The Department of Health and Human Services provides environmental health, community nursing and health education services. The mayor appoints its director.
The department issues burial permits, records dog bites, and baits sewers for rats. It also licenses and inspects stores, massage therapists, restaurants, caterers, bakeries, day camps, pools, and trailer parks as well as septic tank cleaners and trash removal services. In addition it provides vaccines for immunizations including polio, tuberculin, tetanus, and MMR, and maintains an immunization-tracking registry. It follows up on cases of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases such as hepatitis and shigella.
Community nursing services are offered on a rotating basis at a variety of sites, generally community centers and housing projects. Services consist of blood pressure readings, health screening, and referrals. To obtain a complete list of sites with days and times of nurses' visits, call 787- 6740.
A nurse provides health care six mornings and two evenings a week for homeless people at 769 Worthington Street. Call 734 - 7140 for more information. Dental services for the homeless are also available two days a week at this location. Call 731 - 9575 for more information.
Health education and prevention programs include the following:
- Substance Abuse Prevention Program - a speaker's bureau of women who are former drug abusers.
- Violence Prevention Task Force and Trigger Lock Give-away Program.
- Tobacco Control Unit - enforces tobacco control laws, runs smoking cessation programs and education programs, and promotes a ban on smoking in restaurants.
Other programs include:
- Mayor's Office for Citizens with Disabilities - advocates for physically and mentally challenged citizens.
- Mediation training to provide volunteers to help resolve disputes in the public schools and neighborhoods.
- Child Maternal Health Commission - volunteer health professionals who have volunteered to help reduce infant mortality.