Preventative Services


Preventative Health Programs are intended to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles, and protect the health and safety of Lewis County residents. 

Our programs include:   

Marcia Ashline, RN, BSN
Supervising Public Health Nurse
Maryann Vargulick, PHN
Communicable Disease Nurse
Anna Birchenough, PHN
Immunization Coordinator
Michelle Beyer-Zehr, RN
Emily Ward, PHN
Lead Poisoning Prevention Coordinator
Mary Kimbrell, RN
Per Diem Nurse
Ellen Scanlon, RN
Per Diem Nurse
Cheryl Kelly, PHN
Per Diem Nurse
Dan Moyer
Animal Control Officer
 The Prevent Team

Immunizations for Children

Clinic Hours: Appointment only.

For Information on Childhood Vaccines: Vaccines for Your Children

For Information on School Required Vaccines: 2022 - 2023 School Year Immunization Requirements

To view vaccine information statements, click here.

We offer all of the recommended vaccines for your child.  We accept most insurances at our clinic.  If your child does not have insurance, we offer free vaccines.

 Immunizations for Adults

Clinic Hours: Appointment only.

For more information on Adult Vaccines: Vaccines for Adults 

We offer most recommended vaccines for adults.  If we do not carry a vaccine, we can refer you to a location that does carry the vaccine. We accept most insurances at our clinic.  If you do not have insurance, we offer free vaccines. 

Immunizations for Travelers

Some of the worst diseases are just a plane ride away.  If you are planning to travel, call Lewis County Public Health to see if you require any immunizations before you leave.  

Travel immunizations are by appointment only. 

Lead Poisoning Prevention

All children should have a blood lead test done at ages one and two.  We offer a simple finger prick test at our office.  All testing is free, by appointment only. 

Information for Parents: Lead Information

Free Test for Lead in your Drinking Water: Free Test

Rabies Prevention

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).  Infected mammals can transmit rabies virus to humans and other mammals.  Rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms appear.  Fortunately, only a few cases are reported each year in the United States. 

There are several ways to protect yourself, your family, and your pets from rabies: 

  • Stay away from all wildlife, no matter how tempting it is to capture them
  • Don't feed, touch or adopt wild animals, stray dogs or cats
  • If you see a raccoon, bat, skunk or fox, stay away and keep children away
  • Don't try to separate two fighting animals and wear gloves if you handle your pet after a fight
  • Report all animal bites or contact with wild animals to Lewis County Public Health
  • Encourage children to immediately tell an adult if they are bitten by an animal
  • Try to keep track of the animal that exposed you and report this information so the animal can be captured safely, if possible
  • If a bat is found indoors, do not let it go - close all windows and doors
  • Bats can usually be captured wearing gloves and a coffee can, and then contact your local health department to have it submitted for rabies testing
  • If you, or your pet, are bitten by an animal, immediately wash all wounds thoroughly with soap and water and seek medical attention
  • If you are dealing with a dead wild animal, the animal may be double bagged and kept on ice, until it can be tested - always wear gloves, use a shovel, and clean the area and tools with one part bleach to nine parts water, and keep dead animal in protected area away from people and other animals

Testing of wild animals is available by the USDA Wildlife Services Agency.  This agency will test animals that have not had contact with a person or animal.  If you find a wild animal and feel it should be tested for rabies, call Lewis County Public Health. 

Communicable Disease Control

Lewis County Public Health is responsible for the timely surveillance, investigation, reporting and control of communicable diseases within the community. Communicable diseases are diseases that are spread from one person to another. Our Communicable Disease Nurse receives notice of all reportable diseases, monitors the community for disease, and provides education to help control and prevent disease.

Lewis County has an increasing rate of newly diagnosed Hepatitis C individuals. There is no vaccine for this disease, but it can be prevented. For more information on prevention of Hepatitis C, call 315-376-5453 and ask to speak with our Communicable Disease Nurse.

Free testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea) for residents of Lewis County is done at Jefferson County Public Health’s STD clinic in Watertown. They can be reached by calling 315-786-3730.

For more information on communicable diseases visit: or

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

For more information: 

EEE Virus

West Nile

Zika Virus 


To find out how to prevent tick bites, remove ticks, and where ticks live, click here! 


Did you know that you can have ticks tested for free? One of Thangamani Lab's research projects is to investigate the geographic expansion of ticks and tick-borne diseases in New York. They repeatedly collect ticks at various locations in CNY, however they will not be able to cover the entire NY state. Thus, the ticks that they receive from you will help them to expand their scientific investigations.

  • How to send ticks to the lab:
  1. Put the ticks (preferably collected in the last 48 hours) in a Ziploc (or similar) bag with a piece of moist tissue paper or grass.
  2. Place the zip-lock bag in an envelope with the following information:
    • Date
    • Location (please provide the zip code)
    • Was the tick collected from a human or a pet? 
    • Email address to share the test results
  3. Ship the envelope to the address below:
    • Thangamani Lab
      4209 Institute for Human Performance (IHP)
      505 Irving Avenue
      SUNY Center for Environmental Health and Medicine
      SUNY Upstate Medical University
      Syracuse NY 13210

      (Note: If the tick appears dried/desiccated, they will not be able to process them for pathogen detection).

Chronic Disease Prevention

Lewis County Public Health offers two evidence-based classes FREE to Lewis County residents: Diabetes Self-Management Program and National Diabetes Prevention Program.

The Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) is a 6-week workshop for people with type 2 diabetes and/or their caregivers. Participants meet for 2.5 hours for six interactive weekly sessions that focus on sharing experiences and skills-building. This class is offered several times throughout the year. This evidence-based program was developed by Stanford University to improve day-to-day management of diabetes and increase quality of life.

The Lifestyle Change Program (or Diabetes Prevention Program, DPP)  is a proven way to prevent diabetes in people who have prediabetes, or are at risk for diabetes. The program runs for one year, focusing on small lifestyle changes. Meetings are weekly for the first 16 weeks, then bi-monthly. During the last 6 months, meetings are monthly. A trained lifestyle coach leads the sessions to help participants improve food choices, increase physical activity, and learn coping skills necessary to maintain weight loss and continue healthy lifestyle changes.

How can diabetes be prevented?
The main goals of the program are to:
  1. Lose 5-7% of body weight and keep it off
  2. Be more physically active

To be eligible for the Lifestyle Change Program (Diabetes Prevention Program), you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Not be pregnant 
  • Have no previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes 

  • OR
    • Have a blood test result in the prediabetes range:
      • Hemoglobin A1C: 5.7–6.4% or
      • Fasting plasma glucose: 100–125 mg/dL or
      • Two-hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140–199 mg/dL
      • Have a previous clinical diagnosis of gestational diabetes

  • OR
    • Have a previous clinical diagnosis of gestational diabetes

* If you are interested in either the Diabetes Self-Management Program or the Lifestyle Change Program (Diabetes Prevention Program), please fill out our SELF-REFERRAL form.