Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 5 - Issue 2 - April 2017
In this Issue: Vaccination | Take-Back | Concussion | Rankings | Message from the Public Health Officer
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A message to physicians and other health care providers from Marin County's Public Health Officer.

Record High Vaccination Rates 

Kindergarten immunization rates in Marin County are the highest they have been since 2000.  This school year, 93.2 percent of Marin kindergarten students have received all of the immunizations required for school, increasing nearly 20% from the 2011/12 school year, when local immunization rates were at their lowest point, or 77.9 percent of kindergarten students.  Providers and parents can visit the Shots for School website to see if their child's school is well vaccinated.

Medicine Cabinet Spring Cleaning

Medications kept in our home cabinets can be targets for misuse and abuse.   In a recent survey, 60% of Marin County residents report holding on to unused medicines.  Clinicians should remind patients to safely dispose of medications.  Take Back Day April 29 is an ideal opportunity, when sites throughout Marin County will be taking back medications including controlled substances.

Marin Concussion Symposium

There is increasing interest and concern among parents and medical professionals about childhood concussions.  On May 6, the Buck Institute will host a symposium for clinicians to advance local standards in the prevention, diagnosis and management of concussions.  Organized by ConcussionSmart Marin -- a coalition of medical professionals, education leaders, athletic experts and brain injury advocates -- the event will offer free CME's to physicians.  Interested clinicians can registered for this symposium here.


County Health Rankings

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its annual rankings of California's 58 counties, and Marin came in at No. 2 this year behind San Mateo County.  Marin had been ranked No. 1 in statewide health for seven consecutive years.  Marin retained the top spot statewide in overall health factors, such as education, employment, family and social support, and community safety.  Marin experienced a spike in accidental drug overdoses from 2012 to 2014, the time period reflected in the latest rankings.  In response, the County helped create a grassroots initiative called RxSafe Marin in 2014 to tackle prescription drug abuse.


Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotThis week, I had the surreal experience of sitting near Newt Gingrich and Patrick Kennedy while they strongly agreed on something of national importance.   The event was the National RxDrug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta where we had been invited to share our RxSafe Marin coalition model.  While I was encouraged to see that the opioid crisis is a bipartisan priority and proud to share the progress we've made in Marin, it was clear that the epidemic is worsening nationally.  Now more than ever, we need to demonstrate the effectiveness of robust local response.   Thank you for your partnership and the excellent care you offer every day.
Warm Regards,
Matt Willis
HHS Website
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Copyright © 2017
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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