Welcome from Commissioner Dori Zaleznik

Welcome to the Newton Department of Health and Human Services Website. I am Dori Zaleznik, the Commissioner of this department. We have reorganized our site to help you to get the information you need more easily. The mission of the department is to protect, promote and sustain the health, harmony, and well-being of all Newton residents, in a culturally-sensitive, customer-friendly manner. Our focus is on prevention.

How do we attempt to accomplish such a broad mission? Our department is organized into five different divisions: Environmental Health, School Health, Public Health and Education, Emergency Preparedness, and Human Services.

• Environmental Health enforces state laws, codes, local ordinances and regulations around safety including for food establishments, swimming pools, housing complaints etc.
• We oversee the school health program and employ all of the school nurses. The medical needs of children in public schools today can be quite complex, and the presence of a highly trained school nurse in each school building is essential for the health and well-being of our young students.
• Public health and education focuses on community disease prevention and health promotion including conducting public health nurse run health maintenance clinics, flu immunization clinics, and follow up of communicable disease reports from the state. This division also is assisting in wellness programs for city employees and the community.
• Emergency preparedness is essential for all municipalities. Our department participates with other public safety officials in planning and training for all types of emergencies and organizes the volunteer Medical Reserve Corps.
• While many view Newton as a wealthy community, we have many vulnerable populations including those with financial needs, families in crisis, individuals with disabilities, and victims of discrimination. Within the human services division, we have a community social worker and two part-time mental health nurses. The city contracts out for youth outreach and other mental health services. All of these providers strive to assist our residents without regard for socioeconomic status, race or ethnic background.

You will find a link to each of the five divisions on the left hand side of this page. As examples:

• If you need a form for a license or permit, click on environmental health.
• If you are looking for school health information such as vaccine requirements for school entry, click on school health.
• If you want to know what resources are available through our community social worker, click on human services.
• If you want to volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps to assist others in the event of an emergency, click on emergency preparedness.

We also post current information about public health issues. We hope you find what you need when you come to this website and that you will visit regularly. Stay tuned for exciting features and new programming to come. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 617-796-1420. We are open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and Tuesdays until 8:00 p.m.

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