Public Health

"Always working for a safer and healthier Skagit County"
Director: Jennifer Johnson
Public Health is the science of protecting and improving the health of communities through education, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and research for disease and injury prevention. Public health professionals analyze the effect on health of genetics, personal choice and the environment in order to develop programs that protect the health of your family and community.

Overall, public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a local neighborhood, or as big as an entire country.

Public health professionals try to prevent problems from happening or re-occurring through implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, regulating health systems and some health professions, and conducting research, in contrast to clinical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating individuals after they become sick or injured. It is also a field that is concerned with limiting health disparities and a large part of public health is the fight for health care equity, quality, and accessibility.

NEWS

April 6 News: Celebrate National Public Health Week

Public Health Week is a great time to get to know the work that occurs every day at all levels of government to keep you and your community safe and healthy. Learn about programs and services offered by Skagit County Department of Public Health and Community Services , Washington State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Use this week to have family conversations about healthy choices for a strong future.

March 23 News:  90 Days to Clean Water

The Skagit County Clean Samish Initiative Team launches the 90 Days to Clean Water CampaignThis concentrated effort in specific areas of the Samish River Basin is to locate and mitigate remaining human influenced (septic system, manure, pet waste) sources of fecal coliform pollution in the river.  Skagit County Environmental Public Health has revived the rebate program for three specific areas where water quality has often been poor.
View the map for Properties Eligible for Septic System Inspection Rebates in the Samish Basin.


Avian Influenza found in Birds in Washington State

January 28, 2015

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed on poultry farms in British Columbia, Canada, in December.  The virus was detected in wild birds in Whatcom County as a result of heightened surveillance and has since been identified in backyard domestic poultry flocks in Washington State. 

The infected flocks were euthanized and quarantine imposed to restrict movement of poultry in the affected areas by order of Washington State Department of Agriculture. The virus has not been detected in any commercial poultry operations in Washington.

There have been no human illnesses associated with the avian influenza and there is no immediate public health concern.  Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products and these remain safe to eat.  As always, they should be properly cooked before consuming.

Bird owners are urged to protect their domestic flocks from contact with wild waterfowl.  Report deaths or illness among domestic birds to WSDA Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056.  For wild birds, contact Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768.

More information can be found at  http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AvianHealth   or contact Skagit County Public Environmental Health at 360-336-9474.


INLFUENZA UPDATE

Every year thousands of people in the United States die from flu; even more will be hospitalized from complications of Influenza.  Remember to stay home if you are ill with a fever and flu-like symptoms!  Talk to your medical provider if you or a family member is at high risk from flu complications.  Information on the current flu epidemic is available from Washington State Department of Health.

Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.

It is especially important for;

  • Young children
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with health conditions like; heart, lung, or kidney disease, nervous system disorders, or a weakened immune system.
  • Care givers and household contacts of the above people
  • Care givers and household contacts of infants less than 6 months of age

Get your flu shot now; it is widely available through your health care providers office, pharmacies or here at the Health Department during our walk in clinics;
Monday and Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Get Vaccinated for Measles Now

Recently a person with measles traveled to Sea-Tac Airport and visited several public areas in King and Snohomish counties while contagious. Most people in our state are immune to measles, but measles is highly contagious even before the rash starts, and is easily spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes — if you are not vaccinated, you can get the measles just by walking into a room where someone with the disease has been in the past couple of hours. Consult your health care provider for more information if you are uncertain of your vaccination status or you immunity.  See the Department of Health press release for more information.


Ebola Virus Disease

Washington State does not have any cases of Ebola Virus Disease.  The risk of an outbreak of Ebola in the United States is very low.  Learn the facts about Ebola Virus Disease from:

What we are doing in Skagit County
Skagit County Public Health & Community Services has been working in collaboration with all local hospitals, as well as Emergency Medical Services (EMS), health care provider offices, and colleges to assure we are prepared to safely evaluate any potential Ebola cases. This collaboration will assure the containment of disease and adequate care for any and all individuals.  If you have general questions regarding Ebola preparedness in Skagit County you may call 360-336-9474.

Notice to travelers returning from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, or other area with active Ebola cases
If in the past 21 days you have traveled from or have had contact with an ill person from an affected area including Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, or other areas with active Ebola cases notify Skagit County Public Health & Community Services at 360 336-9397.


How to Obtain a Copy of My Medical Record

Skagit County Public Health will release your medical information to you or any agency that you designate after receiving your completed Authorization for Exchange of Information application. Return the completed application to us along with the appropriate fee prior to us releasing your information.

Please contact Skagit County Public Health at (360) 336-9380 to determine the correct fee as our prices do vary. There is no fee for releasing medical records to doctor’s offices, or immunization records to schools.

Authorization for Exchange of Information application | Español


Clinical Services Notice

Effective December 15, 2014, we will no longer be providing travel clinical services to out of county residents.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.  We have listed the surrounding county health departments or districts phone number for your convenience.  We would recommend calling them to inquire what services are available in your area.

Island County: 
Oak Harbor & North Whidbey (360) 240-5554 extension 22
South Whidbey (360) 221-8482
Camano Island (360) 387-0184

San Juan County   (360) 378-4474

Snohomish Health District:
Everett location (425) 339-5220
Lynnwood location (425) 775-3522

Whatcom County  (360) 676-4593

Enterovirus D68, Acute Flaccid Myelitis

A summary of Enterovirus D68 activity for 2014 is now available from CDC .  This cold-like virus showed a significant increase in prevalence in 2014 and can have serious health impacts for children with asthma or other respiratory problems.
CDC continues to work with health care professionals and state and local health departments to investigate reports of children who develop sudden onset of weakness in arms or legs, known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis.  A small number of cases have been linked to Enterovirus D68 infections and other viral infections may be associated with Acute Flaccid Myelitis.  More information on the investigation and resources for health care professionals

Food Worker Cards Available Online

Do you work in Food Service? Food Worker cards are required for any employee in a food service establishment. Do you need to obtain a food worker card or renew an existing one? It is now more convenient than ever!

Skagit County Public Health Department is pleased to announce an Online Food Worker Card Class. Participants can take the training and test, pay by credit card and print out a food worker card from any computer. Follow this link: www.foodworkercard.wa.gov. The video and test are available in multiple languages on this site. The Health Department will continue to offer testing at our Mount Vernon office Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM.

For more information, check Food Worker Card Frequently Asked Questions on our website www.skagitcounty.net/food or call the Health Department food safety staff at 360-336-9474.

Vaccination Planning
"Walk In" clinic for immunizations is open:
Monday and Thursday
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Travelers MUST check in NO later than 2:30

Travel consultations are by appointment only. 
Wednesday 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Call the phone number listed below to schedule an appointment.
We carry all domestic and travel vaccines.
Our address is 700 South 2nd St. Administration Building, Room 301.
Phone (360) 336-9477.

Administration, Food & Beverage Testing, Vital Statistics: (360) 336-9380 *
Nursing Clinics and Personal Health Services: (360) 336-9477 *
FAX: (360) 336 9401

Environmental Public Health
1800 Continental Place
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Environmental Health: (360) 336-9474 *
FAX: (360) 419-3408


*See Program and Services Guide for specific phone numbers and hours
Health Department Services Guide
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