The Pima County Health Department strives to meet the challenges of our community's public health needs as well as protect the health and safety of our residents. health Department programs and services focus on the leading health indicators of the 21st century, such as access to health care, childhood immunizations, environmental quality, nutrition, responsible sexual behavior, and tobacco use.
Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center
This state-of-the-art facility opened in Februray 2007 to house public health services. The administrative staff, located in the Health and Welfare Building in downtown Tucson, was moved followed by the direct services programs of Consumer Health & Food Safety, Vital Records and WIC & FOOD Plus Nutrition programs. The move improved access to services not only by location but by having mulitple services available at one site. The Center is co-located on the corner of Ajo and Country Club with UPH Hospital at Kino, Medical Examiners Office and Pima Health Sytem.
Board of Health Initiatives
The Pima County Board of Health is comprised of commmunity stakeholders appointed by the Pima County Board of Supervisors to advise and assist the Health Department in developing strategies to improve the public health status of the community. Significant discussion regarding possible strategic health initiatives ensued providing the opportunity for significant review of current Health Department services and programs. Specific areas of assessement included: chronic disease prevention, education and control, maternal child health, infection control education programs, access to health care, linkages to higher learning institutions, tobacco education and cessation, tuberculosis screening and treatment, food safety and vector borne illness. One outcome resulted in the Health Department receiving additional funding to increase public awareness of West Nile Virus and to expand mosquito control activities. Another was the implementation of the Smoke Free Arizona Program.
West Nile Virus Response Plan
In 2006, Pima County saw 46 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) and three (3) human deaths. This compares to 20 cases and one (1) human death in 2005. WNV is a relatively new virus that only reached the U.S. in 1999 and Arizona in 2003. WNV is transmitted to humans and animals by mosquitos infected after they feed on contaminated birds. WNV is a threat to human health because of the wide spectrum of disease caused, such as encephalitis, for which there is no current vaccine. Launched on March 1, 2007, the Health Department implemented a community-wide response plan to eliminate mosquito environments and educate individuals on their role in mosquito control and abatement.
Smoke Free Arizona Program
In November 2006, the citizens of Arizona passed Proposition 201, the Smoke Free Arizona Act. The main purpose of the Act is to protect Arizonans from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke whether at work or in a public area. The law, A.R.S. §36.601.01, went into effect on May 1, 2007. The law prohibits smoking in most indoor public places and places of employment. Investigation of complaints and enforcement activities are being conducted in Pima County by the Health Department through a delegation agreement with the Arizona Department of Health Services.
I welcome you to review the myriad of Health Department programs described on our web pages. I encourage you to avail yourself of needed services for yourself and your family. Please visit our locations and meet with our dedicated and professional staff.
Dennis W. Douglas, Director