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Entries in NH DHHS (695)

Thursday
Apr302015

NH DHHS - Monitoring after Person with Measles Visits the State

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is investigating after an

international traveler, who was visiting Massachusetts and recently

traveled to New Hampshire, was subsequently found to be infected with the

measles virus. The only known public exposure site in New Hampshire was the

Flatbread Company restaurant in Portsmouth on April 20th between the hours

of approximately 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. There are no cases identified related

to this situation, and New Hampshire is well protected from widespread

measles transmission due to a high vaccination rate in our school-aged

children, including a more than 96% measles vaccination rate in preschool

children. However, DHHS is encouraging people who were at the exposure site

during those hours to monitor themselves for symptoms. Symptoms of measles

infection usually begin with high fever, cough, runny nose, and

conjunctivitis several days prior to development of a body rash. Anybody

who feels sick should call their healthcare provider before going directly

to a healthcare facility.



“We are still in the early stages of investigating, but we do not

anticipate a large outbreak because of the high vaccination rate of people

in the State,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist. “But it is

possible there could be cases in New Hampshire related to travel by this

individual. It is a good time for people to check their own vaccination

status if they were born in or after 1957.”



NH DHHS recommends that all people review their vaccination status with

their healthcare providers to ensure adequate immunity to measles. DHHS is

asking anybody who was at the restaurant during the above time frame, who

was born in 1957 or after, and who has not been adequately vaccinated for

measles or found to have evidence of measles immunity to contact the DHHS

Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496 to discuss risks of

infection and transmission of the virus.



Measles is caused by a virus that is passed from person to person through

the air when someone with the disease sneezes, coughs, or talks. It is very

easy for individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to contract

it from someone else. The measles virus can remain in the air for up to two

hours after an infected person visits and leaves and area. The above time

frame for exposure at the Portsmouth restaurant includes this two-hour

window after the infectious person left the restaurant. The incubation

period for measles from the time of exposure is typically 10 to 14 days,

but can be as long as 21 days.



For more information about measles prevention, download the DHHS Measles

Fact Sheet at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/cdcs/documents/measles.pdf,

visit the DHHS Immunization Program webpage at

www.dhhs.nh.gov/immunization/index.htm, and visit the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Friday
Apr242015

NH DHHS - State’s Homeless Population Down 14% since 2011

According to New DHHS Point-in-Time Survey

~~Programs Are Bringing More People in from the Cold but More Must Be Done

to Solve Homelessness~~


Concord – The number of homeless individuals across the State of New Hampshire measured 2,158, down 2% from 2014 numbers and down 14% since 2011

(from 2,520), according to data released today by the Department of Health

and Human Services (DHHS). The finding is the result of a one-day

Point-in-Time (PIT) count conducted in January 2015 by three Continuum of

Care organizations.



According to the report, the number of individuals in shelters increased 9%

(up to 1,370), while the percentage of those unsheltered decreased 34%

(262) from the results of the 2014 PIT count. Other findings include:

· 526 individuals were temporarily residing with family or friend, down

8.5% from 2014

· 393 represented families

· Of the 1,576 adults surveyed, 40% (627) of self-reported a severe and

persistent mental illness; 33% (523) surveyed reported having a

substance abuse issue; 10% (162) were veterans; and 19% (307) were

chronically homeless



“Decreasing homelessness in our State suggests that initiatives to prevent

homelessness and rapidly rehousing individuals displaced from their homes

are working,” said DHHS Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas. “However, our work

is far from complete, as there are still far too many who do not have a

home. In these times of limited resources, it is more critical than ever

that we band together to find solutions to end homelessness.”



BHHS coordinates this Point-in-Time count in order to gather an accurate

and unduplicated count of homeless individuals and families across the

State. As part of the funding BHHS receives from the US Department of

Housing and Urban Development, this count is required to identify the needs

created by the ongoing issue of homelessness; both sheltered and

unsheltered, in New Hampshire.



“The PIT count provides data on the number of people experiencing

homelessness on any given day in New Hampshire,” said BHHS Administrator

Maureen Ryan. “The data helps identify trends and areas of need across the

State so that we can ensure the most efficient and effective delivery of

services to this population.”



The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Bureau of

Homeless and Housing Services (BHHS) conducts the one-day statewide

Point-in-Time (PIT) count of homeless individuals and families. This count

took place on 1/28/15 from 12:00 midnight to 11:59 p.m. and targeted

city/town welfare offices, homeless shelters, hospitals, police

departments, soup kitchens, food pantries, outreach workers, and other

organizations serving homeless people in New Hampshire. The count is

undertaken as a coordinated effort between the three local homeless

Continuums of Care, Nashua, Manchester and the “Balance of State” which

BHHS coordinates.





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Friday
Apr242015

NH DHHS - Pew Research Foundation Report Give New Hampshire an 'A' 

New Pew Research Foundation Report Gives New Hampshire an ‘A’ for State’s

Efforts to Protect Children from Tooth Decay

Concord, NH – A new report from the Pew Research Foundation gives New

Hampshire an “A” grade for its efforts to protect children from tooth decay

with dental sealants. The ranking reflects combined efforts by the

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), children’s health

advocates, and providers to promote good oral health among school children.

According to research, school based dental sealant programs reduce tooth

decay by 60 percent at one-third the cost of a filling.



“Pew’s recognition demonstrates how much we can accomplish when we work

together to advance children’s health,” said DHHS Commissioner Nick

Toumpas. “This is testament to the hard work of staff in the Office of

Medicaid and the Division of Public Health Services Oral Health Program.

This is a victory for health advocates in the community, dental programs

that help manage the sealant programs, participating dentists and

hygienists, and the schools that provide the care.”



The oral health policies are administered by the DHHS Division of Public

Health and Office of Medicaid. New Hampshire also received an ‘A’ grade two

years ago, based on similar criteria and both times received the Pew

Foundation's highest score for policy and sealant program performance. Pew

has graded states' oral health policies on certain measures for several

years.



Pew based the grade on four policy and performance elements:

· Percentage of high-need schools with sealant programs

· Unnecessary rules restricting hygienists from applying sealants in

schools

· Participation in the National Oral Health Surveillance System

· Meeting “Healthy People 2010” sealant objective



Still, many children between the ages of 6 and 9 are without sealants.

Sealants are covered by Medicaid and available through school-based sealant

programs, in community dental clinics and in local dentists’ offices. The

American Dental Association recommends sealants for permanent molars for

all children at risk for tooth decay.



For more information about the New Hampshire DHHS Oral Health Program visit

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm. To read the full Pew

report, go to

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2015/04/states-stalled-on-dental-sealant-programs

.



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Monday
Apr132015

NH DHHS - New Income Guidelines for Commodity Supplemental Food Program Announced

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) announces that federal income guidelines for the Commodity

Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for seniors have increased, allowing

more low-income seniors to apply. CSFP currently reaches about 4,500

low-income seniors age 60 years and older in New Hampshire. Income

guidelines are up to: $1,276 monthly for a senior living alone and $1,726

monthly for a family of two persons.



CSFP provides a monthly food box that includes canned meats, fruits,

vegetables, cereal, juice, pasta, rice, and cheese, plus recipe ideas on

how to use the foods in healthy recipes.



“Public health nutrition programs such as this provide important nutrition

services to low-income seniors who may have a difficult time finding

affordable healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables in the

summer months,” said Dr. José Thier Montero, Director of Public Health at

DHHS. “By providing these foods and nutrition education to seniors, we hope

to prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as obesity, hypertension, and

diabetes.”



During the summer months, seniors enrolled in CSFP will also receive fresh

locally grown fruits and vegetables, through the Seniors Farmers’ Market

Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack

Counties, Inc., administers SFMNP under a contract with the Department of

Health and Human Services and offers the program statewide at more than 60

sites in New Hampshire.



Seniors 60 years and older who meet the income guidelines are encouraged to

call the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Section at 1-800-942-4321 to

learn how to apply for CSFP and SFMNP services in their community. Visit

www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs/nhp/wic/csfp.htm  or

www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs/nhp/healthyrecipescooking.htm  for more

information and healthy recipes.



USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Friday
Apr102015

NH DHHS - NH DPHS Recognition of National Public Health Week

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS) is highlighting some of

the great work happening in New Hampshire around public health in

recognition of National Public Health Week, an initiative of the National

Public Health Association. This year’s theme is Healthiest Nation 2030,

with the goal of being the “healthiest nation in one generation.” The goals

are to raise awareness of what public health is, why it is essential, and

how it impacts everyone’s life.



Monday’s theme is Raising the Grade, highlighting how the U.S. lags behind

other developed countries on certain public health markers. DPHS is

focusing on improving maternal smoking rates as an area where we can do

better. Tuesday’s theme is Starting from Zip calling attention to how where

we live impacts our health. DPHS is highlighting sexually transmitted

disease (STD)/HIV testing and how to find a site to be tested in your

neighborhood. Wednesday is about



Building Momentum and working with leaders, companies, and communities to

improve public health. The Immunization Program at DPHS is highlighting

their Start the Conversation campaign to improve adult vaccination rates in

New Hampshire. For Thursday, Building Broader Connections is the topic and

how expanding partnerships is essential for success. An Asthma Program data

brief on asthma in the workplace highlights the collaborative process

between companies and public health on an important health topic. Friday is

all about Building on 20 Years of Success of National Public Health Week

and here in New Hampshire we are highlighting the success of improved

breastfeeding rates.



“It is difficult to explain how public health works and how it impacts

people’s lives, because like the heating system of a building, we tend not

to notice it until it breaks down,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of

Public Health at DHHS. “National Public Health Week is a great opportunity

to focus on some of the great work going on in New Hampshire.”



For more information about the National Public Health Week in New

Hampshire, visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nphweek.htm. To find out more

about NPHW nationally, visit http://www.nphw.org.

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