Monday, November 14, 2016

Local Students Place in Radon Poster Contest

ST. GEORGE, UT –  The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced the five Utah student winners for the 2017 National Radon Poster Contest. Among the winners was Sofia Hancock, a seventh-grader from Fossil Ridge Intermediate School in St. George.  She will receive $100, along with $100 for her school, and will have the opportunity to meet Governor Herbert in January for Radon Awareness Month.

There were over 500 entries from around the state; illustrating the dangers of radon, where it comes from, how it gets into our homes, and how residents can test their homes for this invisible, radioactive gas.

Sofia had already taken first place in the Southwest Utah Region for her poster entry. Amy Reveal took 2ndplace (also receiving an Honorable Mention at the state level), and Gabrielle Lewis took 3rd.  All Regional winners this year attend Fossil Ridge Intermediate.

To get more information about radon test kits and mitigation, and to view all winning posters from the contest, visit

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“Bike with Pike” event to unveil new trail signage

ST. GEORGE, UT- St. George residents are invited to join Mayor Jon Pike for a “Bike with Pike” celebration on Monday, October 24th at Confluence Park. This event will feature music, free hot dogs, a bike rodeo, and a tour of the Mayor’s Loop led by Mayor Pike. Trail system users will also be introduced to newly-installed wayfinding signs which show mileage - and walking and biking times - to local areas of interest. 

“The new wayfinding signs will be a much needed addition to both the trail system and the network of bike lanes being installed throughout the city over the next several years,” says Mayor Pike.

The signage project and Bike with Pike event were made possible by the combined efforts of the Southern Utah Bicycle Alliance (SUBA), the St. George City Active Transportation Committee, and the Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD), which provided a grant to purchase the signs. A total of 300 signs will eventually be installed throughout the trail system, with an additional 100 signs on city streets.

“Our goal is to see more residents in our area get physically active,” adds Kye Nordfelt, SWUPHD Health Promotion Director. “The city of St. George City has been promoting active transportation, and improving trail signage will make biking or walking to destinations more inviting. Studies show that these signs encourage residents to walk or pedal for work, shopping, or recreation instead of driving.” 

  • When: Monday, October 24 (5:30 - 7:30pm)
  • What: Food, music, bike ride with Mayor Pike, bike rodeo
  • Where: Confluence Park trailhead (parking lot just south of the Dixie Convention Center)
  • What to bring: Ride your bike or just come and enjoy the event (bring lights in case the ride lasts through dusk)
  • Who’s invited: Families, individuals, bikers, walkers, media
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Housing Complexes Going Smoke Free

ST.GEORGE, UT- While living in a smoke free home is something most of us take for granted, people living in multiple-unit housing may not always have a choice. Secondhand smoke can seep into neighboring apartments through windows and ventilation systems. Fortunately, many housing complexes - like Riverside Apartments in St. George - have been making the switch to become smoke free with updated smoking policies.
 “Smoking is now allowed only in a designated area instead of just outside the door,” says Ingrid, manager of Riverside Apartments. “People have been very cooperative, we haven’t had a problem.” She reports that one smoking tenant has even thanked her for the new policy because it has helped him decrease his smoking.

There is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure, which can cause heart disease, cancer, and many other health problems. Children are especially vulnerable, and while most Utah children live in smoke free homes, over 14,000 still live in an environment where they breathe secondhand smoke.  

Many housing complexes throughout the community are introducing policies to protect all their residents from smoke hazards. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is offering free information to help managers implement tobacco free policies for their properties. For more information, contact Audrie Frehner at 435-986-2567 or

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Flu "Shoot-Outs" Planned for Southwest Utah

ST. GEORGE, UT – The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) will be holding its annual Flu Shoot-Outs starting this month. These events will prepare residents for flu (influenza) season and allow the SWUPHD and community partners to practice disease outbreak response plans.

It is currently recommended that everyone over six months of age get immunized against the flu; although young children, pregnant women, people over 65 years of age, and anyone with chronic health problems are especially encouraged to do so. Flu activity varies each year, often starting in the fall and peaking in late winter. Getting vaccinated is an important defense against this serious disease.

"Shoot-Outs" offer a quick convenient, and inexpensive way to get vaccinated against this serious disease. Each flu shot is $20 (cash, check, or credit card) or no charge with some insurances* (proof required).

Flu Shoot-Outs:

Iron County: Saturday, Sept. 24 @ Cedar City Hospital Health Fair                     
          9:00 am - 1:00 pm, all ages
Washington County: Tuesday, Sept. 27 @ Red Cliffs Mall
          8:00 am - 1:00 pm: Drive-thru for adults 18 and over (mall parking lot)
          12:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Walk-in for all ages (mall Center Court)
          (Flu shots also available at Dixie Regional Medical Center's Health Fair, Sept. 24th, 8am-1pm)
Beaver County: Wednesday, September 28 @ EMS Shed (1090 N. Main, Beaver)
          11:00 am - 4:00 pm, all ages
                       Tuesday, October 4 @ Minersville City Hall
          2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, all ages
Kane County: Saturday, Oct. 8 @ Kanab High School (County Health Fair)
          (FREE vaccine for all Kane County residents)
          9:00 am - 1:00 pm, all ages
Garfield County: Thursday, Oct. 20 @ Fire Station (45 S. Main, Panguitch)
          11:00 am - 3:00 pm, all ages

You can save time by printing the consent form found at Fill it out and bring it to the Shoot-Out. Don't forget to wear a short-sleeved shirt!

* Insurances accepted: Altius, DMBA, Adult Medicaid, Medicare (depending on HMO plan), PEHP, SelectHealth, Tall Tree, and United Healthcare.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Local Teen Wins Advocacy Award

ST. GEORGE, UT Jarom Price, a soon-to-be senior at Pine View High School and next year’s president of the Washington County Youth Coalition (WCYC), recently received the Utah Youth Community Engagement Advocate of the Year award.

This award was given by the Utah Department of Health in recognition of Jarom’s exemplary drug prevention work in our local community as a WCYC member, as well as his commitment and dedication to furthering the fight against Big Tobacco.

Since he was serving a humanitarian mission in the Dominican Republic during the award ceremony, Jarom sent a video of his acceptance speech, and referred to the WCYC in his conclusion: "We are leaders, we inspire, we motivate, and we have fun!"

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department, partnered with Southwest Behavioral Health, advises and oversees the WCYC, which has been recognized at the state and national level for all the work they do to create a safer, better, and healthier community through drug prevention.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Free Car Seat Checkpoint

CEDAR CITY, UT-- Safe Kids Utah and the Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) are hosting a free car seat checkpoint for the public on Thursday, June 30th from 3-6pm at Boulevard Home Furnishings (990 S. Main) in Cedar City.

Participants can bring their vehicles to the checkpoint, where Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be available to make sure car seats and booster seats are installed properly.

According to Click-It Utah, three out of every four child passenger safety devices (car seats, booster seats, etc.) are installed incorrectly.  Child fatalities in vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for younger children, and death is often prevented when a child is properly restrained.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Intermountain Sunset Clinic Recognized by Utah Million Hearts Coalition

Saint George, UT—The Utah Million Hearts Coalition recently recognized Intermountain Healthcare’s Sunset Clinic for Excellence in Blood Pressure Control. With only 13 clinics recognized statewide, this exclusive achievement demonstrates the clinic’s expertise in heart health and its dedication to its patients.

"Intermountain Healthcare's Sunset Clinic’s award shows that we are on a path to better heart health across Utah,” says Kelly Robinson, Utah Million Hearts Coalition spokesperson. “More Utah providers are using evidence-based strategies to help patients keep blood pressure down—a strong sign that we’re making progress in preventing heart attacks and strokes.”

Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. Only half have it under control, putting them at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke—two of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

To achieve the award, Intermountain Healthcare's Sunset Clinic met the highest standards of blood pressure measurement and control through patient education, precise measurement, engaging patients with a treatment plan to improve medication adherence, utilizing electronic health records, and working as a team to ensure positive outcomes. The clinic's rate of hypertension patients having control of their blood pressure is 73%. 

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is offering to provide free quality improvement training to local clinics that are interested, and they can also apply for next year's award. Contact Audrie Frehner at 435-986-2567 or email

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Healthy Kane County Coalition is Here For You!

We are lucky to live in Kane County, Utah.  Small and friendly communities located in naturally beautiful settings are conducive to a healthy lifestyle.  For those of you who want to maximize your opportunities to get and stay healthy, the Healthy Kane County Coalition is a resource for you!

Chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes are affecting an increasing number of people.  Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the CDC estimates that 40% of Americans will develop type 2 diabetes at some point in their lifetime.  The good news is that you can choose to live a healthy (or healthier) lifestyle and reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases.  Physical activity, healthful eating habits, and good mental health are the basics and the Healthy Kane County Coalition can give you the information and inspiration you need to build the foundation for your own improved quality of life and well-being.

And there is more good news:  living a healthy lifestyle can be fun!  You can go on a new hike, play pickleball with family, or make easy and healthful meals with your children.  So make the commitment to yourself and your family to begin a healthy lifestyle.  The Healthy Kane County Coalition is here to help you reach that goal!

You can find the Healthy Kane County Coalition on Facebook (healthykanecounty) or on our website (  Watch for updates on community events and information about physical activity and nutrition.

By Lori McGuire, RN, coalition member and nurse for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department