County of Marin Health and Human Services

Public Health Newsletter - September 2018

Public Health Newsletter - September 2018
Marin County Public Health Newsletter Volume 6 - Issue 8 - September 2018
In this Issue: CURES | Rabies | Flu | Suicide | 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.

Mandatory CURES Use Begins Next Week

In order to promote better-informed prescribing practices, starting October 2, physicians must consult CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System) prior to prescribing DEA Schedule II, III, or IV medications, with some exceptions.  The California Board of Medicine is responsible for regulation and enforcement of the new law for physicians and has developed this useful guideThis short video describes the clinical utility of CURES.


World Rabies Day is held annually on September 28th, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine.  Rabies is nearly always fatal and is endemic in Marin wildlife.  Approximately ten percent of bats tested in Marin carry rabies.   Animal bites are reportable events to Marin Public Health.  Visit the Marin Rabies Information Page to access a Bite Report and review the rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Algorithm.

Flu Update

Last year, Marin County was highly impacted by influenza.  Vaccination remains our best line of defense for health care providers and patients alike.  On November 1st, the Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of All Health Care Workers order goes into effect.  Marin County's Immunization Program is also offering free flu clinics throughout the county.  Visit for the most up-to-date information about current influenza activity in Marin.

Suicide Prevention

Marin County's suicide rates are higher than those of most California counties.  Nationally, suicide rates have been increasing annually since 1999.  In Marin, preventable suicides occur across the age spectrum, and two-thirds of the victims are male.  Most have no mental health diagnosis, highlighting the need for community-wide supports.  Marin County Office of Education, Health and Human Services, and others partnered to develop a response protocol for school settings, as part of a wider suicide prevention plan that will be completed in March.

Message from the Public Health Officer

Matthew Willis Marin County PHO HeadshotThis month's newsletter reflects the wide range of health challenges we face as a community and the steps we can take to promote longevity in Marin.  CURES can help address the leading cause of accidental death in Marin, overdose involving prescription opioids.  Flu and rabies mortality is preventable through controlling exposures, vaccination, and post-exposure care.  By screening for suicide risk, clinicians can be a life-saving support and connect patients to services.  As always, your feedback and suggestions for future topics is always welcome.

With gratitude,
Matt Willis, MD, MPH
Public Health Officer
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Copyright (c) 2018
Matthew Willis MD, MPH
Marin County Public Health Officer
(415) 473-4163
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Our mailing address is:
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San Rafael, CA 94901

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