TriCounty Health Department and Ashley Regional Medical Center are teaming together to bring the community its first Baby Fair, Thursday, November 15, 6-8 p.m. at the new Ashley Regional Women’s Center. Chat with medical professionals, WIC providers and learn about local resources.

The event will be an opportunity to learn about breastfeeding options and learn about what Ashley Regional Medical Center and TriCounty Health Department have to offer the Uintah Basin.

Davis Food & Drug, and the Golden Age Center have recently been working with TriCounty Health Department to offer free blood pressure checks to our community in an effort to keep people healthy. Free blood pressure checks are also being offered by TriCounty Health Department in our Roosevelt and Vernal offices as well as on the Mobile Clinic. Anyone can come in to any of these agencies for a free blood pressure screening or to be connected to resources like the nutrition program, diabetes prevention program, and tobacco cessation to prevent or manage chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Due to severe weather on the east coast, FEMA is postponing its first nationwide Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) test until Oct. 3 at 12:18 p.m. our time (2:18 p.m. EDT). 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on September 20, 2018. The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. Previous EAS national tests were conducted in September 2011, 2016 and 2017 in collaboration with the FCC, broadcasters, and emergency management officials in recognition of FEMA’s National Preparedness Month.

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar. The EAS message will include a reference to the WEA test:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

Cell towers will broadcast the WEA test for approximately 30 minutes beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower, and whose wireless carrier participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once. The WEA test message will have a header that reads “Presidential Alert” and text that says:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of the WEA test.

If circumstances, such as a major weather event, cause the IPAWS National Test to be postponed, the back-up date is Wednesday, October 3, 2018.

This information is direct from FEMA, look at the FEMA webpage for more information and find a link to a wireless alert test fact sheet here. information is in both English and Spanish.

 

TriCounty Health Department Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) received a Gold Loving Support Award of Excellence, on Aug. 1, 2018, the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. Director of TriCounty Health Department, Jordan Mathis, and WIC Program Manager, Katie Kissel, were presented the award in Salt Lake City at the Utah Department of Health.

 

Seventy-eight awards were given nationwide, four of which were to Utah health departments. Awards were presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), recognizing exemplary WIC peer counselor programs, which lead to an increased number of WIC participants who breastfeed their infants exclusively for six months.

 

“The lactation support services at TriCounty Health Department are successful due in large part to the passion of our WIC staff to establish a healthy nutrition from birth,” Kissel said. “By encouraging education and breastfeeding promotion, we hope that our communities can see the benefits of the lactation support services we offer and continue to utilize the WIC program for all their breastfeeding needs.”

 

TriCounty Health Department currently has one peer counselor and two certified lactation counselors, who work daily to improve mothers’ experiences with breastfeeding and are available to answer any questions.  Breastfeeding support services provided through TriCounty Health Department are not limited to individuals enrolled in WIC and are available to the entire public.


Tooele Health Department also won a Gold Award and Utah County Health Department and Davis County Health Department won a Gold Premier Award, the same day.

 

Breastfeeding exclusively for six months provides the most health benefit for babies and mothers. World Breastfeeding Week is Aug. 1-7.

In March 2018, Chris Jensen began work out of the TriCounty Health Department offices. With a new office location in Vernal, Jensen will continue work for the Department of Environmental Quality, working as one of the first remote employees.

Jensen is originally from the Uintah Basin and enjoys being here. Working with the Department of Environmental Quality as an Environmental Scientist, Division of Air Quality Minor Source Compliance Section, Oil and Gas Group, Jensen is working closely with local environmental studies.

“This has been a good career change,” Jensen said about starting work with DEQ and locating in Vernal.

Jensen and his wife, Bonnie Jensen, owner of Bonnie Jensen Gallery, live in Vernal. They have five grandchildren and enjoy car shows on their free time.

TriCounty Health Department is thrilled to be working with Jensen and look forward to his contribution to making the Basin a healthy community.

 

 

Due to the fires, the Uintah Basin has been experiencing poor air quality. Smoke from wildfires could cause high concentrations of particulates (air pollutants) in populated areas. If smoke becomes thick, people with heart or respiratory ailments should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities, if at all possible. If physical exertion and outdoor activity are required, individuals should consider respiratory protective measures to filter particulates.

 

“Anyone with a chronic heart or respiratory ailments are most at risk,” according to TriCounty Medical Advisor, Dr. Karl Breitenbach. “These individuals should take appropriate precautions and measures to protect themselves from unnecessary exposure to wildfire pollutants in order to protect their health.”  These precautions include staying indoors if at all possible and wearing a disposable respirator or dust mask when outdoors.

 

TriCounty Health Department (TCHD) is offering assistance by providing masks to those who are affected by the smoke in the air. Respiratory protective masks are available at the following locations:

 

TCHD Roosevelt

  409 South 200 East

TCHD Vernal

133 South 500 East

Duchesne High School

155 West Main Street

 

“With the fire at only 2 percent containment, we anticipate that the poor air quality may exist for quite some time throughout the Uintah Basin. While these conditions linger, we encourage all people to avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke and particulate pollutants,” says Jordan Mathis, Director of TriCounty Health Department.  

 

To monitor the quality of air in the Uintah Basin, we encourage residents to visit ubair.usu.edu or air.utah.gov.