Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein released a list of the top 10 accomplishments of the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) in 2012. Taken together, the accomplishments paint a picture of an involved, proactive department working to improve residents’ health, train and educate for the future, and respond to the needs of the community in a timely fashion.

“The Department of Health had a banner year in 2012, the result of hard work and commitment by numerous individuals spread across many areas within the Department,” said Burstein.“Our staff is professional, poised, and dedicated to serving the residents of Erie County, and I want to thank them all for the work they do.”

Here is the ECDOH Top Ten for 2012:

Rabies Outreach

  • 5,680 cats, dogs and ferrets were vaccinated at six clinics that took place throughout the year in Erie County. For more information, visit


  • 3,240 animal (dogs, cats, bats, etc.) encounters with people were investigated by the ECDOH Environmental Health Division
  • 615 individuals were evaluated by the ECDOH Epidemiology & Disease Control Department for potential rabies exposure, and 498 were approved for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (“PEP”) with out-of-pocket costs covered by ECDOH.

STD Clinic

  • There were over 5,000 visits to the STD clinic, located at 608 William St. in Buffalo. These visits play a critical role by allowing for testing and treatment of individuals infected with sexually transmitted diseases, thereby decreasing the spread of such infections in the community. For more information, visit


Walks in Erie County Parks

  • Erie County’s beautiful parks are the perfect spot to enjoy guided Health Walks, which take place in both the Spring and the Fall. In 2012, close to 200 people participated in this fun and all-natural activity! For more information, visit


Lead Poisoning Prevention

  • Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was followed by the county Legislature in issuing a proclamation declaring October 21, 2012 – October 27, 2012 as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in Buffalo and Erie County. For more information, visit

Medical Examiner’s Office

  • In 2012, the Medical Examiner’s Office performed 850 full/partial autopsies and external examinations; 754 toxicology cases; and 280 Driving under the Influence of Alcohol (“DUI”), Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (“DUIS”), and Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (“DFSA”) cases.

Restaurant Inspection

The ECDOH conducted 9,308 food service inspections in 2012, including restaurants, cafeterias, and temporary food vendors at the Erie County Fair and the many other festivals enjoyed by residents and visitors throughout the year.

Medical Waste

  • 8,466 pounds of medical waste was collected through the Syringe Access Demonstration Program (“ESAP”). For more information, visit

Emergency Management

  • Emergency Medical Services (“EMS”) provided Emergency Medical Technician (“EMT”) and Certified First Responder (“CFR”) training to 657 students.
  • The Strategic National Stockpile Local Technical Assistance Review (“SNS/LTAR”) evaluates Erie County’s ability to respond to a crisis requiring use of the Strategic National Stockpile.  The annual review is conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (“CDC”). The County’s average score across twelve functional areas was 95%, up from 65% in 2011.
  • ECDOH offered support to the sheltering activities in Nassau County during Hurricane Sandy. Seven individuals were sent to work in support of the Nassau County Department of Health Shelter. The deployment was requested through the NYSDOH Medical Reserve Corps (“MRC”) volunteers.

Special Needs and Staff Awards

  •  3,000 children received services through the Early Intervention Program and 4,126 through the Pre-School Program. For more information, visit


  • Gale R. Burstein, MD, MPH, FAAP, Commissioner of health, received an American Academy of Pediatrics Special Achievement Award.
  • Peter Tripi and Cheryll Moore were New York State Department of Public Health Works! Honor Roll awardees.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Health, visit