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We promote optimal health to prolong life, by preventing disease and assuring protection of the public’s health in our community and environment.



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What's New In Our Area

Current Clinic & Program Calendars
Current calendars that show dates and times for some of the services we offer including:  WIC, immunizations, food manager classes, and free parenting classes.


Food For Thought (Posted 04/29/2016)
Food For Thought is a free, annual newsletter distributed by the Environmental Public Health Food Program of the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.  This issue includes information about staffing changes and new requirements related to food allergens and frequency of water testing for restaurants served by non-community water supply sources.  It also provides information about integrated pest management programs and accommodations made for customers with service animals.  


Board of Health Issues 2015 Certificates of Excellence (Posted 04/28/2016)
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency’s Board of Health released its “Certificates of Excellence” in food service for the year 2015. Awardees represent food establishments that were able to meet stringent criteria during the year.   Ninety-two tri-county food service establishments, including restaurants, bars, catering kitchens and schools, received this year’s award.


It's not too late!!  Reserve your seat for this FREE community event!!
(Posted 4/26/16)

The Branch County Elder Abuse Prevention Coalition welcomes you to attend the "Safe, Sound, Secure" conference on Tuesday, May 3rd from 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.  Topics include personal safety, sound banking, and securing your legal affairs.  We have a great group of presenters including Sheriff Pollack, Director Bartell, Judge Kashian, local elder law attorney, and local financial institutions.  The Coalition's goal is to raise awareness and prevent elder abuse.  Breakfast will be provided and there will be door prizes!  Call (517) 278-2538 dial extension 0129# Today!


Chickenpox Cases Continue… (Posted 04/25/2016)
   New cases of chickenpox continue to be reported in St. Joseph County as of April 22nd. Officials from the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency are urging parents to have their children vaccinated against the Varicella (Chickenpox) Virus. According to Kim Wilhelm, Prevention Services Director for the tri-county Health Department, “We now have two additional cases of Chickenpox being reported. These children were sent home from school. In addition, we are excluding any child from a school reporting cases for 21 days, who has a waiver on file and cannot provide medical proof of Chickenpox; or until they receive the first of two shots.”  If your child is in need of an  immunization, please visit a local health department office, located in Coldwater, Hillsdale or Three Rivers - walk-ins are always welcomed!


Branch-Hillsdale St. Joseph Community Health Agency is Recognized as Public Health Champions! (Posted 04/25/2016)
On April, 13th, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency received the 2016 Jean Chabut Health Policy Champions Award. This award, along with a special legislative tribute, were presented by State Representatives Aaron Miller (House District 59) and Eric Leutheuser (District 58) during the Michigan Public Health Week Ceremonies held at the Capitol Rotunda.   The tri-county health department was acknowledged for their emergency preparedness capabilities as demonstrated by their completion of Project Public Health Ready.


Everything in Moderation! (Posted 04/15/2016)
It should come as no surprise that drinking too much can harm your health. But, did you know that each year in the United States, high risk drinking has led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost? In addition, regular high risk alcohol consumption shortens lives by an average of 30 years. That’s why the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency wants you to ‘rethink about your drink’, before you pour the next glass of your favorite alcoholic beverage.


AAA Assessment Underway - What's Needed in Your Community? (Posted 04/08/2016)
The Area Agency on Aging (AAA 3C) planning process begins this month. If you are an older adult, caregiver of an older adult or provide services to older adults, we want to hear from you!  The AAA has developed two surveys – one for older adults/caregivers and one for key leaders/service providers. The surveys are short, take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete and the information provided is anonymous.  Surveys can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate link: 
If you are a Older Adult/Caregiver, click here - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AAA3CSrNeedsAssessment2016
If you are a Key Community Leader/Service Provider, click here - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AAA3CLeaderAssessment2016
Surveys are available until April 22nd - so don't delay - do it today!


First Flu Associated Death Reported (Posted 04/01/2016)
     The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is reporting the first flu associated death this year, as the number of flu cases caused by Influenza A – H1N1 strain increase. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now reporting ‘widespread’ flu activity throughout the state. ‘Widespread’ means that outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza like illnesses (ILI) are being reported and that recent laboratory-confirmations of influenza are also being reported in at least half the regions of the state. Influenza A (H1N1) virus is the most common strain circulating this flu season. This is the strain that was also associated with the 2009 pandemic outbreak. The first line of defense against flu is vaccination. The health department continues to encourage people who have not been vaccinated to get their flu shot.


Parents are Urged to Have Their Children Vaccinated Against Chickenpox (Posted 03/31/2016)
Seven cases of chickenpox have been reported to the health department’s St. Joseph County office this past week. In January, the Michigan Disease Surveillance System confirmed seven cases in Hillsdale County. Most of these cases involved school-age children.  Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness that is usually mild, but has the potential to cause severe complications in certain high-risk individuals including children with a compromised immunity, pregnant women, and premature infants of less than 28 weeks gestation.  


Infant Deaths Connected to Unsafe Sleep Practices (posted 03/29/2016)
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is reminding parents and caregivers of techniques that can help to substantially reduce the infant death rate in Michigan. After years of significant decline, Michigan’s infant death rate has held relatively steady since 2004, indicating that not all parents and caregivers are getting the message about safe sleep practices. By eliminating just the unsafe sleep deaths, infant mortality rate could be reduced below the national average.  


BHSJ CHA Reports Uptick in Viral Infections! (Posted 03/22/2016) 
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is reporting an uptick in flu-like illness and other viruses. During the month of February, the tri-county health department has seen an increase in respiratory illnesses and gastro-intestinal illnesses, as well as other communicable diseases. To protect yourself and your family, the health department recommends using good personal hygiene practices, along with proven household disinfecting techniques.


A Healthy Lifestyle Means Eating Healthy! (Posted 03/21/2016)
A healthy lifestyle involves many choices which include choosing a healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency recommends following the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 which emphasizes a diet that contains lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and Includes low fat milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.


2016 County Health Rankings Released! (Posted 03/21/2016)
    The 2016 County Health Rankings were released on March 16th. The rankings are divided into two sections: Health Outcomes and Health Factors. Health Outcomes measure how healthy a county is. Health Factors represent those indicators that influence the county’s health and contains 30 different indicators which are then organized under four separate headings: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic, and physical environment health factors. When weighted, these factors provide the framework for identifying areas for future improvement efforts.  Check out the individual rankings for Branch, Hillsdale and St. Joseph Counties.


Lead - Information So You Can Stay Informed (Posted 3/4/16)
Lead seems to be a big topic of today's news.  The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency has assembled these resources to help you stay informed.


National 'Tips' Campaign (Posted 03/02/2016) 
A brand-new series of emotionally powerful ads kick off the fifth year of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign. The new ads tell moving, personal stories of Americans suffering from smoking-related illnesses, including heart disease, tooth loss, depression, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Meet Becky, an attorney from Ohio, who started smoking at 16 and now suffers from COPD.  The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is working with the CDC and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to promote the campaign as a way to assist people in want to quit smoking.


St Joseph County Releases New Vulnerable Adult Protocol (Posted 02/24/2016)
According to the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Adult Protective Services 2015 Data, 351 Adult Protective Services  referrals were made in St Joseph County. Of these, 118 cases were substantiated for abuse, neglect and/or exploitation. In response to these alarming statistics, St Joseph County officials are working diligently to update and strengthen the St. Joseph County Vulnerable Adult Protocol and to form a team that can more quickly respond to the needs of vulnerable older adults and those living with disabilities.  A signing ceremony for the 2016 Protocol is scheduled for March 18, 2016 at 10am in the Commissioners’ Room (3rd Floor) of the St. Joseph County Courthouse located in Centreville, MI.  Everyone is invited!


Food Manager Certification Class (Updated 2/415)
As of June 30, 2009, all food service establishments are required to employ a minimum of one certified managerial employee.  There are classes scheduled throughout the year.


Zika Virus Infection and Pregnancy FAQ (Posted 01/26/2016)
 Zika virus transmission is ongoing in the following South American and tropical countries: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and Venezuela. While cases of Zika virus have been reported in the United States, it does not appear to be in the country’s mosquito population as of yet. Zika virus poses serious problems for infants. The Zika virus appears to be connected to microcephaly and other poor pregnancy outcomes in babies who mothers were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. Microcephaly is a birth defect which causes abnormal smallness of the head, and incomplete brain development. The CDC is recommending that pregnant women should consider postponing travel to countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.


Public Health Views and News - 2015 Fall Edition (Posted 12/3/2015)  
In this issue of the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency’s Public Health Views and News learn more about: Bedbugs - what are the risks of disease transmission and how to control them; Free Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccine Available -  BHSJ CHA is offering free zoster vaccine to individuals 60 years and older who lack health insurance coverage for the shot, but only while supplies last; Stats - Herpes Zoster - includes disease occurrence, repeat episodes, hospitalizations and deaths; and Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment Brings New Tools to the Marketplace- learn more about what new, consumer-driven tools are being tested that can benefit both providers and consumers!


Shingles – Don’t Suffer – Get the Shot! (Posted 11/6/15)
Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles (also known as zoster or herpes zoster) in their lifetime.  About half of all cases occur in men and women 60 years old or older. That’s why the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is recommending those individuals get vaccinated against shingles. If you are 60 years and older and lack health insurance that covers the shingles vaccination, the health department maybe able to help.  Through the Michigan Adult Vaccine Replacement program, the health department has received a limited supply of free vaccine to administer to eligible participants. Call now to learn if you are eligible and to schedule an appointment.  Get the Shot - Not Shingles!


Upcoming Changes Impacting Noncommunity Water Supplies (Posted 7/31/15)
Now available on YouTube, is a 21 minute video describing upcoming changes impacting noncommunity water supplies (NCWS).  Introduction to the Michigan Revised Total Coliform Rule  This presentation is intended for water system owners and operators.


WIC: New Income Guidelines Released (Posted 06/01/2015)
Coldwater, MI. Some blame it on the drought in western states. Others blame it on the bird flu hitting the poultry industry. Regardless of the reasons, food prices are high and are expected to increase. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average monthly cost of feeding a family of four to be between $568 to over $1,100 per month, depending on how thrifty or liberal the family shops.  The good news is that by signing up for WIC,  families with young children can reduce their monthly grocery bill by more than $40 per month - per participant.  Let WIC help you save dollars and improve your family's nutrition - sign up today!


Healthy Michigan Plan Is Here! (Posted April 1, 2014)
Looking for health care coverage that works for your health and your budget? As of April 1st, there's a new option to help working people get healthy — at a cost that fits the budget. It's the Healthy Michigan Plan. Through the Healthy Michigan Plan, Medicaid is expanded to adults who have incomes up to 133% of poverty.  For single individuals, this means an annual income up to $16,000.  For a family of four it means an annual income up to $33,000.  People shouldn't have to choose between taking care of their health and taking care of their bills.  With the Healthy Michigan Plan, they won’t have to.  Contact your local county health department office to learn if you qualify.


Communicable Disease Data (Updated Monthly)
Up to date tracking of the most common communicable diseases including; chicken pox, flu, head lice, hepatitis and tuberculosis.


Information that was previously highlighted on the front page of our web site.


What's New in Michigan & Nationally

Michigan Department of Community Health

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

International Health News- World Health Organization


570 N. Marshall Rd
Coldwater, MI  49036

20 Care Drive
Hillsdale, MI 49242

1110 Hill St.
Three Rivers, MI  49093

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