Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Mark Cooper, director of health for the Westport Weston Health District, today assured residents that despite reports of shortages of seasonal flu vaccine, the District still has seasonal flu vaccine available and strongly encourages the citizens of Westport and Weston to get immunized.
The vaccine for the regular seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 (Swine) flu are different. Both inoculations are needed for full protection, Cooper said.
“While the H1N1 flu virus has been the focus of attention since spring, it is important that we do not forget the risks posed by the seasonal flu,” he said.
Every year, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu, Cooper said. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications, and about 36,000 die from flu related causes.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The Westport Weston Health District said today it has received a limited amount of live attenuated influenza vaccine.
“This is a thimerosal-free nasal spray indicated for healthy individuals ages 2 – 49 years of age who are not pregnant,” the District said in a news release. Thimerosal is used as a preservative in some vaccines.
It said at this time, use of this vaccine should be restricted to the following priority populations: children aged 2 – 4 year and those who live with or care for children less than 6 months of age.
The District asked residents if they think they are eligible, to call the District’s H1N1 hot line at (203)227-9571, ext. 228, and leave your name and the best telephone number where you can be reached.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
A resident gets a flu shot today at the Westport Weston Health District flu shot clinic. Shots for the H1N1 virus will be available in mid-October and health officials are recommending residents get both shots. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Medical Reserve Corps volunteer Barbara Gross assisted Westporter Paul Harvey today through the process of getting his flu shot at the Westport Weston Health District flu shot clinic. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
There was a line outside the Westport Weston Health District at 180 Bayberry Lane today as the district held its first public seasonal flu shot clinic. Several hundred received the shots in the first couple of hours. The next clinics will be held Tuesday at the Weston Library from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Oct. 6 at the Westport Public Library from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Oct. 7 at the Westport Center for Senior Activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The H1N1 vaccine will be available in mid-October but residents are urged to get a seasonal flu shot as well, according to Health Director Mark A. R. Cooper. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Officials of the Westport Weston Health District said today that extensive plans have been made for a possible H1N1 flu outbreak in the area. Director Mark A. R. Cooper (r) and Ken Kellogg, director of emergency preparedness, briefed the Westport Rotary Club on how the District has been preparing for an outbreak. They said an H1N1 vaccine will be available in mid-October but urged residents meanwhile to get a seasonal flu shot. The first chance for residents to get the seasonal flu shot will be on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Thursday, September 03, 2009
By Larry Untermeyer
An opinionated and vociferous crowd of more than 1,000, including many Westporters, gathered in the Norwalk High School auditorium tonight to express their feelings, both for and against, proposed health care reform.
A man gestures to the crowd tonight at a health care forum hosted by Congressman Jim Himes (rear) at Norwalk High School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
The audience members were extremely vocal in stating their opinions, while Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) in a calm and dignified manner listened and responded to all who spoke. Tonight’s meeting was one of several that the congressman has held throughout his district.
Himes’s sedate manner contrasted sharply with the boisterous yelling of the apparently organized opponents of any form of health care reform, many of whom seemed unwilling to listen to any reasonable explanation of the proposals.
At times, the noise of the hecklers was so loud that the congressman could hardly be heard.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
In between area Town Hall-type meetings on health care reform, Congressman Jim Himes (D-4) addressed the Westport Rotary Club today on a number of issues, but with health care reform the focus of most interest. The freshman congressman said the one thing most people agree on is that the present system is unacceptable. If it is not changed, he said, “health care cost inflation will crush this country.” Himes said the proposed health care bill creates more competition in the marketplace but lamented what he said was a deficiency in that it does not encourage people to be healthy. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Monday, August 24, 2009
The towns of Westport, Weston, and Wilton, acting with the Westport Weston Health District, have formed an H1N1 Task Force to deal with issues related to a possible H1N1 outbreak, Health District Director Mark A. R. Cooper announced today.
Mark A. R. Cooper: “Doing all that is possible…”. File photo
He said details of the work of the group will be announced Tuesday at a news conference involving municipal leaders, as well as school and public health officials of the three towns.
“We are working together to do all that is possible to prepare for the uncertain flu season ahead of us and to make sure our citizens understand how best to minimize the spread of influenza in our schools and communities,” Cooper said.
He said the towns of Westport, Weston and Wilton have reviewed and are prepared to implement their Public Health Preparedness and Response Plan should the severity of the H1N1 flu increase in the coming weeks or months.
The Westport Weston Health District today announced the dates of its seasonal flu clinics and said it is important that Westporters get seasonal flu shots in addition to possible H1N1 flu shots.
“While the H1N1 influenza virus has been the focus of attention since the spring, it is important that we do not forget the risks posed by seasonal influenza viruses,” the District said in a news release.
It said every year in the United States, on average 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes.
Older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from seasonal influenza, the District said.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Westport physician Robert Levine has authored a new book, “Shock Therapy for the American Health Care System: Why Comprehensive Reform Is Needed.” In it, Levine says that in order to cut administrative costs, the United States needs a single-payer system and should put all physicians on salary to prevent profit-driven medical practices. “Our health care system is in great trouble and no one is talking about it in terms of containing costs,” Levine said. The book, which will not be sold in stores, is available beginning Friday through www.barnesandnoble.com and www.amazon.com. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Employees of the Patagonia sportswear store at Westport’s 87 Post Road East were rewarded with a Dahon folding bike for their first place ranking of all 25 Patagonia stores across the country for their excellence in the company’s bike week last month. All 14 store employees racked up 562 miles commuting on bikes. Store manager Nate Paulson (not in photo) commuted from White Plains to Westport by bike on four days that week, a distance of 37 miles each way. Louis Pietig of Westport, a member of the store’s management, said, “We encourage our employees to bike to work – and many are doing that.” The folding bike award was presented by Westporter Steve Cuomo, U.S. marketing manager for the Dahon Company. Pictured are (l-r) Cuomo and Patagonia employees Dave Hames of Weston, Rilke Klingstorn of Greenwich, and Pietig. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, May 22, 2009
Lynn Crager: her post is first of a kind. Contributed photoA Westporter is filling a new position established by the Department of Spiritual Care at Norwalk Hospital—Nurse Chaplain.
Lynn Crager was named to the innovative position established in collaboration with the hospital’s nursing leadership.
The post, a first of its kind in the country, will serve to support the spiritual and personal well being of nursing staff at the hospital, said Rabbi Jeffrey Silberman, director of the spiritual care program.
Crager is currently adjunct oncology chaplain at the hospital’s Whittingham Cancer Center. She is a Master’s level nurse who worked in the Emergency Department at New York’s Bellevue Hospital early in her career.
Has your dog or cat been vaccinated for rabies? The Westport Weston Health District and the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association are holding a low cost rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats on Saturday, June 6, from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at the Westport Weston Health District, 180 Bayberry Lane.
The cost for vaccination is $15 per animal, cash only. There is no residency requirement. All dogs must be on leashes and cats must be in carriers. Pet owners who are on public assistance are permitted to have one pet vaccinated at no charge by showing their state public assistance identification cards to the clinic coordinator.
Bring the animal’s prior vaccination records, if available. Written proof, either a valid rabies certificate or dog license showing a prior vaccination, must be presented to qualify for a three-year vaccination. Otherwise, a one-year vaccination will be given. Collar tags and certificates of vaccination will be provided.
Rabies is a viral infection that attacks the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals. The virus is transmitted in the saliva of infected animals, usually through a skin puncture or open wound. It is fatal to both animals and humans if left untreated.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
UPDATE The state Department of Public Health (DPH) said today there have been two confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza in Westport. Both cases were described as mild and the individuals are recovering at home.
The state report, released by the Westport Weston Health District, followed by several hours an e-mail message sent to parents by Westport Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon. He informed them there had been a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza in the school system and that it was mild and the student has recovered.
While Landon said he would not identify the school involved, a Health District spokesman said the school was Staples High School. He said the other Westport case involved a student who went to school out of state.
“The individuals are residents of Westport who experienced mild symptoms, were not hospitalized, and are recovering at home,” the Health District said in a statement.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A new Westport group is promoting environmentally responsible lawns and gardens.
The GreenScapes Action Project will be on hand at Saturday’s Green Earth Fair at Westport’s Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to launch its “GreenScapes Challenge.”
The challenge involves residents “committing to a more responsible path,” the group said, and those participating will receive a lawn medallion declaring their commitment to environmental responsibility.
“If you’re interested, we’ll use ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of your lawn or garden to acknowledge your efforts in the fall,” the group said in a news release.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
By Marty Yellin
The purpose of this article is not to necessarily alarm you but instead to make you aware of collective evidence from the National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences, the EPA, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and other respected medical sources.
They all document evidence linking commonly used lawn products to increased odds of childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, brain cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas of the colorectum and testes among children living in households where pesticides are used.
A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that home and garden use of pesticides can increase the risk of childhood leukemia by almost seven times.
Herbicides and pesticides applied to lawns are tracked into the house where they remain for months in carpets, toys and house dust. Everyone in the house, especially children and pets continues to be exposed.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Members of several dozen Westport organizations with interest in the environment met at Westport Town Hall tonight for what was billed as an “environmental summit.” Conservation Department Director Alicia Mozian (r) greeted the attendees and said the meeting was aimed at better coordination and eliminating duplicating efforts among the groups in improving the environment. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Friday, November 14, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District offered flu shots at the Westport (Saugatuck) train station tonight. The mobile clinic also served as a drill—joined by other area health districts at other Metro-North stations—to test the ability to rapidly inoculate large numbers of train travelers in a health emergency. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Isabel Blair and Nancy Toll, Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service members, conducted an infant and child Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class today at Westport police headquarters. Pictured is Toll (r. foreground) as she gave instructions to class participants. The next classes are scheduled for Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to noon for adult CPR training and on Dec. 3 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for child and infant CPR training. The classes are free to Westport residents while nonresidents are welcome at a fee of $20. Call 341-6030 for information or to register. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Saturday, November 08, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District will conduct a flu vaccination clinic on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Westport’s Saugatuck train station that will also serve as a drill by area health authorities to rapidly inoculate large numbers of train travelers.
The clinic will be located on the New Haven-bound side. Those planning to attend may complete their registration form ahead of time by downloading a copy of the flu vaccination consent form from the Westport Weston Health District Web site.
The cost is $35, but there is no cost to Medicare Part B participants who must bring their Medicare cards for billing purposes. Checks made out to WWHD or cash payments will be accepted.
The event is also serving as a drill testing the capacity of the region’s public health system to collaboratively work across town boundaries to rapidly dispense medicine in a coordinated effort to the tens of thousands who commute via train each day.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
The first selectman of Southbury, Mark A. R. Cooper, today was named public health director for the Westport Weston Health District.
Mark A. R. Cooper: First Selectman of Southbury has health background. File photo
The District’s board’s appointment of Cooper, effective next month, is subject to approval by the state Department of Public Health.
Cooper succeeds Sue Jacozzi, who has served in the post since August 2005. (See WestportNow Aug. 29, 2005)
At today’s board of directors meeting, Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff praised Jacozzi for her service to the District and said he looked forward to working with Cooper.
Monday, October 06, 2008
The Westport Weston Health District today announced it is offering flu shots for the homebound.
Homebound is defined as someone who no longer drives and is unable to obtain needed services outside of the home without experiencing undue physical or emotional hardship, an announcement said.
A nurse will visit a homebound resident to administer the flu shot as long as they have Medicare as their primary insurance, the District said.
For spouses and caregivers of the homebound, the cost of the flu shot is $35; no cash will be accepted. To make an appointment, call Loren Pace at (203) 227-9571 ext. 231.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Performing at Westport’s Levitt Pavilion for the first time tonight, Hot Peas ‘N Butter, a multi-cultural bilingual five-piece band and dancer, entertained a large audience of all ages. Their entertaining lyrics comprised of interchangeable Spanish and English encourage youngsters to become familiar with bilingual sounds and vocabulary. The group, which appears regularly on the Noggin TV network catering to preschoolers, was founded in 2000 by the Latino duo of Bronx-raised Frank Cotto (l) and Brooklynite Danny Lapidus (c). They met at the LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts in Manhattan. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Sunday, March 02, 2008
More than 400 riders from throughout Fairfield County, including many from Westport, took part today in the Ninth Annual SpinOdyssey to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer research. The event at Fitness & Tennis Club in Norwalk hoped to exceed last year’s total of more than $500,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A team from the Westport Weston Family Y posed for a group photo today before joining hundreds of other cyclists at the Ninth Annual SpinOdyssey to raise money for breast cancer research. The event was held at the Fitness & Tennis Club in Norwalk. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Monday, November 05, 2007
Joel Singer: new procedure reduces recovery time. Contributed photoIn one of the more bizarre attempts to commercialize Westport’s notoriety and cachet, a Westport plastic surgeon said today he has begun to offer what he calls the “Westport Face Lift.”
The minimally invasive face lift offers women and men the opportunity to make lasting improvements in their facial appearance without a long recovery period, according to Dr. Joel Singer, founder of Imperial Plastic Surgery on Imperial Avenue.
Unlike “weekend face lifts” that usually involve tightening and sculpting the jaw line, the Westport Face Lift instead focuses on tightening the skin on the cheeks, he said.
“Most local residents considering cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of their mid face area are only given the option of a full face lift or temporary improvement with injectable fillers,” Singer said. “With Westport Face Lift, I offer a better choice for many patients.”
Friday, September 28, 2007
The director of the Westport Weston Health District has rejected a “demand” by two Westport residents that play on Westport’s synthetic turf fields be limited or eliminated while tests for health risks are conducted on the fields’ rubber infill.
“In the absence of data about the fields, and given the widespread use of this type of turf worldwide without an issue, it would be presumptuous of us to limit their use based on the very limited data available to us,” wrote Susan Jacozzi in a letter dated Tuesday and made public today.
She was responding to a Sept. 14 letter from Westport residents Patricia Taylor and Stacy Prince in which they said they were lodging a “formal complaint” about four fields on Westport town property.
The women cited a May study issued by New Haven-based Environment and Human Health Inc. and subsequent comments by David Brown, a Westporter who serves as the group’s public health toxicologist, that children should be kept off the fields as a precautionary measure.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The Westport Weston Health District said today it has received its shipment of ample flu vaccine supply for the season and scheduled two clinics for October.
The first flu clinic will take place on Saturday Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bedford Middle School, 88 North Ave. The second Flu clinic will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Northfield Church, Northfield Road, Weston.
The clinics are open to anyone 9 or older wishing to be vaccinated. There are no appointments necessary. The cost of the vaccine is to be announced at a later date. Call the WWHD flu hotline (203)227-9571 Ext. 239 for more information.
There is no cost to Medicare Part B participants. Medicare B participants must bring their Medicare cards to the clinic for billing purposes.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The Westport Parks and Recreation Department said today that continued use of synthetic athletic turf fields in Westport is warranted despite concerns expressed by some that they may adversely affect the health of users.
In a statement, Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said: “The Westport Parks and Recreation Department continues to support the installation of synthetic athletic turf as a safe alternative to grass playing fields.
“While we are constantly reviewing all available information on this subject we have seen no evidence that playing on these fields is unsafe. There is ample evidence that these fields perform well, use fewer pesticides and improve playing conditions and athlete safety over the current over-used grass fields.”
McCarthy said the department encourages continued testing of these products to assure the safety of users of these playing fields.