Public Health & Nursing

By partnering with the family and community, Washington County Public Health Service has a commitment to maximize the quality of life for all – through intervention to eliminate the causes of poor health, education to improve health of families and the community and provision of support necessary to maintain a healthy Washington County.

Washington County Annex Building (click image for directions)

Washington County Annex Building

Public Health Reports

Every 3 years Washington County Public Health completes a Community Health Assessment and creates a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) with the help of the Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN), Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) and our Healthy Community Coalition Partners.

The reports can be accessed by visiting our Health Reports Page.

Washington County Public Health will hold a "Drive-Thru" Rabies Clinic By Appointment Only on Saturday, March 23rd at the Whitehall Town Highway Garage, 10072 State Route 4, Whitehall, NY 12887.   

There is no charge for the vaccination, however donations are accepted.

Rabies Clinic WhitehallYou MUST register for the clinic using Public Health’s online scheduling system.  Appointments will be scheduled by going to the Public Health Rabies webpage during the designated registration dates listed on the schedule.  You will find a red "Rabies Clinic Registration" button, which will take you click on to be taken to the registration system. 

Rabies Clinic Page

Registration for the Whitehall clinic will open on Wednesday, March 13th and will end on Wednesday, March 20th, or when the clinic appointments are filled, whichever comes first. Appointments will need to be made for each pet being vaccinated. 

People will get confirmation of appointment time, date and location in their email at the end of registration.  They will also get an e-mail reminder 24 hours before to the Clinic date.  

If someone does not have the internet of has questions about appointments, they can call Washington County Public Health at 518-746-2400.

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Workshop Begins in March

Do you have a Chronic Disease and/or are a family member, friend, or caretaker of an adult with a Chronic Disease? Join our FREE 6-week in-person workshop!

When: Every Thursday from 1:30-4 pm starting  March 21st through April 25th, 2024

Where: Proudfit Hall at the Bancroft Public Library - 181 South Main St. Salem, NY 12865 

Chronic Disease Self Management Flyer PDF

CDSM March 2024

In partnership with the Self-Management Resource Center (SMRC), Washington County Public Health is pleased to offer a FREE 6-week In-Person Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop for Washington County residents. The workshop is recommended for adults with at least one chronic health condition and/or their family members, friends, or caretakers. Chronic diseases include but are not limited to, arthritis, lung problems/diseases, cancer, stroke, hypertension, anxiety/depression, obesity, heart disease, and tobacco-use related conditions.

Two Certified Peer Leaders with chronic diseases of their own will conduct this small-group workshop. The in-person workshop will be offered Thursdays from 1:30-4 pm at Proudfit Hall at the Bancroft Public Library -181 South Main St. Salem, NY 12865. 

The workshop is free and each participant will receive supportive program materials including a Self-Management Toolkit Resource, an Action Planning Resource, a Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions book and more!

The peer leaders will utilize various interactive activities such as discussions, brainstorming, practice of action planning and feedback, behavior modeling, problem-solving techniques, and decision-making to help participants acquire new skills in self-managing their chronic diseases. Session topics include:

• Appropriate exercise for maintaining and improving strength and endurance

• Healthy eating

• Better breathing techniques and stress management

• Appropriate use of medication

• Working more effectively with health care providers

• Communicating with friends, family, oneself & the healthcare system

This interactive program aims to increase confidence, physical and psychological well-being, and knowledge of chronic disease self-management strategies. This program does not, however, replace any existing programs or treatments. Stretch breaks will be offered throughout the workshop. The workshop is limited to a small group of participants and priority will be given to Washington County residents.

Registration is required. For questions or to register, please call Mallory at 518-746-2400 ext. 3774.

For more information on the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, visit the Self-Management Resource Center’s CDSMP webpage. https://selfmanagementresource.com/

2024 Rabies Clinic Schedule Now Available

Washington County Public Health wants pet owners to know that New York State law requires all dogs, cats, and domesticated ferrets to be vaccinated against rabies.  All Dogs and Cats should be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age and re-vaccinated one year later, then every three years thereafter.  (Pregnant female cats will not be vaccinated.)  Ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age and re-vaccinated yearly thereafter.

The 2024 Rabies Clinics will once again be held as Drive-Through Clinics and will be By Appointment Only.

2024 Rabies Clinic Schedule

To schedule appointments, Public Health will once again be using their online scheduling system.  Appointments will be scheduled by going to the Public Health Rabies webpage, during the specified registration dates for each clinic location.   There will be a red "Rabies Clinic Registration" button, which will take people to the registration system. This link will turn off at the registration end date or when the clinic appointments are filled, whichever comes first. Appointments will need to be made for each pet being vaccinated.

Rabies Clinic Page: Appointment Scheduling

People will get confirmation of appointment time, date and location in their email at the end of registration.  They will also get an e-mail reminder 24 hours before to the Clinic date.  If someone does not have the internet, they can call Public Health for assistance with the online scheduling.

Keep the following in mind if you attend a Rabies Clinic:

o    Do not arrive earlier than 5 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.

o    All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier.

o    Owners and pets must stay in your vehicle until instructed otherwise. This is a drive through clinic.

o    Have pets relieve themselves before arriving to clinic.  Pets/Owners are not allowed to walk around the clinic site.

o    To get a 3-year certificate, proof of previous vaccination should be submitted by the Wednesday before clinic date.  (Tags do not count as proof of vaccination, you need the paperwork to get a 3-year certificate.)  

Note: You can still register if you don't have the paperwork, however, the vaccination will be marked as a 1 year vaccination until you send proof of the previous vaccination. Once proof of previous vaccination is provided, the vaccination will be changed to a 3-year vaccination.

o    All Clinics are Free and open to the public. (Donations are accepted.)


Click Image for PDF of Rabies Schedule

Rabies Clinic Schedule 2024 Final

Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention and Tai Chi for Arthitis Advanced Classes to being in March.

Washington County Public Health, in collaboration with the Office for the Aging & Disability Resource Center, is once again offering the “Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention” program and a Virtual “Tai Chi for Arthritis Advanced” program to Washington County residents.  

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese practice of slow, continuous, whole-body movements, strung together in a “form.”  Like dance, the movements are learned and followed one after another, in a particular order.  

Tai Chi has been shown to increase strength, flexibility, sense of wellbeing, and balance.  It has also shown to decrease pain in joints, stress, high blood pressure, falls and fall risks. 

There are many types of Tai Chi, however medical studies have shown that practicing “Tai Chi for Arthritis” in particular reduces pain significantly, prevents falls for the elderly, and improves many aspects of health.  For these reasons, Arthritis Foundations around the world have supported the program, including the American Arthritis Foundation.  Also, the CDC (Center of Disease Control and Prevention) recommends “Tai Chi for Arthritis” on their official guide for falls prevention!

Feedback from previous students in Washington County include, 

 “My balance has improved so much, the pain in my back and leg cramps have improved also.”

“The step-by-step approach was excellent!

“I feel more confident in my daily activities-less worried about falling.”

“I would highly recommend this class.  It was fun, easy to learn and you’ll benefit from it physically and mentally.”

“My back pain has improved, allowing me to increase my walking steps. Relaxing, energizing, and fun!”

The Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention class and the Virtual Advanced class are Free.  Participants will attend class twice a week for 8 Weeks beginning in March.  

  • Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-10:30am beginning Tuesday, March 12th at the Cambridge American Legion, 2106 NY-22, Cambridge, NY 12816.
  • Tai Chi for Arthritis ADVANCED will be held virtually, via Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30-10:30am beginning Wednesday, March 13th. *Please note that this class is only for those who already have learned the Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention form.  It builds upon the previous form with an additional 6 advanced movements. 

You must register with Public Health before classes begin. Call 518-746-2400 to register.  Please leave your name and a phone number where you can be reached for a call back and registration confirmation. (Must be a Washington County Resident.)

About Tai Chi for Arthritis Classes:

  • Classes are Free (donations letters may be sent out by Office of the Aging after the class.) 
  • Classes are for Washington County Residents.
  • Classes are taught by Certified Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructors.
  • Classes are held 2 times a week, for 8 weeks.
  • Students will be given handouts to support what is covered in class, to help with practice at home.
  • Classes are tailored to all abilities; any ability levels are welcome!  
  • Step-by -Step instruction makes it EASY to learn!

Click Image for PDF of Flyer

Tai Chi Cambridge Virtual 3-2024

Commit 2 Quit

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Commit 2 Quit Brochure

Washington County Public Health, in partnership with North Country Nicotine Consultants, is proud to announce the creation of Commit 2 Quit. This new program will help Washington County residents stop using tobacco and nicotine products such as cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and e-cigarettes (also known as vapes or Juul). 

Commit 2 Quit will give participants the education, tools, and support they need to cut back and quit tobacco and nicotine products. This includes providing information on medication options, finding ways to control urges and withdrawal symptoms, and offering a space to discuss the highs and lows of quitting tobacco and nicotine. 

Coaching is available through either one-on-one or group sessions. Individual coaching can start at any time and be done both in person and virtually. We will also work around your schedule to best fit your needs. Group coaching runs over the course of 6 weeks and provides participants with a support network of others quitting tobacco and nicotine at the same time as them. People who use medication and coaching are twice as likely to finally quit tobacco and nicotine products than those who attempt without support.

Washington County currently has one of the highest smoking rates in New York State, with 25.1% of adults being current smokers. Tobacco and nicotine products are known to be bad for health. Chemicals in tobacco are responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths and about 90% of all lung cancer deaths. Tobacco and nicotine usage also causes some of the most common causes of death in New York, such as heart disease, strokes, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). 

Those interested in attending the information sessions should call (518) 391-1180 or email [email protected].

We Have Safety Vests

Washington County Public Health has partnered with local EMS, Police and Fire Departments to provide Reflective Safety Vests to Washington County Residents.

You are more likely to be seen when wearing a reflector than any color clothing. (See Chart for Colors and distances.)

Click here to get the Safety Vest Program:Safety Vest Program Flyer


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Click on Image to go to NY Quits Page

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Click Image to got to CASA Website

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Boiling Water and Emergency Disinfection

Information for Consumers

Boiling water is a very effective way to disinfect unsafe water and make it ready to drink, and the public may be directed to boil their water if a condition occurs that could contaminate drinking water with microbiological organisms. Boiling water sounds simple enough, but protecting yourself and your family can be more complicated than it first appears.

Basic Information for All Consumers

FAQ for Residents and Homeowners

Checklist for Residents and Homeowners (PDF, 155KB, 2pg)

Disinfecting Water at Home

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2-1-1

2-1-1 is the one number to call to find or give help in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington counties.

2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number to call for free and confidential community referral that connects callers with resources providing food, shelter, rent assistance, clothing, child care options and other types of community assistance. Trained referral specialists are multi-lingual and available to help individuals find the help they need.

Whatever the need, the 2-1-1 Call Center has the information and expertise to make the right connections.

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Addiction and Support

Addiction doesn’t take time off, and neither does the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol, substances, or gambling, treatment is available all across New York State. 

Smoking/vaping or the use of opioids or methamphetamines have an affect on your lungs.  Continued use can make some NYers more vulnerable if exposed to COVID-19.

Call New York State’s Hopeline at 1-877-846-7369. Text: 467369. 

The Hopeline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

All calls are toll-free, anonymous and confidential. 

Hopeline staff can answer your questions and help you find treatment in your area. Information and resources are also available on their website: OASAS.ny.gov

ServNY

ServNY is New York States’ standardized volunteer registration program for disasters, and public health emergencies. Its goal to help local Volunteer Coordinators and the State Volunteer Coordinator manage events and to eliminate issues that arise when mobilizing healthcare and nonhealthcare volunteers during an emergency response.

Licensed health care professionals willing to respond to a disaster—either locally, statewide, or across the nation—are strongly encouraged to register with ServNY.

Registering before the need arises is important, as credentials are verified upon registration and periodically thereafter. This helps to ensure that when a community needs extra hands, those hands are qualified to provide the appropriate care.

To register for ServNY, go  to  https://apps.health.ny.gov/pub/servny/ Opens a New Window.
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