Chester County Health Department Celebrates National Public Health Week

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West Chester, PA –    The Chester County Health Department recognizes National Public Health Week (April 6- 12, 2015) by hosting several events in Chester County.

During National Public Health Week, the public health community is rallying to make the U.S. the Healthiest Nation in One Generation—by 2030.   The United States spends more on health care than other comparable countries, yet numerous studies show that U.S. citizens live shorter lives and struggle with more health issues than other countries. Americans of all ages and socio-economic groups struggle with issues such as obesity, infant mortality, diabetes, heart disease and more.

“According to many measures, Chester County is a healthy county, however there is more to be done as evidenced by the RoadMAPP to Health Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), said Jeanne Casner, Director of the Chester County Health Department.  “The CHIP embodies many of the themes highlighted during National Public Health Week and demonstrates that no one organization can do it alone – but together we can make a greater impact on the health of our community.”

National Public Health Week events in Chester County include:

  • Books to Action – In collaboration with the Chester County Library, the Health Department will participate in Books-to-Action, a health literacy initiative. Community members are encouraged to readAnimal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver and then participate in restoring the community garden beds located at the library. Food demonstrations, nutrition presentations and gardening opportunities will be available throughout the spring and summer. Winning photos from the   Healthy Photo contest will be displayed at the library during the month of May. For more Books to Action events, visit the  Chester County Library calendar.
  • Boy Scout Public Health Merit Badge –The Health Department will host an event for Chester County Boy Scouts to help them earn their Public Health Merit Badge. The scouts will receive certificates of participation and assistance in completing their Public Health Merit Badge. Registration is required and Scouts are asked to bring their blue card to the event. The event will be held on Saturday, April 11th at the Olivet United Methodist Church in Coatesville.
  • Healthy Photo Contest for Teens – Chester County high school students are encouraged to submit an original photo depicting a “Picture of Health”.  Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Deadline for submissions is Friday, March 31st. Visit our website for full contest details.  The winner will be announced Wednesday, April 10th. Winning photos will be displayed at the Chester County Library during the month of May.
  • My Best Self Brownie Badge – The Health Department will assist a local Brownie Girl Scouts troop to complete the “My Best Self” badge, helping girls to keep themselves happy and healthy. Other local troops may inquire about this program by calling 610-344-6685.
  • “The Anonymous People” Screening – In conjunction with the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol and the Chester County Library, the Health Department is hosting two screenings of the documentary “The Anonymous People”; an exploration of the disease of addiction and the people that it affects. Screenings will be held Monday, April 6th from 6:00-7:45pm at the Chester County Library and Tuesday, April 7th from 6:00-7:45pm at the Henrietta Hankin Library.
  • Wheel of Choices – In collaboration with the West Chester Area Communities That Care Youth Involvement Workgroup, the Health Department will conduct a health education and safety game during lunch time at Fugett, Pierce and Stetson middle schools. Other local schools may inquire about this program by calling 610-344-5209.

Public Service Profile: Elder and Care-Dependent Abuse

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Elder and Care-Dependent Abuse

Elder abuse is the abuse or financial exploitation of adults 60 years of age and older.

Care-Dependent Person Abuse is the abuse or neglect of an adult (18-59 years of age) who, due to physical or cognitive disability or impairment, requires assistance to meet his/her needs for food, shelter, clothing, personal care or health care.

Abuse and neglect can take many forms from physical to emotional.  Physical abuse ranges from assaults resulting in bruising to serious fractures and sexual abuse.  Neglect can include a caregiver failing to provide the victim with basic necessities such as medication, proper clothing, or meals.   The abuse can frequently be undetected or unnoticed.  Victims of abuse may protect the abuser since they depend upon that person for assistance with daily needs.  The victim may be isolated and unable to call for help.

Abuse may involve exploitation of the elderly or care-dependent person’s finances.  Often the caregiver has access to the victim’s finances and steals from them.  Statistically, senior citizens are favored targets for many kinds of consumer fraud and financial exploitation, including identity theft, and telemarketing and sweepstakes fraud.

Detecting neglect and abuse

Signs of abuse may include unexplained bruises or welts, bed sores, injuries that are incompatible with the explanations, malnourishment or dehydration, untreated medical condition, soiled or dirty clothing or bedding.  Signs of abuse may not be obvious.  The victim may show signs of confusion, fear, depression, helplessness, hesitancy to talk freely or not permitted to talk freely. Physical caretakers, doctors, nurses and other health aides are in a unique position to recognize these signs and take appropriate measures to identify and report abuse.  Neighbors, friends, and family may recognize changes in behavior or physical appearance.  Fear of a caregiver should give you pause.

Signs that an elderly or care-dependent person has been financially exploited may include large or unusual bank transactions or charges in their spending patterns, unpaid bills when income is adequate, missing checks, suspicious power of attorney, ATM transactions by homebound elderly or care-dependent person, or overcharging for services.

At the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office, our Elder and Care-Dependent Abuse Unit investigates and prosecutes these cases with the concern and compassion that is needed to protect this vulnerable population and bring justice.

 Contact

Who should I contact if I suspect an elderly or care-dependent person is being abused or exploited?

Lancaster County Office of Aging:  299-7979

Lancaster County District Attorney office:  299-8100

 

Source: http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/776/ElderCare-Dependant

Public Service Profile: What is the Lancaster County Computer Forensic Unit?

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Computer Forensic Unit

Within the Investigative Division is the Computer Forensic Unit. The Computer Forensic Unit was established in 2003 and is currently comprised of one sworn police officer, who is a detective, and one civilian analyst. The members of Computer Forensic Unit are assigned to the Pennsylvania State Police Central Area Computer Crimes Task Force, as well as the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (l.C.A.C.).

Duties of the Unit
Computer forensics is the act of acquiring, authenticating, analyzing, and reporting digital evidence in a controlled setting. Digital evidence is defined as the storage of evidence on electronic media which may be used in a court setting. Examples of this are:

  • Cell phones
  • Compact discs
  • Computers
  • External hard drives

The Computer Forensic Unit supervises a computer crimes task force currently consisting of five sworn police officers from various Municipal Police Departments in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. This task force, known as the Lancaster County Computer Crimes Mutual Aid Task Force, was established in 2011, with the primary purpose of responding to crimes committed through the use of a computer in any of its forms. All of the members assigned to the task force were appointed as special Lancaster County Detectives for the investigation of crimes committed with computers.

Crime Prevention
Since the establishment of the Computer Forensic Unit and the Lancaster County Computer Crimes Mutual Aid Task Force, several criminal investigations relating to the possession, manufacturing, and/or distribution of illegal child pornography files, images, and videos have been conducted and successfully prosecuted in Lancaster County Court.

In January of 2012, the Computer Forensic Unit added mobile forensics to their duties to better serve the police departments in Lancaster County. With the growing increase in smartphones, this unit realizes that adapting to these changes were crucial to investigations.

Source (Verbatim): http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/516/Computer-Forensic-Unit

Public Service Profile: What is the Lancaster County Drug Task Force?

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Drug Task Force

The Lancaster County Drug Task Force was formed in 1988 by the Lancaster County District Attorney Henry S. Kenderdine. The Drug Task Force is composed of Lancaster County Detectives, and municipal police officers assigned by their respective police departments to temporary duty with the Drug Task Force. Municipal officers assigned to the Drug Task Force are sworn in as special county detectives, giving them county-wide jurisdiction. Municipalities that assign officers to the Drug Task Force are reimbursed for the officer’s salary and overtime.

Other Law Agency Involvement
The Drug Task Force works closely with local law enforcement as well as the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.

Duties of the Task Force
The primary focus of Drug Task Force activity is on mid to upper level drug dealers in Lancaster County; however, Drug Task Force members do assist local police departments with street level drug dealing when requested. The Drug Task Force exchanges criminal intelligence information with local, state, and federal law enforcement on a regular basis.

The Drug Task Force also monitors drug trends with respect to type, purity, and price, as well as methods of operation (MO) of drug dealers. This information is passed on to chiefs of police for tactical and strategic planning purposes. In addition, Drug Task Force members not assigned to undercover activity are available to speak to schools, civic, and business groups on drug related topics.

Funding & Support
The Lancaster County Drug Task Force is primarily funded by a voluntary one dollar per capita contribution from municipalities within Lancaster County. Most municipalities contribute in this manner. This voluntary contribution is not only recognition of the importance of the task force concept, but it demonstrates that our local governmental officials recognize that, realistically, no municipality is immune from the influence of illegal drugs and the crime associated with their use.

The Drug Task Force also receives some funding from the Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. In addition, the assets of drug dealers that the courts determine were acquired through unlawful activity are often forfeited to the Office of the District Attorney. Non-monetary assets such as jewelry, electronic equipment, and vehicles are sold at an annual auction held at the Lancaster County Central Park. The proceeds of the auction and any forfeited monetary assets are placed into an escrow account as provided for by P.S. 42 Pa. C.S. §6801. These funds are available for use by the District Attorney’s Office to purchase equipment or fund investigations that are directly drug related.

Source (Verbatim): http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/498/Drug-Task-Force

Save a Life: Overdose Reversal Drug Information

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Printable Informative Letter: ACT 139 For Your Doctor Or Pharmacist | Friends and Family Guidance Toolkit
First Responders Guidance Toolkit | For Health Care Providers | For DOH Licensed EMS Agencies
Naloxone Fact Sheet | Act 139 | Pharmacy Locations Carrying Naloxone 

Naloxone – Opioid Overdose Reversal ACT 139

 

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in deaths resulting from heroin and prescription opioids. This epidemic has spread across Pennsylvania as currently one in four families struggle with a substance abuse problem.  Coroners’ reports since 2009 have shown there have been more than 3,000 deaths due to overdose. This does not include many other related deaths from accidents, diseases, medical complications and suicides. Among people 25 to 64 years old, drug overdose causes more deaths than motor vehicle traffic crashes.  The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) is working to help reverse these horrifying trends and help our citizens who struggle with addiction.  The enactment of ACT 139 provides first responders, friends and families access to an opioid overdose reversal medicine that will save lives and hopefully lead an individual toward the substance abuse treatment they need.

What is ACT 139?

 

allows first responders (law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS) or other organizations acting at the direction of a health care professional authorized to prescribe naloxone, to administer the drug to individuals experiencing an opioid overdose.  The law also provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Additionally, individuals such as friends or family members in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid related overdose may receive a prescription for naloxone.

What is naloxone?

Naloxone is a medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug (i.e. prescription pain medication or heroin). When administered during an overdose, naloxone blocks the effects of opioids on the brain and restores breathing within two to eight minutes. Naloxone has been used safely by emergency medical professionals for more than 40 years and has only one function: to reverse the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system in order to prevent death.

What does this mean for first responders?

First responder organizations may now obtain, carry, and administer naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose.   According to Act 139, a non-licensed first responder agency must first enter into a written agreement with an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agency click here to view a sample EMS agreement. This written agreement is valid only under the consent of the EMS Medical Director or another physician. Click here for the First Responder Guidance Toolkit.

What are the benefits for first responders?

As first responders, Act 139 provides an opportunity to save lives and strengthen community relations in the process.  First responder agencies across the country administering naloxone report ease of use, the satisfaction of saving lives, and subsequent improvement in community relations as a result.  In fact, some law enforcement agencies boast significant improvements in community relations, including but not limited to increased community cooperation and information sharing in regards to other investigative efforts. Click here for compelling law enforcement testimonials and additional information.

What does this mean for members of the community?

Members of the community, family members, friends, and bystanders  may be prescribed naloxone and can lawfully administer the drug to someone who is experiencing an overdose.  Although not necessary to receive a prescription for naloxone, we recommend training. Please visit  http://www.getnaloxonenow.org to access an available training.  Please click here for the Friends and Family Guidance Toolkit.

What is the Good Samaritan Provision?

Through the ‘Good Samaritan’ provision of Act 139, friends and loved ones are encouraged to summon emergency medical services by calling 911 in the event they witness an overdose.  The law is meant to quell the fear of arrest in calling authorities for an overdose event by offering certain criminal and civil protections for those that do.  Law enforcement entities in other states that have implemented Good Samaritan protections for those who dial 911 in good faith have reported significant improvements in community relations.

Department of Health Approved Trainings

 

 

Law enforcement/fire departments/other persons not currently licensed by the Department of Health

http://www.pavtn.net – Training For Law Enforcement Officers By Law Enforcement Officers
The state-of-the-art training from PAVTN.net on Naloxone can aid every law enforcement agency and professional in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In order to access PAVTN.net, you must be registered as a member of the site. Typically, officers are registered by their departments to complete courses.
Friends, Family and All Other non-licensed, non-certified fire/EMS agencies and providers – GetNaloxoneNow.org http://www.getnaloxonenow.org

 

Department of Health licensed EMS agencies and certified EMS providers
Training will be provided through the Department of Health’s Learning Management System.

Additional Questions?                                 

Click here to view Frequently Asked Questions.

Resources and Instructional materials

– Printable Informative Letter: ACT 139 For Your Doctor Or Pharmacist

 

Friends and Family Guidance Toolkit

 

First Responders Guidance Toolkit

 

For Health Care Providers

 

For DOH Licensed EMS Agencies

 

– Naloxone Fact Sheet 

 

Act 139

–          SAMPLE DOCUMENTS

o   Sample Agreement with EMS and Local Agencies

o   Sample Internal Agency Policy

 

o   Prescribe to Prevent

 

–          SAMSHA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit

o   Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit – Full Document

o   Facts for Community Members

o   Essentials for First Responders – police, firefighters, EMS and other organizations

o   Safety Advice for Patients

o   Information for Prescribers

o   Resources for overdose Survivors and Family Members

–          Harm reduction Coalition Overdose Prevention & Naloxone Manual -http://harmreduction.org/issues/overdose-prevention/tools-best-practices/manuals-best-practice/od-manual/

 

Source: http://www.ddap.pa.gov/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=1938383&mode=2

Construction Project to Repair and Resurface Route 41 Begins

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Project Extends from Route 741 to Chester County Line

Lancaster

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on Monday, March 16, will begin a highway improvement project to repair and resurface nearly 2 ½ miles of Route 41 in eastern Lancaster County. The project extends from Route 741 (Strasburg Road) to Simontown Road (State Route 2027) close to the Chester County line. Nearly 11,000 vehicles travel this portion of Route 41 on a daily basis.

Motorists are advised that there will be no lane restrictions on weekdays between 6 AM and 8:30 AM and between 3:30 PM and 6 PM in order not to adversely affect the busy commuting hours. Outside of these time limits, however, motorists may encounter single-lane traffic restrictions with flaggers assisting them through the work area. Motorists are asked to be alert to this operation, to pay attention to the highway construction signs, and to slow down when approaching and traveling through the work zones – for their safety as well as for the safety of the construction crews. Motorists may also want to add more time in their travel plans to avoid delays.

PennDOT has contracted with Allan A. Meyers, LP of Worcester, Pennsylvania, to conduct the highway improvement project at a cost of $1,702,525. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

(Please note that the contractor — Allan A. Meyers — is also preparing to start a major construction project within the next few weeks at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 41 at Gap. This is a $9.9-million project that will improve this intersection. It will take two construction seasons to complete and should be finished by the end of October.)

PennDOT to Repair Route 462 through West York

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West Market Street work to begin March 30 in preparation for contract paving this summer

York

Harrisburg, PA – PennDOT announced today that during the week of Monday, March 30, weather permitting, preparatory work will begin on a project to repair and resurface a section of Route 462, West Market Street through West York Borough.

The $1,792,894 contract was awarded to Kinsley Construction, Inc., of York, York County. The contract includes curb cut work required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, inlet adjustments, base repair, milling, bituminous resurfacing, new signs, and pavement markings on a 1.77-mile section of Route 462 from just west of Route 234 in West Manchester Township through West York Borough to just east of Route 74 in the City of York.

PennDOT advises those who travel Route 462 that they may encounter parking restrictions and single-lane traffic patterns with flaggers assisting them through the work zone on weekdays between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM and during summer nighttime paving operations between 6 PM and 6 AM. Work under this construction contract is scheduled to be completed by mid-September.

This section of Route 462, known locally as West Market Street, averages 16,360 vehicles traveled daily. To avoid delays, travelers should allow for additional time in their plans or seek an alternate route.

Motorists are reminded to be alert for these operations, to obey work zone signs, and to slow down when approaching and traveling through work zones, not only for their safety, but for the safety of the road crews.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 700 traffic cameras, 94 of which are in the Midstate.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

Nighttime Route 30 Project in Western Lancaster County Begins Thursday

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Project Made Possible by Act 89

All District 8

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on Thursday night, March 19, will begin a highway improvement project to repair and resurface more than eight miles of Route 30 in western Lancaster County. The project extends from the Susquehanna River to Route 23 (Marietta Avenue) in East Hempfield Township. Nearly 23, 000 vehicles travel on this portion of Route 30 on a daily basis.

There should be no daytime lane restrictions to interfere with traffic. However, motorists are advised that they may encounter single-lane traffic restrictions in one or both directions on Route 30 during the overnight hours between 9 PM and 6 AM. During the course of the project at night, motorists may also encounter closed ramps and detours at the interchanges with Third Street, Prospect Avenue, Stony Battery Road or Centerville Road when construction work is in the vicinity of those interchanges.

PennDOT has contracted with Pennsy Supply, Inc. of Annville, Pennsylvania, to conduct the highway improvement project at a cost of $7,012,410. This highway improvement project was made possible by Act 89, the transportation funding law enacted in November 2013.In addition to repairs to the road base, the old asphalt pavement between the river and Prospect Road will be milled (i.e., removed) and repaved with new asphalt. The remainder of the project will receive a thin micro-surfacing surface to seal and help extend the life of the underlying pavement. The overall project is scheduled to finish in late October.

Cross Pipe Replacement to Detour Harrisburg Pike, March 28

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Repairs resumed March 16 in preparation for contract paving this summer

Lancaster

Harrisburg, PA – PennDOT set signs this week announcing that Saturday, March 28, weather permitting, construction crews will close a section of Harrisburg Pike, Main Street in the villages of Salunga and Landisville, in order to replace a drainage cross pipe between Stony Battery Road and Church Street in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County. A detour which follows Stony Battery Road, Kauffman Road and Church Street will be in place, until the roadway is reopened to traffic Saturday night or Sunday.

This work is part of an overall $2,320,611 contract awarded to Pennsy Supply, Inc., of Annville, Lebanon County, to repair and resurface a 4.46-mile section of roadway from the intersection with Old Harrisburg Pike and Esbenshade Road in Rapho Township following Main Street through West Hempfield Township and the villages of Salunga and Landisville to just east of the intersection of Harrisburg Pike and Old State Road in East Hempfield Township. Crews completed some roadway base repair and storm sewer work in 2014 before winter set in. Repairs resumed March 16 after a winter stoppage.

PennDOT advises travelers that at other times they may encounter single-lane traffic restrictions with flaggers assisting them through the work zone on weekdays after 8:30 AM. Work under this construction contract is scheduled to be completed by August.

Sections of this roadway, officially designated as State Route 4020, average between 8,500 and 5,650 vehicles traveled daily. To avoid delays, travelers should allow for additional time in their plans or seek an alternate route.

Motorists are reminded to be alert for these operations, to obey work zone signs, and to slow down when approaching and traveling through work zones, not only for their safety, but for the safety of the road crews.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras, 94 of which are in the Midstate.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.