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2014 Alcohol Awareness Month

Drinking too much alcohol increases people's risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, the RPM Health District is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Don't drink when you are upset.
  • Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  • Make a list of reasons not to drink.

2014 American Diabetes Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 12 Americans has diabetes – that's more than 25 million people. And another 79 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month. 

If you are overweight, have high blood pressure, or are age 45 or older, you are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The good news is that making healthy changes can greatly lower your risk. To help prevent type 2 diabetes: 

  • Watch your weight.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Get more active.

2016 SOTCH Reports Have Been Released

The State of the County Health Reports for 2016 are posted here. Please contact Yanet Cisneros with any questions, comments or related updates.  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . (828) 287-6042 Office.


      Rutherford County SOTCH
      Polk County SOTCH
      McDowell County SOTCH

For previous versions of the SOTCH report please visit http://www.rpmhd.org/sotch


2016 Air Quality

Over the past several weeks our region has been hit by many wildfires. Even if you are not near by the fire itself you can still experience health hazards.

Wildfires expose us to some health hazards like:

• Fire, and smoke
• Byproducts of burning wood, plastics and other chemicals that may be released during a wildfire.
• Stress that comes along with a wildfire is also hard on our health.

Children, pregnant women, people with asthma and older adults are more at risk for health problems when the air quality is not good.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a guide for reporting daily air quality. It uses colors and numbers to show how clean or polluted the air is.AirQualityChart

How to protect your health when Wildfire smoke levels are high:

• Stay indoors
• Close windows and doors.
• Use air conditioning and air filters
• Reduce activity
• Do not smoke indoors
• Use room air cleaners: High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaners can help reduce indoor air pollution.

Create a clean room at home with windows closed, air conditioner on, use HEPA-filter, do not vacuum unless using a HEPA filtered vacuum, do not smoke or burn anything including candles and incense. Keep room clean.

If you have Asthma

Make sure your asthma plan is in place
Refill your asthma medicines as needed

Respirators can keep the fine particles in the air from entering your airways. Wear one if you must work outdoors on unhealthy days.

Use N95 Particulate Filtering Face piece Respirator This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles but is not resistant to oil. For information about N95 Respirators: www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/n95list1.html

For more information about Air Quality and forecasts for your area visit http://www.airnow.gov 


2016 Diabetes Month

Did you know that 1 in 11 Americans today has diabetes? Despite its prevalence, diabetes is an invisible disease. It affects men and women, people young and old, and people of all races, shapes and sizes. Often there are no outward signs from the 29 million Americans who fight this chronic illness every day. That's why there is a critical need to foster awareness and education while breaking down stereotypes, myths and misunderstandings about this growing public health crisis that affects so many of us.

This is exactly why the American Diabetes Association marks each November as American Diabetes Month: to bring extra attention to the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it.

This November, the organization will showcase real-life stories of friends, families and neighbors managing the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of diabetes. The 2016 campaign, sponsored by Colgate Total® (National Oral Care Strategic Partner) and Medtronic Diabetes®, invites us to use #ThisIsDiabetes to share our personal stories and to start a dialogue about what it really means to live with diabetes.

Diabetes is more than the medications and devices used to manage it. For many, diabetes dictates how they organize their day, what they eat at every meal, how they choose to be physically active and how they spend their money. People with diabetes can have health care costs that are 2.3 times higher than someone without diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 require very specific forms of treatment.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and there is no known way to prevent it. Approximately 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1, which means their body does not produce any insulin. Insulin is critical in order for the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into cells for energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day to live.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of cases in the United States, and is caused when the body does not produce or use insulin properly. Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes and having diabetes while pregnant (gestational diabetes). Some people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose (sugar) with healthy eating and being active; other may require oral medications or insulin, especially as the disease progresses. Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders, as well as older adults.

Some women develop gestational diabetes, high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy, which requires treatment to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 9.2 percent of pregnant women.

There's a way for everybody to participate during American Diabetes Month in November. Share your story, or encourage a friend or family member to share theirs using #ThisIsDiabetes. Be sure to also follow the American Diabetes Association on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Link to RPM Health District Facebook Page
Link to RPM Health District's Twitter Page
Link to RPM Health District's YouTube Page