City of York - Bureau of Health Newsletter
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November 2016

November is American Diabetes Month® 2016: This is Diabetes™

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 all of us to use #ThisIsDiabetes to share personal stories and to start a dialogue about what it really means to live with diabetes.
You can also update your Facebook profile picture to help raise awareness—and don’t forget that you can always donate or sign up to become an advocate to help the American Diabetes Association continue their critical work.
To learn more and view #ThisIsDiabetes stories from around the country, check out
Do you know exactly what diabetes is? How about the different types or how it can be prevented? Check out the Diabetes Fact Sheet to learn more.

Tips for Healthier Holiday Meals

The holidays are fast approaching, and so are delicious holiday meals! Fortunately, you don't have to sacrifice your favorite Thanksgiving dishes to eat a healthy diet. With reasonable portion sizes and healthier dishes that don’t sacrifice flavor, Thanksgiving dinner can still be joyful, delicious and healthy. Keep in mind the following tips when planning your holiday recipes this year:

1. Add flavor, not fat. Many recipes suggest rubbing the bird with butter before roasting. If you roast a turkey without overcooking, it won’t dry out—there’s no need to rub it with butter beforehand. Skip it and avoid adding extra saturated fat. Try chopped fresh herbs and garlic mixed with a little heart-healthy olive oil instead.

2. Avoid added salt. We've found that conventional turkeys (with added salt solution) do stay moister but if you’re watching your sodium intake, avoid them.

3. Skip the skin. A 3-ounce portion of light meat without skin has only 132 calories and 3 grams of fat. With the skin, that jumps to 168 calories and 6 grams of fat. (Dark meat has more calories but also more iron: three ounces of dark meat supplies 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron; white meat has only 8%.)

4. Broth is better. Many traditional stuffing recipes call for butter. Use a bit of chicken broth instead to keep it moist without the added fat or calories.

5. Hold the sugar. Sweet potatoes are already sweet, so why load them up with brown sugar and marshmallows when just a touch of maple syrup or honey accentuates their great flavor?

6. Forgo the butter. The key to tasty gravy is using all the drippings from the roasting pan (with the fat skimmed off). This gives plenty of flavor without the added fat or calories. Forgo added butter, which really bumps up the calories and fat.

These tips and many more can be found on the Million Hearts' 6 Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving or from the Center for Disease Control's 10 Tips to Make Healthier Holiday Choices.

The Great American Smokeout

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Each year, smoking accounts for an estimated 438,000 premature deaths – including 38,000 deaths among nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke. Most people are aware that smoking is by far the leading risk factor for developing lung cancer, but it also increases the risk for 15 other types of cancer.

The American Cancer Society has designated the third Thursday in November (November 17th) for the Great American Smokeout. This day serves as an opportunity to highlight the health effects of smoking and encourage current smokers to quit.

There has never been a better time to quit smoking. You can join millions of Americans and commit to living smoke-free. You don't have to raise your hand, sign up, or do anything other than quietly commit to quit, knowing you're doing it with many, many others across the country. If you or a loved one is thinking about quitting smoking, visit the American Cancer Society's web page or call 1.800.ACS.2345 for tips, tools and information. Quitting smoking is hard. The American Cancer Society can help.

City of York - Bureau of Health In the Community

Read on for highlights of how the City of York - Bureau of Health prevents disease, and promotes and protects the health of York City residents every month.

Influenza Vaccine Available for Underinsured York City Residents

It’s not too late to receive the flu vaccine. The City of York - Bureau of Health, located at 435 W. Philadelphia Street, York, PA has flu vaccine available for all ages.  The influenza (flu) vaccine is being provided free to York City residents who do not have health insurance or who are underinsured (those whose health insurance does not cover this vaccine).

Influenza most often peaks in February and can last into May.  It is highly unpredictable from year to year in terms of the number of cases that occur and the severity.  It is estimated that 600,000 to 1,200,000 Pennsylvanians get the flu each year and 200 to 2,000 die from complications from the flu.  Getting vaccinated is the best way to prepare for the influenza season.  All persons 6 months of age and older should receive the influenza vaccine. The elderly, very young, and persons with chronic medical conditions are a high priority as they are especially at a greater risk for complications from the flu.

For more information about the influenza vaccine, York City residents should call the City of York - Bureau of Health at 849-2299 or check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

SIDS Awareness and New Safe Sleep Recommendations

At the end of October, Mayor C. Kim Bracey welcomed Dr. Michael Goodstein of WellSpan Health and Director of the York County Cribs For Kids Program, Pamela Gay, the York County Coroner, and Dr. Matt Howie, Medical Director for the City of York - Bureau of Health to city hall to recognize National SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Awareness Month. SIDS Awareness Month is designated in October to enable communities with awareness and information on how they can meet the needs of the bereaved mothers, fathers, and family members, while working to prevent the causes of these deaths. Following the updated safe sleep recommendations can significantly reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Visit the CDC's SIDS Prevention page to learn more about SIDS and the safe sleep recommendations and the Cribs for Kids site to learn more about the program. We encourage you to watch the press conference and share information with anyone caring for an infant.

Notes from the Doc:
Dr. Matthew Howie

Greetings from the City of York - Bureau of Health!

November is a month most associated with colored leaves, pumpkin pie, and gathering with family and friends to give thanks for all we have. As we approach one of the most contentious elections in recent memory, the idea of thankfulness may not be on the forefront of our thoughts. Knowing this, perhaps it is even more important that we pause and remember those things in our worlds that hold a special place.

I am thankful for:
  • My individual health and the care provided to me by those who look out for me,
  • My family and their continued love and support as we journey together,
  • My coworkers and having a job whose focus is to protect the health and well being of our residents, and
  • Being a part of a public health and medical community that cares about the health and well-being of our larger community.
The medical community of York is a special one that continues to try and meet the medical needs of its residents each and every day. For those with chronic diseases, this need for care can seem quite dramatic. November is National Diabetes Month and the month we promote the Great American Smokeout. For those involved in the prevention and care of those with diabetes, it is very clear that preventing the condition is far preferable to managing the disease. Paying attention to our weight, diet, and physical activity is so important to prevent diabetes and the many other conditions it can cause. As for smoking, it is a habit that shortens the lives and lessens the quality of the lives of many of those who live in our community. As November 17 approaches, I hope we can encourage all who smoke to take the opportunity to quit the use of tobacco all together.

I will end this note with one last point of gratitude. Thank you all for the privilege of serving as the Medical Director of the City of York – Bureau of Health. Together we can do great things for the people of York and be a model for other communities who are on a similar journey to wellness.
Yours in health,
Dr. Matt
Dr. Matthew Howie, MD, Medical Director

Barbara Kovacs, MPA, Director
Clinician's Corner

October 2016 Communicable Disease Report
C. Kim Bracey, Mayor
Copyright © 2015 York City Health Bureau, All rights reserved.

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York, PA 17405

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