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Westfield — Letters to the Editor

Important Information from the Westfield Board of Health

Lawrence D. Budnick, MD President, Westfield Board of Health

Thursday, December 12, 2013 • 10:50am

The Westfield Board of Health met on December 2, 2013.

The Board discussed what residents can do in case of noise and lack of sufficient heat.  If you are a tenant and have a heating complaint, you can contact Ken Pincus, MS, the Principal Registered Environmental Health Specialist, at 908-789-4070, extension 4072, or kpincus@westfieldnj.gov.

If you have a noise complaint about a delivery truck, generator or other stationary equipment, please contact Mr. Pincus, as above.  If you have a complaint about other noise, e.g., from landscaping workers, barking dogs or other disruptive activities at inappropriate times, please contact the Westfield Police Department at 908-789-4000.

The Board reminds residents that they need to have a licensed waste hauler for trash pickup.  A resident was recently found guilty of not having service, was fined and had to pay court costs as well.

The Board also recommends that residents should prepare now for the next severe weather emergency.  Make or restock your disaster supply kit with at least a 3 days supply:  1) water, 1 gallon per person per day; 2) nonperishable food; 3) medications; and 4) flashlight and radio, with batteries.  Also, have a plan to aid family members, take care of pets, and safely shut off utilities.  Finally, if you will use a portable generator, plan to locate it in a well-ventilated space AWAY from your house.

Please have your heating system checked and have a functioning battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm in your home.  Carbon monoxide from a generator or heater can initially cause headache, nausea and dizziness and can be deadly.

In addition, it is not too late to get the flu vaccine.  You can still protect yourself, your family and your friends by being vaccinated against flu.  Also, children who attend licensed childcare or preschool must be vaccinated each year.  Flu vaccinations are available at the Westfield Regional Health Department.  To schedule yours, please contact Laura Scanlon, RN, the Public Health Nursing Supervisor, at 908-789-4070, extension 4074, or lscanlon@westfieldnj.gov.

Last week, Town Council passed a resolution adopting the Complete Streets program, which promotes safe access to streets for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and others.  Resident Lisa Braddock and Jerry Fried discussed Complete Streets and its possible health and safety benefits.

The Heath Department is sponsoring free Hearing Screening with Overlook Hospital on Thursday, December 19, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Municipal Building.  For more information and to register, please call 1-800-247-9580.

At this time of year, we want to thank the staff and senior staff of the Health Department for their dedication and work all year on behalf of public health in Westfield and our neighboring communities.  The senior staff includes Megan Avallone, RN, MPH, the Health Officer and Director, Mr. Pincus and Ms. Scanlon.

Finally, I want to thank the volunteer members of the Board of Health for their commitment, insights and thoughtfulness this past year.  They are Tom O'Neill, Vice President, Mitchell C. Beinhaker, Esq., Dr. Vasilios Diamantopoulos, Dr. Ronen Gold, Gavin Handwerker, Esq., Dr. Seymour Koslowsky, David Oliveira, Dr. David Weinman and Sam Della Fera, Esq., our Council Liaison.  We wish Mr. Oliveira good luck as the newest member of the Westfield Town Council.

Information about all of the Department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health.  The complete minutes of the December 2 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our January 6, 2014, meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building.  The public is invited to attend.

Lawrence D. Budnick, MD, MPH

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