The Westfield Board of Health met on March 4.

Because of the continued concern regarding influenza, two additional flu vaccination clinics were held in February and 32 residents were vaccinated. 

Ten animal bites were under investigation, involving 8 dogs and 4 cats.  Of the 7 animals on which information is available, 5 had not been vaccinated against rabies.

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If you care for your cat or dog, you should protect it.  Please be certain that it is properly licensed and vaccinated against rabies, which is present in Union County.  You should also prevent your pet from biting people or other animals or from being bitten. 

The Westfield Regional Health Department recently held two animal rabies vaccination clinics where 26 Westfield animals were vaccinated.  For information about future vaccination programs, please call the Health Department at 908-789-4070.

The Health Department is sponsoring health screenings with Overlook Hospital in the Municipal Building.  Bone density screening will be on Thursday, March 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and requires a $10.00 charge.  Free hearing screening will be on Thursday, April 18, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.  For more information about these programs and to register, please call the Overlook Medical Center Community Health Department at 1-800-247-9580.

In addition, a free Komen screening and mammography program is being offered to women without health insurance on Saturday, March 23, at the Breast Center at Overlook.  Registration is required by March 15 by calling 908-522-3534

Three initial pre-school immunization audits were completed and compliance ranged from 83% to 98%.  Nursing counseling was completed and the programs will be re-audited.

Twenty-one retail food inspections were completed in February and all were satisfactory.  Seven environmental complaints were investigated; six were closed and one is still under investigation.

The status of contaminated site remediation in town was reviewed.  We have 44 active sites where there had been some discharge in the past, with some cases going back over 25 years.  Over 1/2 are commercial and 2/5 are associated with homes.  Each remediation is under the supervision of a State-approved Licensed Site Remediation Professional.

Finally, we discussed improving community nutrition and methods to better educate residents, especially concerning the use of trans fats in local restaurants and other retail food establishments. 

The complete minutes of the March 4 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our April 1 meeting, which starts at 4:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building.  The public is invited to attend.

Lawrence D. Budnick, MD, MPH
President, Westfield Board of Health