Health Department Proclamations for 2009
AIDS Awareness Day
December 1, 2009
At the November 16 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed December 1, 2009 as AIDS Awareness Day. Rev. Dr. Kenny Smith, Chairman of the Northern Virginia Clergy Council for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS, accepted the proclamation.
Rev. Smith told the Board, "We recognize that the Faith Community cannot remain silent about this disease… we understand the role our churches play in disseminating information. If you want to reach the black community, you start with the black church."
Health Director Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu explained the partnership between the Health Department and the clergy council "is one of several successful initiatives to build capacity in the community to address public health issues that cannot be solved by the health department alone… the leadership of this recently formed clergy council is the critical link that is needed to address the complex changes fueling the HIV epidemic in the African American community."
The Virginia Department of Health reports that one of every 370 Virginians is known to be living with HIV/AIDS. In addition, African Americans are 7 times more likely to be living with AIDS than whites.
On AIDS Awareness Day, health department announced the release of Break the Silence, a new HIV / AIDS educational video produced by Fairfax County's cable channel 16. This educational video highlights the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the community and addresses some of the complex issues, such as denial and stigma, fueling the epidemic. The Health Department will utilize the video and accompanying educational materials to encourage members of our community to take a proactive approach in fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS.
The Health Department encourages everyone to know his or her HIV status. Free and confidential testing is available at our clinic sites . Or call 1-800-533-4148 TTY 703-591-6435
Safety Education Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that some 76 million people experience foodborne illness in the United States every year. Of those, 300,000 will need hospitalization and 5,000 may die. Many foodborne illnesses can be prevented with proper food handling and preparation.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has proclaimed September 2009 Food Safety Education Month and advocates for the food industry's commitment to serve safe food, highlight the importance of food safety education, and encourage continuing education for industry employees. Fore more information about National Food Safety Education Month, visit the NFSEM Web site and the Health Department's Food Safety Web page.
Direct Support Professionals Appreciation
July 13, 2009
At its July 13 meeting, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed September 2009 as Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Appreciation Month. Members of the Fairfax Long Term Care Coordinating Council, over 50 DSPs, and citizens of Fairfax County assembled in the Board Auditorium for the special recognition. A reception at the Government Center was held ahead of the proclamation ceremony to thank DSPs for their daily, conscientious, hands-on care.
Direct Support Professionals provide quality support and services to older adults and people with disabilities every day of the year to help them live as independently as possible at home and in our community. The Fairfax Long Term Care Coordinating Council recognizes these committed professionals as critical in meeting the increasing long-term care needs in Fairfax. DSPs are often credited with promoting the well-being and happiness of those they serve.
Throughout the month of September, representatives of the long term care community-which includes assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, group homes and in-home care providers-will host recognition events in the Supervisors' districts. The goal is to show appreciation for direct support professionals, and raise awareness of the role the play in our community.
To learn more about Direct Support Professionals, please visit the Health Department's Long Term Care Coordinating Council Web site.
June 27, 2009
Virginia Department of Health News Release:
Every 9 ½ minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. In Virginia, the State Department of Health reports that one out of every 370 Virginians has the virus. Based on CDC national estimates that 21 percent of those who are infected with HIV/AIDS are unaware of that, VDH estimates that 5,500 Virginias do not know that they are infected with HIV/AIDS. (More)
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has declared June 27, 2009 as HIV Testing Day in a Proclamation issued on June 22, 2009. For information on HIV and AIDS please go to the Health Department's information page and for information about HIV testing sites and hours in Fairfax County, visit our clinic site information page.
Mosquito Control Awareness Week
June 21-27, 2009
During the June 1 Board of Supervisors Meeting, the Board proclaimed June 21-27 as Mosquito Control Awareness Week in Fairfax County. Members of the Board congratulated the Health Department's nationally recognized Disease Carrying Insects Program (DCIP) for its fifth anniversary edition of the "Fight the Bite" 2009-2010 calendar.
Dr. Jorge Arias, DCIP Supervisor, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Health Department and thanks the Board for its support. During Mosquito Control Awareness Week, the DCIP emphasizes the importance of personal protection and prevention. You are encouraged to wear insect repellent containing DEET or other government-approved repellent when spending time outdoors and also to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home. The Health Department Disease Carrying Insects Program (DCIP) also promotes environmentally sound mosquito control practices throughout the county and offers educational materials in many languages. During the summer, the DCIP traps and tests mosquitoes to monitor West Nile virus activity throughout the county. To learn more about how to protect yourself and your family visit the Health Department's website.
Pictured with the Board of Supervisors: Carl Sivertsen, Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Jorge Arias, Tom Crow, and Josh Smith
JoAnne Jorgenson's Retirement
June 1, 2009
At the June 1 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board recognized JoAnne Jorgenson, Deputy Director for Health Services, for her 38 years of service in Fairfax County. Members of the Board thanked JoAnne for her dedication. Chairman Bulova described JoAnne as a "standout" in the County.
JoAnne thanked the Board for the honor but she says it was her honor to work with so many highly skilled people over the last 38 years. JoAnne says her success was possible because of the hard work of the Health Department staff, community support, and support from the Board of Supervisors, as well as from County Executive Tony Griffin and Deputy County Executive Verdia Haywood.
Following her retirement at the end of June, JoAnne plans to return to her home state of South Dakota. JoAnne joked that she's looking forward to "horse jams" replacing "traffic jams" in her daily life, adding that her new "work" will focus on "fun and enjoyment." Those in attendance applauded JoAnne's 38 years of service.
Pictured with the Board of Supervisors: Tony Griffin, Verdia Haywood, Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Marlene Blum, JoAnne Jorgenson, Tom Crow, Rosalyn Foroobar, and Mary Sue Kitchen.
At its May 4 meeting, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed May 6-12, 2009 as Nurses Week in Fairfax County. Deputy Director for Health Services JoAnne Jorgenson accepted the proclamation on behalf of all nurses in Northern Virginia.
During Nurses Week the health department encourages all residents to recognize the many roles nurses play in our public health system. 6,000 nurses currently work in Fairfax County. For the last seven years in a row nursing has been rated as the "most trusted" profession for honesty and ethical standards, according to an annual Gallup survey.
When accepting the proclamation, JoAnne, and several other nurses who joined her, highlighted for Board members some of the important settings in which nurses work: schools, physicians' offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and the correctional system, to name a few.
During Nurses Week, professionals across the county point out that today's health care system may soon be facing a crisis. Demand for nurses in United States is greater than every before. Published reports indicate a shortfall of more than 20,000 registered nurses in Virginia by the year 2020. Many are nearing retirement age. And the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing reports more than 27,000 qualified applicants were turned away by schools nation-wide because they are struggling to retain professors and clinical instructors. Nurses hope to raise awareness and reverse the trend.
The theme of Nurses Week 2009 is "Nurses: Building a Healthy America." Learn more about Nurses Week from the American Nurses Association Web site.
The Board of Supervisors proclaimed May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Disease Carrying Insects Supervisor, Dr. Jorge Arias, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Health Department. At the April 27 meeting, Dr. Arias highlighted the partnership with the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association. http://www.natcaplyme.org/index.php [insert link] Dr. Arias says awareness is one of the best ways to solve the Lyme problem in Fairfax County because personal protection is the key to prevention.
Pictured with the Board of Supervisors: Tom Crow, Carl Siversten, and
Dr. Jorge Arias from the Health Department; and Monte Skall, National
Capital Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Association Executive Director
March 30, 2009
The Board of Supervisors proclaimed April 6-12 as Public Health Week in Fairfax County. Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu accepted the proclamation with representatives from our community partners. At the March 30 meeting, Dr. Gloria highlighted the importance to the agency's efforts to strengthen our local public health system through partnerships and capacity building. When accepting the proclamation, Dr. Gloria called the employees of the Health Department the "pillars of the public health foundation," and credited the agency's employees with working tirelessly behind the scenes to enhance the health and quality of life of Fairfax County residents.
Pictured with the Board of Supervisors: Marlene Blum, Chairman,
Healthcare Advisory Board; Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Fairfax County Health
Director; Maria Schaart, Multicultural Advisory Council.
March 30, 2009
The Board of Supervisors proclaimed the month of April as Immunizations Month in Fairfax County. Marlene Blum, Chairman of the Healthcare Advisory Board, accepted the proclamation on behalf our community partners. Marlene thanked the Board for the recognition and acknowledged those who champion immunizations for uninsured and under-insured children.
Pictured with the Board of Supervisors: Marlene Blum, Chariman,
Healthcare Advisory Board; Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu and Chris Carlock from
the Health Department; Dr. Cyrelda Ferman, Infant Child And Adolescent
Clinic Inc.; Dr. Rosemary Burton and Andrea Autry, Minneland Private Day