Looking for ways to improve your health?
Whether it’s exercising, eating healthier or quitting smoking, the Rockland County Department of Health offers a number of quality programs geared toward people of all ages that will help residents start on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
The Healthier Dining Restaurant Program is intended to empower consumers to make healthier food selections when dining out at local restaurants. Currently, there are nearly 70 local restaurants participating in the program, highlighting hundreds of healthier menu items. Look for the Steps to a Healthier Rockland door decal and menu designations, which indicate participating restaurants.
The Health Department’s Steps to Healthier Worksites, Healthier Workers program assists Rockland worksites to improve employee health and wellness by offering technical support to improve policies and the environment of the workplace that support healthier lifestyles. By looking at available food choices, access to physical activity, and smoking policies, this can lead to increased productivity, less absenteeism, and better employee health.
Another successful program is the award winning Put It Out Rockland quit smoking program that has counseled over 1,500 residents and employees since its inception in 2002. Residents can join a group program that meets for 8 weeks, a mini-program for worksites that runs for 5 weeks or can receive individual one-on-one counseling. All programs are free and offer free nicotine replacement products. Visit www.putitoutrockland.com or call 845-364-2651 for more information.
As the weather begins to get nicer, residents may be interested in exploring one of the many County parks. Take part in a guided walk led by Rockland County Trail Guide Docents. The 2011 season will begin in March or April, weather permitting. For more information about upcoming walks visit www.rocklandsteps.org/calendar or call 845-708-7307.
Walks are sponsored by the Rockland County Division of Environmental Resources, the Rockland County Youth Bureau’s AmeriCorps program and the Rockland County Department of Health’s Steps to a Healthier Rockland program. When outdoors, it’s important for residents to be aware of ticks which can be active when temperatures are 40 degrees F. or above. When participating in outdoor activities remember to check your skin and clothing for ticks. Removing ticks correctly and promptly will reduce your chances of getting a tick borne disease. Visit www.co.rocklandgov.com/health/CD/td.htm for information on Lyme disease.
A Matter of Balance is a fall prevention program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Spring classes are set to begin in March and April at the following locations: JCC, Nyack YMCA, New City Library, West Nyack Free Library, Nanuet Library, Pearl River Library. To register or for more information, call 845-364-3839.
Residents should also keep in mind that if they are planning an exotic vacation that requires special immunizations, the Department of Health offers travel and routine adult immunizations on Monday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. located at the Robert Yeager Health Complex in Pomona, Building A on the second floor. A child health clinic is also available for infants to 5 years of age. It is held once a month on the second Wednesday of every month. The clinic offers well baby visits and vaccinations. For appointments call 845-364-2520.
We hope residents will take advantage of the many services our Health Department provides and take the first step to improving their health or the health of a loved one.
C. Scott Vanderhoef is Rockland's county executive. His office is located at the Allisson-Parris County Office Building, 11 New Hempstead Road, New City.