The mission of the West Haven Department of Health is in great part our mandate to enforce the Public Health Code of the state of Connecticut and the code and ordinances of the city of West Haven. Therefore, we perform a range of functions, including the licensure and inspection of food establishments, public swimming pools and designated bathing areas, as well as the follow-up of contagious and preventable diseases, such as lead poisoning, sexually transmitted illnesses, tuberculosis and others.
We protect the public health by quietly - and often confidentially - doing our various jobs as nurses, sanitarians and health educators. The public, in fact, may not often know we are there because when we succeed in our work, nothing bad happens. We prevent food poisoning, and people enjoy eating out or at festivals. They drink the water or swim at the beach, and all is well. We are also actively preparing for emergencies that include the arrival of illnesses new to our area, such as West Nile virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) or now the potential for avian influenza.
Our public health preparedness volunteers have been practicing drills for everything from administering smallpox vaccinations to dispensing antibiotics from the Strategic National Stockpile. We are also actively involved in protecting against tobacco’s harms while promoting healthier addictions, such as exercise and good eating.
All our mandates are found in the nearly 2,000-page Healthy People 2010, which has dozens of goals in 25 program areas that we would like to address and improve upon. With such a huge mission as that, we obviously need everyone to do their part. So we welcome you to join us in health and to do whatever you can to bring health into your lives and that of those near and dear to you. We will help with educational materials and will support to make West Haven a healthy haven for all.