Residency Program Practicum Training: Nassau County Department of Health
The Nassau County Department of Health (NCDH) serves a County population of approximately 1.5 million. The mission is to promote and protect the health of the residents of Nassau County and is pursued through 5 goals: regulation of environment to prevent health hazards; control of communicable disease; health education and promotion for disease prevention; assurance of access to personal health services; and acquisition and assessment of key health data. The NCDH is a site for training in all aspects of the training program, and residents may elect to spend up to the full practicum year in health department programs apart from the longitudinal academic training provided at the medical school. The NCDH is an important site for training in environmental health, and residents can gain experience with water quality and pollution control, land use, air quality management, environmental sanitation, and radiological health.
The NCDH is also a major site for training in public health, health services administration, and clinical preventive medicine. Residents gain experience in varied health department activities, some of which are described as follows. Community Health Services (CHS) coordinates departmental emergency responses and supports quality assurance activities in the countywide EMS system. CHS oversees injury prevention and control, the grant-funded Women Infants and Children supplemental nutrition and education program, the infant mortality and prevention program, and the community health worker program. Public Health Education provides health education and health promotion activities for children and students at all grade levels, chronic disease prevention efforts for adults, and maternal health education for patients in community health centers. TheHIV Bureau coordinates Department and County HIV prevention activities and assures access to services for persons with HIV infection. Disease Control protects the public from the spread of communicable diseases. The Division also oversees childhood lead poisoning education, screening, and prevention, as well as the Immunization Action Plan Program that conducts activities to increase childhood and adult immunizations. Through a contractual arrangement with the Nassau Health Care Corporation, the County provides essential public health services at health centers in Elmont, Freeport-Roosevelt, Hempstead, Inwood-Lawrence, and New Cassel-Westbury; at 2 part-time health centers in Long Beach and TOPIC House, and the grant funded School-Based Health Program in the Roosevelt Junior/Senior High School. The Early Intervention Program is an entitlement program that provides specialized services to families with children under age three with developmental delays and disabilities.
The NCDH also serves as a site for resident training in the application of principles and methods of epidemiology and biostatistics. Epidemiologic and disease control activities include: surveillance and investigation of communicable disease; investigation of potentially hazardous environmental conditions in the home; epidemiological surveys and studies of selected chronic and communicable diseases; and specific disease control programs including tuberculosis, venereal disease, and lead poison control. Residents obtain a thorough indoctrination in the preparation and maintenance of reports, registers, and other required records through the office of vital records and health statistics.