Lisa McCafferty, R.S., MPH
Public Health Director


Location & Phone

1062 State Route 38
PO Box 120
Owego, NY 13827

Main Phone:

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Healthy Neighborhoods Program

How Safe Is Your Home?

The Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) provides a free in home assessment focusing on home safety.  An HNP team member can discuss areas where safety can be improved and may also supply FREE items to assist you with making your home safer!

 Tioga County Residents can call 687-8390 to schedule a FREE home safety check!

Public Health Hotline

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The Public Health Department is responsible for health promotion, disease prevention and community needs assessment.

The Public Health Department supports the citizens of the County through Environmental Health, Dental Health, Disease Control, Nursing Services, Emergency Preparedness and Health Education programs.



Winter storms and cold temperatures can be hazardous. Stay safe and healthy by planning ahead. Prepare your home and cars. Prepare for power outages and outdoor activity. Check on older adults.

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Take These Steps for Your Home

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly and replace them twice a year.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

Don’t Forget to Prepare Your Car

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires.
    • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
    • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
    • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit should include:
      • cell phone, portable charger, and extra batteries;
      • blankets;
      • food and water;
      • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
      • compass and maps;
      • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
      • first-aid kit; and
      • plastic bags (for sanitation).

Equip in Advance for Emergencies

Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.

  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
  • When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

Take These Precautions Outdoors

Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:

  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: wear a tightly woven, preferably wind-resistant coat or jacket; inner layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.

Do This When You Plan to Travel

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs.
    • Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling.
    • Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.
    • Keep a downwind window open.
    • Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.

Above all, be ready to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Tioga Mobile Dental Services

The Tioga Mobile Dental Van travels throughout Tioga County providing dental care. Sites include Tioga County schools where children have easy access to receiving care during the school day. Adults can also receive care before or after-school and on school vacations. Services include dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions. Must be a Tioga County resident. All dental insurances are accepted, plus a Sliding Fee Scale is available.

Fluoride Varnish Program

Fluoride varnish is an easy and effective way to prevent dental cavities, it has been shown to reduce cavities by up to 40%! This fruit-flavored, sticky varnish is easily applied with a small brush. It can be applied up to 4 times a year for children at risk for cavities, especially those without fluoridated water. Fluoride varnish applications are available to Tioga County elementary students, Head Start students and children in the WIC program.

For more information, please call (607) 687-8595.

Tioga County Health Department is committed to preparing the community to plan for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. Our team consists of employees, volunteers, and many community partners. The Health Department maintains plans for: 

  • Responding to a disease outbreak
  • Isolation and quarantine
  • Continuity of operations
  • Conducting mass distribution of vaccines or medications
  • Responding to a natural disaster 

The following links may be helpful in preparing for an emergency situation: 

To sign up and receive emergency alerts follow this link: 

Emergency preparedness contact: Susan Haskett  607-687-8618  

Medical Reserve Corps 

Tioga County’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is sponsored by our public health department and consists of volunteers, medical professionals, and paraprofessionals. Tioga County MRC trains with emergency responders and public health staff and are critical in efforts to respond to events or disasters. 

Mission Statement: The mission of the Tioga County Health Department Medical Reserve Corps is to promote health, preserve life, and prevent disability during times of disaster and/or community need.  Tioga County MRC strives to have a well-rounded group of both medical and non-medical volunteers with a basic understanding of emergency response and with a desire to help others in need. 

For more information on Tioga County MRC or to become a volunteer please contact:

Ms. Melanie Miller CHN       phone: 607-687-8621

The Environmental Health Division of Tioga County Public Health Department regulates and enforces public health and environmental matters in accordance with the Tioga County Sanitary Code and New York State laws. The programs address the concerns of housing, food and recreation, water supply, solid waste disposal, among other indoor and outdoor health matters.  All application and permit forms are located in the document library below.

RABIES CONTROL IN TIOGA COUNTY: The Environmental Health Division investigates exposures and offers vaccinations to pets through rabies vaccination clinics.

NYS TOBACCO CONTROL POLICIES: Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) prohibits smoking of tobacco (herbal cigarettes are exempted) in nearly all public and work places. NYS DOH CIAA revised 2015

  • To report violations of CIAA call Tioga County Public Health Department at 607-687-8600

Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA): Compliance checks are completed for every tobacco retailer in Tioga County at least twice a year underage youth is done at each facility where tobacco products are available for sale, to verify that such products are not being sold to minors. 

  • Compliance checks are part of a comprehensive state wide enforcement program designed to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use, and to attempt to prevent tobacco access to youth less than 18 years of age.

For more information link to the NYS Tobacco Policy Center

FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS: Environmental Health is responsible for ensuring that food service is regulated in order to enforce standards and protect the community from foodborne illnesses.

RECREATIONAL FACILITIES: Environmental Health regulates operation and maintenance of public recreation areas by conducting inspections, issuing permits, and investigating reports of injuries or illness.

WATER SYSTEMS: The Tioga County Public Health Department routinely tests all community (cities, villages, mobile home parks, beaches, lakes, and pools) and non-community (restaurants, hotels) water supplies to ensure that Total Coliform and E.coli levels are absent.  Testing of private water systems (homes and businesses) are primarily done when the homes are being sold or when a private homeowner requests a bacteria test be performed.




The Public Health Department is charged with ensuring the safety of food served at establishments throughout the County. The Food Safety Course is provided to help educate food service workers on best practices of food handling and preparation. The application document and full power point course are available below, and may be shared, reproduced, or utilized as needed.  When the application and fee are received a code will be sent to register for the course exam.


Food Safety Course
PDF, 629 KB

The Health Education program includes many activities and programs which focus on improving the health and well-being in Tioga County.  Health promotion efforts, education, training, and other resources are developed to meet the needs of our community.

  • Chronic Disease Prevention
  • Injury Prevention
  • Lead Poisoning
  • Obesity Prevention
  • Tobacco Control Policy & Prevention
  • Child Passenger Safety
  • Children's Health & Safety
  • Immunizations
  • Special Health Care Needs
  • Community Health Assessment (CHA)
  • Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

The nursing staff is actively involved in the community and with other agencies to promote the wellness of the community, prevent disease, and protect the public. They work closely with the schools and medical providers to encourage adequate immunization rates and screening for lead. 

The nursing department contacts all newborn families and provides health guidance and promotion including information on breastfeeding, growth and development, immunization and safety issues. 

The nursing staff assists in county-wide or state-wide emergencies such as dispensing medications or administering immunizations in the event of a widespread disease outbreak. They oversee an active Medical Reserve Corps and assist in setting up and working at special needs shelters in the event of a natural disaster such as flooding.

Licensed Home Care Services Agency (LHCSA)-Provides skilled nursing and health promotion visits for the Primary and Prevent Programs. The nursing activities and services include:

  • Nursing assessment including screening activities
  • Development, review and revision of care plans
  • Preventive health education and promotion
  • Linkage to referral for non-medical and medical services
  • Communication and collaboration with referral sources, primary care providers, and other professionals involved in the plan of care.


Tioga County’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is responsible for identifying children newborn to eighteen years of age with elevated blood lead levels and tracking follow-up services to make sure that they are appropriate and timely. Tioga County’s LPPP staff provides case management to all children in the county with blood lead levels of 5 mcg/dL or greater 

For more information on lead poisoning prevention:

  • U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for product recalls due to lead. Put in search: recalls for high lead.

Respiratory Clinic:

Tioga County Public Health Department provides tuberculosis control services through Respiratory Clinic. Tioga County Public Health Department offers services that include: diagnosis; x-ray and related laboratory tests; provision for tuberculosis treatment and preventative therapy; medication compliance surveillance for treatment of latent tuberculosis infection and directly observed therapy for treatment of tuberculosis disease; contact/source investigations; health guidance education and coordination of services. Home visits are made as necessary for directly observed therapy, medication surveillance, health guidance education, and coordination of services.

Health Promotion Visits:

An example would be a referral for chronic lice. A home visit would be made to assess the family members for lice and instruct in ways to effectively treat and prevent further problems.


The goal of Tioga County Public Health Department’s Immunization Program is to increase the immunization rates in children and adults as well as protecting the community from vaccine-preventable diseases by making sure that children and adults receive the vaccines that they need.  Tioga County Public Health Department works closely with the primary care providers, local hospitals (including Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania), school nurses, day care providers, pharmacists and other local agencies to encourage increasing immunization rates throughout Tioga County. By auditing the providers’ immunization records of the 2 and 13 year olds in their practice it shows how many of the children are up-to-date with their immunizations. TCPHD works with them to help increase their rates. TCPHD reviews the providers’ storage and handling of their vaccines to ensure proper storage and handling which is vital to vaccine effectiveness. Adult immunizations are also encouraged as is using the New York State Immunization Registry (NYSIIS).

Immunization Clinic:

Immunizations are provided for uninsured children less than 19 years of age through New York State’s Vaccine For Children (VFC) program. The MMR immunization may be available to those adults who qualify. Through partnership with New York State Department of Health and Tioga Opportunities Family Planning, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B immunizations are available to uninsured adults who have been screened and found to be at high risk for Hepatitis infection. Tioga County Public Health Department provides Hepatitis B immunization series to its employees and others who are at risk of blood borne pathogen exposure including various local governmental units, other non-profit agencies, and private industry depending on their need.

Additional immunization resources:


The Bureau of Weights and Measures provides certification and inspection services to ensure that all equipment, such as scales and pumps, provides correct and accurate readings for commercial transactions. 

The CSHCN program is informational, referral and advocacy program for children birth to 21 years who have – or are suspected of having a serious or chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, and/or emotional condition, and who require health or related services of a type or amount beyond that typically required of children.

  • This program can help families:
  • Make referrals for special health care or related services
  • Obtain information on programs and services available
  • Increase the knowledge of families regarding available community resources
  • Navigate through 3-5 preschool special education process
  • Obtain family support services

Early Intervention Program

This program is for children from birth to age three who have developmental delays and disabilities. Its purpose is to provide the services needed to improve child and family development.  Early intervention can be provided anywhere in the community, in the home, or at daycare providers location.  The program is offered free for all Tioga County families:

Services include but are not limited to:

  • Full Developmental Evaluations
  • Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy
  • Service Coordination
  • Vision Services
  • Audiological Evaluations
  • Medical/Diagnostic Evaluations

Find out more about the program visit: 

To make a referral for your child contact 607-687-8616

Child Find

Child Find is a statewide program provided at no cost to the family by the Tioga County Health Department.

The purpose of Child Find is to screen children who are suspected or at risk for a developmental delay or disability. The goal of the program is to identify a child’s developmental needs early and work with the child's primary care provider to monitor development.

The parent/guardian is sent a developmental questionnaire starting at six months through 36 months to monitor the child’s growth and development by completing the questionnaires and returning them to the Child Find Coordinator.

If a potentially qualifying disability or delay is identified, your child will be referred to our Early Intervention Program for evaluation.