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New health director kicks off Public Health Week

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From page A3 | April 02, 2012 | 1 Comment

Deborah Palmer is the new manager of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency’s Public Health Division. Courtesy photo

National Public Health Week is April 2-8. As the recently hired manager of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency’s Public Health Division, Deborah Palmer is pleased to use Public Health Week to formally introduce herself to the community, to share her interest in partnering with the community and to highlight the great work that Public Health does.

“I’m excited to meet with groups, agencies, and individuals to hear about health needs and ways we can work together,” said Palmer, who began her job Feb. 13.

“As a smaller, rural county it is especially important that we partner with the community on public health issues. I’ve been very impressed with the collaborative spirit in El Dorado County,” Palmer said.

This year’s theme for National Public Health Week is “A Healthier America Begins Today – Join the Movement.” The campaign focuses on a different health topic each day and offers specific ways individuals can join in the effort to create a healthy community. The campaign is sponsored by the American Public Health Association; details can be found at nphw.org.

“Although many of the prevention messages for Public Health Week, such as washing your hands frequently and staying home if you are sick, seem simple and are common sense, they are still fundamentally important and can really make a difference,” said Palmer.

While the community is actively doing its part to stay healthy, the Public Health Division has a key role in monitoring the overall health of the community and providing programs and services such as the Communicable Disease Control section and low-cost immunizations.

“We have public health nurses, an epidemiologist and other employees who closely look at disease trends and work on an ongoing basis to prevent and stop disease outbreaks in our communities. An important part of this job is collaboration with hospitals, schools, emergency responders, and other county agencies and groups. We are very grateful and appreciative of these relationships.”

Palmer holds a Master’s in Public Administration/Health Services Administration and was formerly the director of administration for a national veterans health care group in Northern California and a manager for the Health and Human Service Agency in Santa Cruz. She has lived in El Dorado County for about 14 years.

For more information about the programs and services of the Public Health Division, visit edcgov.us/publicheath. Public Health’s main phone lines are 530-621-6100 in the Placerville area and 530-573-3155 in South Lake Tahoe.

In addition to the Communicable Disease Control section and Immunizations, the Public Health Division includes Alcohol and Drug Prevention, Animal Services, Clinical Services, Emergency Medical Services Agency, Public Health Nursing, Public Health Preparedness, Vital Statistics, and other programs.

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