Family Health

Our department provides leadership to improve health outcomes for women, children, and families through assessment, policy development and public health interventions. The health and well-being of families is fundamental to overall population health. Family Health encompasses a broad scope of health conditions, behaviors and service systems in three key areas or “life course” periods; maternal and infant health; child health; and reproductive, preconception, inter-conception health. 


Our Family Health program includes

✅ Maternal and Infant Health

✅ Child Health

✅ Reproductive Health

and is designed to

  1. Improve the health of people under 21, including children with special health care needs;
  2. Increase the proportion of people under 21 who receive comprehensive primary & preventive care;
  3. Improve birth outcomes, decrease maternal & infant disease, and increase the proportion of women who receive early pregnancy and post-delivery care including referral to support services;
  4. Decrease unintended pregnancies and STDs, and improve access to family planning and comprehensive reproductive care.

Our required activities include:

✅ education campaigns;

✅ information & referral for women and families;

✅ outreach for health and human service providers;

✅ promoting policy, environment and systems changes; and

✅ assistance with health insurance enrollment and accessing comprehensive health care services.

 For more information about our services call (518) 873-3500.

Let’s roll up our sleeves to foster a community of immunity. Below is a series of Public Service Announcements from local families and health care providers sharing their experiences, expertise, and resources to connect people with resources they need to be healthy and protected. Find a medical home and please know we as a health department are here when and if you are ready to vaccinate.

🤰🚼 Pregnancy & Newborn Support

Did you know - there are no OB/GYN healthcare providers in Essex County?!  We know this can makes accessing care daunting to busy families.  Our pregnancy support services are designed to provide education and referral services to expecting families through experienced public health nurse visits - either at home or over the phone.


Pregnancy Support Services

One (1) home nursing visit during pregnancy is available to all families residing in Essex County, regardless of insurance, to provide pregnancy support, childbirth and breastfeeding education.  We encourage family members and significant others to participate and ask questions.

Face-to-face education, handouts & DVDs cover:

  • Childbirth
  • Fetal growth and development
  • Maternal (mother) changes during pregnancy
  • Signs and symptoms of approaching labor
  • True vs. false labor
  • Stages of labor
  • Laboring positions
  • Breastfeeding information

Pregnant & Need Insurance?

The Medicaid Obstetrical and Maternal Services (MOMS) Program is a program that provides health supportive services to pregnant women living in Essex County who are eligible, based on income, to receive Medicaid benefits.  You may qualify even if you are working or have other health insurance. The MOMS Program includes:

  • Insurance enrollment for mothers during pregnancy and 60 days after baby’s birth;
  • Insurance enrollment for baby’s first year;
  • Referral to the WIC Program and other services as needed;
  • Prenatal (pregnancy) education;
  • Postpartum (after baby’s birth) follow up visit for maternal and newborn assessments and guidance regarding newborn care and breastfeeding.

Additional Resources


NYS Department of Health

CDC’s Reproductive Health Site

March of Dimes

American Pregnancy Association

Teen Pregnancy

Teen Pregnancy—ACOG

Teen Pregnancy—Nemours Foundation

Pregnancy and Drugs

Pregnancy and Drug Use—APA

LactMed - US National Library of Medicine Database of Drugs and Lactation

🤱 Breastfeeding Support

We support breastfeeding as the #1 choice for newborn and infant nutrition!  Breast milk provides babies with perfect nutrition containing the nutrients and antibodies babies needs for excellent health.  It is easier for babies to digest and creates a bond between mother and child.  Breastfeeding also has health benefits for the nursing mother. We have a number of initiatives that support breastfeeding:


1. Lactation (breastfeeding/nursing) Consulting - We have a Nurse certified as an Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC).  She is available to work with all families -regardless of income - during all stages of lactation to assist moms and families through this amazing process. The benefits to babies and moms are endless and we are committed to providing this support, either through in-person visits or by phone. Any provider or agency can refer, as well as moms themselves!  Call 873-3500 to ask for this service or make an appointment.

2. Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Connection - the WIC Program can connect WIC participants with a Peer Counselor.  Peer counselors are mothers who have breastfed at least one infant and received special training from WIC in how to provide breastfeeding support.  Call 873-3560 for more information.

3. Breast Pump Availability - the WIC Program can also issue personal use breast pumps or loan out hospital-grade breast pumps - at no charge! - to WIC participants.  The type of pump issued depends on the participant’s needs and available pumps at the time of request.

Additional Resources

NYSDOH Breastfeeding Promotion, Protection & Support page is site for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding peer counselors by the NYS WIC Training Center.

NYS WIC Breastfeeding Information and Support Link


1. Policy Development - We're promoting the adoption of breastfeeding-friendly policies with community partners at hospitals, healthcare clinics, childcare providers and other community-based places.

2. Environmental Supports - We're working to create supportive community environments (like wall-art, window clings, posters, and more) that made breastfeeding easier and more comfortable within our communities.

3. Marketing & Communication - We're working with media partners to advance the social norm of breastfeeding and nursing in public through print articles and imagery.


Supporting Healthy Families will be offered Thursdays in March from 11:00am – Noon.  Register by March 1st. 

Adirondack Birth to Three Alliance

ADK Basics – 5 five fun, simple, and powerful ways that every family can give every child a great start in life.