Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Pam Hanna Rn


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  • 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 in January: • COVID-19 Cases- 31 (10 were...

  • 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 health screening? This is preventative health care....

  • 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 in December: • Animal bites/Rabies...

  • 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 spikes in illness during colder weather. The next...

  • 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 proactive steps in planning for potential hazards, such...

  • 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 Cases: 3 • Norovirus: 1 • Syphilis, secondary: 1...

  • 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 causes of death in the United States is car...

  • 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 Diseases/Conditions of Interest, May 2023: • Chlamydia...

  • 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 will include information on isolation and a link to...

  • 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 Department to help create healthy places to live,...

  • 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 live, work, and play. It is also a time to look...

  • 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 – all our family vaccinated and protected so we...

  • 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 population in the community, including workplaces and K-12...

  • 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 enough to fight off various illnesses and infections....

  • 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 diagnosed cases is a Jefferson County resident. Influenza,...

  • 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 trials for the vaccines. Before they receive FDA...

  • 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 days past symptom onset, even if you are feeling...

  • 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 test result. However, House Bill 702, approved by...

  • 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 February of 2021. In July, 75% of Jefferson...

  • Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

    Pam Hanna RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jul 28, 2021

    One of the things I love most about Montana is its big, blue skies and fresh air. I have been looking forward to being outside and enjoying some summertime activities. Unfortunately, Montana is experiencing a very hot, dry summer. With the heat and drought have come wildfires. As they increase here and in surrounding states, we are experiencing an increase in wildfire smoke. As our skies turn from blue to gray, it is important to understand the risks associated with wildfire season and plan for ways to stay healthy. Smoke is unhealthy for...

  • JeffCo Health Board Update: 7/14/2021

    Pam Hanna RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Jul 14, 2021

    This year has been one like no other. It has been exhausting. There have been long work hours filled with stressful experiences. It has been difficult to maintain healthy habits. Getting enough rest has been especially challenging. Last week I took some much-needed time away from work. I had planned to stay home, go nowhere, see no one and knock out some long overdue projects. This is how the introverted side of me rejuvenates. Plans change and mine did. My mother wanted to visit her sister in another state. She needed a traveling companion to...

  • JeffCo Health Board Update: 6/16/2021

    Pam Hanna RN, JeffCo Public Health Supervisor|Jun 16, 2021

    This week 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. So how healthy is that important man in your life? When was the last time he had a physical or participated in preventive screenings? Statistics indicate men are 24% less likely than women to have an annual physical. I have heard it said that men are more likely to take their car in for a tune-up than themselves. There are many reasons men are reluctant to seek regular health care. One...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 6/9/2021

    Pam Hanna RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|Jun 9, 2021

    The past few weeks have allowed me some time for reflection on the past year. Here is no doubt this has been a difficult year. Our lives and routines have been disrupted. We have been pushed outside our comfort zones and have faced the fragility of life. As a society I am hearing more and more that we want to “go back to normal.” I have been thinking about what that normal is going to look like. I often joke that at our house “normal” is a dryer cycle. Maya Angelou has said, “If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know...

  • JeffCo Health Department Update: 5/26/2021

    Pam Hanna RN, Jefferson County Public Health Supervisor|May 26, 2021

    Children have played an important role in my personal and professional life. Children bring joy and energy to life. As a child, I wanted to grow up to be a mother or a nurse. I have had the fortune of becoming both. As an adult, I recognize the best blessing was becoming a grandmother. Much of my adult life has been spent promoting children’s health. The basics for keeping children physically healthy include safety, nutritious food, exercise and immunizations. Caring for our children’s mental health is just as important as caring for their...

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