Cincinnati Health Department

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After two years, Cincinnati is finally set to have a new health commissioner.

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Approximately three million people have signed-up for health insurance for 2018 through the Healthcare.gov marketplace since open enrollment began November 1. But many experts fear millions of people are not aware of this year's shortened open enrollment period and could miss the opportunity to buy insurance for next year. The last day to enroll for coverage is December 15.

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The 2016 Summer Olympic Games commenced in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last Friday. The excitement for the games has been tempered by concerns over the Zika virus; with 166,000 suspected and confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus, the country is facing a Zika epidemic. 

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in six Americans falls ill from consuming contaminated foods or beverages, which are often raw, every year. 

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The Creating Healthy Communities Coalition (CHCC) and Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) recently hosted a minority health discussion to figure out the most pressing needs for minorities in the area and how to better serve the health and wellness needs of Cincinnatians. 

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Breastfeeding is a personal choice that has some known health benefits for the baby and mother; however, it can draw strong opinions from family, friends and the public. Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – a special supplemental nutrition program for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk – can help low-income women with breastfeeding education, nutritional needs and overall health.

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The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) will transition to a smoke-free policy for its public housing residents.

"Our goal is to ensure that residents have healthy, smoke-free living options," said Denisha Porter, Cincinnati Health Department Director of Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness, who is working with CMHA on the policy.

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Update 5:38 p.m.: Cincinnati State says Provost Monica Posey will serve as interim president.

The local infant mortality rate is still unacceptably high, but more babies are surviving to their first birthday in Cincinnati than in previous years. The Cincinnati Health Department is working to continue that trend, sponsoring a series of discussions for would-be, expectant and young mothers, and fathers, about family planning, healthy moms and babies. 

The Cincinnati Health Department like many medical facilities across the nation is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak.  

Director for Public Health Preparedness Dr. Steven Englender addressed a city council committee Tuesday.  He said they want to make sure, in the rare situation of a local Ebola the case, the patient is not sent home from a hospital as was the case in Dallas.

  

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said his decision to replace the chairwoman of the Cincinnati Board of Health has nothing to do with politics.  

Cranley said Tuesday in a phone interview he was appointing Herschel Chalk to replace Joyce Kinley, whose term expired on March 1st.  

“Herschel Chalk, who I’m appointing, has been a long-time advocate against prostate cancer, who's somebody I’ve gotten to know,” Cranley said.  “I was impressed by him because of his advocacy on behalf of fighting cancer.  I committed to appoint him a long time ago.”

The chairwoman of Cincinnati's Board of Health is not being re-appointed to the board.  Joyce Kinley told Council's Budget and Finance Committee Monday Mayor John Cranley told her of his decision on February 24th.  

Council Member Chris Seelbach and Kinley had this exchange during the meeting.

  • Seelbach:  Did the Mayor give you any explanation?
  • Kinley:  He told me that he had to fulfill a campaign promise, and that's why he had to remove me.

Seelbach said he is concerned about putting politics above what is best for the city.  

A usually routine matter of letting the Cincinnati Health Department apply for a federal grant will likely be anything but routine this time.  

The agency wants to use the money to open two more health clinics in the city.  Right now it has five.  

Mayor John Cranley and some council members are concerned about the budget impact that will have on the city.  

  The Center for Closing the Health Gap recently launched a campaign to raise awareness of inequalities throughout our region that cause vulnerable populations in Cincinnati to have poorer health and shorter life expectancies. Closing the Health Gap Founder and President Dwight Tillery  and Executive Director Renee Mahaffey Harris talk about the campaign and initiatives to eliminate health inequalities in greater Cincinnati.

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The results of a life expectancy study recently conducted by the Cincinnati Health Department show as much as a 20 year difference in longevity among the city’s 47 neighborhood groupings. Cincinnati Health Department Commissioner Dr. Noble Maseru and Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Camille Jones discuss the study, and what can be done to address health inequalities in our community.

If you live in Mount Lookout you're likely to live about 20 years longer than those who live in South Fairmount.  Those findings come from a Cincinnati Health Department report on life expectancy for Cincinnati's 47 neighborhood groupings which will be formally released later this morning. 

The report also shows African American men throughout the city have a life expectancy nearly ten years less than their white male counterparts.  The health department says in a release today it wants to find out why there's such a disparity. 

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The Cincinnati Health Department (CHD) is putting the public on notice that proposed budget cuts will have a direct effect on services. A meeting is scheduled for May 28 to discuss the layoff of 18 employees and what the cuts will mean.

CHD Spokesman Rocky Merz says over the last five years the department has had to eliminate more than 100 positions. The latest cuts come from a city budget proposal to cut 9% of the CHD's budget.

Fewer rat trapping and bed bug inspections

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The Cincinnati Health Department says the number of residents with bed bug infestation is down seven percent since 2009. But at least two members of the Joint Bed Bug Task Force disagree that the city is making real progress.

Ohio Representative Dale Mallory leads the task force and says he's frustrated that Cincinnati hasn't worked hard enough to get bigger decreases. He says the city is still near the top on many U.S. bed bug lists.

The Cincinnati Health Department is continuing its efforts to reduce childhood lead poisoning in the city.

The Health Department presented its latest information Wednesday to Council’s Rules and Government Operations Committee.

The group heard about a recent consultant’s report to improve the program. It contains more than 30 recommendations. Dr. Camille Jones said one aspect involves the city’s law and regulations.