Category Archives: Dr. Swannie Jett

Hurricane Preparedness Week: It Only Takes One

By Dr. Swannie Jett, DrPH, MSc, NACCHO President and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County

It only takes one storm to change your community. Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 15–21, is an opportunity to encourage preparedness on the part of individuals, groups, and organizations in our communities. Hurricanes and tropical storms cause high winds, flooding, and storm surges, which can have great effects on public health. Disease outbreaks, contaminated water, mold, and mildew are just a few of the issues local health departments (LHDs) must be ready to tackle in the wake of a storm. Continue reading

Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis in America’s Streets

By Dr. Swannie Jett, DrPH, MSc, NACCHO Immediate Past President and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County

A crisis is playing out on the streets of America’s communities. Gun violence is a major public health problem and a leading cause of premature death. The issue of gun violence was thrust into the national spotlight once again on Dec. 2, when a gunman killed 14 people at a health department in San Bernardino, CA, drawing worldwide media attention. Mass shootings have shaped national debates about mental illness and gun laws. The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines mass shootings as incidents where four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire. Continue reading

Investments in Electronic Processes Advance Service Delivery and Improve the Public’s Health

By Dr. Swannie Jett, NACCHO President and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County

Since new technologies emerge every day, the field of local public health can reap the benefits of our nation’s expanding health information technology (IT) infrastructure. At my local health department (LHD) in Seminole County, FL, we recently implemented electronic processes to improve data collection and screening efficiency. Investing in electronic processes have made my LHD staff more productive and my community healthier. Continue reading

American Diabetes Month: The Important Role of Local Health Departments

By Dr. Swannie Jett, NACCHO President and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County

Diabetes is a growing burden in the United States, affecting the health and quality of life of millions of Americans. Local health departments (LHDs) across the country work with their communities to raise awareness about diabetes and its risk factors and to develop programs and policies that support diabetes prevention and control. Continue reading

Immunizations Needed to Protect Children and Communities from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

By Dr. Swannie Jett, NACCHO President

Before students returned to school for the start of the current school year, many received required vaccines to stay healthy and avoid life-threatening diseases. Vaccines not only protect children and their long-term health, but also the health of their communities. While many states debate extending or restricting exemptions for vaccines, healthcare professionals at local health departments and in pediatricians’ offices are keeping students safe from diseases by providing necessary immunizations. Continue reading