Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health today announced the 2018-2019 grant awards for 30 projects, totaling $4.8 million, to support research leading to the prevention and possible cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott and Florida Department of Health Announce Grant Funding for Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Florida Department of Health
The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) today announced that 20 hospitals in Florida have achieved the federal Healthy People 2020 Maternal and Child Health goal of reducing Cesarean section (C-section) rates for first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. [Read more…] about AHCA and DOH Recognize 20 Hospitals in Florida for Achieving the Healthy People 2020 C-section Rate Goal
Before, during and following Hurricane Irma, health care facilities throughout Florida have been implementing emergency plans to keep patients safe. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration and the Florida Department of Health is conducting frequent and vigorous outreach to facilities every day, which includes daily calls with hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In-person wellness checks are being conducted for facilities when contact cannot be made or any facility that reports distress. All facilities are being directed to contact 911 if patients are in jeopardy. AHCA is staffing the facility hotline 24 hours a day at 1-888-419-3456. Both AHCA and DOH are working around the clock to ensure all ALFs, nursing homes and hospitals have the resources they need.
Health care facilities have been provided with multiple pathways to communicate their needs with state officials and local emergency officials. This includes convening daily calls with facilities in advance of, during and after the storm. Reporting includes the online facility reporting database, FLHealthSTAT. These multiple mechanisms allow health care facilities to communicate needs to state emergency officials, including power outages, generator availability, fuel needs, spot coolers, ice and any other needs.
Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities in Florida are required to have emergency operation plans. Requirements vary by facility type, but are all based in statute and rule. A complete list is available here. Hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are required to submit and receive approval for their plans from either the county emergency management or local county health department (this varies among counties and/or facility type).
Facilities that are not regulated by the state, such as retirement communities, are advised to call local emergency management or 911 if you are in need of support.
Power restoration remains a top priority for the state, particularly for facilities that serve vulnerable populations. As of this morning, more than 70% of power in the state has been restored.
STATUS AS OF 1 PM FRIDAY, SEPT. 15
Assisted Living Facilities:
193 are utilizing generators
1,978 have power
182 have reported as being closed
177 have reported post-storm evacuations
34 are utilizing generators
669 have power
10 have reported being closed
40 have reported post-storm evacuations
2 are utilizing generators
299 have power
8 have reported being closed
7 have reported post-storm evacuations
Water under boil water notice is not safe to drink
As Monroe County works to recover from Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Health is urging residents in the Florida Keys to not consume water under a boil water notice.
At this time, water in Monroe County is unsafe for drinking and without electricity, residents are unable to boil water to decontaminate. Further, due to the storm, the overall sanitary conditions have been significantly impacted in the Florida Keys.
Unsafe drinking water and generally unsanitary conditions can lead to gastrointestinal illness, increased risk of infection and dehydration.
The department, along with local, state and federal partners, is working diligently to mobilize resources to the Florida Keys. Restoring power, safe drinking water and sound sanitary conditions are top priorities. Bottled water is being provided to residents who are currently in the Florida Keys. Also, portable toilets have been staged for use in multiple locations as sewer systems have been breached.
Practicing good hygiene is critical to preventing illness. Residents in the Florida Keys are urged to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer often and ensure that good hygiene practices are followed during food preparation.
Residents should not eat any food that may have come into contact with contaminated water from floods or tidal surges. Canned food should not be eaten if there is a bulging or opening on the can or screw caps, soda bottle tops or twist-caps. Undamaged, commercially canned foods can be saved if labels are removed and cans are disinfected in a bleach solution. Use 1/4 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water; re-label the cans including expiration date and type of food. Infants should preferably be breast fed or fed only pre-mixed canned baby formula. Do not use powdered formulas prepared with untreated water, use boiled water instead. When the power is out, refrigerators will only keep foods cool for approximately 4 hours – thawed and refrigerated foods should be thrown out after 4 hours.
Local officials will announce when water is safe to drink.
For further information, please contact your local county health department or visit www.floridahealth.gov or www.FloridaDisaster.org.
During severe weather and other emergencies, you can count on active alerts from the department’s official social media accounts. One of the fastest ways to receive official and accurate health-related information is to monitor @HealthyFla on Twitter and on Facebook.
Following the passage of Hurricane Irma, residents may be experiencing difficulties with your sewage system not functioning properly. If you have a septic system that operates by a dosing pump, it will not function without electricity. You should refrain from using water in your home until electricity is restored. Without the pump working, the septic tank will fill and may cause backup of sewage in your home.
- Do not let children play in flood waters as these waters may be contaminated by sewage.
- If you live in a low-lying or flood-prone area, the ground in your area may be saturated from heavy rainfalls or flooding from the hurricane. You should use household water as little as possible to prevent backup of sewage into your home
What should I do if sewage backs up into my home?
- If a sewage backup has occurred in your home, stay out of affected areas and keep children away. If your entire home has been saturated, evacuate the home until all affected areas, including but not limited to carpets, rugs, drywall, and baseboards, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- If sewage has overflowed in open areas or streets, etc., avoid these areas and especially do not let children play in these areas.
- If you are having problems in areas served by public sewer systems, please contact your utility company to insure they are aware of problems in your area.
How to clean up sewage contaminated items and sewage spills inside your home:
- Wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and waterproof gloves.
- Clean walls, hard-surfaced floors, and other household surfaces with soap and water and disinfect with a solution of 1/4 cup of bleach in one gallon of water. Once cleanup is complete, dry out affected items to prevent the growth of mold.
- Do not mix ammonia cleansers with bleach as toxic vapors will form.
- Wash all linens and clothing in hot water or dry clean them.
- Discard Items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned, such as mattresses, carpeting, wall coverings and upholstered furniture.
For spills outside your home:
- Contact your utility or a registered septic tank contractor for clean up.
- Minor spills requiring immediate attention may be disinfected with regular garden lime from a garden shop. Follow the lime container’s label instructions for personal protective equipment needed. Use lime outdoors only.
- Sprinkle the lime onto the spill so the spill is dusted mostly white on the surface. If the residue is thicker in some places use a rake to mix the lime and the residue.
- After a day, rake up the thicker residue and place it in a trash bag for disposal with the other trash. Use a sprinkler or hose to water the lime and residue into the soil.
- Let the area dry in the sun for a day before allowing access. If there is still white lime dust visible on the yard, water it in until the white dust is gone.
Follow proper hygiene procedures to prevent illness:
- Keep hands and fingers away from the nose, mouth, eyes and ears.
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleanup efforts as well as before eating or drinking.
- Keep fingernails short and clean. Use a stiff brush to remove dirt and foreign materials.
- Do not store fresh work clothes with used work clothes.
- Shower as soon as possible after cleaning up sewage or sewage contaminated flood waters.
For further information, please contact your county health department or visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/index.html or www.FloridaDisaster.org.
Division of Medical Quality Assurance issues 18 ESO/EROs in July 2017
The Florida Department of Health issued 18 Emergency Suspension Orders (ESOs) and Emergency Restriction Orders (EROs) during July for serious violations, which can include the commission of crimes, violations of standards of care, drug use, impairment, drug diversion, sexual misconduct or student loan defaults.
- Brigitte G. Arnold, Pharmacist, Tampa
- Lynn Bennett-Gardner, Licensed Practical Nurse, Ormond Beach
- Quinlan L. Brown, Certified Nursing Assistant, Pensacola
- Tanya C. Chapman, Registered Nurse, Saint Augustine
- Heather H. Coss, Certified Nursing Assistant, Fort Walton Beach
- Deirdre Lorraine Dancy, Licensed Practical Nurse, Kissimmee
- Guillermo J. Delgado, Licensed Practical Nurse, Miami
- Lisa Carol Putnal Dortch, Registered Nurse, Lake City
- Amanda Frens, Certified Nursing Assistant, Largo
- Renee A. Godby, Licensed Practical Nurse, Winter Park
- Amanda Elizabeth Ingersoll, Registered Nurse, Port Saint Lucie
- Angela A. Lee, Certified Nursing Assistant, Lehigh Acres
- Myeshia L. Leonard, Licensed Practical Nurse, Tallahassee
- David Nazario, Massage Therapist, Orlando
- Julie Wynne Nickell, Registered Nurse, Coral Springs
- Jason E. Sapp, Massage Therapist, Pensacola
- Wesley B. Searcy, Registered Nurse, Pensacola
- Edward D. Williams, Certified Nursing Assistant, Ocala
ESO/EROs are not considered final agency action. The individual is entitled to a hearing before final action is taken by a regulatory board or by the department.
To view the most recent ESOs, EROs, Final Orders and Administrative Complaints please visit http://ww2.doh.state.fl.us/finalordernet/.
For other information on Medical Quality Assurance, including information about enforcement terms or definitions, boards and councils, or the health care practitioner licensing process, visit http://www.flhealthsource.gov/.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
This August, the Florida Department of Health is celebrating National Breastfeeding Month. This year’s theme—Charting the Course Together—focuses on using data and measurement to build and reinforce the connections between breastfeeding and a broad spectrum of other health topics and initiatives.
“A significant body of evidence supports breastfeeding as critical to improve health outcomes of mothers and babies,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary Dr. Celeste Philip. “Supporting mom and baby during the first few days of life are critical for successful breastfeeding.”
How to feed a new baby is one of the first important decisions a family has to make, and most women who choose to breastfeed have a specific goal in mind.
- Breastfed infants have a reduced risk of infections, asthma, obesity and SIDS compared with formula-fed infants;
- Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression compared to mothers who don’t breastfeed; and
- It’s estimated that $13 billion in healthcare costs would be saved per year if 90 percent of U.S. infants were breastfed exclusively for six months.
The department is also working to promote breastfeeding as a vital health activity, and encourages breastfeeding-friendly hospitals, child care facilities, work places and communities.
As a part of the department’s Healthiest Weight Florida and Florida’s Healthy Babies initiatives, the Baby Steps to Baby Friendly project focuses on increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration among Florida women. Thirteen Florida hospitals have been designated as Baby Friendly and the department is currently partnered with 57 hospitals in 31 counties across the state. To learn more about Baby Steps to Baby Friendly, click here.
Local WIC agencies also offer resources and staff to help breastfeeding mothers. WIC agencies may have International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have a high level of specialized knowledge in breastfeeding to assist clients. WIC agencies also have Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Programs. The trained peer counselors are chosen from the same socio/economic/ethnic groups as WIC clients and have successfully breastfed their own babies. Breastfeeding peer counselors provide mother-to-mother basic breastfeeding education and support to pregnant and breastfeeding moms. WIC also supports breastfeeding through the breast pump loan program.
For more information about the Florida WIC program call 1-800-342-3556 or visit www.FloridaWIC.org. To learn more about National Breastfeeding Month and the benefits of breastfeeding visit www.usbreastfeeding.org, www.llli.org or www.flbreastfeeding.org.
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ZIKA UPDATE
The Florida Department of Health today is announcing that the first sexually transmitted Zika case in 2017 has been confirmed in Pinellas County. There is no evidence of transmission through mosquitoes taking place anywhere in Florida.
While the individual had no travel, their partner recently traveled to Cuba and was ill with symptoms consistent with Zika. Both tested positive for Zika. The department notified mosquito control and appropriate mosquito reduction activities are taking place.
There is no evidence of ongoing transmission of Zika by mosquitoes in any area of Florida. It is important to remember Zika can also be transmitted sexually and to take precautions if you or your partner traveled to an area where Zika is active. If the department identifies an area where ongoing transmission of Zika is taking place, we will notify the public immediately.
The total number of Zika cases reported in Florida in 2017 is 118.
Note, these categories are not mutually exclusive and cannot be added together.
It is critical for people who recently traveled overseas to an area with Zika to prevent mosquito bites for at least three weeks after they return home. It is also important to reduce the chance of sexual transmission by using condoms. CDC has issued additional guidance related to sexual transmission and prevention.
Before you travel, check to see if your destination is on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of areas with Zika.
If you traveled to an area with Zika, you could have become infected and not know it, and you could spread the virus in your community if you do not take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites or sexual transmission after you return home. Zika can persist in semen over extended periods of time. Pregnant couples with recent travel to areas with active Zika transmission should consider using condoms for the duration of the pregnancy.
According to CDC guidance, providers should screen all pregnant women in the US for possible Zika exposure and symptoms at each prenatal care visit. Additional CDC guidance on screening and testing can be found here. At Governor Scott’s direction, all county health departments offer free Zika risk assessment and testing to pregnant women.
The department urges Floridians to take action around their home and business to reduce the mosquito population. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water so it is critical to drain all sources of standing water to keep mosquitoes from multiplying. Residents and visitors should also use mosquito repellent day and night to prevent mosquito bites.
The department updates the full list of travel-related cases by county online each weekday. To view the list of travel-related cases by county and year, click here.
For more information on Zika virus and the status of Zika in Florida, please visit http://www.floridahealth.gov/zika.
At the direction of Governor Scott, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement will host community workshops in Palm Beach, Manatee, Orange, and Duval counties to discuss the ongoing issue of opioid drug use. The goal of the workshops is for agency leadership and staff to hear the specific needs of these communities and provide information regarding existing resources, best practices regarding opioid use disorders, and grant opportunities. Workshops are open to the public.
The community workshops will take place:
Palm Beach County
Monday, May 1
West Palm Beach Police Department Community Room
600 Banyan Blvd., West Palm Beach
Tuesday, May 2
The Bradenton Area Convention Center
Longboat Key Room
One Haben Blvd., Palmetto
Tuesday, May 2
Orange County Board of County Commission Chambers
201 South Rosalind Avenue, Orlando
Wednesday, May 3
City Hall, St. James Bldg.
Lynwood Roberts Room
117 West Duval Street, Jacksonville