Stay safe during summer heat!

Be sure to follow these summer safety tips during the heat:

  • Drink plenty of fluids. You will need to drink more fluids than your thirst level indicates. Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or drinks with large amounts of sugar because they cause you to lose more fluid.
  • Wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing. Sunscreen should be SPF 15 or greater and applied 30 minutes before going outdoors. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Wear a wide-brimmed hat that will provide shade and keep your head cool.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully. If you must be outside, try to plan your activities so that you are outdoors either before noon or in the evening.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Use a buddy system. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you.
  • Monitor those at high risk, including infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 and older, people who are overweight, people who overexert during work or exercise and people who are ill or on certain medications for blood pressure diuretics. Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.

Signs of heat-related illnesses include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F); red, hot and dry skin (no sweating); rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; muscle cramps; tiredness and unconsciousness. If someone starts to experience these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and move them to a shady spot, if outdoors, and begin cooling them using whatever methods are available. Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW DATE: Rabies clinic moves to May 14 at Douglass Park

UPDATED MAY 8, 2019: Because of the weather forecast, our low-cost rabies vaccination clinic has been RESCHEDULED to 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at Douglass Park, 726 Georgetown Street. Vaccinations will cost just $3. All cats must be in a carrier, and all dogs must be on leashes. In the event of inclement weather, the clinic date is subject to change. The health department will provide updated information at www.lexingtonhealthdepartment.org and on its Twitter account at www.twitter.com/LFCHD.

Rabies, a viral disease of humans, pets and wild animals, is transmitted from animals to humans by the saliva of a rabid animal, usually from a bite. Rabies vaccinations typically cost about $20, making this clinic a great value to pet owners. “A rabies shot gives protection to the pet as well as its owner and the other people of Lexington,” said Luke Mathis, LFCHD Environmental Health team leader and one of the event’s organizers. “We’re pleased to provide this useful public health service as we help Lexington be well.”

State law requires that all dogs, cats and ferrets maintain a current rabies vaccination. The health department gave 542 rabies shots during the May 2018 clinic. The LFCHD Rabies Control Program investigated 316animal bite reports last year, with LFCHD staff making sure each animal was up to date on all rabies vaccination shots.

The clinic also provides pet owners with the opportunity to purchase an animal license for $8 if the animal has been spayed or neutered. A license costs $40 if the animal has not been fixed or the owner has no proof of alteration. Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control, the Lexington Humane Society, the Lexington-Fayette County Division of Parks and Recreation Department, Gainesway Small Animal Clinic and MedVet Medical and Cancer Center for Pets are also sponsoring the clinic.

For more information on the annual Rabies Clinic, call the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health at (859) 231-9791. Be sure to like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LFCHD  and Instagram at @lexpublichealth.

Mark Johnson named 2019 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health has selected Mark Johnson as the 2019 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. The winner is announced each April as part of National Public Health Week (April 1-7, 2019).

Johnson received his Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville and his Bachelors in Social Work degree from Morehead State University. He retired from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department in 2013. After a short break, he returned to the workforce and is currently a Program Coordinator for the Kentucky HIV/AIDS Program. Johnson has been a champion for HIV/AIDS, Cultural Diversity and Health Equity for 30 years. He used his positions at both local and state public health departments and at community-based organizations to create change, promote cultural competency, and influence policy to ensure all people have the opportunity to reach their full potential of health.

Johnson has received Lexington Urban League’s first “Individual Champion of Diversity” award, the inaugural Lexington Fairness “Out for Diversity” award, Kentucky Public Health Commissioner’s Award for Meritorious Achievements for Outstanding efforts in Health Equity and Community Leadership, UK Social Work Department’s inaugural Unsung Hero: Champion for Social Change Award, AIDS Volunteers, Inc.’s Legacy Award, Bluegrass Black Pride Trailblazer Award and was inducted into the Lexington Fairness Hall of Fame. Johnson has also been honored for his exercise classes and work with seniors and arthritis, and is a member of Bluegrass Black Pride, Inc.

“Mark Johnson has spent his career improving the life of others, particularly those most in need of public health services,” states an award nomination. “He provides a voice to the unheard by helping them find and develop their own voice and amplifying it to the world. Mark’s work in HIV awareness has brought countless people in for testing, allowing those who test positive to enter treatment. He fights daily as an advocate for those who are at high risk for HIV, making certain the world sees them as the people they are and not as statistics. Mark is also a champion for health equity and provides training to help people recognize their own personal biases and how to overcome them. By seeking to provide equality and equity to everyone, Mark has helped get people into care they might not otherwise have had access to.”

Another nomination stated that, “when most of us are done with our work day and heading home to unwind, you can often find Mark volunteering his time to increase education and raise awareness of how to prevent HIV infection or leading an exercise class to positively impact the health and wellness of our city.”

Johnson will be recognized at the April 8 Board of Health meeting held at 5:45 p.m. in Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room, 650 Newtown Pike. He will also be honored at the April 11 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council meeting.

Previously known as the Public Health Hero Award, the Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in memory of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach, Lexington’s former Commissioner of Health who spent more than 50 years as a public health physician. Leach died April 1, 2016.

Past winners include Dr. Svetla Slavova (2018), Reginald Thomas (2017), Dr. Rice C. Leach (2016), Dr. Susan Pollack and Marian F. Guinn (2015), the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service (2014), Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2012); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

New immunization requirements for 2018-19 school year

As Fayette County students prepare to head back to school, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is making sure they have plenty of opportunities to get their required vaccinations.

To beat the back-to-school rush, the health department will be offering low-cost immunizations by appointment at the Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike. To schedule an appointment or for more information about the immunizations, please call (859) 288-2483.

Participants must live in Fayette County, be 18 years or younger and be uninsured or underinsured. Medicaid is accepted. Immunization records must be brought to the appointment, and physicals will not be provided.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their classrooms and community – including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated, and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer or other health conditions.

Fayette County students who are new to the school district or are entering kindergarten are required to bring a Kentucky immunization certificate in order to enroll. Sixth-grade students are also required to have certain boosters and must bring an up-to-date immunization certificate. Please call the health department’s school health division at (859) 288-2314 for more information.

New requirements: 2 doses hepatitis A (all students) and meningococcal booster (16 years and older).

Vaccinations required for Kentucky students: MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), hepatitis B, DTap, Varicella, polio, Tdap (11 years old), meningococcal ACWY (11 years old), and pneumococcal and Hib (pre-kindergarten)

 

Health department offering free Narcan kits in community class April 30

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is hosting a free community training on naloxone, which will include providing free kits containing the overdose-reversing medication.

The class is scheduled for 4:30-6 p.m. Monday, April 30 at the health department’s main building, 650 Newtown Pike. Participants must complete a 10-15-minute training to receive a free naloxone kit. The kits are only available to those 18 years of age and older; a photo ID is required. A limited number of Narcan kits will be available, so it will be on a first-come, first-served basis, with four sessions of up to 50 people per class for a total of 200 kits.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, blocks opiate receptors in the brain, works in 1-3 minutes and lasts 30-90 minutes. It can cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and disorientation, but there is no risk for abuse or addiction. If given in a timely manner, the antidote can prevent deaths from overdoses due to opioid drugs, such as oxycodone or heroin. 

“Ready access to naloxone at home or in the community can save lives,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “Knowing when and how to use Narcan in the event of an opioid overdose gives people a chance for recovery in the future.”

The health department provided 144 free Narcan kits during a community class in January. The kits are also available 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fridays as part of the health department’s needle-exchange in the Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room at 650 Newtown Pike.

The free naloxone kits are available to the community through partnerships between the health department, Drug Free Lex and the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

The purchase of Narcan was supported by a grant 2014-PM-BX-0010 (Data-Driven Multidisciplinary Approaches to Reducing Prescription Abuse in Kentucky) awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice

Legends, LFCHD partner to strike out tobacco at ballpark

The Lexington Legends announced Tuesday that Whitaker Bank Ballpark will be 100 percent tobacco-free this season! The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is partnering with the organization to help educate fans on ways to stop tobacco use. Be sure to look for our information on the team’s schedule magnets being given away Opening Weekend at the ballpark!

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray also announced that all city-owned ballparks will be 100 percent tobacco-free.

Call us at 859-288-2446 to learn more on how we can help you or someone you know quit using tobacco in 2018!

Dr. Svetla Slavova named 2018 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Board of Health has selected Dr. Svetla Slavova as the 2018 Dr. Rice C. Leach Public Health Hero. The award is given annually to individuals who have demonstrated their dedication to improving the health of Lexington residents. The winner is announced each April as part of National Public Health Week (April 2-8, 2018).

Dr. Slavova is an associate professor of Biostatistics at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and a faculty member at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), a bona fide agent of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, housed within the College.

She has served as principal investigator and co-investigator on projects supporting reducing prescription drug abuse in Kentucky and quality improvement in the Kentucky Trauma Registry, among many other important grant-supported investigations. She is widely published on topics related to injury surveillance and public health and safety. Through her work at KIPRC, which combines academic investigation with practical public health initiatives, she has been active in helping Lexington and Kentucky be well for more than a decade.

Most recently, Dr. Slavova’s efforts helped the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department offer free naloxone kits as part of its needle-exchange program.

“As an expert in the field of drug overdose surveillance, Dr. Slavova has led the charge both nationally and locally for clear, actionable data on which to base sound public health policy and programs,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh said. “She is acutely aware of the practical needs of communities affected by substance abuse and the realities we face. Through her work with KIPRC, we not only have a clearer picture of the community’s opioid epidemic, but we also have more tools for responding to this health threat. Dr. Slavova’s efforts have contributed to making available lifesaving naloxone kits for those at highest risk and their family and friends, which can prevent deaths and give people who have substance use disorders a chance to pursue recovery. She is truly worthy of being called a Public Health Hero.”

Dr. Slavova will be recognized at the April 9 Board of Health meeting held at 5:45 p.m. in Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s Dr. Rice C. Leach Community Room, 650 Newtown Pike. She will also be honored at the April 12 Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council meeting.

Previously known as the Public Health Hero Award, the Board of Health renamed the award in 2016 in memory of the late Dr. Rice C. Leach, Lexington’s former Commissioner of Health who spent more than 50 years as a public health physician. Leach died April 1, 2016.

Past winners include Reginald Thomas (2017), Dr. Rice C. Leach (2016), Dr. Susan Pollack and Marian F. Guinn (2015), the Rev. Willis Polk and Baby Health Service (2014), Anita Courtney and Teens Against Tobacco Use (2013); Vickie Blevins and Jay McChord (2012); Jill Chenault-Wilson and Dr. Malkanthie McCormick (2011); Dr. Jay Perman (2010); the Lexington Lions Club (2009); Dr. David Stevens and the late Dr. Doane Fischer (2008); Dr. Ellen Hahn, Mary Alice Pratt and Therese Moseley (2007); Dr. Andrew Moore and Rosa Martin (2006); Jan Brucato and Dragana Zaimovic (2005); and Dr. John Michael Moore, Ellen Parks and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (2004). Dr. Robert Lam received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Health department provides 144 free Narcan kits in 1st community class

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department provided 144 naloxone kits Tuesday at its first class to train the community on the overdose-reversing medication. Due to overwhelming demand, the health department plans to hold additional community classes to be announced soon.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, blocks opiate receptors in the brain, works in 1-3 minutes and lasts 30-90 minutes. It can cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and disorientation, but there is no risk for abuse or addiction. If given in a timely manner, the antidote can prevent deaths from overdoses due to opioid drugs, such as oxycodone or heroin.

“Ready access to naloxone at home or in the community can save lives,” said Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh. “Knowing when and how to use Narcan gives people a chance for recovery in the future.”

The free naloxone kits were available to the community through a partnership between the health department, Drug Free Lex and the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, and a bona fide agent for the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

The purchase of Narcan was supported by a grant 2014-PM-BX-0010 (Data-Driven Multidisciplinary Approaches to Reducing Prescription Abuse in Kentucky) awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice. For additional information, like the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LFCHD, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/LFCHD and Instagram at @lexpublichealth.

 

New walk-in hours for free HIV testing: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays

Beginning in January, our free HIV testing and counseling hours will change! Get tested Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 650 Newtown Pike.

Testing is free and confidential. For additional information on HIV & Syphilis testing, call (859) 288-2437.

Additional Services:

  • Rapid HIV antibody testing with results in 15-20 minutes
  • Free HIV confirmatory testing
  • Free Syphilis testing
  • Referrals for HIV positive individuals (HIV care, support services, support groups, etc.)
  • Safer sex counseling
  • Free condoms