April 24, 2024

Chautauqua County Health Department Celebrates National Public Health Week | News, sports, jobs

Submitted photo Pictured are members of the Chautauqua County Health Department staff.

Health departments across the country are participating in National Public Health Week (NPHW), April 1-7. The Chautauqua County Health Department emphasizes the NPHW theme of Protect, Connect and Thrive: We Are All Public Health. All of us – individuals, families, communities and healthcare – have a role to play in our “public health.” The first step to helping improve our health and well-being is understanding the power that comes from coming together, participating in our community, and making choices that help protect us and our neighbors.

“Our individual and public health is undoubtedly linked to community involvement. Connecting with neighbors and being an active part of the community creates a deeper sense of responsibility, understanding and desire for equality, inclusivity and responsiveness to the needs of those around us.” said Lacey Wilson, Chautauqua County Public Health Director, “Together we are truly better and stronger – ‘a cord of three strands is not easily broken.’ Our personal health outcomes improve in proportion to our social engagement, and we help those around us thrive when we make positive choices for ourselves and our communities.”

The Chautauqua County Health Department is charged with facilitating a nationwide health care system that provides coverage in six core service areas, including: chronic disease prevention, emergency preparedness and response, family health, infectious disease surveillance, community health, and the environment. This work is delivered through two central departments: Community Health and Environmental Health, and ensures that a robust system for communications and outreach is also in place. Highlighted below are some of the ongoing and as-needed initiatives that the Ministry of Health is delivering either directly or together with partner organizations in the community.


This year, the Department of Health is working closely with the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development to provide technical assistance to municipalities to increase and improve green spaces throughout the county. The purpose of this endeavor is to ensure that all residents have safe and equal access to the use of our beautiful natural and built outdoor resources, because we know that physical activity and fresh air are integral to our health. Residents will soon have the opportunity to make their voices heard by taking part in a survey about these resources and how access to them can be improved in our cities and towns. The survey will be available on the Department of Health’s website HealthyCHQ.com and on Facebook @healthyCHQ.


The Chautauqua County Health Department is leading a strategic, collaborative approach to reducing and preventing addiction and substance abuse, leading to better outcomes for individuals directly affected by addiction and targeted dismantling of the local predatory illicit drug market, as well as improving of the safety of our neighborhoods. In collaboration with many partners across the country, the Ministry plans and organizes working groups and initiatives to prevent overdoses, support treatment and recovery, encourage prevention and raise awareness of the dangers of drug use. To learn more about Chautauqua County’s ongoing efforts to combat drug addiction, visit fightaddictionchq.com, a website that provides support and resources to people struggling with substance use disorder.


The department is developing a new communications and outreach division to improve dialogue and find innovative ways to share public health information with the community, where and when it matters. This new division will continue efforts to engage county residents in new and meaningful ways to provide credible and evidence-based public health information, and to strengthen the health department’s vision and purpose to prevent disease, promote well-being and protect health. of our community, so community members know where and how to find us.


The Health Department partners with the Chautauqua Center (TCC) in providing reproductive services including contraception, pregnancy testing, education, counseling, STD/STD testing and treatment, HIV testing and HPV vaccination services. These services are available to individuals of reproductive age, regardless of sexual orientation/preference, ability to pay, or race.


From preparing for extreme weather events such as wildfires and water availability amid droughts, the Emergency Preparedness team implements a continuous planning strategy for proper response during disasters that may occur in Chautauqua County. Their team maintains communication with other community agencies working together to respond in efficient ways and reduce the impact of such disasters. Emergency Preparedness staff continually work to improve their procedures and response efforts so that in the event of an emergency, they are ready to take necessary action.


In addition to the six core areas that the Local Health Department coordinates, we also act as a gateway to healthcare “safety net” to fill gaps in available services in our communities. The Chautauqua County Health Department strives to remain aware of the emerging needs of our residents and is committed to continuing their efforts to prevent disease, promote wellness and protect the health of our community. For more information, visit www.HealthyCHQ.com.

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