Episode 51: In-Depth with the Houston Health Department

Houston has an excellent Health Department with over 70 health resources and plenty of services and information for our community. Porfirio Villarreal, public information officer for the Houston Health Department, joins Blanca to explain how this dynamic city department’s mission is to work in partnership with the community to promote and help to protect the health and social well-being of all Houstonians, from children to the elderly, as well as the environment in which they live.

It’s almost time for children to return to or start school, so Porfirio begins by addressing parents about how they mistakenly believe that children need vaccines and other shots right before starting school. However, they begin at the time of birth. He talks about the need to vaccinate children and what diseases are prevented with vaccines. He also discusses how to obtain children’s birth certificates because it’s almost the end of summer. He also mentions children and swimming safety and what parents should do to prevent a drowning accident.

The Houston Health Department is a one-stop service department that assists with diverse personal needs and educational programs. Porfirio discusses a few of the many resources that are available to everyone.

To learn more about the Houston Health Department, visit: https://www.houstonhealth.org or call 832-393-4220.

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Timestamps (AI-generated)

[00:02:45] Vaccines protect against diseases by boosting immunity in babies; critical in first few months.

[00:05:48] Protecting against the new circulating virus is crucial for healthcare systems to avoid overcrowding and strain. Vaccination is essential, especially in the coming year, to prevent the combination of COVID, flu, and RSV from overwhelming hospitals. Maintaining low occupancy levels is necessary for the safety of patients with accidents or other illnesses.

[00:07:09] Porfirio explains the vaccination schedule for babies and children, emphasizing the importance of asking the doctor about updates during regular check-ups.

[00:11:08] Health department provides free vaccines to doctors in underserved communities to ensure children’s safety.

[00:16:09] Order online for birth certificate, wait 4 weeks; order before 2 pm for same-day; or pick up at 8000 North Stadium site.

[00:17:52] Drowning is a leading cause of death for children. Constant supervision is crucial.

[00:22:57] The Houston Health Department inspects apartment complexes and HOA pools for safety, including water clarity, emergency equipment, gates, and objects near fences. Report issues to 311.

[00:27:29] HoustonHealth.org offers numerous programs including health centers, multi-service centers, environmental programs, food inspections, air pollution monitoring, apartment inspections, and enforcing no smoking ordinance.

[00:30:00] Blanca mentions 70 programs offered by the Houston Health Department and expresses gratitude for the information provided.

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