Inside Winchester

Table of Contents

Winchester--Village and Town
Statistical Summary
Town Meeting
Town Government
Town Manager
Community Programs
Health Services
Town Finance
Planning, Zoning, and Building
The Public Library


The Board of Health is located in the basement of Town Hall. The major objectives of the Board of health are to ensure a healthy, safe environment for the citizens of Winchester, present information concerning disease and accident prevention, and provide screening for all immunization against serious illness. The Board consists of three elected non-paid members of the community who serve for three years. The Board appoints a staff composed of a Director, Inspector' Agent, Animal Inspector, and Senior Clerk. In addition a physician serves under contract to the Board as does the Visiting Nurse and Community health , Inc.

State and local laws and regulations are administered by the board through inspections of food establishments, public and semi-public swimming pools and beaches, and group child-care centers. Housing conditions, including possible violations of the lead paint law, are examined upon request. permits are required for several activities, including depositing of trash at the Transfer Station, abrasive blasting of any painted surface, and placing of fill material upon property in Winchester. Such permits may be obtained at the Board of Health office.

Many clinics are sponsored by the Board of Health throughout the year; the flu/pneumonia clinic is held in the fall at the Jenks Center; the dog rabies clinic and the lead-poisoning screening clinic for children are held in the spring; and a semi-monthly keep-well clinic is held at the Jenks Center.

The School Health Program

The school nurses organize and conduct all state-mandated programs including, vision and hearing examinations, checking immunizations on every student, doing postural screening testing on all students in grades 5-9, and checking all the required physical examinations. Other services that the school nurses provide include: preparation and maintenance of the health records of all students, providing consultative assistance to teachers and parents regarding children having problems in school or those who have a medical problem that the teacher need to better understand.

The nurse provides first aid for students in their assigned schools, and is on call for accidents which occur in the school system.

Physical examinations are required for all children entering the public school system Proof of immunization for polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DPT) is required by Massachusetts law before entering school.

Winchester Hospital

Winchester Hospital is a 223 bed community acute care hospital at 41 Highland Avenue. Founded in 1912. It serves Winchester and neighboring communities An emergency room is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Emergency ambulance service is available through the Winchester Fire Department.

The Health Planning council of Greater Boston, Inc. in a recent report, ranked Winchester Hospital first in occupancy rate among the 54 hospitals in Greater Boston and surrounding communities, with a 95.5% occupancy for medical and surgical beds.

The Medical/Dental staff of Winchester Hospital is comprised of approximately 300 physicians representing a broad spectrum of medical specialties. The Hospital's Social Services Department helps patients with problems resulting from hospitalization. Three social workers and a registered nurse offer counseling, free of charge, for inpatients and their families.

The staff helps patients find nursing or convalescent homes, locates treatment for patients with drug or alcohol problems, and finds sources for financial aid or home-care following a patients; discharge.

The Education Department is active inside the Hospital as well as out in the community. The Department's Community health Education Program sponsors workshops and lecture series in health maintenance and preventive medicine for area residents and businesses.

The Hospital utilizes the services of a Director of Volunteer Services. Three volunteer groups--the Winton Club, Friends of Winchester Hospital, and EnKa Society--contribute to the Hospital through fundraising and in-hospital service.

Winchester Nursing Homes

Winchester Nursing and Convalescent Home is a private nursing facility at 223 Swanton Street providing 120 beds, multi-level nursing care. and rehabilitation services. Recreation, physical, speech, and occupational therapists are available.

Aberjona Nursing Home is a private nursing facility at 184 Swanton Street, providing skilled nursing care.

The Mount Vernon House

This is a privately-funded retirement residence for able persons 65 years or older. There is a full social calendar. Information may be obtained by calling the House, or by appointment with the Director. Visiting Nurse and Community Health, Inc.

Visiting Nurse and Community Health has served Winchester since the turn of the century. It is a non-profit provider of nursing and therapeutic services in the home, and has been certified by Medicare and Medicaid. In 1984 its staff consisted of 120 health-care professionals and para-professionals. One may phone the agency for additional information.

Mystic Valley Mental Health Center, Arlington/Winchester Branch

In September of 1981 the Winchester Branch of the Mystic Valley Mental Health Center combined with the Arlington Branch, which is located at 108 Pleasant Street, Arlington. Winchester residents utilize other programs within the Center, such as the Partial Hospitalization Program, the Mental Retardation Program, and the Early Intervention Program.

Referrals to the clinic come from the schools, local physicians, other community agencies, and through self-initiated contacts. Fees are set on a sliding scale basis; health insurance or similar coverage is also used. Services include help with interpersonal relationships, marital conflict, depression, school achievement, behavior problems, and more severe adjustment and behavior difficulties. Clients are first seen for an intake interview, during which time some understanding of the problem and its background is obtained. There is then further diagnostic evaluation and treatment, utilizing a variety of techniques which include long and short term treatment, for individuals, couples, and families. A professional staff of psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers are available to provide Branch clinical services.. The Branch office is open Monday and Tuesday evenings.

One of the major efforts has been to provide alternatives to psychiatric hospitalization. There is a close liaison with the Mystic Valley Unit of Metropolitan State hospital and collaborative discharge planning with frequent further evaluation and treatment at the Branch offices.

The Mystic Valley Mental health Center is governed by a volunteer board consisting of representatives from the local communities it serves.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross provides relief in the event of a local disaster, and service to military personnel and their families. Through the regional office, twenty-four bloodmobile drives are conducted locally each year. A motor service to hospitals and health care centers is operated for those unable to procure private transportation. Health and safety courses on first aid, life-saving, cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, and swimming are conducted through the volunteer program.

Information on these and other health service organizations listed in The Directory of Area Services and Resources for sale at the Winchester Public Library. The names and addresses of physicians, dentists, opticians, etc., are listed in the Professional Directory section of the Town Book: Winchester Guide and Directory, sent yearly to every resident, and available for purchase at some local shops.

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