The Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) is among the largest Virginia Health Districts by area—3,439 square miles—and located along the central western part of the state between the Allegheny Mountains on the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east. CSHD is a blend of beautiful rural areas, diverse agriculture, small cities and towns, small industries and nine colleges and universities.
CSHD serves the five counties of Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham, and the five independent cities of Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, and Waynesboro as well as eleven towns. The District office is located in Staunton, in Augusta County.
CSHD serves a population of approximately 280,000. The area is a tourism destination, offering beautiful fall foliage, hiking and camping, sporting events, breweries and wineries, the arts, museums and lots of Civil War history. Many annual events are held in the area, including Festivals and County Fairs.
The Environmental Health Staff includes 18 Environmental Health Specialists, 2 Supervisors, 1 Manager, and 8 Administrative Support Staff in 7 offices. Programs include inspections of food establishments, temporary events, tourist establishments (hotels, motels, inns and bed and breakfast facilities), campgrounds and summer camps, and swimming pools associated with tourist establishments. Environmental Health (EH) staff also process applications and inspect private wells, septic systems, and alternative sewage systems. The District includes two large dairy plants and a total of four in the district that require oversight. Other programs include investigation of environmental sources of lead (for children age 6 or less with elevated blood lead levels), potential foodborne related outbreaks, rabies prevention, complaint investigations, and providing information and education regarding other environmental risks to health. Some information and educational topics include tickborne disease, bedbugs, control of other pests and radon. The EH Department works with many other agencies to protect and promote the health of residents and visitors.
Food staff regularly inspects:
- Over 1100 permitted Food Establishments (such as restaurants, schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, mobile food trucks, etc.) which are inspected at least once annually
- 155 Tourist Establishments (hotel, motel, inn or bed and breakfast) which are inspected at least once every 5 years
- 45 Camps and Summer camps which are inspected annually
- Over 70 swimming pools and hot tubs
- A handful of active migrant labor camps (orchards)