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Pender County Health Department Dental Clinic

Pender County Health Department Dental Clinic

The Pender County Health Department Dental Clinic was selected to participate in the Community Oral Health Transformation Initiative (COrHT) in the summer of 2022. This opportunity was developed in partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative, and CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. The initiative is a collaboration between 14 clinics across NC to improve access and support advancement of prevention-focused, value-based, and whole person care for underserved populations. On October 9th, Pender County Dental Clinic was recognized for their participation and dedication to the COrHT initiative; as well as “for significant effort in innovation in the integrated and personalized care domain as part of the initiative.”

 NCDHHS Urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” with Insect Repellant and Other Prevention Tools to Avoid Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Disease

RALEIGH — With warmer weather on the way, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services urges North Carolinians to “Fight the Bite” by taking measures to reduce their risk of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases. In 2022, almost 700 cases of tick- and mosquito-borne illnesses were reported in the state.

As part of this April’s Tick and Mosquito Awareness Month, NCDHHS is announcing the return of the Fight the Bite campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of tick- and mosquito-borne diseases and to educate North Carolinians about measures they can take to protect themselves.

“Ticks and mosquitoes are everywhere in North Carolina and their bites can cause serious diseases,” said Alexis M. Barbarin, Ph.D., State Public Health Entomologist. “We encourage all North Carolinians to explore the outdoors but do so safely and take protective measures like using DEET or other EPA approved repellants.”

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases can cause fever, headache, rashes, flu-like illness and other symptoms that can be severe.  Alpha-gal syndrome and southern tick-associated rash illness, or STARI, have been seen in the state as well. Most diagnoses of tick-borne diseases are reported between June and September, and cases of Lyme disease accounted for more than half of tick-borne diseases reported last year.

Ticks live in wooded, grassy and brushy areas; frequenting these areas can put you in contact with ticks and increase the potential exposure to vector-borne diseases. To reduce exposure to ticks:

The mosquito-borne diseases most often acquired in North Carolina are West Nile virus (WNV), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and La Crosse encephalitis (LAC). North Carolina reported the second-highest number of LAC cases in the United States between 2012 and 2021.

Most mosquito-borne diseases reported in the state are acquired while traveling outside the continental United States, including cases of malaria, dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

To reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (or equivalent) when outside. Use caution when applying to children.
  • Consider treating clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) with 0.5% permethrin.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors and use air conditioning if possible.
  • “Tip and Toss” — Reduce mosquito breeding by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths at least once a week.

Talk with your primary care provider or local health department if you plan to travel to an area where exotic mosquito-borne diseases occur.

​Always check your destination to identify appropriate prevention methods. Travel associated health risk information is available at www.cdc.gov/travel.

The Fight the Bite Campaign is a collaboration between the NCDHHS, local health departments and schools to promote a K-12 poster artwork contest that uses illustration to increase tick- and mosquito-borne disease awareness in North Carolina. Entries are due April 10, and information regarding contest submission and deadlines can be found here. Winners of this statewide awareness poster contest will be announced at the end of April.

​For more information on vector-borne diseases in North Carolina, please visit the NCDHHS Vector-Borne Diseases webpage here.

 Settlement ends Chemours challenge of permit to reduce PFAS entering the Cape Fear River

RALEIGH- An agreement signed today ends litigation without changing the discharge permit issued to Chemours for the treatment of contaminated groundwater to significantly reduce PFAS entering the Cape Fear River.  

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) reached an agreement with Chemours to end the litigation over the permit issued by DEQ on September 15, 2022. Last month, Chemours filed a petition to challenge the permit. CFPUA intervened to support the permit.

Today’s agreement does not change the final permit conditions and includes measures by which Chemours will proceed toward compliance with the final PFAS permit limits. Those limits take effect six months after discharge from the treatment system begins. In the agreement, Chemours agrees to take specific steps and provide monthly reports on its progress during the six-month optimization period.  Chemours also agrees to dismiss its petition for a contested case hearing on the permit.

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for the treatment system is part of the larger barrier wall remediation project to substantially reduce PFAS entering the Cape Fear River and impacting downstream communities.  Currently, contaminated groundwater from the facility site flows untreated directly into the Cape Fear River. This project is designed to reduce the largest ongoing source of PFAS at the Chemours facility that contaminates the river and reaches downstream water intakes. The project must be operational by March 15, 2023, under the terms of the Consent Order.  DEQ expects Chemours to take necessary actions to comply with the permit conditions and the Consent Order and meet its obligations to clean up the PFAS contamination impacting thousands of residents in at least eight counties and provide them with alternate water.  DEQ will continue to hold Chemours accountable for the cleanup and for preventing future impacts to North Carolinians.

The agreement is available online here.

DEQ Statement on Chemours Appeal of the NPDES Permit

The NPDES permit for the treatment system is part of the larger barrier wall remediation project to substantially reduce PFAS entering the Cape Fear River and impacting downstream communities.   Chemours is required to fulfill its obligations under the Consent Order and reduce the amount of contaminated groundwater reaching the Cape Fear River from the Chemours Fayetteville Works facility.

The Consent Order Addendum specifies a minimum reduction of 99% for the treatment system. DEQ expects Chemours to take all necessary steps to minimize its PFAS impacts on the environment. Pursuing litigation threatens to delay implementation beyond the Consent Order deadline of March 2023 and extend the ongoing contamination reaching the river and impacting downstream residents.

REMINDER: DEQ to hold community meeting October 11 on the Lower Cape Fear River private well sampling

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a community information meeting on Tuesday, October 11, at Roland-Grise Middle School in Wilmington. DEQ will share updates on private well sampling underway for PFAS contamination in New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus and Pender counties.  Staff will also answer questions from the public about the private well sampling and alternate water supplies. 

When: Tuesday, October 11 at 6 p.m.

Where: Roland-Grise Middle School Auditorium

              4412 Lake Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403

              Speaker sign-up will be available upon arrival at the meeting.

At DEQ’s direction, Chemours is sampling for PFAS contamination in eligible private drinking water wells downstream of the Fayetteville Works Facility. Chemours is required to provide alternate water supplies to residents whose wells exceed specific action levels.

To have your well sampled, call Chemours at (910) 678-1100. Messages to the Chemours call line are monitored during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Chemours should respond within 24-to-48 hours starting on the next business day. Chemours is also sending letters to well owners/residents requesting information about primary drinking water sources and offering sampling.

Additional well sampling information for residents is available on the DEQ website:  https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/well-sampling-information-lower-cape-fear-area-residents.

Healthy Pender Survey 2022

Pender County Health Department and partner organizations are conducting a survey to learn more about the health and topics of concern among the residents living in Pender County. We will use the results of this survey to help address major community health issues in our county.
This survey is completely voluntary and should take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Your answers will be completely confidential and the information you give us will not be linked to you in any way.

https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8oGDg4dXu6dT6MC?Source=email

DEQ to hold community meeting October 11 on the Lower Cape Fear River private well sampling

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a community information meeting on Tuesday, October 11, at Roland-Grise Middle School in Wilmington. DEQ will share updates on private well sampling underway for PFAS contamination in New Hanover, Brunswick, Columbus, and Pender counties.  Staff will also answer questions from the public about the private well sampling and alternate water supplies.

When: Tuesday, October 11 at 6 p.m.

Where: Roland-Grise Middle School Auditorium

4412 Lake Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403

Speaker sign-up will be available upon arrival at the meeting.

 

At DEQ’s direction, Chemours is sampling for PFAS contamination in eligible private drinking water wells downstream of the Fayetteville Works Facility. Chemours is required to provide alternate water supplies to residents whose wells exceed specific action levels.

To have your well sampled, call Chemours at (910) 678-1100. Messages to the Chemours call-line are monitored during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Chemours should respond within 24-to-48 hours starting on the next business day. Chemours is also sending letters to well owners/residents requesting information about primary drinking water sources and offering sampling.

Additional well sampling information for residents is available on the DEQ website:  https://deq.nc.gov/news/key-issues/genx-investigation/well-sampling-information-lower-cape-fear-area-residents

Pender County offers bivalent COVID booster

BURGAW – The Bivalent COVID booster, which provides additional protection against the Omicron strain, is available from the Pender County Health Department.

“The bivalent booster is recommended for adults even if you have had all four COVID vaccine shots,” said Carolyn Moser, Director of Pender County Health and Human Services. “It contains the protection of the ‘original’ boosters along with added protection against the Omicron strain. It offers another layer of protection that previous boosters did not.”

Citizens may receive the bivalent booster two months after the primary series is complete or two months after their last booster dose. The CDC is recommending people receive the booster when they qualify.

“The COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, continue to save countless lives and prevent the most serious outcomes (hospitalization and death) of COVID-19,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “As we head into fall and begin to spend more time indoors, we strongly encourage anyone eligible to consider receiving a booster dose with a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to provide better protection against currently circulating variants.”

“If you have questions about your specific health condition and receiving the bivalent booster it is best to talk to your primary care doctor or specialist provider about your specific situation,” said Moser.

All three COVID vaccines are available from the Pender County Health Department. The health department has two locations to serve the area – 803 S. Walker St. in Burgaw or 15060 US Hwy 17 in Hampstead. For questions call 910-259-1230.

 

Where do you want to go? RideMICRO

Pender County residents and visitors have an additional travel option. It’s called RideMICRO. And it is perfect for a resident who needs to get to a doctor’s appointment, college classes, or shopping. It’s perfect for tourists who aren’t certain where they are going, or don’t have a rental car large enough for the multi-generational vacation.

“RideMICRO is a WAVE Transit service,” said Brianna D’Itri, the Mobility Manager at the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority. “RideMICRO functions like an UBER or a taxi, only cheaper.”

Called “MICRO” for short, the service area includes Pender, Brunswick, and New Hanover counties.

“This allows us more connectivity,” said D’Itri.

While MICRO is public transit, it isn’t your grandparents’ city bus or shuttle bus. MICRO uses smaller vans and a Suburban to get riders from point A to point B.

“MICRO is divided into zones,” said D’Itri. “Pender County is Zone 2.”

Riders can book transportation to and from Pender County daily or just for special occasions.

“Some of our riders going to dialysis, or just grocery shopping or to work or school,” said D’Itri, adding that the youngest daily rider is a 14-year-old who attends college classes.

D’itri said passengers use MICRO for a ride to and from the airport, which saves on parking fees and taxi fares. Riders who are shopping downtown or who want a trip to the beach where parking fees apply can save parking fees as well.

“It’s very convenient,” said D’Itri. “There are three ways to book a ride: download the RideMICRO app on your smartphone, complete an online form at our website, or call us toll-free.”

A ride anywhere in the service area is just $2 per person per trip. Riders can pay online with a debit card or pay cash. Children under the age of 4 years old ride free.

RideMICRO also offers wheelchair accessibility. D’Itri recommended that riders concerned about accessibility can call the toll-free number and a service representative will answer concerns.

MICRO is a pilot program, and the WAVE Authority is pleased to have this year to evaluate the needs and wants of their riders. They see expansion and additional service areas in the future.

“Our goal is to service residents’ and visitors’ needs,” said D’Itri.

The RideMICRO app is available on Apple and Android smartphones. The website address to explore the service is https://www.wavetransit.com/ridemicro/ or call for information at the toll-free number 1-844-764-1223.

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