Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day – Do you know the medical history of your relatives?

family-photo-827763_640When the U.S. Surgeon General declared in 2004 that National Family Health History Day would fall on Thanksgiving each year, he was acknowledging the importance of knowing your family health history. You and your family share genes, culture, behaviors, and environments – all of which can have an impact on your health. When you know that information and share it with your doctor, he or she can make more informed choices for how to personalize your health screenings and treatment. Thanksgiving can be a great time to talk with your family about how your health is related, so you can give your doctor the best information possible. Continue reading

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Department of Health Idaho Clerical Association scrapbook is a ‘historical gem’

DHW employee Courtney Meek, left, works with archivist Layce Johnson to scan in the scrapbook in May at the Idaho State Archives.

DHW employee Courtney Meek, left, works with archivist Layce Johnson to scan in the scrapbook in May at the Idaho State Archives.

A dusty old scrapbook long forgotten on a top shelf in an office supply closet at the State Health Lab is now carefully preserved and held at the Idaho State Archives (ISA), a division of the Idaho State Historical Society.

Courtney Meek, a business operations specialist at the Bureau of Laboratories, found the scrapbook twice – once when she was cleaning out some shelves after a new sprinkler system was installed, and then a second time seven years later when she cleaned out a cabinet in anticipation of a move into a different office and a new job.

The second time she found it, she realized what a historical gem she had. Someone had carefully cut and glued newsletters, photos, newspaper articles, and other staffing tidbits and memorabilia about the Department of Health Idaho Clerical Association for three years in the late 1960s. It is DHW’s own little version of “Mad Men.” Continue reading