County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - November 2018

Public Health Newsletter - November 2018
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 6 - Issue 10 - November 2018
In this Issue: Tobacco | Wildfire | IMPACT | TB | 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.

Marin Passes Flavored Tobacco Ban 

With support from the Marin medical community, on November 6, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance preventing the sale of flavored tobacco and e-cigarettes in unincorporated areas.  Marin is helping lead a growing number of communities taking action to reverse the alarming trend of vaping and flavored tobacco use.  On November 29, California lawmakers announced a plan to introduce a bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco state-wide. 

Wildfire Smoke Response 

Between the 8th and 20th of November, Marin County experienced an unprecedented interval of poor air quality due to wildfire smoke.  The frequency, duration, and severity of wildfire events is increasing significantly, and each  offers an opportunity to refine our response.   Marin County Public Health issued public health advisories and worked closely with schools, healthcare systems, and emergency response.  For any future events, see this landing page for Public Health wildfire response information.


Clinicians are aware that a small number of individuals utilize a large fraction of healthcare and social services, often due to complex medical and psychiatric disease and unmet social needs.  Marin County is launching a two-year pilot program to help thirty of the most vulnerable mental health clients survive safely in the community.  The goals of the Integrated Multi-Service Partnership Assertive Community Treatment (IMPACT) program include reduction in hospitalizations, ED visits, and arrests.  Visit the  website to learn more.                                                                                 

New Guidelines for Latent Tuberculosis Treatment

Although rates of TB disease in Marin have steadily declined, this trend has slowed since 2000.  Most cases of active TB in Marin arise in persons with untreated latent infection, representing missed opportunities to diagnose and treat disease before it can spread.  The California Department of Public Health has updated guidance for latent TB infection screening and treatment.  Visit Marin County Tuberculosis Control webpage for additional resources.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotThe recent wildfire smoke response offered a glimpse into the profound social disruption that large-scale environmental damage brings.  While we respond to urgent needs during such events, it is critical that we recognize the root causes and shift our attention upstream toward prevention.  The clinician voice is vital in signaling the tangible impacts of climate change on the health of our community.
With gratitude,
Matt Willis
HHS Website
HHS Youtube
Copyright (c) 2018
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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