Our PHCA newsletter published a special edition to share lead water information from PWSA, the City, and other resources.
Click here to read.
Are you concerned about the abundance of lead in Pittsburgh drinking water? Well, you should be. If you want to learn more, or voice your concerns, please visit the PWSA COMMUNITY MEETING on January 4th…
PWSA COMMUNITY MEETING District 7
Information on Lead in Drinking Water
WHERE: Teamsters Local 249 4701 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201
WHEN: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 6:00pm – 8:00pm
PWSA leadership will give a presentation on lead in drinking water and how residents can limit exposure to lead, followed by a question and answer session.
For further information on the problems with lead in the water, see the CDC website HERE.
Pittsburgh EMS in conjunction with UPMC, is beginning a city-wide Citizen CPR training program in 2016. Residents and community leaders, like the members of the Polish Hill Association, who reside in Police Zone 2 are the first to learn this life-saving technique.
Called Bystander CPR or “hands only” CPR, it allows time for anyone to initiate resuscitation protocols and improve the ultimate outcomes of patients suffering from medical emergencies, specifically cardiac arrest. The goal in 2016 is to train at least 2,500 Pittsburgh residents in this and the Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) protocols.
A free 30 minute non-certificate course
The Allegheny County Health Department has scheduled 13 public meetings, one in each Allegheny County Council District, which will serve as an opportunity to disseminate information on the current health of the County and engage the public in a community discussion about health issues.
The closet meeting to Polish Hill will be on Monday, October 6 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Carnegie Library of East Liberty, 130 S. Whitfield Street.
“Our Health, Our Voice will be the theme of our public outreach campaign as we share key information about our population’s health and hear from residents about what issues are affecting their community’s health. The meetings are critical to helping the Health Department and residents work together to create a countywide health improvement plan and move toward a common vision of making Allegheny County the healthiest county in the nation,” said Health Director Dr. Karen Hacker.
Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting in their County Council District, but are also welcome to attend any of the other meetings. Light refreshments will be available. Please contact Casey Monroe at 412-578-8364 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if special accommodations are needed.
Click here for more information on the ACHD community meetings.
With extreme cold weather in the forecast in the coming days, the Allegheny Departments of Emergency Services, Human Services and Health offers the following tips and information on how to prepare for the extreme cold, deal with it once here, and what you can do afterward:
Preparing for Extreme Cold
· Make certain that you have an emergency kit which includes enough food, water, medicine and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. Basic services such as electricity, gas, water, sewage treatment and telephones may also be affected. Your supplies kit should contain items to help you manage during such outages. Consider sufficient heating fuel if you have a secondary source of heat, and also ensure that you have adequate clothing and blankets to keep you warm.
· Keep fire extinguishers on hand and make sure everyone in your household knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk as more people turn to alternate heating sources. The primary hazards to avoid when using alternate sources for electricity, heating or cooking are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock and fire.
· Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. At no time should a cooking stove or oven be used for heat.
· If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, move quickly to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Call for help from the fresh air location and remain there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. Don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm? The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call for help from a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door and remain there until emergency personnel arrives.
· If your pipes freeze, allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather. Running water, even at a trickle, will prevent freezing. As a precaution, you should also know how to shut off water valves in the event that a pipe bursts.
· Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Dealing with the Extreme Cold
Stay indoors as much as possible. If you must go outside, wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat as you can lose as much as 50 percent of your body’s heat through the head. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
If you are outdoors, watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, the dangerous and sometimes fatal lowering of body temperatures. Frostbite includes loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
Marc Cherna, Director of the Department of Human Services, encourages all county residents to check on older neighbors to make sure they are safe during periods of severe weather and offers the following tips and guidelines:
· Make sure seniors have a list of emergency telephone numbers that includes neighbors and family members who can help, if needed.
· Check to see if the furnace is working if the home feels cold. Become alert to dangerous methods of heating a room, such as open flames or ovens.
· Ensure that walkways and steps leading to their homes are cleared and that there is food and water in the house.
· Go back later or the next day, if at all possible, to make sure everything is still alright. Remove your coat and stay at least 15 minutes to determine if the home is warm enough. This is also a great chance to share a cup of coffee (decaffeinated, of course), verify the pipes are not frozen, and check on pets.
· Be particularly mindful of older neighbors during a power outage. Lack of electrical power not only presents dangers associated with lack of heat, but also risks associated with non-functioning vital medical equipment, such as oxygen systems, emergency lighting, stair glides and medication timers. If you cannot contact someone you believe is in the house, contact your local police or emergency services.
When weather circumstances dictate, the Area Agency on Aging and its contracted providers contact frail, isolated and high-risk consumers who are registered for care management. Care managers visit those at highest risk and ensure each home is well-heated and has enough food, water and medication to last for several days. Care managers also respond to emergency needs as they arise.
The Area Agency on Aging has already provided about 1,250 “Snowy Weather Boxes” to at-risk older adults who are registered with the agency and often live alone. The boxes include toilet paper, non-skid slipper socks, hand sanitizer, flashlight and batteries, peanut butter, crackers, tuna, fruit juice, bottled water, and other shelf-stable meals and drinks.
After Extreme Cold
If your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold, public shelters are typically opened and information on such openings will be provided online, and through the media.
Continue to protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
Conserve fuel, if necessary, by keeping your residence cooler than normal. Temporarily close off heat to some rooms.
If the pipes freeze, remove any insulation or layers of newspapers and wrap pipes in rags. Completely open all faucets and pour hot water over the pipes, starting where they are most exposed to the old (or where the cold was mostly likely to penetrate).
Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Services and other resources. Be alert to changing weather conditions.
For More Information
In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately from any wired or wireless phone. An emergency is any situation which requires immediate assistance from the police, fire department or medical professionals. If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, call 9-1-1 and the call-taker will determine whether you need emergency help.
While extreme cold weather cannot be controlled, we can all be prepared by taking action in advance to protect ourselves and our families. Be informed. Make a plan. Build a kit. Get involved. Those are the four fundamental steps to being prepared if an emergency occurs. For more information, visit www.ready.gov.
Cold weather health tips may be obtained by calling the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD (2243) or visiting its website at www.achd.net.
Information about programs and services for older adults is available calling the SeniorLine at 412-350-5460 (TDD/TTY 412-350-2727), sending an email to SeniorLine@AlleghenyCounty.us or by visiting the DHS Older Adults website at www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/olderadults.aspx.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a United States federal statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, it represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country’s healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.
“The Impact of the Affordable Health Care Act”, a town hall forum on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 will be held at the University of Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Oct. 2. The forum will feature a panel discussion by experts and a question-and-answer session and will offer the public one of its best opportunities locally to get answers to questions about the legislation. This free event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in Ballroom B at Pitt’s University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland.
The forum is sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Service’s Allegheny Link to Aging and Disability Resources, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Social Work and Law, and the Allegheny County APPRISE Program (the state health insurance assistance program).
A slate of experts will help untangle the complicated subject of online health insurance Marketplaces just as the Marketplaces begin taking registrations, which occurs on Oct. 1. Marketplaces — originally called Health Insurance Exchanges — will allow eligible uninsured individuals to select from among health insurance packages to meet the requirements of the Affordable Health Care Act.
“We are sponsoring the Town Hall Forum because many people and employers have questions about the Affordable Care Act,” said Joe Elliott, Community Programs Manager at the Allegheny Link. “It’s a complex piece of legislation and the experts at the forum can answer many initial questions, including ‘What do we do if our employer does not provide health insurance? Are we eligible for the Marketplace? Will there be subsidies to make health insurance more affordable?’”
John Lovelace, president of UPMC for You, a managed care organization that serves Medical Assistance and Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan recipients in 40 counties in Pennsylvania, is among the featured speakers. Other experts are expected from the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, Excela and the Consumer Health Coalition.
The forum will also address some of the broader implications and impact of the Affordable Care Act on the American health care system, particularly the law’s provisions concerning the Medicare and Medicaid systems. The first hour of the forum will be devoted to a panel discussion, with two hours allotted to taking questions from the audience.
(first paragraph c/o Wikipedia; the rest from an Allegheny County press release)
It’s still officially summer, but this is the time to start thinking about getting a flu shot. The Allegheny County Health Department will open its influenza vaccination clinic at 3441 Forbes Avenue, Oakland, on Monday, September 9.
The clinic will offer influenza vaccine, while supplies last, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Wednesdays, from 1 to 8 p.m., with free parking available after 4:30 p.m. in the lot behind 3333 Forbes Avenue. No appointment is necessary. Health officials report there are many sources of influenza vaccine and ample supplies are expected to be available this flu season.
The influenza vaccine will be provided free of charge to uninsured/underinsured children from six months through 18 years old. It is a covered benefit to people with Medicare Part B coverage who are not in an HMO and may get vaccine from any Medicare-approved provider. The vaccine is $25 for others.
A limited supply of flu vaccine without thimerosal will be offered free of charge to uninsured/underinsured children. Please call 412-687-ACHD (2243) in advance to make sure it’s available.
The vaccine protects against three strains of influenza virus expected to circulate this season – H1N1 Type A, H3N2 Type A, and a Type B influenza virus.
On Friday February 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., the Central Blood Bank will have a “Give from the Heart” blood drive at the Giant Eagle Market District on Centre Avenue. As a thank-you, all participants will receive a $10 Giant Eagle gift card.
To make your donor experience faster and more convenient, visit www.centralbloodbank.org and search with sponsor code K0170128, or call Megan Gray at 412-681-1500.
And please consider becoming a regular blood donor. When you sign up, you’ll receive a blood donor card and a reminder every 8 weeks when it’s time to donate again. Regular donors can sign up for the BLRewards program to earn points with every successful donation that can be redeemed for things like gift cards or coupons. Points can also be donated to support charities with which we share a common goal: saving lives.