Spring 2023 News Release


Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission and Your Local Board of Health
Who is the local health department, what do they do, how are they related to the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission and the local Board of Health?  Simply stated, the Commission is your local health department and the Commission staff works for your local Board of Health to benefit you the members of the community.  More specifically, the Health Department is governed by a volunteer Board of Health that is mandated by state statute and is required to meet certain standards set by the New Jersey State Department of Health.  The Board has the legal obligation to assess the health needs of the community and to adopt or recommend adoption of local policies specific to the needs of the community.  The Board of Health is also a member of the Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission, a shared service between Bridgewater, Green Brook, Warren, and Watchung whose mission is to improve the health of our community and environment through the use of prevention services, health promotion and protection strategies.  The bottom line is we all work together to improve the health of the communities we live and work in.

The Board of Health accomplishes its goals through the work of the Health Department staff; the Health Officer, Environmental Health Specialists, Health Educators, Nurses, Outreach Coordinator, Infectious Disease Preventionists, and Administrative Staff/Registrars.

The mission noted above is advanced by educating and informing the public and business community about various topics such as healthy lifestyles and behaviors, proper food handling, emergency preparedness, septic systems and wells.  Improving child and adult health is accomplished by providing various services such as childhood immunizations, well-baby checkups, cancer screenings and education, blood pressure screenings, and wellness counseling.

Many of these services are provided through contracts and collaboration with our public health partners such as Community Visiting Nurse Association.  Environmental health services and enforcement activities are also provided by the department. We inspect establishments and enforce sanitary and environmental laws related to wells, septic systems, restaurants, recreational bathing, youth camps, and body art, among others.  We also respond to questions and complaints about mosquito control, hazardous materials, suspect rabid animals and other public health threats.  A traditional and continual activity of the department is constant monitoring for communicable disease, investigating disease reports and intervening to stop their spread when identified.

The truth is we believe virtually everything is related to your health and the health of our community and therefore are willing and eager to talk to you about anything.  If we do not know the answer, we will refer you to an appropriate resource.  So, contact us as soon and often as you like.  We look forward to it! We can be reached at our local offices or by email, all of which can be found on our website at www.middlebrookhealth.org.

Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission to Provide Infection Control Training
The Middle Brook Regional Health Commission (MBRHC) has received a grant from the New Jersey Association of County and City Health Officials to support collaboration with long term care and other healthcare facilities to advance infection control practices.  MBRHC staff will participate in the Strike Team Infection Control Train the Trainer, a program designed to provide trainings, education, and tools regarding infection prevention and control practices. This will provide foundational knowledge of infection prevention and control measures emphasizing the importance of proper implementation measures and protocols in healthcare settings.  The program aims to  strengthen  confidence in applying infection prevention and control principles to protect staff, patients, and the healthcare community from infectious disease. Two MBRHC team members, Eze Udensi, MD and Megan Romanovich, MPH have been trained through the Strike Team Infection Control Train the Trainer program and are looking forward to passing on the information to help facilities combat the spread of disease.  They will be reaching out shortly to offer trainings and look forward to passing in this valuable information to our partners in the community.  Please contact the Commission at 732-968-5151 or by email to eudensi@middlebrookhealth.org or mromanovich@middlebrookhealth.org for more information.

Radon Awareness
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that occurs naturally when uranium and radium break down in the soil and in rock formations.  Radon gas moves up through the soil and finds its way into homes through cracks in the foundation and openings around pumps, pipes, and drains.  Radon occurs in higher concentrations in certain areas of the state, including Somerset County.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.  Radon is associated with approximately 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States.  Smokers and people exposed to second-hand smoke have a greater risk of developing lung cancer if they are also exposed to excess radon. Radon does not cause any immediate symptoms, such as asthma or respiratory problems, so testing for radon is the only way to know if a home has elevated radon levels.

To reduce the risk of exposure to radon gas, residents are urged to test their homes Even if your neighbor’s home is not affected by radon gas, it does not mean that your home is in an acceptable range.  If a radon test indicates a radon problem, radon mitigation systems can be installed at a cost similar to other home repairs, reducing exposures and the risk of lung cancer.  In an effort to facilitate radon testing the Commission tries to maintain a limited number of radon test kits.  Please contact us for current availability of the test kits.

Rabies Clinic
The Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission, with the Warren Township Board of Health, will likely be offering one rabies clinic this spring.  All residents are encouraged to have their dog or cat vaccinated against rabies.  Rabies has already been identified in the state and several cases were identified last year in the towns of the Commission.  In order to protect yourself and your pets it is essential that all dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies.  If your pet has never been vaccinated against rabies or the vaccination has expired now is the time!  The clinic is free to all and tentatively planned as follows.

DATE: Saturday, May 6, 2023

TIME: 9:00 am to 10:00 am

WHERE: Washington Valley Fire House, Washington Valley Road, Warren, NJ

Please call the health department at 908-753-8000 ext. 239 to confirm the above information.  Residents should also be aware that the Health Department also offers several rabies clinics in the fall of each year.  Please call 732-968-5151 in the fall to learn about future available clinics.