Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Pam Hanna


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  • Gentlemen: Take Care of Yourself This Men's Health Month

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jun 26, 2024

    This month, we pay tribute to the fathers, grandfathers, and men who step up and make a difference in our lives. June is also observed as Men’s Health Month. It’s a time to recognize the unique health issues men may face and encourage the important men in your life to work to improve their overall health. In the United States, the life expectancy for men is approximately five years less than the life expectancy for women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hea...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: March

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Mar 27, 2024

    The past few days have left me with some “spring fever.” The days are getting longer, temperatures are warmer, and I have felt rejuvenated. It is an excellent time to start fresh and refocus on our health and wellness. My fresh start often begins with spring cleaning. Cleaning and decluttering my home and outdoor space improves my physical environment, boosts my mental health, and allows me more time to enjoy warm-weather activities. I like to include my medicine cabinet in my spring cle...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Mar 6, 2024

    Jefferson County Community Health Assessment How do we measure health and well-being? A person's health is affected by many factors, including genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environment. Experiencing good health, happiness, positive relationships, and purpose contribute to our overall well-being. Wellness allows us to develop and thrive. Gauging personal health is often a private experience between an individual, their loved ones, and healthcare providers. Caring for patients individually, one...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Feb 14, 2024

    JANUARY SNAPSHOT: The County Health Department’s mission is to promote good health practices, keep the environment clean, healthy, and safe, and to help people enjoy good health and use resources effectively. The snapshot summarizes recent and year-to-date health department activities of the JCHD. The intent is to share relevant information with our constituents to increase awareness of conditions in the community and department activities. Reportable Diseases/Conditions of Interest Reported i...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 1/24/2024

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jan 24, 2024

    Improving our health is a priority for many of us as we begin a new year. One of the best things we can do when planning for a healthy future is to determine what our health needs are. Adopting healthy behaviors is part of the picture. The other piece comes with seeking preventative care. Life is busy - and for many of us, seeking medical care is something we do only when we are ill or injured. Have you thought about the last time you had a medical check-up, a vision or dental screening, or a...

  • Jefferson County Health Department December Snapshot

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health|Jan 17, 2024

    The Jefferson County Health Department’s mission is to promote good health practices, keep the environment clean, healthy, and safe, and to help people enjoy good health and use resources effectively. The December snapshot summarizes recent and year to date health department activities of the JCHD. The intent is to share relevant information with our constituents to increase awareness of conditions in the community and department activities. Reportable Diseases/Conditions of Interest Reported i...

  • Strategies for a Healthy Cold and Flu Season

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Nov 22, 2023

    Recently I was asked if cold weather causes “cold and flu season.” Many of us have heard that being too cold causes illness. Exposure to moderately cold temperatures does not cause respiratory illness. However, viruses do transmit illness more efficiently in drier, colder conditions because they remain airborne longer. We also tend to spend more time indoors in close contact with one another during colder months. These things create optimal conditions for disease transmission which cause spi...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Aug 30, 2023

    September is National Preparedness Month. Nationwide, the month of September serves as a reminder for each of us to be prepared for disasters or emergencies. Every community can prepare to be ready to respond to an emergency whether it is an infectious disease outbreak, a chemical release, or a natural disaster. We, as individuals, can also become better prepared for personal emergencies or hazards. The goal of National Preparedness Month is to encourage individuals and families to take...

  • June 2023 Snapshot: JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Aug 2, 2023

    The County Health Department’s mission is to promote good health practices, keep the environment clean, healthy, and safe, and to help people enjoy good health and use resources effectively. The snapshot summarizes recent and year-to-date health department activities of the JCHD. The intent is to share relevant information with our constituents to increase awareness of conditions in the community and department activities. Reportable Diseases/Conditions of Interest, June 2023: • COVID-19 Cas...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 7/12/2023

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jul 12, 2023

    Jefferson County Health Department (JCHD) is dedicated to supporting health within our community by promoting positive behaviors and activities. Receiving an injury prevention grant from Montana Department of Health and Human Services provided Erin Ritchie, Jefferson County's Public Health School Nurse, the means to organize an injury prevention activity focused on motor vehicle safety. Montana Department of Transportation reported 207 fatalities on Montana highways in 2022. One of the leading...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 6/28/2023

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jun 28, 2023

    The County Health Department’s mission is to promote good health practices, keep the environment clean, healthy, and safe, and to help people enjoy good health and use resources effectively. The snapshot summarizes recent and year-to-date health department activities of the JCHD. The intent is to share relevant information with our constituents to increase awareness of conditions in the community and department activities. Jefferson County Residents May 2023 Snapshot Reportable D...

  • Dear Editor: Canada Wildfire Smoke Causing Unhealthy Air Quality

    PAM HANNA, Jefferson County Health Dept.|May 24, 2023

    Dear Editor, Wildfire smoke due to fires in Canada is causing unhealthy air quality in some parts of Montana. Follow local air quality updates and guidelines at Montana Todays Air (mtdeq.us). Wildfire smoke affects everyone, however, certain populations have an increased risk of adverse effects. Individuals with chronic conditions may be at increased risk of respiratory or cardiac complications. Children, pregnant people, and seniors are also at greater risk. Additional guidance, including...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Dec 7, 2022

    Influenza season is here, and it is making a mark on Jefferson County residents. The past two seasons have been less vigorous related to flu activity. This year we are seeing a significant increase in cases. These cases are affecting all ages. Montana Department of Health and Human Services reports “Cases and hospitalizations (of influenza) have increased rapidly over the past few weeks, and both measures are higher than historically seen during this time of year. Weekly reported cases (last week) also exceeded the peak case count from the p... Full story

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: May 2022

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|May 25, 2022

    Jefferson County Public Health is moving to automated COVID-19 contact tracing beginning Wednesday, June 1, 2022. We are moving away from universal contact tracing and will now send SMS text messages to positive COVID-19 individuals in our county. Automated contact tracing allows our staff to provide a quick, efficient, and more streamlined process of providing information to our residents. This system also empowers the public to act when they suspect a COVID-19 infection. These text messages...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 5/18/2022

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|May 18, 2022

    Public Health is many things. It is clean air and water, safe schools, mental health, emergency preparedness, disease surveillance, and promotion of healthy lifestyles. The work of public health is achieved by preventing illness and injury and promoting wellness through healthy behaviors. Public health is concerned with protecting the health of entire populations. These populations can be as small as a neighborhood or as large as an entire region. It is our vision at Jefferson County Health...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 4/6/2022

    PAM HANNA RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Apr 6, 2022

    This week is National Public Health Week. This year, the theme for National Public Health Week is “Public Health is Where You Are”, which focuses on the places where we all are physically, mentally, and within our communities that affect our health and our lives. This is a time to reflect on and commit to the health of ourselves, our family, and our great community. It is a time to celebrate the power of community and the influence we make when we commit ourselves to promote healthy places to...

  • Op-Ed: Voices for Vaccines

    PAM HANNA RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Mar 9, 2022

    Some of our neighbors share why they chose to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Here are their stories: TERRY AND BRUD Terry and Brud have ranched in Jefferson County for 39 years. Brud was raised here. Here’s what they have to say about why they got vaccinated: Terry: My parents are 94 and 88 years old - we spent one Christmas not seeing them. When the vaccine came out, we knew if we were vaccinated, we could all be together again. We had a big gathering this year, enjoying our time together ...

  • JeffCo Experiences Largest Surge of Daily/Weekly COVID Cases; Caution Urged

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jan 26, 2022

    "Jefferson County Health Department has experienced the largest surge of daily/weekly cases we have seen since the pandemic began," said Pam Hanna, RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor, in an email to the Ledger Monday, January 24. "We are unable to contact every individual in a timely manner." Hanna, concerned about the mass spread of the virus, supplied the following information from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, which states recommended isolation and seeking...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 1/12/2022

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jan 12, 2022

    Jefferson County Public Health has updated the isolation and quarantine guidance based on recommendations from the CDC, which has continued to review and provide updated isolation and quarantine recommendations throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing evidence demonstrates the majority of transmission occurs during the early periods of infection. The updated guidance focuses on the period when a person is most infectious. The following guidance applies to the general...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Dec 29, 2021

    It is the time of year where many of us think of wellness. We are moving into a new year, settling into winter’s cold and flu season, and dealing with the impacts of almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our lifestyle can affect how well our immune system protects us from microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and chronic illness. The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. Your immune system must be strong enough and smart e...

  • Influenza Season Is Here: Stay Informed & Healthy

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Dec 1, 2021

    The 2021-22 flu season is here. Last year, Montana had no diagnosed flu. Those who follow flu trends are concerned we will see increased flu activity this year. Experts suspect the low number of flu cases last year may mean fewer people with immunity to the strains circulating this year. This, combined with relaxed prevention measures for COVID-19, could result in a challenging 2021-22 flu season. Currently, there have been eleven confirmed influenza cases in Montana. One of the eleven...

  • Jefferson County Health Department Offering COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children Age 5-11

    PAM HANNA RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Nov 10, 2021

    As many of you have heard, COVID-19 vaccination is now available to children aged 5-11 years of age. We have been listening to questions parents and caregivers have about getting their child vaccinated. I would like to share some of that information here. One of the top concerns for parents is safety of the vaccine in children. COVID-19 vaccines have and continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. Tens of thousands of volunteers have been involved in clinical...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 9/29/2021

    PAM HANNA RN, Jefco Public Health Supervisor|Sep 29, 2021

    During the past two weeks, Jefferson County has experienced its greatest increase in COVID-19 cases since December of 2020. There has been widespread transmission throughout all areas of our county. Due to the high number of cases, Jefferson County Health Department may not be able to contact every confirmed case or close contact in a timely manner. Actions you can take to help: If you have a pending lab or have been notified of a positive test result, please isolate from others for at least 10...

  • Finding a Balance with CDC Guidelines and Montana's Recent Legislature

    PAM HANNA RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Sep 8, 2021

    Public health departments in Montana have been assessing how to balance CDC’s guidance related to vaccinated individuals with Montana’s recent legislation prohibiting discrimination based on vaccination status. This summer the CDC updated quarantine guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals stating those who are fully vaccinated need not quarantine if they remain symptom free. Instead, they should monitor symptoms and wear a mask when in public for 14 days or until receiving a negative tes...

  • JeffCo Health Board Update: 9/1/2021

    Pam Hanna RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Sep 1, 2021

    During the early summer months, I was cautiously optimistic that our county was moving toward a healthy trend related to COVID-19 illness. Case counts and hospitalizations were down. Vaccination rates have consistently increased. Public health staff focused time and energy on other public health needs. Workloads stabilized. Recently, increasing case counts have sparked new concern for our department. During the past month, Jefferson County has experienced its greatest increase in cases since...

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