How Safe Is Your Home?
The Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) provides a free in home assessment focusing on home safety. An HNP team member can discuss areas where safety can be improved and may also supply FREE items to assist you with making your home safer!
Tioga County Residents can call 687-8390 to schedule a FREE home safety check!
The Public Health Department is responsible for health promotion, disease prevention and community needs assessment.
The Public Health Department supports the citizens of the County through Environmental Health, Dental Health, Disease Control, Nursing Services, Emergency Preparedness and Health Education programs.
Tioga County Child Passenger Safety Program
Tioga County Public Health oversees the Child Passenger Safety Program for Tioga County. This program includes free car seat checks by a Certified Car Seat Technician. Free car seats are available at any of our 3 fitting stations to families meeting eligibility requirements. The car seat program includes an educational component to ensure that families receiving seats are able to reinstall seats on their own, and are able to keep their child safe in the car as they grow.
To be eligible for a free car seat, families must be on one of the following forms of public assistance:
If you are fostering a child or have been given custody of a child suddenly and are in need of a car seat, please call Tioga County Public Health at 607-687-8612 to see if you are eligible for a free car seat.
Car Seat Check Events
Car Seat Check Events are held across the county at least 3 times a year.
All Certified Car Seat Technicians must complete a 4-day training to receive their certification, and must get re-certified every 2 years. We make sure that every child leaves our fitting stations safer than they came in!
Appointments are available at any of the following locations:
Tioga County Public Health
Phone: (607) 687-8612
1062 State Route 38
Owego, NY 13827
Owego Police Department
Phone: (607) 687-2234
90 Temple St.
Owego, NY 13827
Waverly Police Department
Phone: (607) 565-2836
32 Ithaca St.
Waverly, NY 14892
This program is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with a grant from the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
Early Intervention Program
This program is for children from birth to age three who have developmental delays and disabilities. Its purpose is to provide the services needed to improve child and family development. Early intervention can be provided anywhere in the community, in the home, or at daycare providers location. The program is offered free for all Tioga County families.
Services include but are not limited to:
NYS Early Intervention Program
Child Find is for children birth through age three. The purpose of Child Find is to screen children who are suspected or at risk for a developmental delay or disability. The parent/guardian is sent a developmental questionnaire starting at six months through 36 months to monitor the child's growth and development by completing the questionnaires and returning them to the Child Find Coordinator.
If a potentially qualifying disability or delay is identified, your child will be referred to our Early Intervention Program for evaluation.
Children With Special Health Care Needs
The Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) program is an informational referral and advocacy program for children birth to 21 years who have, or are suspected of having, a serious or chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, and/or emotional condition, and require health or related services of a type or amount beyond that typically required of children. This program can help families:
NYS Children with Special Health Care Needs
To make a referral to any of these programs, please call (607) 687-8600
Tioga Mobile Dental Services
The Tioga Mobile Dental Van travels throughout Tioga County providing dental care. Sites include Tioga County schools where children have easy access to receiving care during the school day. Adults can also receive care before or after-school and on school vacations. Services include dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions. Must be a Tioga County resident. All dental insurances are accepted, plus a Sliding Fee Scale is available.
Fluoride Varnish Program
Fluoride varnish is an easy and effective way to prevent dental cavities. It has been proven to reduce cavities by up to 40%! This fruit-flavored, sticky varnish is easily applied with a small brush. It can be applied up to 4 times a year for children at risk for cavities, especially those without fluoridated water. Fluoride varnish applications are available to Tioga County elementary students and Head Start students.
When should I start brushing my baby's teeth and how?
Cleaning any child’s teeth can be difficult, but a squirmy baby’s can be extremely challenging.
It is best to start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before the first tooth comes in, around six months.
Always start with washing your hands. There are many types of toothbrushes and gum cleaners in stores but we have found that a baby’s washcloth works best. Wrap the washcloth around your index finger and wet it. Gently wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with your covered finger. This is the time when your baby wiggles, squirms, and whines. Don’t give up! Hold the baby in a cradle-hold with one of their arms around your back and your arm cradling their head while holding their other arm - this should help!
Clean your baby’s mouth every night before bed after their last feeding. This can also help to be a sign to your baby that it is time for sleep. Good luck and do not give up!
Why is it that some people never get cavities and others seem to get cavities overnight?
To begin to understand this, it is important to understand how a cavity is made. First, you need to start with bacteria, those tiny germs that are everywhere but we cannot see them. There are several different kinds of bacteria, but the one that lives in the mouth and causes cavities is called Strep. mutans. The Strep. mutans bacteria needs food to live, as do all things, and Strep. mutans loves sugary, sticky carbohydrates. Things like gummy worms, soda, cookies, and cake are Strep. mutans foods of choice. When people eat these kinds of foods, this bacteria eat it too. When Strep. mutans chows down, it makes an acid-like substance and this acid eats away at the teeth. The more Strep. mutans and sugary foods equals more cavities.
If you do not want cavities, your first step is to get rid of the bacteria. This is where a toothbrush and floss are handy. A toothbrush brushes away plaque, the sticky stuff which helps to hold Strep. mutans to your teeth. Floss gets in-between the teeth where food, plaque, and Strep. mutans hide out. Fluoride toothpaste makes a fluoride “shield” on the tooth, which makes it harder for the acid to form a cavity. By not eating sugary foods, the bacteria will not have a food source, so this will also help.
People who do not get cavities do not have a lot of Strep. mutans living in their mouths. They could eat all the wrong things and still not get a cavity because they do not have the bacteria in their mouth to make the acid.
People who have a lot of bacteria in their mouths need to be the best brushers and flossers and eat a very healthy diet. Plus, they have to be careful because they can share the bacteria with other people by sharing food, drinks, toothbrushes, etc.
Remember, you cannot brush away a cavity. Only your dentist can clean out a cavity and fill in the hole so bacteria and food do not collect again. Everyone should have their teeth checked regularly, so cavities and other oral diseases can be detected early.
For more information, please call (607) 687-8595.
The Environmental Health Division of Tioga County Public Health Department regulates and enforces public health and environmental matters in accordance with the Tioga County Sanitary Code and New York State laws. The programs address the concerns of housing, food and recreation, water supply, solid waste disposal, among other indoor and outdoor health matters. All application and permit forms are located in the document library below.
NYS TOBACCO CONTROL POLICIES: Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) prohibits smoking of tobacco (herbal cigarettes are exempted) in nearly all public and work places. NYS DOH CIAA revised 2015
ADOLESCENT TOBACCO USE PREVENTION ACT (ATUPA): Compliance checks are completed for every tobacco retailer in Tioga County at least twice a year underage youth is done at each facility where tobacco products are available for sale, to verify that such products are not being sold to minors.
FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS: Environmental Health is responsible for ensuring that food service is regulated in order to enforce standards and protect the community from foodborne illnesses.
RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Environmental Health regulates operation and maintenance of public recreation areas by conducting inspections, issuing permits, and investigating reports of injuries or illness.
WATER SYSTEMS: The Tioga County Public Health Department routinely tests all community (cities, villages, mobile home parks, beaches, lakes, and pools) and non-community (restaurants, hotels) water supplies to ensure that Total Coliform and E.coli levels are absent. Testing of private water systems (homes and businesses) are primarily done when the homes are being sold or when a private homeowner requests a bacteria test be performed.
* Public Water Supply Operators: Mandatory forms and regulations may be downloaded by clicking on the links and through the documents below:
PUBLIC AWARENESS OF SEWER SYSTEMS: Don't let your sewer turn on you or your neighbors. Do not pour fats, oils, or grease (FOG) down the drain. Residents make the biggest difference when it comes to reducing sewer backups and spills by adhering to Sewer Smart Tips. Working together we can all help prevent sewer clogging and sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) and protect our environment.
BLUE-GREEN ALGAE ADVICE: People can be exposed to blue-green algae and their toxins by contact (touching, swallowing, and inhaling) during water recreation, drinking water, and household use.
* Water Recreation: Swimming, wading, boating, fishing, or eating fish
For more information, check out Blue-Green Algae Advice!
The Public Health Department is charged with ensuring the safety of food served at establishments throughout the County. The Food Safety Course is provided to help educate food service workers on best practices of food handling and preparation. The application document and full power point course are available below, and may be shared, reproduced, or utilized as needed. When the application and fee are received a code will be sent to register for the course exam.
The Health Education program includes many activities and programs which focus on improving the health and well-being in Tioga County. Health promotion efforts, education, training, and other resources are developed to meet the needs of our community.
This program provides FREE in-home assessments to evaluate home safety. A Healthy Neighborhoods team member will discuss ways to improve safety in the home and may provide FREE supplies.
Areas of Assessment
Indoor Air Quality
Other Environmental Hazards
Healthy Neighborhood Program Goals
Increase Radon Testing
Prevent Indoor Air Pollution/Reduce Asthma Triggers
Prevent Lead Poisoning
Prevent Home Fire Hazards
Decrease Environmental Health Hazards in the Home
What to Expect
A Healthy Neighborhoods team member will evaluate multiple areas of the home to check for health and safety hazards. They will discuss and promote areas of improvement and supply materials to the individual and/or family.
Products may include
First Aid Kits
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Radon Testing Kits
Child Proofing Supplies
Please Call 607-687-8390 to Schedule a Home Visit Today!
The goal of Tioga County Public Health’s Immunization Program is to increase immunization rates in children and adults, as well as protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure that children and adults receive the vaccines that they need. Tioga County Public Health works closely with primary care providers, local hospitals (including Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania), school nurses, day care providers, pharmacists and other local agencies to encourage increasing immunization rates throughout Tioga County. By auditing the providers’ immunization records of the 2 and 13 year olds in their practice it shows how many of the children are up-to-date with their immunizations. TCPH works with them to help increase their rates. TCPH reviews the providers’ storage and handling of their vaccines to ensure proper storage and handling which is vital to vaccine effectiveness. Adult immunizations are also encouraged, as is using the New York State Immunization Registry (NYSIIS).
Immunizations are provided for uninsured children less than 19 years of age through New York State’s Vaccines For Children (VFC) program. Find out if your child qualifies for VFC! The MMR immunization may be available to those adults who qualify. Through partnership with New York State Department of Health and Tioga Opportunities Family Planning, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B immunizations are available to uninsured adults who have been screened and found to be at high risk for Hepatitis infection. Tioga County Public Health provides the Hepatitis B immunization series to its employees and others who are at risk of blood-borne pathogen exposure including various local governmental units, other non-profit agencies, and private industry depending on their need.
School Vaccine Requirements:
Vaccine Information Sheets (VIS):
Tioga County’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is responsible for identifying children newborn to eighteen years of age with elevated blood lead levels and tracking follow-up services to make sure that they are appropriate and timely. Tioga County’s LPPP staff provides case management to all children in the county with blood lead levels of 5 mcg/dL or greater.
For more information on lead poisoning prevention:
New York State Department of Health: www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead
Environmental Protection Agency: www.epa.gov/lead
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: www.cpsc.gov. This site provides information on product recalls due to lead.
Our nursing staff promotes public health and prevents disease in several ways.
Are you a new or expecting mom? Click here for info on a phone app that can help you throughout your pregnancy and your baby's first year!
We participate in the Vaccines for Children and Vaccines for Adults (VFC, VFA) programs which assure that under-insured or uninsured people can receive vaccines at a low cost or no cost. We work with the county’s 11 healthcare providers to assure that vaccines are correctly handled and maintained. We also work with these providers, as well as schools and other community partners, to increase vaccination rates. We provide education to both healthcare professionals and the public so that higher immunization rates can be reached.
Do you need a vaccine but aren't sure where to go? Enter your address here to find a location closest to you!
Encouraging lead testing of children and preventing/ treating lead poisoning are two topics we address in our Lead program. We receive the lead test results of all Tioga County children tested. We provide education, resources, case management, and home visits, depending on the child’s lead level and individual needs. We strive to increase our lead testing results. This assures that children with elevated blood lead levels are identified and helps to prevent potential physical and mental growth issues that can occur with increased levels.
Our communicable disease program collaborates with New York State Department of Health to monitor and minimize the risk of diseases being transferred from one person to another. Examples of some of the diseases we address are Hepatitis, food-borne illnesses, and sexually transmitted diseases. We assure that people are compliant with treatment and we educate them to assure that diseases will not spread. We work with our Environmental Health staff to assure that people who may have been exposed to rabies complete the recommended treatment.
Our respiratory program monitors for tuberculosis (TB), a respiratory infection caused by bacteria. TB can attack the lungs and is spread in the air from person to person. We do tuberculosis skin tests to check if a person has TB in his/her body. We assure that people with positive TB tests or people who have signs/symptoms of TB receive proper education, treatment, monitoring, and follow up.
Tioga County Health Department is committed to preparing the community to plan for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. Our team consists of employees, volunteers, and many community partners. The Health Department maintains plans for:
The following links may be helpful in preparing for an emergency situation:
To sign up and receive emergency alerts follow this link: http://www.nyalert.gov
Emergency preparedness contact: Emily Warfle WarfleE@co.tioga.ny.us 607-687-8607
Medical Reserve Corps
Tioga County’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is sponsored by our public health department and consists of volunteers, medical professionals, and paraprofessionals. Tioga County MRC trains with emergency responders and public health staff and are critical in efforts to respond to events or disasters.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Tioga County Health Department Medical Reserve Corps is to promote health, preserve life, and prevent disability during times of disaster and/or community need. Tioga County MRC strives to have a well-rounded group of both medical and non-medical volunteers with a basic understanding of emergency response and with a desire to help others in need.
For more information on Tioga County MRC or to become a volunteer please contact:
Emily Warfle WarfleE@co.tioga.ny.us 607-687-8607
The Environmental Health Division is responsible for rabies control in Tioga County. They investigate exposures and offer preventative vaccinations to pets through rabies vaccination clinics scheduled throughout the year.
Tioga County Public Health is dedicated to preventing substance use and fighting substance abuse disorders in Tioga County.
Tioga County Public Health currently has initiatives in place to help in the fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic. Members of the community who are interested in becoming a Non-Medical Opioid Overdose First Responder can get a free Naloxone kit at the Health Department. A brief training will be given to help individuals learn about opioid addiction, heroin use, signs of an opioid overdose, and how to properly reverse an opioid overdose with Naloxone. This program is free and available for anyone living in Tioga County.
Tioga County Public Health is an active member of the Tioga County Allies in Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) and serves on the Tobacco Free Broome Tioga Coalition. Educational material is available on tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and other substance abuse disorders at the Health Department.
For more information on Tioga County ASAP, click here.
Substance Abuse Treatment and Services: For services related to a Substance Abuse Disorder, please view the attached resource guide to see available services in Tioga County and surrounding counties.
For immediate assistance with substance abuse issues, please contact Tioga County Mental Hygiene at 607-687-0200 or after hours at 607-687-1010. If you think someone might be having a drug overdose, call 911 immediately.
For an interactive map of medication and sharps drop boxes and Narcan supplies, click here.
For more information on the Free Naloxone program, to request educational material, or for other substance abuse related questions, please contact Kylie Holochak at (607) 687-8612 or HolochakK@co.tioga.ny.us.
The Bureau of Weights and Measures provides certification and inspection services to ensure that all equipment, such as scales and pumps, provides correct and accurate readings for commercial transactions.
Public Health is something we think about year round, but each month we focus on and provide education on aspects of health that are particularly relevant for that month. Check out our "What the Health!?" monthly educational flyers to learn more!