Public Health & Community Services
Who We Are
The Division of Public Health and Community Services is the public health entity for the City of Nashua. It is the first accredited Health Department in New Hampshire. All of the Departments within the Division offer services that directly impact the health, social, and economic well-being of the residents of the City of Nashua and the surrounding communities.
To promote, protect and preserve the health and well being of the Greater Nashua Region through leadership and community collaboration.
To have an informed, safe, healthy and resilient community where all people can thrive and prosper.
Newsflash - Stay updated on the latest announcements!
New Mobile Outreach Van for the City Health Department
We're on the road again! The City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services Community Health Department (DPHCS CHD) has been providing outreach services on a mobile van for over 25 years. The crew consisting of outreach workers and public health nurses would venture out on a large RV supplied with vaccines, prevention materials and testing kits. Over the years weathering of the 1999 RV led to its retirement during the summer of 2018. To prevent a gap in services offered through mobile outreach activities, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation in collaboration with the City of Nashua provided funding to purchase a 2018 RAM PROMASTER outfitted by Allen Mello to get the public health prevention specialists back on the road again.
In the past, the DPHCS CHD outreach team has had contact with up to 2,170 clients in a year through mobile outreach activities. “We are very excited to once again to be able to offer mobile outreach services in the Greater Nashua area. Unlike our larger RV, the smaller cargo van allows for us to be on the road all year round so we anticipate an increase in the number of contacts and clients served”, says Division Director, Bobbie D. Bagley.
Mobile van services offered during outreach include: Health promotion educational messages and vaccinations for children and adults which include: Influenza, Pneumonia, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Shingles, Td (Tetanus, Diptheria), Tdap (Tetanus, Pertussis, Diptheria), Dtap, MMR, Varicella, Polio, Rotavirus, Hib, Meningitis and HPV); Blood Pressure Screenings; Child Blood Lead Screenings; HIV and HCV counseling and testing; and tuberculosis testing. Services offered on the new outreach van will continue to be prevention focused. An additional service will be Syringe Services Access with substance use disorder prevention messaging and referrals to treatment and recovery services. The schedule for outreach van activities will be posted on the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services webpage.
Fight the Flu
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Flu season is here ...
Signs and Symptoms
Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
How it Spreads
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.You may be able to pass on flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins.
Helping to Stop the Spread of Germs
Stay away from people who are sick (and stay home if you're the sick one), cover your cough and sneeze, frequently wash your hands, disinfect surfaces throughout your home and work space.
Most importantly ... GET YOUR FLU SHOT!! EVERY YEAR!!
January Awareness Activities
One of the biggest tools we have to fight health conditions is the power of human connection. That’s why awareness months, weeks, and days are so important: They rally us together to spread awareness and show support.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) - January 22-27
NDAFW is a national health observance linking teens to science-based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs! Families strive to find the best ways to raise their children to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and others, including the abuse of prescription drugs. Research supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has shown the important role that parents play in preventing their children from starting to use drugs.
Questions all parents and guardians should be thinking about:
- Are you able to communicate calmly and clearly with your teenager regarding relationship problems?
- Do you encourage positive behaviors in your teenager on a daily basis?
- Are you able to negotiate emotional conflicts with your teenager and work toward a solution?
- Are you able to calmly set limits when your teenager is defiant or disrespectful? Are you able to set limits on more serious problem behavior such as drug use, if or when it occurs?
- Do you monitor your teenager to assure that he or she does not spend too much unsupervised time with peers?
Resources for parents and guardians:
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the cervix. The cervix connects the lower part of a woman’s uterus to her vagina. Cervical cancer was once a leading cause of death among U.S. women. That changed when the Pap smear became widely available. This test allows doctors to find precancerous changes in a woman’s cervix and treat them. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the mortality rate has declined by 50 percent within the last 40 years.
The ACS estimates that in 2017, approximately 12,820 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,210 will die from the disease. Most instances will be diagnosed in women who are between the ages of 20 and 50.
Almost all cervical cancers are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are a number of different strains of HPV. Only certain types are associated with cervical cancer. The two types that most commonly cause cancer are HPV-16 and HPV-18.
Infection with a cancer-causing strain of HPV doesn’t mean you’ll get cervical cancer. Your immune system eliminates the vast majority of HPV infections. Most people are rid of the virus within two years. However, HPV is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that most sexually active men and women will become infected by HPV during their lifetime.
Routine Pap smears are important. Caught early, cervical cancer is very treatable. Precancerous changes are often detected and treated before cervical cancer can develop. Testing and treatment stops cervical cancer before it starts. According to the ACS, the majority of American women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have either never had a Pap smear or not had one in the last five years.
Visit our Immunization Clinic Tuesdays 4-7PM and Fridays 8:30AM-10:30AM to immunize and protect your child from HPV.
National Birth Defects Prevention Month
A birth defect is a problem that occurs when a baby is developing in utero (in the womb). Approximately 1 out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect. Birth defects can be minor or severe. They may affect appearance, organ function, and physical and mental development. Most birth defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming. Some birth defects are harmless. Others require long-term medical treatment. Severe birth defects are the leading cause of infant death in the United States, accounting for 20 percent of deaths. Birth defects can be a result of:
- lifestyle choices and behaviors
- exposure to certain medications and chemicals
- infections during pregnancy
- a combination of these factors
However, the exact causes of certain birth defects are often unknown
Many birth defects can’t be prevented, but there are some ways to lower the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Women who plan to become pregnant should start taking folic acid supplements before conception. These supplements should also be taken throughout the pregnancy. Folic acid can help prevent defects of the spine and brain. Prenatal vitamins are also recommended during pregnancy.
- Women should avoid alcohol, drugs, and tobacco during and after pregnancy. They should also use caution when taking certain medications. Some medications that are normally safe can cause serious birth defects when taken by a pregnant woman. Make sure to tell your doctor about any medications you may be taking, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Most vaccines are safe during pregnancy. In fact, some vaccines can help prevent birth defects. There is a theoretical risk of harm to a developing fetus with some live-virus vaccines, so these kinds should not be given during pregnancy. You should ask your doctor which vaccines are necessary and safe.
- Maintaining a healthy weight also helps reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy. Women with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, should take special care to manage their health.
- It’s extremely important to attend regular prenatal appointments. If your pregnancy is considered high risk, your doctor can do additional prenatal screening to identify defects. Depending on the type of defect, your doctor may be able to treat it before the baby is born.
National Radon Action Month
To protect the lives of all Americans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. This is a great opportunity to increase awareness of radon, promote radon testing and mitigation, and advance the use of radon-resistant new construction practices. For more information about what you can do to protect your health and take action against radon during National Radon Action Month, please visit the EPA website.
Are you looking for more health resources in NH?
Call NH 2-1-1
Are you experiencing homelessness?
If somebody is experiencing homelessness and needs assistance, please refer them to the Coordinated Entry Line for the Greater Nashua Continuum of Care at 844-800-9911. For other services, refer them to 211 (by telephone) or on the web at www.211nh.org.
During extreme heat and cold look for information on warming/cooling centers, staying safe during emergencies, and more:
Community Services Department
The Community Services Department encompasses cross-departmental projects and provides regional public health services.
Within this department are the following programs/projects:
- Community Health Assessment (CHA)
- Community Health Improvement Program (CHIP)
- Health Data and Epidemiology
- Health Education
- Healthy Homes
- Public Health Accreditation
- Public Health Advisory Council
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness
- Strategic Planning (PDF)
- Substance Misuse
Community Health Department
The Community Health Department provides services that protect the public's health by ensuring that individuals are tested, treated or provided vaccinations that protect the entire community from communicable disease.
Environmental Health Department
The Environmental Health Department protects the health of the public by defining, eliminating, controlling and managing environmental hazards. This is accomplished through the enforcement of laws and ordinances that protect the public from harmful environmental factors, often in collaboration with other City or State partners.
The Welfare Department provides interim emergency assistance for income eligible residents. Assistance is available with rent, food, utilities and medications.