The Health Department's 23nd annual Health Fair was held on November 2, 2001 at the Richard Rodda Community Center. The fair, entitled Project Find and Senior Health Symposium, was funded by the Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse and was co-sponsored by Holy Name Hospital. Over 700 seniors participated in the day long event which was highlighted with a Lunch and Learn lecture by Jennifer Phillips, a noted author and radio talk show host. The Holy Name staff provided programs on diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiac disease. Various screenings included a Lipid profile, blood pressure and heart risk assessment, massage therapy and a PSA (prostate) test for men. The Police Department's Community Police division provided information on burglary prevention and avoiding scam artists who prey on the elderly. A major draw at the symposium were influenza and pneumonia immunizations. A total of 610 residents received flu shots and 42 received the pneumonia shots. The next health fair is being planned for November of 2002. Watch the news- papers for the exact date and time.
In September of 2001, the Health Department, in collaboration with Holy Name Hospital, began offering a Senior Wellness Program at the Rodda Community Center. The purpose of the program is to provide a wide variety of services and professional resources to help address health concerns and wellness issues in the senior community. The focal point of the program has been the Wellness Works series, which offers goal setting in all aspects of men's and women's health and includes such diverse topics as emotional health, environmental health, cultural health and less stressful holidays. Other important programs have included nutrition counseling, coping with disability, medication safety, diabetes awareness, cardiac care and many more.
A Podiatrist is available by appointment once per month. The program is offered on most Fridays from 10 AM to 12 Noon and from 12:30 PM until 2:30 PM. To request the most recent brochure, please call the Health Department at (201) 837- 4824. To register for the entire program or specific offerings, please call Holy Name Hospital at (201) 227-6250.
Health Department staff actively participated in the Bergen County Demonstration Project which was funded through a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health And Senior Services. The purpose of the grant was to show how the new Public Health Practice Standards could be met and what the costs could be in a County like Bergen. A business plan was developed and submitted to the State in December of 2001. The Practice Standards will allow local agencies to function as part of a system. This will have numerous benefits, particularly with respect to communicable disease outbreaks, bio-terrorism, natural disasters and other emergencies.
The Health Department continued the coordination of the Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse. The Alliance is funded through grant moneys received from the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The Alliance Committee received $17,500 in 2001. The Township matched the amount with 25% cash and 75% in-kind services. The Alliance Committee worked closely with the school system, the D.A.R.E. program and END D.W.I. Key programs supported were Project Find, Project Graduation, Junior Police Academy and Night Out Against Crime. The Alliance Committee also provided funding for Project Graduation and for high school students to attend the Teen Institute of the Garden State (TlGS) summer program. Teaneck First Night, a drug and alcohol free New Year's Eve event, was generously funded in part by the Alliance. Residents or organizations who would like to become involved in TMAASA should call the coordinator at (201) 837-4823.
The Township is entering its eleventh year of contracting with Holy Name Hospital for Public Health Nursing Services. The program continues to be a major success. The Teaneck Child Health Conference is the only one in the County to provide evening hours to participants in an effort to accommodate working parents. The evening hours are the third Thursday of the month, from 6:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. Day hours for the Conference are from 9:00 A.M. to 11 :30 A.M. on Wednesdays. Visits to the Child Health Conference totaled 167. The clinic, which provides all aspects of well-child care, administered 304 childhood immunizations. Venous blood lead tests are performed on children participating in the clinic at one and two years of age. A total of 16 children were tested for lead poisoning. The clinic, located at HNH, 718 Teaneck Road, is available to Township children between the ages of six weeks and five years. The clinic also provided 235 mandatory immunizations to school age children. Appointments, required for all services of the Child Health Conference, can be made by calling (201) 227-6251.
The Community Health Services clinic, which provides hypertension screening and risk assessment, is also located at Holy Name Hospital. The clinic, which includes an educational component, recorded 356 visits in 2001, in which 40 referrals were made to private physicians. The clinic is offered twice a week and is the perfect solution for residents who must have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Evening hours are available one Monday a month, from 5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. Public Health Nurses from the clinic also monitored blood pressures twice a week at the Teaneck Senior Service Center, located in the Richard Rodda Community Center building. In 2002, the program will increase to three times per week. Approximately 800 seniors took advantage of these services in 2001. Another 163 visits were recorded at the Jewish Community Center. To receive further information about clinic dates and times, contact the Health Department office at (201) 837-4824 or Holy Name Hospital's Community Health Services at (201) 227-6251.
The secretarial staff processed over 2,200 licenses for dog owners, retail food establishment operations, vending machines, dry cleaners and owners of rented homes and lodging houses. Revenues generated from these licenses and other miscellaneous fees totaled $75,019. Pet owners licensed 1,476 dogs, and 316 cats by the end of 200 1. The licensing period for cats runs from April 1 to March 31 of the following year. Licenses can be renewed during April and May. As with dog licenses, which are renewable in January and February, there is a $10 late fee after the renewal period is over. Free rabies immunization vouchers for participating veterinarians are available from the Health Department. Residents took advantage of this program in 2001 by having 149 jogs and 72 cats vaccinated.
Animal Control services are provided through a contract with the Bergen County Animal Shelter. The Shelter responded to 286 requests for service in 2001. The service provides rabies control, rescues sick and injured animals and captures stray dogs and cats. To request the services of the shelter, residents should call the Health Department weekdays from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Before and after these hours and on weekends or holidays, calls should be made to the Teaneck Police at (201) 837-2600.
Environmental Health and Property Maintenance Code enforcement are priorities with the Health Department. The restaurants and other food establishments come under the close scrutiny of the department inspectors on a regular basis. Food establishments received 336 satisfactory, 28 conditional and 0 unsatisfactory inspections in 2001. The inspection placards are white for satisfactory and yellow for conditional inspections, and are required to be posted at or near the public entrance to the establishment. Inspectors investigated 44 complaints involving food establishments. Establishments in serious violation were issued 4 summonses which resulted in $300 in fines.
Consistent property maintenance code enforcement keeps the Township environmentally sound and helps keep property values high. As the primary enforcers of the code, Department inspectors conducted 2,396 inspections in 2001. Violation notices were written, follow-up inspections conducted and summonses issued where necessary. A three year comparison of code enforcement activities follows:
Tenants in multiple family dwellings, rented houses and lodging houses are served by the Department through Certificate of Health inspections. These inspections are required for vacant apartments, single family rented houses and rented, rooms. Certificates of Health were issued for 162 apartment units in 2001.
The Social Services Coordinator is a component of the Heath & Human Services Department and as such provides social services and referral to residents including teen mothers, families having catastrophic illnesses, the frail elderly, senior citizens (who make up over 23% of the Township's population), the homeless, case management of certain A.I.D.S. or TB cases, and crisis intervention for the, incompetent or mentally ill. The Coordinator works closely with other agencies such as the Center for Food Action, the Agency to Prevent Homelessness, the THS FORUM and the Vantage Health System staff providing case management and referrals for residents having substance abuse problems or mental illnesses. Additionally, the Coordinator acts as an advocate for Township residents who are or may be eligible for WorkFirst NJ, assists in the "fair hearing" process, and has responsibility for the Shelter and Social Services annexes of the Township's Emergency Operations Plan.
Since the transfer of the General Assistance program to the Bergen County Board of Social Services, the Social Service Coordinator continues to act as ombudsman in crisis intervention for all Teaneck residents. Residents who need to apply for Public Assistance (Aid to Families with Dependent Children-AFDC, Food Stamps, NJ Family Care, Medicaid, General Assistance) should contact the Bergen County Board of Social Services located at 216 Route 17 North, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662, (201) 368-4200.
The Township received private sector assistance from a number of sources in 2001, most notably the help of the Hope Presbyterian Church, Black Youth Organization of Teaneck H.S., the New Life Covenant Church, The Community Chest of Teaneck, the American Legion Post #128, New Milford Teaneck Lodge 2290, BPOE, Teaneck Moose Lodge No. 96, and many local residents, merchants, and supermarkets.