Allegheny County Department of Health

Health
12:31 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

County Considers Stricter Regulations on Wood Burning

Allegheny County is considering beefing up regulations around outdoor wood burning.
Credit Flickr user Doug Becker

Julie Burgo was shocked when she was diagnosed with asthma in her 40s. But she had a hunch of what was causing the disorder: her neighbors’ wood burning fireplace.

When she approached her neighbors and told them that their habits were negatively affecting her health and the health of her mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment at the time, she said they retaliated with bigger and more frequent fires.

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Community
5:11 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Seniors Get Financial Assistance For Farmers Markets

Qualifying seniors can head off to farmers markets in the Pittsburgh area starting June 17 with $20 worth of checks in hand provided by the Allegheny County Department of Health Services Area Agency on Aging (AAA).

“The goal of the program is to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to the eligible seniors in our area and to support the farmers,” said Marian Matik, administrative officer for AAA.

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Home Inspections
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Health Department to Make Low-income Homes Healthy

Every day, an average of 36,000 children in the United States miss school because of an asthma attack, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Unfortunately, many children are exposed to asthma triggers such as mold and dust mites, along with other health hazards, in their homes.

Now, lower income households with children can receive free home health inspections from the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to detect risks such as asthma triggers, mold spores, and lead paint.

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Health
4:02 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Allegheny County Marks 40th Anniversary Of WIC Food and Nutrition Program

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program is aimed at ensuring pregnant women and mothers of young children have access to food staples. The program is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Allegheny County was a pilot site for the national demonstration project in the 1970s.

“Allegheny County Health Department opened the first WIC Clinic in Pennsylvania and issued the first WIC voucher on May 28th, 1974,” said Kathryn South, a public health nutrition administrator with the Allegheny County Health Department’s WIC Office.

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Health
12:17 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Allegheny Co. Trying to Prevent Further Heroin Overdoses After Rash of Deaths

Health officials are warning that an extremely dangerous brand of heroin is making the rounds in Pittsburgh and surrounding counties.

Twenty-two people have died in the past week in western Pennsylvania from a suspected overdose of a mix of heroin and the powerful narcotic fentanyl, according to Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner says they’ve found “stamp bags” labeled with the words “Theraflu,” “Bud Ice” and “Income Tax” at the scenes of the overdoses.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:24 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Karen Hacker Enthusiastic About New Direction of Public Health in Allegheny County

Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5WESA

As new Allegheny County Health Department Director Karen Hacker comes into office, she faces a range of public health concerns. From smoking, obesity and air quality to green infrastructure and fracking issues, Dr. Hacker will be tackling a number of community health matters.

Many worry whether the department has the resources it needs to enforce all the state and county regulations under its purview, but Dr. Hacker says she has already received unique support from the public and from advocacy groups.

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Marcellus Shale
5:14 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Allegheny County Health Department Celebrates Fracking Regulatory Victory

The Allegheny County Health Department is celebrating a legislative victory that will allow them to more effectively monitor air and water pollution.

In December, County Council passed a law that requires companies performing hydraulic fracturing within the county to notify the Health Department as each phase of the process begins.

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Winter Weather
2:11 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

As Severe Cold Descends on Southwest PA, How to Keep You and Your Pets Safe

Wind chill temperatures are expected to dip to more than 30 below zero in southwestern Pennsylvania Monday night and Tuesday morning, which means exposed skin could freeze in less than 5 minutes.

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Health
3:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Flu 'Widespread' in PA, CDC Says

Influenza is now considered to be “widespread” in Pennsylvania as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with health officials reporting outbreaks in at least half the regions of the state.

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Health
5:55 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Edible Schoolyard Program Looks to County to Help Fund Expansion

Elementary and secondary schools in the Pittsburgh region are increasingly interested in integrating gardening into their curricula. At least, that’s what it looks like from where Jake Seltman is sitting.

Seltman is the director of educational programming at Grow Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that provides gardening and farming education to people of all ages.

Seltman said that in the last six months he’s fielded 22 requests from schools and school districts to bring the Edible Schoolyard program to their schools.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:05 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Public Forum: Addressing Your Questions On the Affordable Care Act

From left to right: Rachel Dingfelder, Dr. Christopher Hughes, Erin Gill-Ninehouser, Titus North
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

On Tuesday October 1st the health insurance exchange, a key part of the Affordable Care Act, opens for enrollment. While the various insurance plans and stipulations can be confusing, there are many resources available to offer assistance.

On Thursday September 26th, representatives from various health access groups came together at the Community Broadcast Center to talk about how the new healthcare & insurance plans will affect individuals and businesses. Listen to an edited broadcast of the forum on Tuesday October 1 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA.

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Health
3:30 am
Sun September 15, 2013

Allegheny County Health Department Begins Planning Obesity Prevention Campaign

Allegheny County’s new health department director is setting her sights on obesity prevention.

Dr. Karen Hacker, who joined the department last week, gave a presentation about ways to address obesity during Wednesday’s meeting of the Allegheny County Board of Health.

“I think it’s a national issue," Hacker said. "Somewhere between 30-40 percent of the population is in the overweight category, and I just believe there’s a lot a community can do and a lot a public health department can do.”

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Health
12:43 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Point State Park Fountain Being Tested for Legionella Bacteria

About a month after its re-opening, the fountain at Point State Park is being tested by the Allegheny County Department of Health for Legionella.

The move follows a report of one person coming down with Legionnaires' disease after a visit to the fountain. County health officials say it’s unlikely the infection came from the fountain, but they are testing it as a precaution.

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Water Quality
6:13 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Health Department and Alcosan Advise on River Water Quality

When it rains in Pittsburgh, chances are raw sewage will be discharged into its rivers because so many pipes receive not only sewage, but also storm water, and the system can't handle the volume.  

When this happens, the Allegheny County Health Department issues combined sewer overflow (CSO) flag alerts between May 15 and September 30.

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Health
4:48 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Allegheny County Names Karen Hacker New Health Department Director

After a national search, Allegheny County officials announced Friday that Dr. Karen Hacker has been chosen as the new director of the Allegheny County Department of Health.

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Allegheny County
4:46 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Allegheny County Board of Health OKs Minor Changes to Air Quality Standards

The Allegheny County Board of Health has approved minor changes to ambient air standards and enforcement. Going forward, instead of listing the individual ambient standards, state and federal standards will be referenced.

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