About Us

The Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH), the county’s local health department, is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the health of the residents of Columbia County. CCDOH provides many important programs and services to community members.

CCDOH is mandated by the State of New York, derives public health authority through State public health law, and is governed by the county Board of Health. The Department of Health is led by the Public Health Director who is responsible for safeguarding the public’s health. A Medical Director, Board of Health, Health Committee (of the County Board of Supervisors), Professional Advisory Committee, and multiple task force committees provide administrative guidance and consultation to CCDOH.

Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you’ll find information here that will help you live happier, safer and healthier lives. We look forward to serving you!

Download the Columbia County Health Department mobile app:   https://apps.myocv.com/share/a36912534

Our Mission

Protecting, Promoting, and Preserving the Health and Well-being of Columbia County, NY

Community Assessment Improvement Plan

The Columbia County Department of Health and its community partners have worked collaboratively to develop the Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for 2022-2024. This CHA/CHIP summarizes county demographic and health data from a variety of sources and presents a community plan for making measurable improvements in the following health priority areas:

  • Prevent Chronic Disease (Obesity-related illnesses)                                                               
  • Promote Well-being and Prevent Mental/Substance Use Disorders                                                                                                                       
  • Prevent Communicable Diseases (COVID-19)

We are very excited to share the information with you (attached below).  The plan will form the foundation of many community health improvement activities, which we hope will help the county to be a healthier, safer place to live, work, learn, and play.  As the county implements its Community Health Improvement Plan, New York State is also implementing its Health Improvement Plan (also known as the Prevention Agenda for 2019-2024).  We invite you to learn more about the state’s Prevention Agenda by visiting their website.

We encourage you to share the documents and information.  We welcome your questions, suggestions, and participation in the improvement process.  Please contact us at (518) 828-3358 or ccdoh@columbiacountyny.com. Thank you!

Prevention Agenda Priorities and Disparity

This document serves as the Community Health Needs Assessment, Implementation Strategy, Community Health Improvement Plan, and Community Service Plan (hereinafter, collectively known as “the Plan”) for Columbia and Greene Counties for the three-year period beginning 2022 and ending in 2024.  As such, it identifies the Priorities from the 2019-2024 Prevention Agenda that will be the focus of collaborative community health improvement activities in these counties during this period.  These are as follows: 

  • Priority Area #1: Prevent Chronic Disease (Obesity-related illnesses)

  Focus areas: Healthy Eating and Food Security

            Physical Activity

            Chronic Disease Preventive Care and Management 

  • Priority Area #2: Promote Well-being and Prevent Mental/Substance Use Disorders

    Focus area: Mental and Substance Use Disorders Prevention

  •  Priority Area #3: Prevent Communicable Diseases (COVID-19)

 Focus areas: Vaccine Preventable Diseases (COVID-19)

          Healthcare-Associated Transmissions

With regard to addressing disparities, this Plan will focus on ensuring that the rurality of our service area and population do not lead to meaningfully lower rates of COVID-19 vaccination. 

Data Reviewed to Identify Priorities

The selection of priorities was informed by a review of data extracted from the Community Health Needs Assessment for the Capital Region (see Volume Two) that had been prepared by the public health organization, Healthy Capital District (HCD). HCD staff shared data on a total of 25 health issues that had been derived from a variety of public use data sets. This data included information on the number of people impacted (count), the proportion of people impacted in comparison to other geographies (rate), any trends that could be detected in prevalence, any difference among sub-populations that may exist (disparity), and the relative seriousness of the issue.

Partners and Roles; Engagement of Broad Community

The Columbia County Department of Health, the Greene County Public Health Department, and Columbia Memorial Hospital, collectively known as the Columbia-Greene Planning Partners, worked collaboratively throughout the assessment and planning process and are committed to working jointly, both across agencies and county lines, throughout the implementation phase as well. 

The Columbia-Greene Planning Partners were assisted in the assessment and planning phase by a diverse stakeholder group (see a list of members in Section D, Part 1, page 35) that was convened in March 2022 to review data from the Community Health Needs Assessment and inform the selection of community health priorities (see the PowerPoint presentation used at this meeting as Appendix A).  This broad stakeholder group, referred to as the Columbia-Greene Healthy People Partnership, will continue to have a role throughout the implementation process. The Partnership will be charged with reviewing reports, monitoring progress, and providing feedback. 

Evidence-Based Interventions – Identification and Selection

The selection of interventions/strategies/activities fell largely to the Planning Partners, who frequently referenced and were strongly influenced by the discussions that occurred in the Columbia-Greene Healthy People Partnership meeting.  Additional consideration was given to the community’s existing assets and resources, including programs and services that may already be delivered, gaps in the availability of or access to programs and services, and whether health disparities or inequities exist.  Whenever possible, evidence-based interventions were selected directly from those offered in the Prevention Agenda. 

 

With regard to Priority Area #1: Prevent Chronic Disease, the Planning Partners selected the following interventions:

  • Expanding access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a lifestyle change program for preventing type 2 diabetes                                                                         
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of Type 2 Diabetes through a media campaign
  • Expanding access to the Biggest Loser Contest, a 16-week, independent weight loss program 
  • Providing nutritional education in one-on-one and group settings to patients in the inpatient psychiatric unit at Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • Providing an exercise program two (2) times per week to patients in the inpatient psychiatric unit at Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • Utilizing a diabetes educator, provide nutrition education and dietary consults to patients of the family care centers (i.e. outpatient) with a diabetes diagnosis
  • Tracking a variety of measures related to diabetes control in the outpatient setting, including diabetic eye exams, A1c, nephropathy screening, blood pressure control, and statin use

 

With regard to Priority Area #2: Promote Well-being and Prevent Mental/Substance Use Disorders, the Planning Partners selected the following interventions:

  • Increasing the availability of/access to overdose reversal (Naloxone) trainings to prescribers, pharmacists and consumers
  • Building support systems to care for opioid users or others at risk of an overdose by partnering with Greener Pathways, a program of Twin County Recovery Services, to embed a Certified Peer Recovery Advocate (CRPA) into the Emergency Department and Inpatient setting
  • Establishing additional permanent safe disposal sites for prescription drugs and organizing take-back days
  • Increasing the availability of/access and linkages to medication-assisted treatment  (MAT) Including Buprenorphine
  • Embedding behaviorists in CMH’s outpatient setting to assist patients with goal-setting, MH/SUD screening and referrals, as well as coordinate consultation between Primary Care prescribers and psychiatry
  • Expanding mental health service capacity in CMH’s outpatient psychiatric center by contracting with a third-party virtual provider

With regard to Priority Area #3: Prevent Communicable Disease (namely, COVID-19), the Planning Partners selected the following interventions:

  • Implementing and promoting the use of standing orders for vaccine administration
  • Offering vaccines in locations and hours that are convenient to the public including pharmacies, vaccine only clinics, and other sites that are accessible to people of all ages
  • Continuing to promote vaccination, and improve vaccine rates, at CMH’s clinical service sites
  • Preventing and mitigating COVID-19 transmission among the CMH workforce and patients by providing COVID testing and the use of PPE / masking in public and clinical areas

Greater detail about these intervention strategies, including related objectives and process measures, are provided below in the Work Plan Template, found as Appendix B. 

Progress and Improvement Tracking, with Process Measures

Throughout the implementation period, it will be essential for the Columbia-Greene Planning Partners to monitor progress, to identify improvements made as a result of the interventions or a lack of improvements, which might suggest the need to adjust the approach and/or activities.

 

With regard to Priority Area #1: Prevent Chronic Disease, the Planning Partners selected the following measures:

  • RE: the nutritional education program for patients in the inpatient psychiatric unit at CMH: # of patients receiving nutrition education one-on-one; # of patients receiving nutrition education in groups
  • RE: the weight loss program: # of registrants, # of participants initiating the program; # of participants completing the program; % of participants completing the program; # of participants who have lost at least 5% of their beginning weight
  • RE: the exercise program for patients in the inpatient psychiatric unit at CMH: # of patients who participate in the program when offered; % of patients who participate in the program when offered
  • RE: the measures related to diabetes control in the outpatient setting: # of additional diabetic eye exams performed using retinavue technology; HgbA1C, with the aim to reduce the number of people with a HgbA1C of greater than 9; # of diabetics screened for nephropathy, with the aim to improve the number of diabetics who have nephropathy screening with a microalbumen to creatinine test annually; blood pressure control; and, Statin use in patients with diabetes, with the aim of increasing its use
  • RE: the nutrition education and dietary consults performed by the diabetes educator at CMH’s family care centers: # of patients with a diabetes diagnosis who meet with a diabetes educator; % of patients with a diabetes diagnosis who meet with a diabetes educator
  • RE: the Diabetes Prevention Program: # of health systems that have policies/practices for identifying and referring patients to the National DPP programs; # of National DPP programs in the community setting; # of patients referred to the National DPP; # of patients who participate in the National DPP; % of patients who complete the National DPP
  • RE: the diabetes awareness media campaign: # of awareness campaigns; # of mediums used to reach the public; # of impressions; # of clicks to webpage; # of ads run; # of post-engagements

With regard to Priority Area #2: Promote Well-being and Prevent Mental/Substance Use Disorders, the Planning Partners selected the following interventions:

  • RE: efforts to increase the availability of/access to overdose reversal (Naloxone) trainings: # of trainings; # of kits provided; # of agencies able to provide overdose reversal trainings to their staff and community
  • RE: the CRPA embedded into CMH’s ED and hospital: # of individuals educated about the availability of peer support; # of individuals referred to peer support; # of individuals who meet with a peer; # of individuals who engage with peers, harm reduction strategies, and/or traditional treatment with 90 days
  • RE: the efforts to establish safe disposal sites and organize take-back days: # of new medication disposal sites; # of take-back days
  • RE: the efforts to increase the availability of/access and linkages to MAT: # of patients offered MAT; # of patients inducted on MAT; # of patients maintained on MAT; # of patients titrated off MAT)
  • RE: the embedded behaviorists in CMH’s outpatient setting:  # patients who consulted with a  behaviorist; # referrals made by behaviorist to care; # consultations between primary care provider and psychiatric specialist
  • RE: the expanded mental health service capacity in CMH’s outpatient psychiatric center: # additional patient visits delivered via telehealth

With regard to Priority Area #3: Prevent Communicable Disease (namely, COVID-19), the Planning Partners selected the following interventions:

  • RE: efforts to implementing and promoting the use of standing orders for vaccine administration: # vaccination clinics provided; # vaccinations provided; COVID-19 vaccination rates; rate of fully immunized (eligible ages) residents
  • RE: offering vaccines at convenient locations/times:  # of vaccine clinics in rural areas
  • RE: continuing to promote vaccination, and improve vaccine rates, at CMH’s clinical service sites:  # visits to www.capitalregionvax.org, the website created by the Albany Med Health System, and established for Capital Region residents, which provides information about vaccine, locations and related health information
  • Preventing and mitigating COVID-19 transmission among the CMH workforce and patients by providing COVID testing and the use of PPE / masking in public and clinical areas

Greater detail about these intervention strategies, including related objectives and process measures, are provided below in the Work Plan Template, found in Appendix B. 

FAQs

  • What are your hours?
    • The Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH) is open Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.  In the event of an after-hours emergency, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department at (518) 828-3344.

  • Where are you located?
    • The Health Department is located at 325 Columbia Street, Hudson, NY 12534, in the Columbia County Human Services building.  The Health Department is located on the first floor (lower level beneath the building lobby).

  • Do you take credit and debit cards?
    • We accept payment by cash, check, money order, and credit card.

  • What are your clinic hours?
    • Our free and confidential Sexually Transmitted Disease clinic is open every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.  Immunization clinics are offered every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  We also offer evening immunization clinics on select Tuesday’s of every month between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Please call our office for appointments: (518) 828-3358, option 4.

  • Do I need an appointment for the clinics?
    • Appointments are needed for the immunization clinics only.  Please contact the Health Department at (518) 828-3358, option 4, to schedule your appointment.

  • What about flu clinics?
    • We provide influenza vaccine during our regular Tuesday immunization clinics by appointment.  We also have a schedule of community flu clinics every September and October.  For the current community flu clinic schedule click here.

  • Do you offer PPDs?
    • Yes.  Please contact the Health Department to schedule an appointment.

  • How can I get a copy of my immunization records?
    • If you are unable to access your records from your primary care provider and you received your immunizations in New York State, the Health Department may be able to assist you.  Please contact (518) 828-3358, option 4.

  • Where can I get travel vaccines for international travel?
    • While the Columbia County Department of Health does offer some routine travel immunizations, you may require additional vaccines based on your dates of travel and destination, which we do not offer.  The Rensselaer County Department of Health, (518) 270-2647, and the International Travel Health Consultants office in Poughkeepsie, NY, (844) 872-8362, offer comprehensive travel vaccine consultation and immunizations.  If you have questions about the vaccines offered at CCDOH, please call us at (518) 828–3358, option 4.

  • What type of testing is offered at the STD clinic hours?
    • We can test for Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis and HIV.

  • When can I expect my test results?
    • Your results will be given at a follow-up appointment the week after your testing.

  • Can I be seen outside STD clinic hours?
    • Our Nurse Practitioner is only available on Wednesdays between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.  Please contact the Columbia Memorial Health Emergency Department, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood at (518) 434-5678, your local urgent care center, or Greene County Family Planning at (518)719-3580 if you need to see someone right away.

  • I can’t afford vaccinations; can you help me?
    • CCDOH does offer a free vaccine program for children and adults without insurance.  Please contact our clinic for more information.

  • Do you take insurance?
    • CCDOH accepts most insurances, including CDPHP, Fidelis, MVP, Highmark, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage plans with Fidelis, MVP, CDPHP, Aetna, and United Healthcare.  Please call our office for further information.

  • Can you help me get health insurance?
    • If you are interested in signing up for health insurance, please contact the Healthcare Consortium at (518) 822-8820.

  • Do you provide physicals?
    • CCDOH does not provide physicals.  You can contact Sun River Health Hudson at (518)751-3060 or Columbia Memorial Health’s Find a Doctor directory to find a primary care provider.

  • Do you offer DNA testing?
    • CCDOH does not provide DNA testing.

  • Is my old Board of Health approval letter still valid?
    • According to CCDOH’s policy for approvals that are over two years old, the approval remains valid under the following conditions only: a record exists confirming the area where the soil testing was completed; the approved area is located on a legibly scaled survey map; there is existing approval correspondence from our agency; and the approved site or area remains undisturbed.

  • Does my property have Board of Health approval?
    • Please complete our Record Search Application and submit the completed application along with the required fee (check, cash or money order) at our offices during businesses hours or by mail.

  • Where can I get a copy of a birth or death certificate?
    • CCDOH does not issue birth or death certificates.  Death certificates may be obtained from the local town hall where the deceased lived.  Birth certificates for individuals born in the City of Hudson can be obtained through the City of Hudson Office of Vital Records at (518) 828-1030. Birth certificates for Columbia County residents outside of Hudson may be obtained through the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics website or by calling (877) 854-4481.  You can also access copies of death certificates through this website.

  • Are pregnancy tests & family planning services available?
  • I want info on medical marijuana or who licensed providers are?
  • Do you offer rabies clinics?
    • CCDOH offers free rabies clinics for cats, ferrets and dogs (donations are accepted).  Please check our events calendar for upcoming rabies clinics.

  • I found a pet with a rabies tag; how do I find the owner?
    • If you have found a lost pet with a rabies tag issued by our Health Department, please contact us at (518) 828-3358 and provide the ID number on the tag.  We will be happy to look up the record and contact the pet’s owner on your behalf.

  • What should I do if I suspect an animal of having rabies?
    • Please do not touch or allow any bystanders or pets to come into contact with a suspected rabid animal.  Contact the Health Department of (518) 828-3358.   If you, a family member or a pet have come into contact with a wild animal, it is necessary for you to seek medical attention and contact the Health Department.

  • I found a bat in my house. What should I do?
    • If you have found a dead or live bat in your sleeping quarters or home, do not remove the animal.  Please contact the Health Department at (518) 828-3358.  You can also view this helpful video provided by the New York State Department of Health.

  • Can I have my water tested?
    • We provide water bottle test kits, including instructions, from Capital Region Environmental Laboratory in Rensselaer.  The test kits can be picked up at the Health Department during our regular office hours.  The kits must be delivered to the Capital Region Environmental Lab within 30 hours of sampling.  There are fees associated with testing which vary depending on the type of test you want.  You can contact the lab directly at (518) 949-2020 for further information.

  • I have a complaint about a restaurant or grocery store.
  • I have a complaint about a hospital, nursing home, or doctor.
    • All complaints can be directed to the appropriate office at the New York State Department of Health.  Hospital complaints can be made by contacting (800) 804-5447; nursing home patient care complaints can be made by calling (888) 201-4563; and complaints about physicians can be made by contacting the Office of Professional Medical Conduct at (800) 663-6114.

  • Where can we get elderly home care & home nursing services?
    • The Columbia County Department of Health’s Certified Home Health Agency closed in 2016.  For skilled nursing visits please contact the Eddy Visiting Nurses, (518) 274-6200, or the Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) of Albany, (518) 489-2681.

  • Do you test ticks for Lyme disease?
  • Do you offer CPR training?
    • We do not offer CPR training.  To find a training location near you, please contact the Red Cross or the American Heart Association.

  • How can I dispose of old medication or syringes?
    • The Hannaford Grocery stores in Valatie and Livingston, and Hudson Police Department have syringe drop-off kiosks.  Out of date or unused medications can be dropped off at the following Columbia County locations: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Columbia County Sheriff’s Substation, Columbia Memorial Health Emergency Department, Chatham Police Department, and Hudson Police Department.

  • Where can I seek help for Opioid addiction?
    • Columbia County offers a number of resources for individuals and their loved ones who are struggling with Opioid addiction. For a full list of resources in Columbia and Greene Counties, please visit the Columbia-Greene Addiction Coalition.

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