Public Statement from DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson
on First U.S. Diagnosed Ebola Case
“Dallas County Health and Human Services received confirmation today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of States Health Services (DSHS) of a positive Ebola case in Dallas County, the first case ever diagnosed in the United States. Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient and the family.
We appreciate CDC and DSHS working to get the test results back. We also thank Texas Health Presbyterian for their efforts in protecting other patients by getting the patient isolated.
I want to commend Dr. Christopher Perkins, Dallas County Health and Human Services Medical Director/Health Authority and our Epidemiology staff for the work they’ve been doing conducting the public health follow-up on the patient, which includes a contact investigation to gather information based on the patient’s travel history, activities and close contacts. Dallas County Health and Human Services will proceed with the public health follow-up, per CDC guidelines.
Dallas County residents should be aware that the public health is our number one priority at Dallas County Health and Human Services. Our staff will continue to work hard to protect the health and welfare of the citizens in Dallas County.”
-Zachary Thompson, Director
Dallas County Health and Human Services
FOR THE PUBLIC:
Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniels Town Hall Meetings
Director Zac Thompson and Asst. Dir. Tony Jenkins attended town hall meetings in September hosted by Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniels. Thompson and Jenkins gave residents updates on West Nile and Chikungunya viruses and how to prevent the risk of both.
L to R: DCHHS Asst. Dir. Environmental Health Tony Jenkins; Dallas City Councilmember Sheffie Kadane; Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Theresa Daniels; DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson
Director Thompson discusses West Nile virus prevention with town hall meeting attendees.
Asst. Dir. Tony Jenkins informs residents about DCHHS' mosquito surveillance program.
Enterovirus D68 is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. EV-D68 has been reported to cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The virus can be found in respiratory secretions such as saliva, nasal mucus or sputum. The virus likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.
- There are no vaccines for preventing EV-D68 infections.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water.
- Wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Use your elbow to shield your cough or sneeze.
- Don’t share personal items such as toothbrushes, drinking glasses, eating utensils or towels.
- Avoid kissing or hugging people who are sick.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
To see the latest DCHHS Health Advisory, click here.
To see the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from CDC, click here.
Increasing HIV/AIDS Awareness in Hispanic and Latino Communities
DCHHS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations across the United States, is campaigning to encourage Hispanics and Latinos to talk openly about HIV/AIDS with their families, friends, partners and communities.
The CDC’s campaign, “One Conversation at a Time,” is designed to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS in Hispanic and Latino communities. “One Conversation at a Time” is a call to action for everyone to start talking about about HIV/AIDS to increase awareness and decrease stigma or shame.
Campaign resources are available online to provide facts and practical tools and tips to help families and friends begin or continue conversations about HIV prevention, awareness testing and treatment.
DCHHS and YMCA Diabetes Screening and Prevention Program Enrollment Event
August 21, 2014
More than 100 Dallas County residents attended the diabetes awareness event to receive screenings, education and enrollment in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. For those that missed the event: Anyone who has been diagnosed with prediabetes and would like to participate in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program should contact Tracey Burns, director of healthy lifestyles for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, by phone at 214-561-1509 or by email at email@example.com. For more information on the program, go to: www.ymcadallas.org.
Left to Right: Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director; Gordon Echtenkamp, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas; Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority.
DCHHS Receives $20,000 Grant for Diabetes Awareness and Prevention
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) awarded DCHHS a $20,000 grant to partner with the YMCA to identify, screen and educate individuals at risk for diabetes. DCHHS and YMCA will host a campaign kick-off Thursday, Aug. 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Concord Senior Center, 6808 Pastor Bailey Dr. in Dallas.
Free Back-to-School Immunizations and Medicaid/CHIP Assistance at DCHHS August 16
DCHHS will open its immunization clinic Saturday, August 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. to provide free vaccinations for families eligible for Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC). Children’s Medical Center staff will also be on site to answer questions and provide application assistance to parents whose children may be eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
CDC and State Award Perfect Score to DCHHS for Public Health Preparedness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Services awarded DCHHS 100 percent on its annual Technical Assistance Review. The review assesses the Public Health Preparedness Division’s ability to dispense essential medications and health equipment to Dallas County’s 2.4 million residents in response to a large-scale emergency event.
DCHHS leadership and PHP staff from left to right: Christopher Perkins, medical director/health authority; Jess Wade, emergency volunteer program coordinator; Alicia Toombs, strategic national stockpile coordinator; Emily Gore, public health manager; Tammara Scroggins, assistant director public health communicable disease; Zachary Thompson, director.
Avoid the Back-to-School Rush, Get Immunizations Now
DCHHS is urging parents to bring their children in early to get immunizations before the back-to-school rush. DCHHS has five clinics open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DCHHS Director Holds Press Conference to Address
False Media Reports of a Federal Investigation
It was falsely reported in the media that Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is under a federal investigation being conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the use of Ryan White/AIDS funds. DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson held a press conference on June 30, 2014 to address the false reports.
The public should be aware that DCHHS is not under a federal investigation and the following letter provides confirmation: Letter from HRSA to DCHHS Director Thompson dated June 27, 2014.
DCHHS Partners with the American Kidney Fund for Kidney Action Day
DCHHS participated in Kidney Action Day June 18 hosted by the American Kidney Fund (AKF). The public event included free kidney health screenings, interactive fitness demos, healthy food samples and local entertainment. On Tuesday, June 17, 2014 Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price presented AKF with a resolution for their efforts and to acknowledge Kidney Action Day.
Left to right: T’Kia Stewart, AKF Director of Health Initiatives; Jessica Puentes, AKF Associate Director of Health Initiatives; Erikka Neroes, DCHHS Public Information Officer; David Frazer, AKF Vice President of Patient Services and Kidney Disease Education; Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price; Zachary Thompson, DCHHS Director; Janis Contreras, AKF Associate Director of Health Initiatives Gatanya Arnic, AKF Associate Director of Health Initiatives; John Manning, AKF Manager of Strategic Alliances. Photo by Wallace Faggett.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is carried by infected mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever and severe joint pain that start suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and rash. Chikungunya (CHIK) does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications. There is no specific medication available to treat CHIK. There is no vaccine to prevent CHIK. Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to avoid chikungunya fever (CHIK).
Dallas County Health and Human Services advises the public to use the '4Ds' to help reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile virus or Chikungunya.
- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- DRESS: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing outside.
- DRAIN: Remove all areas of standing water in and around your home.
- DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.
To read and download information about CHIKV, click here.
Save the Date
National HIV Testing Day
Participate in National HIV Testing Day on June 27 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free HIV testing will take place at Albertsons, 4625 Frankford Rd., Dallas, Texas 75287. Gift cards and other giveaways for those that get tested. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Take the test. Take control. Know your status and be greater than AIDS.
DCHHS Issues Donated Insect Repellent at Older Americans Month Celebration
DCHHS recognized Older Americans Month with a senior health and safety event May 23 held at Concord Senior Center in southwest Dallas. Dallas County seniors enjoyed a fun-filled agenda with music, games, dancing and lunch. DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson spoke briefly on West Nile virus. Thompson and Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price distributed donated insect repellent and educational materials to seniors who participate in DCHHS’ Older Adult Services Program.
Annie Jones helped Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority, demonstrate how to apply insect repellent at Concord Senior Center’s health and safety carnival. Photo courtesy of Ron Baselice/Staff Photographer Dallas Morning News.
Immunization Program Receives Resolution for National Infant Immunization Week
Dallas County Commissioner Dr. Elba Garcia, center, presented the DCHHS Immunization Program with a resolution on April 22, 2014 for their efforts toward the increase in immunization rates and to proclaim April 26 – May 3 as National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW) in Dallas County.
Left to right: Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority; Eloy Garcia, DCHHS Preventive Health Division clerk; Cathy Cabrera, RN, DCHHS Immunization Program nurse; Erikka Neroes, DCHHS public information officer; Dr. Elba Garcia, Dallas County commissioner; Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director; Barbara Davis, RN, DCHHS Well Child Immunization Program supervisor; Gerardette Asfaw, RN, DCHHS Vaccines for Children supervisor; Tammara Scroggins, DCHHS Public Health Communicable Disease assistant director. Photo by Wallace Faggett.
Out of the Closet Grand Opening April 19, 2014
Here’s a great story from Dallas Voice about the grand opening of Out of the Closet, a resale store operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The store provides HIV testing and a full-service pharmacy is soon to come. DCHHS Director Zachary Thompson was there for the ribbon cutting on April 19.
AIDS Walk South Dallas 2014
On March 18, 2014 in Commissioner’s Court, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price presented a resolution to AIDS Walk South Dallas, a program with the goal to inspire, educate and galvanize the community of South Dallas and surrounding areas to continue to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and assist those impacted.
Left to right: Auntjuan Wiley, AIDS Walk South Dallas founder/chair; Erikka Neroes, DCHHS public information officer; Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director; John Wiley Price, Dallas County commissioner. Photo by Wallace Faggett.
World Kidney Day 2014
DCHHS partnered with the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to raise awareness about early detection and prevention of kidney disease. On March 4, 2014, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price presented NKF with a resolution for their efforts and to acknowledge March 13, 2014 as World Kidney Day.
Left to right: Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS medical director/health authority; Tammara Scroggins, DCHHS assistant director, Communicable Diseases Division; Susan Manuel, NKF program manager; Mark Edwards, NKF division program director; John Wiley Price, Dallas County commissioner; Cora McClendon, NKF volunteer; Amanda O’Neal, kidney transplant recipient and NKF volunteer; Erikka Neroes, DCHHS public information officer; Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director. Photo by Wallace Faggett.
Click to download flyers for the March 13 World Kidney Day 2014 event:
Dallas County Health and Human Services
Advises Public to Vaccinate for Pertussis
Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and transmitted from person to person by coughing, sneezing or close contact. The most effective way to prevent pertussis is by vaccinating with DTaP for infants and children, and with Tdap for preteens, teens and adults.
Click to download Pertussis information:
AIDS Healthcare Foundation donated one million condoms for International Condom Day.
David Woo/Staff Photographer
Left to right: Bret Camp of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway and Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.
Dallas County Health & Human Services
In The News 2013
Click here to read the highlights.
SAVE THE DATE
SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014
Goal: To inspire, rally and galvanize the community of South Dallas and surrounding areas to continue to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and assist those impacted.
St. Philip’s School and Community Center
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75215 www.stphilips1600.org
Click Here for more information.
Key participants at a recent Best Southwest luncheon focusing on health care.
Left to right: Methodist President and CEO Stephen L. Mansfield, PhD, FACHE; Methodist Charlton President Jonathan Davis, FACHE; Zachary Thompson, Director, Dallas County Health and Human Services; Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight.
For news and notifications from 2011 to 2014: click here.