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Rhode Island Department of Health News



Public Health News from the Rhode Island Department of Health



Last Build Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2008 12:05:58 GMT

 



Department of Health changes its feeds

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 14:41:23 GMT

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) has moved to the ri.gov rss feed tool and will be disconntinuing this feed. If you would like to subscribe to that news feed please go to http://www.ri.gov/rss/8/pressrelease.rss(image)



Department of Health and Department of Elderly Affairs Issue Heat Advisory

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:16:23 GMT

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) and the Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA) are issuing a joint heat advisory to remind people of precautions to take in extreme heat. High temperatures are predicted through the weekend, so it is especially important that all Rhode Islanders take the following precautions:(image)



Director of Health Announces New Head of Environmental and Health Services Regulation

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:10:25 GMT

Today, Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH announced that Michael S. Varadian, JD, MBA will head the Department of Health’s (HEALTH) Division of Environmental and Health Services Regulation. As Director of this Division, Mr. Varadian will oversee the Department’s functions in facilities regulation, health professions regulation, health systems development (health planning and licensure functions such as certificate of need, hospital conversion, change in effective control, initial licensure, and tertiary care services), managed care regulation, drinking water quality, food protection, beach monitoring, radiological health, licensing of health facilities and professionals, and promulgation of Department regulations in accordance with statutory mandates. Mr. Varadian will begin in his new role this week.(image)



Health Department Presents Community Partnership Award To The Lifespan Hospitals

8 Jul 2008 18:09:36 GMT

Today the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) presented the Lifespan hospitals, represented by Delma Jean Watts, MD, Hospital and Carol Lewis, MD pediatricians at Hasbro Children’s, with a Community Partnership Award. HEALTH’s Community Partnership Award is presented to individuals and groups who engage in exceptional community efforts that support the mission of the Health Department.(image)



Health Department Presents Community Partnership Award To The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence

Mon, 21 Jul 2008 18:08:46 GMT

Today the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) presented Stella Carrera of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence with a Community Partnership Award. HEALTH’s Community Partnership Award is presented to individuals and groups who engage in exceptional community efforts that support the mission of the Health Department.(image)



Health Department Presents Community Partnership Award to Dr. Douglas DeOrchis, Chair of the Rhode Island Stroke Task Force

8 Jul 2008

Today the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) presented Dr. Douglas DeOrchis, Chair of the Rhode Island Stroke Task Force and Director of The Miriam Hospital Stroke Center, with a Community Partnership Award. HEALTH’s Community Partnership Award is presented to individuals and groups who engage in exceptional community efforts that support the mission of the Health Department.(image)



Health Department Presents Community Partnership Award To The International Institute of Rhode Island

July 8, 2008

Today the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) presented William Shuey, Executive Director of the International Institute of Rhode Island (IIRI), with a Community Partnership Award. HEALTH’s Community Partnership Award is presented to individuals and groups who engage in exceptional community efforts that support the mission of the Health Department.(image)



HEALTH ISSUES ADVISORY REGARDING LEAD IN ARTIFICIAL TURF Media Release: June 24, 2008

Tue, 01 Jul 2008 12:03:09 GMT

For: Immediate Release Date: June 24, 2008 HEALTH ISSUES ADVISORY REGARDING LEAD IN ARTIFICIAL TURF Recommendations most important for facilities serving children under six Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an advisory concerning the potential for artificial turf to contain elevated levels of lead. The RI Department of Health (HEALTH) recommends that all facility managers where artificial turf is used carefully review the CDC advisory and their recommendations. This advisory is of primary importance for facilities that sponsor activities for children less than six years of age. Young children are much more at risk for lead exposures. Young children have nervous systems that are still in a sensitive stage of development, and, they often put their hands in their mouths, which put them at risk for ingesting dust that may contain high levels of lead. “This finding provides more evidence for both the importance of frequent hand washing and the need to screen all children in Rhode Island for lead exposures,” commented David R. Gifford, MD, MPH, Director of the RI Department of Health. If you are concerned about lead exposures to your young children, check with your medical care provider and make sure your children’s lead screening is up to date. This advisory is based on a recent finding in New Jersey where dust from a particular type of artificial turf was found to be high in lead. HEALTH routinely receives reports about lead hazards from inspections of homes, facilities like day cares, and investigations into the source of lead exposure for a significantly poisoned child. There is no record of any testing of artificial turf in Rhode Island. HEALTH’s website lists licensed lead inspectors capable of testing the lead content of dust. CDC’s General Recommendations on the Use of Fields with Artificial Turf At this time, CDC does not yet understand the potential risks associated with exposure to dust from worn artificial turf. The following precautions can be taken to minimize any potential risk. Field managers should consider implementing dust-suppression measures. Suggestions for dust-suppression methods can be found at NJDHSS's website, which is provided in the additional information section. Children ages 6 and younger are most susceptible to lead's harmful health effects. To protect the public, in particular young children, consider posting signs indicating that: 1. After playing on the field, individuals are encouraged to perform aggressive hand and body washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water. 2. Clothes worn on the field should be taken off and turned inside out as soon as possible after using the field to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. In vehicles, people can sit on a large towel or blanket if it is not feasible to remove their clothes. These clothes, towels, and blankets should be washed separately and shoes worn on the field should be kept outside of the home. 3. Eating while on the field or turf product is discouraged. 4. Avoid contaminating drinking containers with dust and fibers from the field. When not drinking, close them and keep them in a bag, cooler, or other covered container on the side of the field. General Lead Poisoning Prevention Recommendations Especially in houses where children are present, parents, day care providers and other child care providers should follow lead safety practices regardless of the type of playing surface. These practices can help prevent children from being exposed to the many sources of lead in the environment. 1. Wash children's hands frequently and always before they eat. 2. Do not eat food or use pacifiers that have been dropped on the floor or outside. 3. Remove shoes when entering the house or use door mats. 4. Have your house inspected for lead if it was built before 1978. 5. U[...]



HEALTH DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS DECISION TO APPOINT SPECIAL MASTER AT LANDMARK MEDICAL CENTER

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 11:43:15 GMT

Director of Health David Gifford, MD, MPH today issued the following statement regarding the appointment of a special master to oversee the operations of Landmark Medical Center. "The Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Department of Health (HEALTH) have been working with Landmark Medical Center over the past few weeks and fully support Landmark actions as well as the Court’s appointment of Jonathan Savage, Esq. as Special Master. "HEALTH is ready to work closely with the court and special master as they take over all decision making and merger negotiations of Landmark." "The role of HEALTH related to Landmark has not changed, as the licensing agency, HEALTH will continue to review applications for change of effective control, Certificate of Need and with the Attorney General any applications for mergers or conversions." "This is unique situation for the staff, supporters and patients of Landmark Medical Center. HEALTH believes this is the right step for assuring those in Northern RI continue to receive health care services."(image)



Director of Health Releases 2007 Data on High School and Middle School Youth Risk Behaviors

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:12:29 GMT

Today Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH released the 2007 data from the high school Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). This year marks a decade of survey data from 1997 to 2007 at the high school level, and for the first time in 2007 middle school data are also available. Full survey reports are available on the Department of Health (HEALTH) website at: www.health.ri.gov/chic/statistics/yrbs.php

Key data from the high school report show improving trends in 22 of the 39 risk areas, such as helmet and seatbelt use, physical activity, TV watching, tobacco use, fighting, and weapon carrying. However, despite the improvements, many of the rates of risk behaviors are much too high.(image)



Rhode Island Department of Health Releases First Annual Statewide Report on Patient Satisfaction with Home Health Care

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:11:34 GMT

Today, the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) released the results of the first annual statewide survey on patient satisfaction with home health care in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is the first state in the Nation to collect these data. The results of the survey indicate that overall satisfaction averaged 90 out of 100 points for more than 2,500 patients who received care from 49 Rhode Island home health agencies. This level of overall satisfaction is similar to that found in patient surveys performed in a national sample of 420 home health agencies during the same time period. By type of service, patients were most satisfied with the services they received from therapists, such as physical, speech, and occupational therapists and social workers (93 points out of 100), and least satisfied with their dealings with office staff at the agencies (85 points out of 100).(image)



HEALTH Promotes Participation in Safety Initiative That Aims to Cut Lost Productivity SHARP program protects workers, lowers costs for Rhode Island companies

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 19:09:45 GMT

Department of Health (HEALTH) officials are hoping that an awards ceremony recognizing a Warwick firm for its outstanding workplace health and safety management will convince other companies to take advantage of an innovative program that can cut expenses due to accidents, injuries and lost productivity.

“In Rhode Island, almost 9000 of our 415,000 workers lost at least one workday, or had to have a job transfer due to occupational injury or illness in 2006,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “The workplace is one environment where policy changes can have a huge impact on public health. I commend Viessmann Manufacturing for going above and beyond minimum health and safety requirements to address all workplace hazards, thereby having no work related injuries or illnesses last year.”(image)