To the Editor:

The Westfield Board of Health held a meeting on Nov. 5, 2018.  

The Board reviewed the Department reports for September and October 2018. In September 23 inspections were conducted: 17 inspections resulted in satisfactory ratings, five resulted in no rating and one establishment was found to be conditional. In October 14 inspection and review actions were taken: one plan review was approved, seven establishments were found to be satisfactory, five inspections resulted in no ratings, and one was found to be conditional. The conditional ratings require that the food establishments make corrections to deficient conditions and prior to a mandatory re-inspection.

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The Public Health Nursing Reports for October included the schedule of health screening and education events from Overlook Hospital. Details for these events can be located at: https://www.atlantichealth.org/ and click on the events and classes tab. Or you can call 1-800-247-9580 extension 2 or 909-522-2844 for information and registration.

The Board discussed and passed a first reading of an ordinance to change the license structure for retail food establishments from a square footage-based system to a risk-based system tied to the sanitary code. The change will be reviewed again at the December meeting.

The Board discussed substance abuse in our community. The Board and the Department discussed ways to investigate the nature and extent of the problem with a goal to focus on the problem in 2019.

The Health Officer reported on Mayor Brindle’s Family Mental Health Commission. A steering committee has been appointed and the commission will be comprised of both appointed members and resident volunteers.  Once formed the commission will coordinate the efforts of various organizations that provide mental health services, create awareness for existing resources, break the stigma that exists around mental health, identify best practices for support and crisis prevention, and establish additional mental health programs as identified by the community.

Reports of a measles outbreak in Ocean County were discussed; the importance for proper immunization was stressed. Flu is being reported in New Jersey so do not wait to get your flu shot. Information on the Health Department’s activities, including Child Health Clinics and Vaccines for Adults, and other programs and activities can be found on the Westfield Regional Health Department website at www.westfieldnj.gov/health.  

The next meeting of the Westfield Board of Health will be on Monday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Westfield Municipal Building; the public is invited to attend.

Respectfully Submitted,

Thomas K. O’Neill, President

Westfield Board of Health