1. Drop the yearly resolution in favor or a weekly goal.

      1. Reflecting on small successes can be empowering.  “Setting mini-goals creates a feeling of accomplishment, and when someone feels positive, they tend to make more positive choices. It’s the snowball effect,” Marjorie Cohn, a registered dietitian, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics said.

      1. When we break it up into weekly goals, it helps to see progress, feel confident, reach benchmarks and feel motivated to continue.

    1. Mondays have been helpful in addressing healthy behavior changes such as

        1. Weight loss

        1. Healthy eating

        1. Physical activity

        1. Quitting Tobacco

      1. Dealing with stress

  1. Move more, but do when you can and how you like.

      1. The old message was you needed at least 10-minute bouts of aerobic activity for it to count toward the goal of 150 minutes a week. But, no longer. The new guidelines conclude that all movement that helps you stay physically active is important.

        1. Make sure that at least 2 days are focused on muscle-strengthening activities

      1. Nobody needs a gym to be healthy we just need to find small ways to increase physical activity.

    1. Physical activity can make daily life better. As you get more active — you can start feeling better right away!

        1. Boost your mood

        1. Sharpen your focus

        1. Reduce your stress

      1. Improve your sleep

  1. Feedback Feeds Motivation

      1. We all love feedback so track your progress.

    1. Feedback feeds motivation.

Handwashing is one of the most important things we can do to prevent illness and the spread of germs.  If soap and water are not available the use of a alcohol based hand sanitizer is just as effective (make sure the alcohol content is at least 60%)


According to the CDC to prevent the spread of disease we should wash our hands:


  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage


Steps to properly wash your hands:


  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them



When we have adequate snow cover and stagnant, sunny conditions that last over at least a few days, our region tends to develop high ozone in the atmosphere.
Ozone is an invisible gas that, at high enough concentrations, is hazardous to human health, especially for people with respiratory diseases. Regulations related to air quality may also lead to air pollution regulations that are costly to our local oil and gas industry.
The majority of pollutant emissions that lead to high ozone come from the oil and gas industry, but things like cars, home heating, and other day-to-day activities we engage in in the Basin contribute as well.
Our team at the Vernal USU campus has a comprehensive research program to better understand this issue and to help regulators, industry and the public make better decisions to control it.


Last winter we started an email program to alert industry and others when high ozone is expected so they can reduce ozone-forming emissions where possible.
Anyone is welcome to sign up for this program. All they need to do is go to aq.usu.edu, click Get Involved, and then click Ozone Alert Email Program. They can sign up on that page, and then we will send them an email whenever high ozone is forecast.


The biggest thing is that people who work in the oil and gas industry can make sure thief hatches and valves stay closed and sealed and that all oil and gas equipment is working properly. If it is possible to delay maintenance activities that release natural gas into the atmosphere until after an air quality episode, that will also help.
For people that don’t work in the oil and gas industry, reducing idling your car and keeping diesel soot emissions to a minimum will help. People who burn wood can make sure their fires burn efficiently. You know your fire is not burning well if smoke is coming out of your chimney.

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

• CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
• Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
• Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
• Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
• If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel declare that it is safe to re-enter the home.
• If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.
• During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
• A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
• Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside.


Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a professional every year before cold weather sets in. When using a fireplace, open the flue for adequate ventilation. Never use your oven to heat your home.


  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
  • In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine calls per hour.

More information at



Maintain Your Car: Check battery, tire tread, and windshield wipers, keep your windows clear, put no-freeze fluid in the washer reservoir, and check your antifreeze.

Have On Hand: flashlight, jumper cables, abrasive material (sand, kitty litter, even floor mats), shovel, snow brush and ice scraper, warning devices (like flares) and blankets.  For long trips, add food and water, medication and cell phone.

Stopped or Stalled? Stay in your car, don’t overexert, put bright markers on antenna or windows and shine dome light, and, if you run your car, clear exhaust pipe and run it just enough to stay warm.

Plan Your Route:  Allow plenty of time (check the weather and leave early if necessary), be familiar with the maps/directions, and let others know your route and arrival time.

Practice Cold Weather Driving!

  • During daylight, rehearse maneuvers slowly on ice or snow in an empty lot.
  • Steer into a skid.
  • Know what your brakes will do: stop on antilock brakes, pump on non-antilock brakes.
  • Stopping distances are longer on water-covered ice and ice.
  • Don’t idle for a long time with windows up or in an enclosed space


  • Buckle up and use child safety seats properly.
  • Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag.
  • Children 12 and under are much safer in the back seat.


  • Drugs and alcohol never mix with driving
  • Slow down and increase distance between cars.
  • Keep your eyes open for pedestrians walking in the road.
  • Avoid fatigue – Get plenty of rest before the trip, stop at least every three hours, and rotate drivers if possible.
  • If you are planning to drink, designate a sober driver

This article is based from the official U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication “Winter Driving Safety“.  For more about OSHA go to http://osha.gov.




Everyone should be cautious about traveling in extreme winter weather.


  • Plan before you travel– Simple Planning can save trouble and even save your life – Follow the 6 P’s
  • Prepare your vehicle– Be sure your vehicle is in good winter driving condition especially your battery, windshield wipers/fluid and tires. Equip your vehicle with a 72 hour emergency car kit.
  • Be aware of the weather– Listen to forecasts, road reports and storm warnings. Review the UDOT traffic cameras. Dress appropriately. Allow extra time for trips during severe weather
  • Make yourself easy to find– Tell someone where you are going and your expected time of arrival.
  • Stay in your vehicle– Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might lose your way, bet frost bite or even become Your vehicle is a good shelter doing a severe storm.
  • Avoid Overexertion – Shoveling snow or trying to push a car out will cause overexertion and may lead to injury or a heart attack. Plus it will make you sweat making you more acceptable to hypothermia
  • Keep fresh air in your vehicle – Make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of snow. A clogged tailpipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Keep snow off the radiator to prevent your car from overheating
  • Keep a Winter Car Kit available – Make sure you store your winter car kit in your vehicle and not your truck. Items to have in a Winter Car Kit. Shovel, Flashlight, Blankets, extra clothes, boots, water, food, kitty litter, snow chains, hand warmers, first aid kit, etc.



Checklist of items to have:

-compact  Shovel

-Windshield scraper

-Battery-powered radio with extra batteries

-Flashlight with extra batteries

-Water- Replace every 6 months and keep ¾ full to allow for freeze expansion

-Snack food


-Extra hats, coats, and mittens


-Chains or rope

-Tire chains

-Road salt, sand, cat litter to help tires get traction

-Jumper cables


-Emergency flares

-Bright colored flag or help signs

-First aid kit with pocket knife

-Road maps


-Waterproof matches


-Hazard or other reflectors

-Emergency flares

-Emergency distress flag

-Necessary medications

-Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter


The Teen Outreach Program (TOP) is an after school club at the Vernal Middle School and Uintah Middle School, through TriCounty Health Department. It is a positive youth development program, where youth learn life skills pertaining to communication, health and wellness, emotion management skills, and much more. Each year we participate in a minimum of 20 hours of service, many of which we do as a group. The program is youth led and facilitator guided, which means the youth get a voice in which types of service we participate in, and what lessons they need to learn.


For our first service project of the year, the youth at both the Vernal Middle School and Uintah Middle School have chosen to do a pet supply drive for the Uintah County Animal Shelter. They are asking for donations of old t-shirts, towels, and blankets, as well as wet and dry food, treats, toys, beds and books. If there is anything you can provide you can bring those items to one of our drop boxes at the Vernal Middle School, TriCounty Health Department, or Aaron’s. This drive will last until December 4, and we will be delivering all donations to the Animal Shelter on December 6, when we go to tour their facility.


We are also happy to get new members of our TOP Club so if you have a child that would be interested in joining we meet at the Vernal Middle School on Wednesdays after school, and the Uintah Middle School after school, for one hour each.

Eighty million Americans, 20 years old and older, are prediabetic. Many of them are unaware. One in 11 Americans have diabetes with 90-95 percent having type 2 diabetes. At this rate, over the course of the next few years our statistics will drastically change and one in three people will have diabetes.


Diabetes costs $245 billion each year, $176 billion goes to medical services and care, and the other $69 billion goes to indirect costs such as loss of work, disability and premature death.

The good news is that type 2 can be prevented or delayed, and TriCounty Health Department has some really great resources we’re promoting this month (Diabetes Awareness Month).

We are now able to test your A1c. An A1c is a blood test that tells us how your body is managing the glucose levels over the course of about three months. TriCounty Health Department is offering this to the public at a cost of $20 and you will have your results in as little as six minutes and we can show you in our office whether you’re diabetic, prediabetic or in the normal range.


If you fall in the prediabetic range we can help you prevent or delay the onset of diabetes with our Diabetes Prevention Program. The program is an online 16-week program with six follow up appointments of maintenance where we cover things like finding a good support system, staying motivated, staying healthy through the holidays and meal planning. (TIPS: eat a healthy snack before you go to all of your thanksgiving dinners, this way you won’t be so hungry. Let your support system of family, and friends know you’re working towards a healthier you so they can continue to support you, eat only the serving size, before going back for seconds give your body 20 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.)


Overall, it’s a great program and Katie Scholes is trained as a lifestyle coach for the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) CDC and is also working to become a diabetes paraprofessional. Katie has been testing the curriculum in her personal life and has already been losing an average of two pounds each week, and is uncovering a lot of good, healthy recipes. The program is free of charge, and we would love to have you participate in this with us to improve your health, and ultimately improve the health of the community.


You can contact Katie at 435-247-1174 for more information or visit our website tricountyhealth.com

Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, loss survivors will gather around the globe in small and large events while growing together in their grief journey.
Each event is unique and offers various programing, however each event site will feature an AFSP produced documentary that offers a message of growth, resilience and connection.

TriCounty Health Department is pleased to partner with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to bring this event to our community.

Register for the Vernal event at https://tinyurl.com/yco3qgmk.

As adults we don’t often think of needing vaccines. It is a good idea to review your vaccine records annually to see if shots are needed, this can be done by contacting your healthcare provider or Tricounty Health Department. What vaccines do Adults need? All adults need a Td or Tdap vaccine every 10 years, or sooner if you are injured, and a flu shot annually. Adults with specific jobs or chronic health conditions are recommended to have additional vaccines.
Recently the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was approved for adults through age 45. The CDC states “In a study in approximately 3,200 women 27 through 45 years of age, followed for an average of 3.5 years, Gardasil was 88 percent effective in the prevention of a combined endpoint of persistent infection, genital warts, vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions, cervical precancerous lesions, and cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine….Effectiveness of Gardasil 9 in men 27 through 45 years of age is inferred from the data described above in women 27 through 45 years of age”
If you have not received your HPV vaccine and are 45 or younger contact your healthcare provider or Tricounty Health.

On Saturday, October 27, local law enforcement agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 16th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  Pills and patches will be accepted. (The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.


Last spring Americans turned in 474.5 tons (949,046 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,700 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 15 previous Take Back Events, DEA and its partners have taken in nearly 10 million pounds– 4,982 tons– of pills.


This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.  Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medicine being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.  In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash- both pose potential safety and health hazards.


Take backs are slated for Saturday, October 27th from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at Al’s Foodtown in Duchesne, Stewart’s Marketplace in Roosevelt, and Walmart in Vernal.  For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back Day event, go to www.tricountyhealth.com or www.DEATakeBAck.com.