In an effort to increase access to the kits around our district, PHS partnered with local pharmacies to distribute the kits. By completing an FOBT kit, residents of these counties were entered for a chance to win $250. After the campaign, Public Health Solutions drew for the winner. Eleanora Rempel of Jansen, Nebraska completed a FOBT kit and was this years winner! We congratulate CC Winner 2Eleanora in her efforts to complete recommended cancer screenings! PHS also thanks Deb Wendelin for managing this year’s Colon Cancer Campaign.

 

LB 1013: Increasing Tobacco Tax

smoking1Public Health Solutions’ Board of Health supports LB 1013. As Board of Health members committed to ensuring the public’s health, we support the increase in tobacco tax for Nebraska. This is a proven strategy that results in reduce smoking rates, saves lives, and reduces health care costs. Nebraska’s currently ranks 40th nationally and is lower than our neighboring states of Colorado, Iowa, and South Dakota. Our department has been actively engaged with community partners to reduce the smoking rate and subsequent health issues in our district. The tobacco tax increase will make a positive impact on these efforts.

Almost everyone’s lives have been touched by the effects of smoking. On a daily basis we see the consequences of smoking in our districts as evidenced by lung cancer rates, pulmonary, and cardiovascular disease. These tobacco related illnesses are estimated to cost $795 million dollars in Nebraska*. In addition it is estimated that the tobacco industry spends an estimated $66 million to hook our kids on tobacco in Nebraska*

To improve the health of the communities we use strategies based on evidence based practices. Raising cigarette taxes is a proven practice that reduces the number of our youth who smoke. Preventing tobacco use in teens is critical to ending tobacco use in Nebraska. The best way to reduce the impact of smoking is not to start.

smoking2The goal of public health seeks to prevent and control disease, prolong life through organized efforts and informed choices of society, public and private organizations, communities, and individuals. While primary care addresses an individual’s needs, public health efforts are targeted toward population health improvements and health system changes, including education and self-management and creating communities and environments that support healthy lifestyles.

LB 1013 is a giant step in the right direction to save lives and reduce health care costs.

 

*Toll of Tobacco in Nebraska. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (9-25-15)

Zika Virus

Flu Season

Flu season is upon us. Public Health Solutions would like to remind everyone to take the steps necessary to help prevent influenza and keep your family healthy:

  • Get a flu shot each year. Everyone age 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccination yearly. Flu shots and FluMist (the nasal application) are extremely safe and the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for information on what to do if you become sick with the flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm

Click here for more information!

Diabetes Prevention Program

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.50.57 PMPublic Health Solutions is working with community partners throughout the District to reduce the incidence of diabetes by identifying individuals that are pre-diabetic. These individuals can reduce their risk of getting diabetes through participation in the Smart Moves Program. Smart Moves is a lifestyle change program focused on individuals with prediabetes or have risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Classes meet weekly with a trained lifestyle coach in a small group setting. The program teaches you how to make real changes to live healthier by focusing on healthy eating, staying active and problem solving skills. Take the risk test below to see where you fall. Classes are being held at Public Health Solutions and throughout the District. Contact PHS at 402-826-3880 or toll free 1-844-830-0813 for more information.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.53.27 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.50.09 PM

 

If your score is 9 or more you are at risk for prediabetes and qualify for the Smart Moves My Life My Health Program.