Do you know who is monitoring and testing your drinking water to ensure it’s safe?  Do you know who is inspecting Tangipahoa-area restaurants to make sure they are sanitary and providing safe food? Do you know who is providing immunizations to children, senior citizens and students to keep them healthy? Do you know who is tracking and treating conditions such as tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, genetic disorders and infant nutritional needs in your community?

The answer is: your local public health units in Hammond and Amite.

In recognition of National Public Health Week, April 4-10,both the Amite and Hammond Health Units will host Health Informational Open Houses to explain the numerous activities the Department of Health - Office of Public Health conducts. 

Public health professionals include health officers/directors, environmental health specialists, nurses, social workers, epidemiologists, nutritionists, health educators, and more.  These workers are engaged in monitoring community health status, diagnosing and investigating health hazards, informing and educating the public and providing WIC services.  The LDH Office of Public Health staff interact with many community partners to address local health issues and enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety. 

Residents of the Amite and Hammond areas are invited to attend these informational open houses to learn about the many ways their local Office of Public Health serves the community.

WHAT: Health Informational Open Houses
WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Hammond Health Unit, 15481 W. Club  Deluxe Rd., Hammond
               Thursday, April 7, 10 a.m. -2 p.m. at the Amite Health Unit, 330 W. Oak St., Amite

Washington Parish Health Unit Demonstrates Proper Handwashing
Washington Parish Health Unit staff will demonstrate proper hand-washing techniques at the Bogalusa Health Unit at 626 Carolina Ave. on Tuesday, April 5 and at the Franklinton Health Unit at 1104 Bene St. on Thursday, April 7. 

The demonstrations, to be conducted by Office of Public Health sanitarians and nurses, will take place in the health units’ waiting rooms from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.

Sanitarian Supervisor William E. Knight, who will lead the demonstrations, said “proper handwashing is the first line of defense for protecting oneself against illness.”

Health Fair Planned in Covington for St. Tammany Parish Residents
The St. Tammany Parish Health Unit, Region 9 Department of Health -- Office of Public Health, St. Tammany Parish Hospital, city of Covington and other area entities have partnered to provide a free Health Fair for residents of west St. Tammany Parish.

The fair will take place at the Greater Covington Center, 317 Jefferson Ave. in Covington on Friday, April 8, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The public is invited to this comprehensive event, which will feature health screenings for all ages, including: hearing and vision, colorectal cancer, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and bone density. 

In addition, free immunizations (except for chicken pox) and hearing and vision screenings for children will be provided. A child’s shot record information should be brought to the fair for assistance in determining requirements. Information and/or inoculations for hepatitis will be given for all children ages 2 months to 18 years. Diet analyses, hand-washing techniques and health education information will be available.  Drawings will be held for door prizes that have been generously provided by area businesses.

Various clinical and hospital staff along with members of the LDH - Office of Public Health will be at the event to answer questions on healthy lifestyles on subjects such as  smoking cessation, breast health/mammograms, diabetes, wound care, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases and family, sibling and stepfamily classes.  Senior services representatives will provide information on programs available such as Meals on Wheels, transportation and assisted and independent living facilities.  In addition, applications can be completed for services such as Medicaid and WIC.

Kay Burton, Health Fair Co-Chair states, “We are happy to be able to partner with so many to make this a truly effective way to reach out to the members of western St. Tammany Parish.” 

All National Public Health Week events are free and open to the public. Media are invited to attend. For more information about any of these events, please contact regional medical director Dr. Erin Brewer at (985) 871-1300.