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From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein 

Date: MARCH 29, 2019 


CONTACT: Kara Kane, Public Information Officer


Phone: (716) 858-4941



Erie County Department of Health Shapes Conversation on Community Well-being


ERIE COUNTY, NY— National Public Health Week begins on April 1 as an annual observance to draw attention to the integral role of local health departments. The Erie County Department of Health takes on vital tasks of preventing disease and illness, promoting healthy behaviors and protecting public safety for county residents.


As one of the largest departments in Erie County government, the Department of Health has a staff of more than 450 people across six divisions. “ECDOH personnel are on the front lines of water safety, food safety, health education and communicable disease treatment,” explained Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “These are experienced professionals whose focus is on improving the quality of life for Erie County residents.”


“Our Department has a very visible role in the community, especially for areas like emergency preparedness response, disease surveillance and the opioid epidemic,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Gale R. Burstein. “Several decades’ worth of research shows that the social determinants of health have a direct effect on the quality of life. This week, we’ll be talking about that larger picture, and what it means to live in a healthy and safe community.”


According to the American Public Health Association, life expectancy in the United States has decreased in recent years. The three-year drop represents the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the Great Recession, with studies showing a lower life expectancy in the U.S. than comparable countries.  “Building a healthier Erie County starts with encouraging healthier behaviors at an individual level through education, and working at a policy level to improve community and environmental health,” said Dr. Burstein.


During National Public Health Week, the Department of Health will highlight a program or set of services each day on its social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.




April 1: Community Training: Save a Life with Narcan


April 2: Smoking and Tobacco Use Cessation


April 3: STD Prevention and Treatment


April 4: Immunizations


April 5: Lead Exposure Prevention


April 6-7: Water systems and safety


For more information: 

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