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May 26, 2017NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: CHRIS LOXTERMAN (440) 350-2543May 23, 2017 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT LAKE COUNTY LAUCHES FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR HOUSEHOLD SEWAGE TREATMENT SYSTEM REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTSThe Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have implemented a financial assistance program for the repair or replacement of failing household sewage treatment systems. The purpose of the program is to provide 13.3 million dollars in funding to Ohio for the repair and replacement of failing household sewage treatment systems. The Funds will be distributed by the Ohio EPA through the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund (WPCLF).The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) is approved to receive up to $200,000 and will solicit potential participants, determine eligibility, and implement this program. The grant will provide 100% of the total system improvement costs for eligible systems where the homeowner is at the 100% of the federal poverty level. The grant will provide 85% of the cost when the homeowner is at 200% of the poverty level with a 15% homeowner match, and 50% of the cost when the homeowner is at 300% of the poverty level with a 50% homeowner match. It is anticipated that between 10-15 systems can be repaired or replaced depending on the number of qualified applicants and the cost of each project.Homeowner Income Eligibility Requirements: Homeowner at 100% of the poverty level or underWPCLF HSTS Income Guidelineshttp://aspe.hhs.gov/2015-poverty-guidelinesPersons in HouseholdPoverty Guideline*1-4$24,2505$28,4106$32,5707$36,7308$40,890For families with more than 8 persons, add $4,160 for each additional person* Based on total family income of all occupants who are 18 or older Homeowner between 100% and 200% of the poverty levelWPCLF HSTS Income Guidelines with incomes over $48,500Persons in HouseholdPoverty Guideline*1-4$48,5005$56,8206$65,1407$73,4608$81,780For families with more than 8 persons, add $4,160 for each additional person* Based on total family income of all occupants who are 18 or older Homeowner between 200% and 300% of the poverty levelWPCLF HSTS Income Guidelines with incomes over $72,750Persons in HouseholdPoverty Guideline*1-4$72,7505$85,2306$97,7107$110,1908$122,670*Homeowners with aggregate income exceeding $122,670 are not eligible for WPCLF Assistance* Based on total family income of all occupants who are 18 or older Additional Requirements: Sewage system serving the home where owner resides is failing as determined by LCGHD.May fund abandonment of Household Sewage Treatment System (HSTS) and connect to sanitary sewer.Owner of the home receives system at no cost when at 100% of poverty level, receives 85% of cost with 15% match when at 200% of poverty level and 50% of cost with 50% match when at 300% of poverty level.Homeowners whose total annual household incomes exceed $122,670 are not eligible for this program.The system installation and approval must be completed within one year.The homeowner receiving the assistance is the titled owner and lives at the property where the sewage system will be repaired or replaced.A registered Lake County Installer will repair or replace the failing sewage system in accordance with the WPCLF specifications.In addition to soliciting participants who qualify for this program, LCGHD is generating a list of Lake County registered installers who wish to participate in this program. This is an excellent opportunity for eligible homeowners that have been dealing with a failing system and have limited resources to be able to repair or replace their sewage system.The deadline for homeowners to apply for funding is September 30, 2017. Funding will be determined on a first come/first served basis, so homeowners who believe they meet the income limits and other qualifications are encouraged to contact Chris Loxterman at 440-350-2543 to begin the prequalification process. ###
May 19, 2017NEWS RELEASE CONTACT: KATHY MILO (440) 350-2447May 16, 2017 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT HEALTH IN THE HARBOR SCHEDULED FOR MAY 27THSpend the last Saturday in May having fun along the shores of Lake Erie!Health in the Harbor will be held on Saturday, May 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Village of Fairport Harbor along the shores of Lake Erie and will be held rain or shine. This one-day free event is one you and your children won’t want to miss! This event is an opportunity to empower families, children and adults to live healthier lives through active lifestyles.Health in the Harbor follows the JUST RUN® Lake County 5K morning race with pre-registered students representing thirty schools who will run through the Village of Fairport Harbor. The race finishes at the event’s entrance.Residents from all over Northeast Ohio will have the opportunity to spend the day experiencing a variety of free interactive events and activities! All family members can participate in free fitness classes and experience kayaking, paddleboard and other fun activities for free! Health and wellness exhibitors will line the beachfront, providing products and service information along with activities. Food trucks and healthy snacks will also be available. Health in the Harbor is a great opportunity to try something new!At 11:00 a.m., youth have the opportunity to clean up Huntington Beach by participating in a campaign called “Do Something and Get the Filter Out (GTFO).” To participate, go to the Stand table by the pavilion to get your plastic gloves and bag. The activity is open to those six to 17 years of age. The individual collecting the most cigarette butts will receive a $25 Toys R Us® gift card. The second place individual will receive a $15 Toys R Us gift card, and the third place individual will received a $10 Toys R Us gift card. Let’s clean up and create a healthier Fairport Harbor! Health in the Harbor is sponsored by Lake County General Health District, Lake County YMCA, Lake Health, Lake Metroparks and the Village of Fairport Harbor. For Health in the Harbor information, visitwww.lcghd.orgor call 440-350-2447. ###
May 9, 2017FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Daniel Lark, (440) 350-2860May 8, 2017 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT KEEPING BEACHES SAFE IN LAKE COUNTY The bathing beach recreation season officially begins on Memorial Day. The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) will start reporting beach water quality at Mentor Headlands State Park Beach and Lake Metroparks Fairport Harbor Beach. Every morning, a member of staff will collect data and record observations. The data is then entered into a software program called Virtual Beach that uses a mathematical system developed by United States Environmental Protection Agency to predict the levels of Escherichia coli (E. coli), a bacterium that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections and other illnesses, at the beach each day. The model determines whether there will be greater than allowed amount of 235 E. coli per 100 milliliters of sample for that day. The models developed for each beach are site-specific. The results are reported to the beach operators each morning using Ohio Department of Health (ODH) BEACHGUARD and Nowcast. If the results show that the water quality will not be good because of high levels of E. coli that day, the beach operators are notified and advised to post the “Advisory” sign. LCGHD validates the models three times each week for accuracy and reliability.As always, LCGHD recommends that the public look for the water quality Nowcast signage at the beach when deciding whether to go into the water. Additionally it is recommended that beach goers avoid the water for 24-48 hours after a heavy rain of more than ½ inch in 24 hours, since poor water quality is likely. Always shower off as soon as possible after swimming in the lake. Beach goers are encouraged to visit the LCGHD website at https://www.lcghd.org , click on the letter “B” tab and click on “Beaches” for more information on beach water quality and links to the ODH BEACHGUARD and Nowcast sites.In addition, the week before Memorial Day (May 22-28, 2017) is National Healthy and Safe Swimming Week. The goal of this week is to promote healthy and safe swimming to maximize its health benefits. Just 2.5 hours of water-based physical activity per week gives health benefits across a lifetime. We each play a role in preventing illnesses caused by germs in the water we share and swim in; and injuries, such as drowning or those caused by improper handling of pool chemicals. ###
April 3, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Ron H. Graham, (440) 350-2543March 31, 2017 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTLAKE COUNTY CONTINUES TO RANK HIGH IN 2017 COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released the seventh year of the County Health Rankings, a comprehensive report that ranks the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states by using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) is pleased that Lake County continues to be in the top tier of Ohio counties for Health Outcomes and Health Factors.This year’s Rankings continue to show that much of what affects health happens outside of the doctor’s office. Lake County comes in at 23rd, slipping slightly from 15th in 2016, in the state for health outcomes and rose from 13th to 10th for health factors. LCGHD Health Commissioner Ron H. Graham commented, “The change in rankings often come from changes in the criteria or health measures being studied from year-to-year. All of the rankings are relative to each other so that a county’s rank may move up or down even if all data stays the same for that county but other counties change.”Change from one year to the next cannot always be measured; but for some measures, there are trend graphs showing change in measures over four or more years. Graham continued, “These rankings provide important information to help inform community leaders of the health factors, and their associated health outcomes so that we can collaborate to make the greatest impact on improving health across the public health system. The public health system is a very complicated web of private, nonprofit, and public agencies that often work in silos; but in Lake County everyone has worked very hard to create a system where we have coordinated the services provided by each of us.” When asked what this means for LCGHD next steps, Graham commented, “We need to really look at the data and see what the root causes of the problems are. We continue to see challenges in the area of violent crimes and sexually transmitted infections.”The 2017 Rankings also demonstrate the role of personal behaviors and the impact on a person’s health. The details within the 2017 Rankings demonstrate that Lake County has improved in the areas of preventable hospital stays and air pollution (particulate matter). LCGHD applauds Lake Health for its efforts in improving in the area of preventable hospital stays. LCGHD takes pride in its Air Pollution Control Program under its Environmental Health Division. LCGHD contracts with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as the local air agency for Lake and Geauga counties. Its responsibilities include conducting complaint investigations, ambient air monitoring, source inspections, and asbestos abatement inspections. It is also the local regulatory agency for asbestos activities which govern the removal, handling and disposal of asbestos related to renovation and demolition of buildings. LCGHD has ambient air monitoring networks at five locations throughout Lake and Geauga Counties. One of those sites monitor particulate matter of less than 10 microns (PM10) and another site monitors particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5). LCGHD also works with the Ohio Department of Health to conduct routine sampling in and around the Perry Nuclear Power Plant to ensure that the local population is not being exposed to higher than background levels of radiation.Using the Rankings DataThe County Health Rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health and a starting point for investigating and discussing ways to improve health. This guide will help you find and understand the data – in this site and beyond – as you begin to assess your needs and resources, and focus on what’s important. The guide includes seven sections:Communities Using the Rankings Data introduces the many ways communities are using the Rankings.Exploring the Data helps you get the most out of the Rankings and the wealth of underlying data.Making Use of Your Snapshot helps you navigate the information in your county’s snapshot and identify key areas where you may wish to look for additional data.Digging Deeper helps you think through what other information would help you further understand the health of your community.Broadening Your View helps you widen your focus beyond the specific measures included in the Rankings.Visualizing the Data provides links to resources to help you visualize where the assets and weaknesses are in your community.Finding More Data directs you to additional national and state data sources.For more information on Lake County General Health District, visit our website at www.lcghd.org. ###
March 9, 2017ANOTHER VIEWPOINT CONTACT: Ron H. Graham, (440) 350-2543March 2, 2017 LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICTANOTHER VIEWPOINT:FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS RATHER THAN PASSING JUDGEMENTThis is in response to Judge Diane V. Grendell’s Opinion article in the February 20, 2017 News-Herald. In her article, Judge Grendell argues that the opioid reversal drug naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, should not be used to save opioid drug users that have suffered an overdose because this action does not halt the flow of heroin into Ohio and enables those who abuse opioid drugs to continue their habit. In effect, she is stating that persons who use opioid drugs that have suffered an overdose should be left to die. There are several problems with this logic.First, there is no scientific evidence that the use of naloxone enables people who misuse opioid drugs. In fact, published studies have documented that, “naloxone precipitates the same unpleasant symptoms that opioid-dependent people are trying to stave off with their opioid use in the first place, except that, with naloxone, the symptoms are more intense. People who use opioids and who have experienced the acute withdrawal effects that accompany naloxone consistently deny that they are more comfortable using heroin frequently or in higher doses because of naloxone availability (Kim D, Irwin KS, Khoshnood, K. 2009. Expanded Access to Naloxone: Options for Critical Response to the Epidemic of Opioid Overdose Mortality. Am J Public Health. 99(3): 402-407.).” An additional study has found that naloxone access “is associated with a 9 to 11 percent reduction in opioid-related deaths,” and that naloxone access does not, “increase the recreational use of prescription painkillers (Rees DI, Sabia JJ, Argys LM, Latshaw J, Dave D. 2017. With a Little Health from My Friends: The Effects of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan Laws on Opioid-Related Deaths. National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER paper 23171).”There is additional documented evidence that those who misuse opioid drugs who have such a near-death experience have a better chance of seeking and succeeding at treatment. Despite Judge Grendell’s statements, there is no evidence that, “giving naloxone to heroin addicts invites more and potentially more harmful heroin/fentanyl use.” Judge Grendell’s assertion that persons with a heroin addiction participate in “Lazarus parties” where they can be purposely revived is anecdotal at best.Second, solving the heroin crisis requires a multi-faceted approach, including education (of our children, adults, persons who misuse opioids and the medical community), treatment, legal interdiction and overdose prevention. Most law enforcement officers agree that we cannot arrest our way out of this issue and that the best law enforcement in the world will not totally stop the flow of drugs into Ohio.Finally, we cannot help persons who misuse drugs or get them into treatment if they are dead. If it were my friend, son, or daughter, I would certainly want them to be saved by a naloxone-equipped first responder, friend or relative. What would Judge Grendell say if it was her child? If a drunk driver is in a car accident, first responders and emergency room staff attend to their injuries and do not let them die in their car just because it is too expensive to care for them or because they were at fault. Naloxone is an antidote. We as a society do not withhold antidotes from those in need. The use of and easy access to naloxone is endorsed by the Federal (The White House, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and State Governments (Ohio Department of Health, the Governor of Ohio, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services), as well as by the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.Given the current opioid epidemic, we need to focus on solutions rather than pass judgement on those who are clearly suffering from the disease of addiction and condemn one of the tools we have to save a life. The true goal of a public health system is that of preventing disease and death by working collaboratively and utilizing the most current scientific evidence available. ###