What's New In Our Area
Current Clinic &
Current calendars that
show dates and times for some of the services we
offer including: WIC, immunizations, food
manager classes, and free parenting classes.
National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Posted
Nearly half a million
children living in the United States have elevated
blood lead levels that may cause significant damage
to their health, estimates the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. The estimate is based on
children with a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per
deciliter or higher using data from national surveys
conducted in 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. Major sources
of lead exposure to U.S. children include lead-based
paint and lead-contaminated dust in deteriorating
buildings. Children can also be exposed to lead from
additional sources including contaminated drinking
water, take-home exposures from a workplace, and
lead in soil. Symptoms of lead poisoning can be
silent and hard to recognize. Preventing lead
poisoning before it happens is the best way to keep
your family safe.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis In Hillsdale County (Posted
The Michigan Department
of Health and Human Services has notified the
Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency
that a fawn from Hillsdale County has tested
positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
This is the first EEE positive deer detected in
Michigan in 2017. EEE is an infectious, often
fatal disease of horses, humans, and pigs.
Wild ruminants (white-tailed deer) can also become
infected. EEE is transmitted by mosquito
vectors. When levels of the circulating virus
are high, mammals, specifically horses, humans and
deer, can become infected when bitten by a mosquito
that has fed on an infected bird.
Tailgating Food Safety! (Posted
When it comes to
football, defense matters. When it comes to
planning a tailgate party, a good defense against
foodborne illness matters even more. This
year, we're urging fans to follow the food safety
play book at the tailgate parties they host," says
Joseph Frazier, Environmental Health Coordinator
with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community
Health Agency. "Large gatherings can increase
the chance of becoming ill, but by following these
rules all fans can enjoy the game and their food
Your Best Shot is the Flu Shot! (Posted
Influenza, also known
as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness
caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose,
throat and lungs. Over 30 cases of flu have
been diagnosed in the last few weeks in Washtenaw
County, almost all young adults. The flu virus
can be detected year-round in the United States but
the virus is most common during the fall and winter
season. The influenza virus can cause mild to
severe illness, and at times death, if not treated.
The virus is spread mainly by droplets when people
with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. Children
under the age of 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant
women and people with weakened immune systems have a
high risk of developing flu complications.
Symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat,
headaches, chills, fatigue, stuffy or runny nose and
sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
NOTICE (Posted 10/12/2017)
Pursuant to the Opening
Meetings Act, Act 267 of the Public Acts of 1976,
the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health
Agency Board meeting scheduled for October
20,2017 has been rescheduled to Thursday, November
2, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., in the
Conference Room of the Coldwater office located at
570 Marshall Road, Coldwater, Michigan 49036.
West Nile Virus in St. Joseph County (Posted
The Michigan Department
of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has notified
the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health
Agency that a horse in St. Joseph County has tested
positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
This is one of 13 horses that have tested
positive for WNV so far in Michigan in 2017.
The other Counties in Michigan with WNV
positive horses include Clinton, Livingston,
Jackson, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm,
Osceola, Ottawa, Roscommon, and Wexford.
WNV is a mosquito-borne disease and poses a
risk for people and animals in Michigan.
“Horse owners are reminded to vaccinate their
horses to prevent WNV and Eastern Equine
Encephalitis which are both mosquito-borne
diseases,” states Rebecca Burns, Health Officer for
the Community Health Agency.
Rocket Blades: THE BRAIN SAFETY GAME (Posted
thousands of children each year and a lack of
awareness can put children at risk for serious
injury. With fall sports starting, it is
important coaches and players are educated on
concussion prevention and detection. A
concussion is a type of traumatic injury that
results from a hit to the body that causes the head
and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This
sudden movement causes the brain to bounce or twist
around in the skull thus creating chemical changes
in the brain and sometimes damages brain cells.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers (Posted 8/25/17)
The Branch-St. Joseph
Area Agency on Aging is sponsoring a
Powerful Tools for Caregivers
class!! This highly renowned class is
being presented by our partners at MSU Extension at
the Three Rivers Senior Center. It's a 6-week
educational program to help you take care of you
while caring for a relative, friend, or loved one.
The class meets once a week for six weeks from 1:00
p.m.-3:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays:
Sept. 12, Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3, Oct. 10, and
Oct. 17. The class is FREE but we ask that you
please call Pat at the Senior Center at 269-279-8083
to register - Space is limited!
Bike Helmet Safety (Posted 8/3/17)
With the weather being
so nice and kids getting ready to go back to school,
riding your bike is a great way for families to take
advantage of the nice weather. Riding your bike is a
great exercise and also great for the environment.
When riding your bike, it’s important to make sure
you are protecting yourself at all times. Here are
some tips to help you be a safe cyclist:
Back to School Immunizations (Posted 7/28/17)
As students get ready
to head back to school, be sure that they have
everything they need on the first day -- especially
their back-to-school immunizations. Dr. H.
Lauren Vogel, D.O., Medical Director for the
tri-county health department states “Preschoolers to
college students need vaccinations. Before vaccines,
many children died from diseases that vaccines now
prevent, such as whooping cough, measles, and polio.
The same germs exist today, but because babies are
protected by vaccines, we don’t see these diseases
nearly as often.”
Shingles - Don't Suffer - Get the Shot! (Posted
Almost 1 out of every 3
people in the United States will develop shingles in
their lifetime. There are an estimated 1
million cases of shingles each year in this country.
If you are over 60 years old, give yourself a little
piece of mind and let us give you the shot so you
don't end up as one of those people suffering from
St. Joseph County Needs Assessment (Posted 7/26/17)
The 2017 Community
Health Needs Assessment is our effort to craft a
plan to meet the identified local health and medical
needs. The plan also suggests areas where other
local organizations and agencies might work with us
to achieve the outcomes contemplated by the report.
As you review this plan, we think you will find that
we have identified the most pressing needs of our
community and that our plans take steps to address
the needed improvements. We view this plan as a
guide, for how we along with other organizations and
agencies can collaborate to address the most
pressing health needs of the area.
WIC: New Income Guidelines Released (Posted
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
has released its
2017 WIC Income Guidelines. Effective July 1st,
these new income guidelines increase the income
eligibility threshold so that more women, infants
and children can receive healthy WIC foods. Now a
family of four can make an annual income up to
$45,510 and qualify for WIC. This equates to an
hourly wage of $21.87.
Public Health Views and News-Summer 2017
Edition of the Public Health Views and
News is now available. In the Summer
2017-Edition of the Branch-Hillsdale-St.
Joseph Public Health Views and News,
learn more about: Lead
Blood Testing Safety-talks
about what tests to avoid and when to
get tested; Plants that
Bite-provides information on
how you can identify what plants are
dangerous and how you can protect
Surveillance. Also included in
this edition is, The New
and Improved MAPS Seminar
hosted by The University of Michigan
discussing how and why to use it when
Annual Report Released (Posted 6/30/17)
Information on our
accomplishments for fiscal year 2015/2016.
Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency Update
On Vapor Intrusion Investigation in Sturgis, MI
Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has been doing a vapor
intrusion investigation in Sturgis at the former
Kirsch Company site. This site was placed on the
Superfund Program in 1984 for chemical contamination
that was impacting local drinking water. The vapor
intrusion project is another level of investigation
resulting from the groundwater contamination. The
chemicals that have impacted the groundwater in this
area can give off gases (vapors) that can permeate
through the soil and migrate into the homes above
investigation site is comprised of a 3 block area
which includes: E. West Street north to E. Hatch St.
and Jean Street west to Maple St. To this point 36
of the 44 homes impacted have had indoor air
testing. Of those homes tested, 4 of them had
levels above the health standard and have
consequently had mitigation systems installed to
remove the contaminated vapors. The MDEQ is
continuing to work with the remaining homes to
obtain access agreements to allow testing of the
Healthy Michigan Plan Is Here! (Posted April 1,
Looking for health care
coverage that works for your health and your budget?
As of April 1st, there's a new option to help
working people get healthy — at a cost that fits the
budget. It's the Healthy Michigan Plan. Through the
Healthy Michigan Plan, Medicaid is expanded to
adults who have incomes up to 133% of poverty. For
single individuals, this means an annual income up
to $16,000. For a family of four it means an annual
income up to $33,000. People shouldn't have to
choose between taking care of their health and
taking care of their bills. With the Healthy
Michigan Plan, they won’t have to. Contact your
local county health department office to learn if
Disease Data (Updated
Up to date tracking of the most common
communicable diseases including; chicken pox, flu,
head lice, hepatitis and tuberculosis.
Information that was previously highlighted on the
front page of our web site.
What's New in Michigan & Nationally
Department of Community Health
Centers for Disease Control
Health News- World Health Organization