|Wayne A. Fisher, Health Officer|
|Phone:||Health Department: (201) 837-4824|
|Social Services: (201) 837-4828|
|Hours:||8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-Friday|
|Address:||818 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666|
It is the mission of the Teaneck Department of Health and Human Services to provide programs and services which promote and protect the health, welfare and safety of all the men, women and children who live work or do business in the Township of Teaneck.
Property Maintenance and Housing Code Enforcement: The prevention of blight and neighborhood deterioration is a top-priority responsibility of the Teaneck Health Department, the chief enforcement agent of property maintenance and housing codes. The enforcement program includes investigation of residential overcrowding, inadequate heat and hot water, insect and rodent infestations, and overgrown and littered properties. Property maintenance is not limited to the appearance of buildings and properties; it also includes the correction of a variety of health and safety hazards.
The housing code enforcement program includes licensing and inspection of one-family rented dwellings and lodging houses, which are inspected on an annual basis. All vacant apartments, including those in two-family houses, must be inspected before they are reoccupied. The Department makes thousands of inspections a year. Enforcement proceedings include warnings, violation notices, and, if all other means fail, Municipal Court action. Laws regarding lead poisoning and asbestos contamination are also strictly enforced.
Environmental Health: In an effort to prevent pollution, the Department maintains surveillance of the waterways within the Township by taking periodic samples and testing for levels of organic and inorganic contamination. Potential sources of air pollution are monitored to protect the quality of the air we breathe. Inspectors also respond to noise complaints and survey loud machinery and other stationary noise sources. Service stations are monitored for compliance with the Township used oil recycling ordinance.
Food Safety: Licensed Environmental Health Specialists perform periodic inspections of all establishments which sell or serve food products to the public. More than 165 establishments including supermarkets, restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, nursing homes, caterers, itinerant vendors and school cafeterias are inspected. Over 100 food vending machines are also inspected on a yearly basis. Food handler training courses are given by staff to food service managers and their employees.
Animal Control: The Township contracts with the Bergen County Animal Shelter to provide animal control services such as pickup of stray dogs and rescue of injured wildlife. Residents may obtain these services by contacting the Teaneck Health Department, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and through the Teaneck Police Department at all other times. Dog licenses must be obtained in January of each year. A $10 late charge is added to the licensing fee if the license has not been obtained by March 1st.
Cat licenses must be obtained during April of each year. A $10 late charge is added to the licensing fee if the license has not been obtained by June 1st. The Department offers free rabies shots for dogs and cats owned by residents. The Health Department Inspectors investigate all complaints about animals.
General Inspections: To insure that sanitary conditions are maintained and conditions comply with applicable codes, periodic inspections are made of public institutions, including hospitals, nursing homes, child-care centers and public and private schools including Fairleigh Dickinson University. Throughout the year, public bathing places are monitored weekly to ensure compliance with the State recreational bathing code. Water samples are analyzed for microorganisms and proper water chemistry.
Insect and Rodent Control: The Department administers a pest control contract which includes inspection and outdoor extermination only on public lands. Advice and information will be provided to private homeowners having problems with insects or rodents. The Bergen County Mosquito Commission provides control of areas where mosquitoes breed by monitoring and spraying. They may be contacted at (201) 599-6142.
Public Health Nursing: The Township contracts with Holy Name Hospital for the provision of Public Health Nursing services. Public Health Nurses conduct hypertension/risk assessment clinics on Monday evenings and Friday afternoons. Appointments are not required. Blood pressure and Health counseling and assessment are done four times a week at the Senior Services Center. The Public Health Nurse also investigates outbreaks of communicable disease.
Adult Immunization: Flu and pneumonia shots are administered free of charge to Seniors during the fall at several locations. Watch the newspapers for the time and date.
Maternal and Child Care: The Township administers a Child Health Conference and Immunization Center in conjunction with Holy Name Hospital which is open to Teaneck residents by appointment. A Pediatrician and the Public Health Nursing staff see infants at appropriate intervals throughout the first year of life and periodically during the other preschool years. In addition to routine physical examinations, parents are provided with nutrition advice and routine child rearing questions are answered. Protective immunizations are administered under State guidelines to prevent Diphtheria, Pertussis (Whooping cough), Tetanus, Polio and Mumps, Measles and Rubella (German measles), Haemophilus Influenza and Hepatitis B. These inoculations are a prerequisite for children entering the Teaneck School system and day care centers. Blood lead, hearing and vision tests are also performed at the appropriate ages.
This service is provided to prevent disease and to maintain good health; sick children must be taken elsewhere for medical help. All Teaneck school-age children are also eligible for free immunizations as required for school attendance. Appointments may be made by calling (201) 227-6251. The Public Health Nurse also audits all schools and child care centers in the Township for immunization compliance.
Senior Wellness: The Health Department, in collaboration with Holy Name Hospital, offers a Senior Wellness Program at the Richard Rodda Community Center. The purpose of the program is to provide a wide variety of services and professional resources to help address health concerns and wellness issues in the senior community. The focal point of the program has been the Wellness Works series, which offers goal setting in all aspects of men's and women's health. A Podiatrist is available by appointment once per month. The program is offered on most Fridays from 10 AM to 12 Noon and from 12:30 PM until 2:30 PM. To request the most recent brochure, please call the Health Department at (201) 837-4824. To register for the entire program or specific offerings, please call Holy Name Hospital at (201) 227-6250.
Health Education: Public Health education goes hand-in-hand with preventive medicine. Its purpose is to influence people's attitudes to encourage them to make decisions which will prevent development of self- destructive health habits. The Public Health Educator works with community and school groups to organize, and develop programs and services tailored to their requests and needs. Health related literature and reference materials are available at the Health Department.
Project Find/Senior Health Symposium: This variation of the health fair focuses on Senior Health and wellness. Flu and Pneumonia shots, Lipid profile, cardiac risk assessment and much more are available. Health education seminars are offered on a multitude of topics relevant to Seniors including substance abuse. This event is offered in the fall. Watch the newspapers for the date and time.
Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse (TMAASA): The Health Department provides full-time coordination for the volunteer municipal alliance committee. For information about the Alliance or substance abuse issues please call the Coordinator at (201) 837-4823.
Social Services/Mental Health: The Social Services component of the Department directs the Township programs which are designed to assist and provide referrals to the unemployed, the homeless, and those who are emotionally and/or physically disabled.
Residents who need counseling/therapy for family problems, alcohol/drug abuse, and/or emotional problems are encouraged to contact Vantage Health System's Access Department at (201) 567-0059, Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Fees for assessments and ongoing treatment are arranged with a counselor. Residents requiring help for psychiatric emergencies should contact the County Psychiatric Emergency Screening Program (PESP), available 24-hours a day at 262-HELP (201-262-4357). If assistance is needed to access any of these services you may contact the Township's Social Services Coordinator at (201) 837-4828 during regular business hours.
SERVICES AT A GLANCE
The Health Department's 24th annual Health Fair was held on November 1, 2002 at the Richard Rodda Community Center. The fair, Project Find and Senior Health Symposium, was funded by the Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse and cosponsored by Holy Name Hospital. Over 600 seniors participated in the day-long event which was highlighted with a Lunch and Learn lecture by Nancy ElIson of Holy Name Hospital entitled "What are the Secrets of Aging Well?". Various screenings and services included lipid and complete blood chemistry panels, blood pressure, heart risk assessment, massage therapy and a PSA (prostate) test for men.
The Police Department's Community Police Bureau provided information on burglary prevention and avoiding scam artists who prey on the elderly. A major attraction at the Symposium were influenza and pneumonia immunizations. A total of 469 residents received flu shots and 31 received the pneumonia shots. The next health fair is planned for November of 2003. Watch the newspapers for the exact date and time.
The Health Department, in collaboration with Holy Name Hospital, successfully offered a Senior Wellness Program at the Rodda Community Center. The Wellness Works series offers goal setting in all aspects of health and includes such diverse topics as emotional health, environmental health, cultural health and less stressful holidays. Other important programs included nutrition counseling, coping with disability, medication safety, diabetes awareness, cardiac care and many more health related topics. A Podiatrist was available by appointment once per month.
Teaneck's Health Department was selected to participate in a number of important new programs initiated by the State Health Department in 2002. The Department used the Internet to log West Nile Virus surveillance data as well as reportable disease reports. The Department also played a prominent role on the Bergen County Bioterrorism planning, subcommittee. The Committee's priority tasks were to develop countrywide plans for both pre and post outbreaks of smallpox. The pre-outbreak immunization of medical response teams took place in early 2003. The New Jersey Public Health Council adopted the long awaited Practice Standards in December of 2002. The new Practice Standards will allow local health agencies to function as a system. This will have numerous benefits, particularly with respect to communicable disease outbreaks, bioterrorism, natural disasters and other emergencies.
The Health Department continued coordination and primary supervision of the Teen Clean program in 2002. Teaneck High School students from the FORUM program cleaned municipal parking lots and other Township properties on Saturday mornings April through June and September through November. During July and August, the students worked with the Public Works Department and painted over graffiti on public buildings, bridges and other Township property. The program will continue in 2003.
The Health Department continued the coordination of the Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse. The Alliance is funded through grants received from the Governor's Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The Alliance received $17,500 in 2002. The Township matched the amount with 25% cash and 75% in-kind services. The Alliance worked closely with the school system, the D.A.R.E. program and END D.W.I. Key programs supported were Project Find, Project Graduation, Junior Police Academy and Night Out Against Crime. The Alliance Committee also provided funding for Project Graduation and for high school students to attend the Teen Institute of the Garden State (TIGS) summer program. Teaneck First Night, a drug and alcohol free New Year's Eve event, was generously funded in part by the Alliance. Residents or organizations who would like to become involved in TMAASA should call the Coordinator at (201) 837-4823.
The Township entered its twelfth year of contracting with Holy Name Hospital for Public Health Nursing Services. The program continued to be a major success. The Teaneck Child Health Conference is the only one in the County to provide evening hours to participants in an effort to accommodate working parents. The evening hours are the third Thursday of the month, from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. Day hours for the Conference are from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM on Wednesdays. Visits to the Child Health Conference totaled 169. The clinic, which provides all aspects of well-child care, administered 284 childhood immunizations in 2002. Venous blood lead tests are performed on children participating in the clinic at one and two years of age. A total of 21 children were tested for lead poisoning. The clinic, located at HNH, 718 Teaneck Road, is available to Township children between the ages of six weeks and five years. The clinic also provided 157 mandatory immunizations to school age children. Appointments are required for all services of the Child Health Conference and may be made by calling (201) 227-6251.
The Community Health Services clinic, which provides hypertension screening and risk assessment, is also located at Holy Name Hospital. The clinic, which includes an educational component, recorded 130 visits in 2002, in which 40 referrals were made to private physicians. The clinic is offered twice a week and is the perfect solution for residents who must have their blood pressure checked on a regular basis. Evening hours are available once a month on Monday, from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. Public Health Nurses from the clinic also monitored blood pressures three times a week at the Teaneck Senior Services Center, located in the Richard Rodda Community Center. In 2002, the program increased the services to four times per week. Approximately 713 seniors took advantage of these services in 2002. To receive further information about clinic dates and times, contact the Health Department at (201) 837-4824 or Holy Name Hospital's Community Health Services at (201) 227-6251.
The clerical staff processed over 2,300 licenses for pet owners, retail food establishment operations, vending machines, dry cleaners and owners of rented homes and lodging houses. Revenues generated from these licenses and other miscellaneous fees totaled $78,316. Pet owners licensed 1,523 dogs, and 353 cats by the end of 2002. Residents took advantage of the Township's free rabies immunization voucher program for participating veterinarians in 2002 by having 281 dogs and 91 cats vaccinated.
Animal Control services were provided by a contract with the Bergen County Animal Shelter. The Shelter responded to 333 requests for service in 2002. The services provided include rabies control, rescue of sick and injured animals and capture of stray dogs and cats.
Environmental Health and Property Maintenance Code enforcement continued to be priorities of the Health Department. Food establishments received 285 satisfactory, 11 conditional and 0 unsatisfactory inspections in 2002. The inspection placards are white for satisfactory and yellow for conditional inspections, and are required to be posted at or near the public entrance to the establishment. Inspectors investigated 30 complaints involving food establishments. Establishments in serious violation were issued 4 summonses.
Consistent property maintenance code enforcement keeps the Township environmentally sound and helps keep property values high. As the primary enforcers of the code, Department inspectors conducted 2,984 inspections in 2002. Violation notices were written, follow-up inspections conducted and summonses issued where necessary. A three year comparison of code enforcement activities follows:
Tenants in multiple family dwellings, rented houses and lodging houses are served by the Department through Certificate of Health inspections. These inspections are required for vacant apartments, single family rented houses and rented rooms. Certificates of Health were issued for 201 apartment units in 2002.
Social Services is a component of the Health & Human Services Department and provides social services and referrals to residents including single parents, families, senior citizens and the elderly (who make up over 24% of the Township's population), and the homeless. The populations served and corresponding percentages for 2002 are illustrated below. Services ranged from referral/resource information to financial assistance.
Although single adults and families represented 49.7% (94) of the population served last year, seniors/elderly residents have had the greatest needs. They represented 40.2% (76) of the population served by Social Services in 2002. Single parents represented a smaller percentage, 9.5% (18) of the population served primarily because the General Assistance program (Food stamps, Medicaid) was transferred to the County Board of Social Services several years ago.
The Social Services Coordinator worked closely with Vantage Health System, a behavioral health care organization that provides services and treatment to residents having substance abuse problems or who are experiencing emotional or psychiatric problems, the Center for Food Action, the New Life Covenant Church (Strategic Builders), and The FORUM at Teaneck High School. In addition, the Social Services Coordinator acted as an advocate for Township residents who are or may be eligible for WorkFirst NJ, assisted in the "fair hearing" process, and had responsibility for the Shelter and Social Services annexes of the Township's Emergency Operations Plan.
The Township received private sector assistance from a number of sources in 2002, most notably the help of the Hope Presbyterian Church, Black Youth Organization of Teaneck H.S., New Life Covenant Church, Community Chest of Teaneck, the American legion Post #128, New Milford Teaneck Lodge 2290, BPOE, Teaneck Moose Lodge No. 96, and many local residents merchants, and supermarkets.