To the Editor:
 
The Westfield Board of Health met on June 1, 2015.
 
The Board met with members of the boards of health from Garwood, New Providence and Roselle Park to discuss mutual concerns. Chris Kirk, PhD, of the Atlantic Health System, spoke about the development of the North Jersey Health Collaborative http://www.njhealthmatters.org/, of which the Westfield Regional Health Department is a member. The Collaborative has developed data resources which will assist Westfield to better plan and focus our programs for health promotion and disease prevention.
 
Cats and dogs must be licensed and protected by vaccinations against rabies, which is present in Union County. You can obtain the license application through the Town Clerk office, which can be reached at 908-789-4030. If you care for your cat or dog, take care of this soon, since the health department will aggressively enforce these licensing requirements.
 
 
Increasing numbers of environmental complaints concern rats and other rodents. Although this is expected during the summer, we can lessen it. Please make sure that your trash is in a covered hard can or receptacle impervious to animals. Also, please do not feed stray animals, since the food will promote rodent activity in your neighborhood.
 
The new Greater Westfield Mental Health Coalition is a town-wide collaborative effort.  It is developing resources to improve community mental health services and better meet the mental health needs for our residents. For more information, please contact Laura Scanlon, RN, the Public Health Nursing Supervisor, at 908-789-4070, extension 4074, or lscanlon@westfieldnj.gov.
 
In May, 42 retail food establishments were inspected or reviewed for pre-operational approval, including those for Spring Fling and the Farmer’s Market. All were satisfactory except one, which received its third conditional satisfactory and will be the subject of a Board Hearing on August 1. The department also inspected 4 public pools, three of which were satisfactory and one is pending water quality results.
 
Eight pre-school, three public school and one parochial school immunization audits were completed in May. All 467 public and 109 parochial school children were properly vaccinated. The school nurses were congratulated for their excellent work. The preschools had compliance rates of 78 to 99% and all were counseled. Reaudit compliance rates were 100% for 3 of the pre-schools and the others will be reaudited in June.
 
The health department is sponsoring health screenings with Overlook Hospital at the Overlook Downtown Center, 357 Springfield Avenue in Summit. Bone density screenings will be on Monday, June 22 and July 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes screenings are every Monday. There is a $10 charge for bone density and cholesterol screening each and the other screenings are free.  For more information and to register, please contact the Overlook Community Health Department at 1-800-247-9580.

Information about all of the health department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health. The complete minutes of the June 1 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our August 3 meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building. The public is invited to attend.