Public Health Summit Attracts Crowd to Determine County Priorities

Putnam residents still encouraged to complete online health survey

Maureen Kenney, American Lung Association, casts one of her votes for reducing chronic disease at the Putnam County Public Health Summit III. Photo courtesy of Putnam County Health

Maureen Kenney, American Lung Association, casts one of her votes for reducing chronic disease at the Putnam County Public Health Summit III.
Photo courtesy of Putnam County Health

More than 70 community healthcare providers and public health administrators attended the Putnam County Public Health Summit III, held Wednesday, May 22, at the Michael T. Weber Community Auditorium of Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) in Brewster. Organized by the Putnam County Department of Health and hosted by the hospital, the daylong event brought together nearly 40 Putnam organizations for a brainstorming session to help identify and discuss the top health priorities facing the county.

Reducing chronic disease and improving mental health appeared to be the most pressing issues. New York State Department of Health’s Prevention Agenda 2013-2017 pre-identified five broad goals, and individual counties were tasked to choose specific areas for their efforts based on the needs of their particular communities.

Deputy Putnam County Executive Bruce J. Walker, PHC President Maureen Zipparo and Commissioner of Health Dr. Allen Beals offered introductory remarks, setting the tone for the day. Walker spoke about the continuing efforts of the county executive’s office to keep the budget in line without losing needed programs; Beals pointed to the tremendous pressures being felt nationwide in both public health and healthcare and the need to tailor programs that focus on prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion for residents.

Putnam County residents who have not yet done so and still wish to provide their opinion concerning community strengths and areas for improvement are asked to visit the Putnam County website,, where the survey is still accessible. It will run until June 30.

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