Spindale, NC (November 18, 2015) – The Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District has selected Joshua Kennedy to be the district's
Assistant Health Director effective December 1, 2015. Mr. Kennedy has been serving as Executive Director for the McDowell Health Coalition since May 2014. In his new role as the Assistant Health Director he will be
focusing on financial/billing, program operations, information technology and EMR/HIE. He will be engaged in all aspects of public health programming. Mr. Kennedy has both a passion for public health and experience in administrative operations of organizations.
Mr. Kennedy is coming on board at an exciting time for the health district. The district is engaged in numerous activities in the region designed to improve the overall health of those visiting, living, and working in the three counties. Mr. Kennedy has been engaged in several of these regional activities already and will bring additional energy and focus to the operations.
"The Health District serves a myriad of functions designed to improve the wellbeing of those in the community. Through these activities with partners in all three counties I have had the opportunity to interact with great people who share a passion for this community, which in my biased opinion is unmatched anywhere else. There are large and complex issues being addressed by the Health District staff and its partners through programming and awareness that will likely result in positive health outcomes as a result of continued collaborative efforts."
– Joshua Kennedy, Assistant Health Director
In his previous role as Executive Director for the McDowell Health Coalition, Mr. Kennedy was responsible for the day-to-day administrative operations and staff of the organization. He oversaw the collaborative efforts of several workgroups charted by the Coalition which include Access to Care, Behavioral Health, Social Determinants of Health, Healthy Eating and Active Living, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Tobacco Cessation, and Workplace Wellness. The drivers of these various chartered workgroups are members of the community consisting of local state and county agencies, business/industry partners, retired members, and local citizens. The core efforts of these workgroups range from chronic disease prevention to issues relating to social determinants of health, including educational opportunities and economic development.
"We are very excited to have Josh move into this role with our team. I have worked with Josh on previous projects and I know he is dedicated to improving the wellbeing of those we serve. In addition to his passion for public health, Josh brings a unique skillset that includes a keen business acumen, project management capabilities, and a high appreciation of customer service. His additional assistance and support, teamed with our existing highly affective staff, will position our health district and community for greater success on prevention measures and health outcomes."
– James Hines, Jr., Health Director Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District
About the Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District
The RPM District Health Department is composed of Health Departments from Rutherford, Polk and McDowell Counties. Our administration offices are located within the Rutherford County Health Department in Spindale. The Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District provides our community Health Services which are both mandated and non-mandated services to the citizens of our area. You can learn more about each of the services we provide by browsing website at, www.rpmhd.org.
Whether you are seeking Clinical Services or Environmental Health Services we strive to provide our community with outstanding service.
We all need shots (also called vaccinations or immunizations) to help protect us from serious diseases. To help keep our community safe, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proudly participating in National Immunization Awareness Month.
Shots can prevent serious diseases like the flu, measles, and pneumonia. It's important to know which shots you need and when to get them.
Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.
• If you have a child age 6 or younger, find out which shots your child needs.
• Find out which shots adults and teenagers need.
• Use this chart for adults to see if you are up to date on your shots.
• If you are pregnant, check out this recommended immunization schedule.
Talk to your doctor or nurse to make sure that everyone in your family gets the shots they need. Our offices in Rutherford, Polk and McDowell Counties would be glad to work with you and your family to deteremine what immunizatoins you need. Call or stop by Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 5:00pm.
Revised Health Advisory Information - Swim Advisory Has Been Canceled - July 10, 2015:
The "No Swim" and "Fish Consumption" Advisory for the North Fork River has been cancelled by NC Public Health. Over the past eight days water and sediment samples were taken at multiple points along the North Fork River as well as Lake James with test results showing the water is safe for recreational purposes and fish consumption per NC Public Health.
Imagination comes to life when we take what we know, flip it on its end and see it in a whole new way.
Wiggle on broccoli, hop on a corn stalk, climb on a strawberry, and dance on a carrot. WIC children play while their parents
work out on cardio steppers nearby. You will see all
this on the front lawn of the McDowell Public Health Department in rural North Carolina. Enter the parking lot and fill your senses with a riot of colors and shapes enticing you to get out of your car and play, have fun, enjoy healthy foods and visit the farmers market.
This heart healthy play space was first envisioned by RPMHD Health Director, Jimmy Hines who believes that "health" is not a building or a department, but rather an attitude of well being. Play and family fun foster healthy behaviors leading to lifelong health and wellness. To send a strong visual message to local folks in rural WNC, Mr. Hines and the WIC team had play equipment and games custom made for the families served here in Marion.
The Heart Healthy Playground sends a powerful positive message to children and adults alike reminding everyone of the importance of healthy behaviors. WIC Staff use the Playground to enhance Child Health Learning Opportunities. It is part of the RPM Health District's Action Plan to increase opportunities for physical activity by enhancing the built environment. Plans are currently underway to connect the Health Department Playground with nearby the Greenway walking paths. The Greenway connects folks to the Senior Center, the YMCA, the McDowell Hospital and more.
Know The Terms!
Hurricane Watch – hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) are possible. Watches are usually issued 48 hours before the beginning of tropical-storm-force-winds.
Hurricane Warning – hurricane conditions (sustained winds greater than 74 mph) are expected. Warnings are usually issued 36 hours before the beginning of tropical-storm-force-winds.
Tropical Storm Warning – tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within 36 hours.
Tropical Depression - contains winds up to 39 miles per hour (mph).
Tropical Storm - 39 - 73 mph winds
Category 1 – 74 to 95 mph winds
Category 2 – 96 to110 mph winds
Category 3 – 111 to 130 mph winds
Category 4 – 131 to 155 mph winds.
Category 5 – winds 156 mph or greater.
Be Safe! Act Quickly
- Build an emergency kit.
- Make a family communications plan.
- Know you're the routes you need to leave your home (evacuation routes). Locate your local emergency shelters.
- Closely watch/listen to the weather reports. Listening every hour as the storm nears.
- Put fuel in all vehicles and with draw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and ATMs may be closed after a hurricane.
- If authorities ask you to leave, do so quickly.
- If you leave (evacuate), be alert to flooded or washed-out roads. Just a few inches of water can float a car. Think: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
- Keep a photo I.D. that shows your home address. You will need it when asking police if it is okay for you to re-enter your area or home.
- Secure your property.
- Bring inside all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Cover windows with permanent storm shutters or board up windows with 5/8" plywood, cut and ready to install. Tape does not stop windows from breaking.
- Put in straps or extra clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will lower roof damage.
- Trim trees and shrubs around your home, so they are more wind resistant.
- Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
- Reinforce garage doors. If wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
Download the ReadyNC App!
Another great tip is to download the ReadyNC App! The app has a lot of information that can help you before, during and after a disaster.