The Westfield Board of Health met on November 7, 2011, and approved a revised Sanitary Code for first reading.  The code addresses the powers of the Board of Health, which is an autonomous body in town with primary responsibility for policy decisions and regulations regarding public health.  The code includes sections concerning the following:  animals and rabies control, including mandatory dog and cat licensing; commercial food and beverage safety, including food vendor inspections; solid waste and sewage disposal, including mandatory garbage pick-up; communicable disease prevention and control; exterior lead paint removal; building sanitation and heating; and noise control. Town residents can review the proposed Sanitary Code on the Westfield Regional Health Department website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health.

The Health Department currently offers free routine medical examinations to any child without health insurance or who is underinsured.  These children are also eligible to receive age-appropriate vaccinations for free.  These vaccinations include diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (Tdap), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza B, human papilloma virus (HPV), measles-mumps-rubella, meningococcal meningitis, polio, pneumococcal, rotavirus and varicella (chickenpox).  The Tdap and HPV vaccines are also available at no cost for all children in town regardless of insurance status.  In addition, the department offers flu vaccinations to all residents, including the high dose flu vaccine for persons over 65 years old and the preservative free flu vaccine for children under the age of three, for a $10 fee.  Please call Laura Scanlon, the Public Health Nursing Supervisor, at 908-789-4070 x4074 to make an appointment to receive any of these services.

The Health Department is sponsoring free lung function spirometry screening for Lung Disease (including emphysema and chronic obstructive lung disease) with Overlook Hospital on Thursday, December 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Municipal Building.  The Department is also sponsoring Cholesterol screening with Overlook Hospital on Thursday, January 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Municipal Building (there is a $10.00 fee).  In addition, residents can attend free weekly blood pressure screenings. For more information about these programs and to register, please call Ms. Scanlon at 908-789-4070, extension 4074.

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Information about all of the Department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health. The complete minutes of the November 7 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our December 5 meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building.  As always, residents are invited to the meeting to comment on the proposed Sanitary Code or other issues.

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