The Westfield Board of Health met on May 2, 2011, and discussed several issues of ongoing concern.

The Westfield Regional Health Department provides several free vaccinations for residents that would best be used now.  These vaccines are available by appointment by calling the Public Health Nursing Supervisor, Laura Scanlon, MS, RN, directly at 908-789-4070, extension 4074.  They are:

1)  The vaccine against meningitis (Menactra) is for children 11 to 18 years old and is often required, or at least highly recommended, for students going to college or summer camp for the first time. 
 
2)   The papilloma virus vaccine (Gardasil) is for all children starting at age 11 and may prevent future cancer. 
3)  The vaccine against pneumonia (Pneumovax23) is for people aged 65 years old or older and for others with certain chronic medical conditions.
4)  The Tdap vaccine is for all adults and especially for people who have close contact with young children at home, including parents and grandparents, and for health care workers to protect against pertussis (whooping cough), as well as tetanus and diphtheria.

In addition, the Health Department is sponsoring an upcoming  screening program for Oral Cancer with the Union County Cancer Coalition on Wednesday, May 18, from 9 AM to 12 PM in the Municipal Building.  The Department is also sponsoring a health screening concerning Skin Protection with Overlook Hospital on Thursday, June 9, from 10 AM to 12 PM in the Municipal Building.   For more information about these programs, please call Ms. Scanlon at the above number.

The Board received feedback from the New Jersey American Water Company regarding the lack of community water fluoridation for the town.  Although the NJAW 2010 Annual Water Quality Report states that our water contains nondetectable to 1.0 parts per million fluoride, the NJAW Water Quality Supervisor indicated that our water is in the lower levels.  NJAW reiterated its position that Westfield and all the other towns on its eastern distribution network must unanimously agree to community water fluoridation before it would provide the service, although it provides fluoridation to all the towns in its western distribution network.

Information about all of the Department’s activities is available on its website  http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health  The complete minutes of the May 2 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our June 6 meeting, which starts at 5:30 PM in the Municipal Building.