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Features Health & Wellness

Macon County Public Health was honored at the 2014 annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in Atlanta with NACCHO’s Local Health Department of the Year Award. The award recognizes and honors the outstanding accomplishments of small, medium, and large local health departments for their innovation, creativity and impact on their community. This year’s winners were recognized for their adoption of outstanding internal or external policies.

Macon County Public Health was selected for this national award for its recent efforts toward establishing a county ordinance limiting the use of tobacco products at county parks and recreation facilities. This step to protect public health, particularly the health of youth, was cited for its innovative involvement of youth, its ability to secure private funding to eliminate costs to the county, and creativity in building community support among the general public and key stakeholders.


WestCare recently held a lunch and ceremony to honor 14 employees for their years of service on the Harris, Swain and Franklin campuses.

The employees were recognized for milestones ranging from five to 35 years and collectively represented 210 years of service to WestCare. Each employee’s manager provided brief words of praise for the staff member before awarding them with a framed certificate.


To fight cavities in children, the North Carolina Dental Society (NCDS) is encouraging caregivers to brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth comes in.

This new guidance expands the use of fluoride toothpaste for young children. It follows the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) recent recommendation that caregivers use a light smear of fluoride toothpaste (or an amount about the size of a grain of rice) for children younger than three years old and a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children three to six years old.

"For 50 years, dentists have recommended that patients use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities,” says Dr. Ron Venezie, an Apex, N.C. pediodontist and president-elect of the NCDS. “A review of scientific research shows that this holds true for all ages, especially given the high levels of decay among young children.”


On June 25, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed the second case of Chikungunya to appear in the state.

The disease that is carried by way of a mosquito was discovered when a Almance County man recently returned home from a vacation in the Caribbean.

Health officials in Macon County are now urging travelers to be aware of diseases that may be possible to contract in their noted destinations.

“Be very attentive to preventing mosquito bites, not only to prevent Chikungunya but also dengue, which is prevalent in the Caribbean,” says Stan Pulanski, physician's assistant at the Macon County Health Department. “Use an effective repellent, sleep in mosquito-free rooms, and consider staying indoors if there are swarms of mosquitoes around at certain times of the day.”


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