Author: Community Health Net

July is National UV Safety Awareness Month!

Sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, and UV exposure can raise skin cancer risk even without causing sunburn.

Get the Facts.

  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic radiation from the sun and manufactured sources like tanning beds and welding torches.
  • Everyone’s skin and eyes can be affected by the sun and other forms of ultraviolet (UV) rays.
  • People with light skin are much more likely to have their skin damaged by UV rays (and to get skin cancer), but darker-skinned people, including people of any ethnicity, can also be affected.
  • You don’t need x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early – just your eyes and a mirror.
  • Both IARC and NTP classify the use of UV-emitting tanning devices, including sunlamps and tanning beds, as carcinogenic (or having the potential to cause cancer to humans.)

Take Action.

  • Protect your skin with clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • If you’re going to be outside, simply staying in the shade, especially during midday hours, is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure to sunlight.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV rays to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
  • Use sunscreen to help protect skin that isn’t covered with clothing.

You need to be especially careful in the sun if you:

  • Have had skin cancer before.
  • Have a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma.
  • Have many moles, irregular moles, or large moles.
  • Have freckles and burn before tanning.
  • Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond, red, or light brown hair.
  • Have certain autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, or lupus).
  • Have had an organ transplant.
  • Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

Get Your Health Back on Track!

During the last few months, has your healthcare taken a backseat? Yet, would you agree that your overall wellness is more important than ever before? Well, why not make your health a priority today? “Get Your Health Back On Track!” by calling Community Health Net! We offer quality Medical, Dental, Vision, and Pharmacy services, regardless of your ability to pay! And we have a great team of healthcare providers that care and will give you the dignity and respect that YOU expect! To schedule an appointment today, just dial (814) 455-7222. Our representatives will be happy to assist you. Or, click here to send an email to our team.

Does the COVID vaccine research reflect the needs of communities of color?

“The NIH set up five different panels of scientists based on they have an African American, they have a Latinx, they have one that deals with geriatric patients, and the Veterans Administration patients and then other Indigenous groups.

And they set that up so that we would be able to see the phase one and the phase two data that led to the phase three trial. And also in developing the phase three trial we got to see the consent forms, we got to see all of the information that informed the science, but also would be shared to the volunteers.

Would they have this information in a platform or in a culturally linguistically manner, that they would be able to understand it? And not just about the effectiveness of the vaccine, but the safety. And so, I participated in multiple zoom call meetings, looking at that data for the vaccine candidates which was really important to my comfort level.”

Can pregnant women get the COVID vaccine?

“From all the data and information that we have, we know that it’s a safe vaccine, and we know that women who are pregnant are at increased risk for poor outcomes from a COVID infection. And so, I definitely offer the vaccine to pregnant women and am very confident that it is something that is safe to take during pregnancy.”

What to expect after you get a COVID vaccine?

“Typically, when I’m going to give the COVID vaccine, I’ll let them know when you’re going to get the first dose of the COVID vaccine you might feel your arm very sore. It’s like somebody punched you in the arm, and that’s that type of a soreness. If you’ve ever gotten a tetanus shot, it feels like a tetanus shot. Your arm is sore probably for the rest of the day, but again, keep moving it around. Do everything that you normally do, because it’ll be like a sore muscle. You still want to be able to move it and get that vaccine going. You want the medication to be able to absorb and disseminate. So, it’s good for you to continue to move that arm around. If you start to feel achy, like minor body aches, if you notice that you have a fever, you can take some Tylenol, if you’d like. If you notice that you have a fever, if you have minor body aches, rest, drink plenty of fluids.

When you get the second dose, that’s typically when you tend to have some or more of the signs and symptoms of the side effects like the body aches, the headache, you might have a fever. Maybe, maybe not. Again, everybody’s very different. And the way your body reacts to medication is very differently. For me personally, it was the second dose where I had the body aches, but I was still able to work. I did the 12-hour shift, and I had no problem being able to do that. And I didn’t have to take anything. But again, we all feel differently. Our bodies are different, and we react differently. So, it just depends your comfort level. For me, I didn’t need to use anything, but if you need to, you can take Tylenol.”

What to know about COVID vaccines & new variants?

“I know it sounds very scary, but first you have to understand how viruses work. Viruses in order to infect a person and make them sick, the viruses have to copy themselves. And when the viruses make copies of themselves, they make mistakes. And that’s all a mutation is it’s a mistake when the virus copies itself. Viruses do what viruses do, and that is to sort of replicate. And as part of that replication process, it doesn’t always do it perfectly. You know, viruses want to survive. So by any means necessary, they’re going to work to do that. So what we need to be concerned about is when they make mistakes, when they’re being copied, are they making a mistake that will affect the performance of the vaccine. I think it’s really important that our communities understand that we’re expecting to see some variants pop up and that the variants that we’re seeing are being actively tested against the vaccines as they come out. And what we know right now, even from studies, especially in the Johnson and Johnson study that tested the vaccine against these variants or these mutations, even with the mutations present it has been shown to prevent death and keep people out of the hospital. All of the vaccines that are currently under emergency use authorization would work really well to protect people from getting seriously sick and ending up in the hospital and potentially dying. This is a new emerging situation for all of us. And so we’re constantly learning new things as we move along. So as long as coronavirus is out in the community and it’s copying itself, it can be mutating, but this is the reason people need to get vaccinated. So that we can stop the spread of coronavirus and end the pandemic. It’s really important that our communities are vaccinated as soon as possible to slow down the spread of the virus and to avert the opportunity for other variants of the virus to appear. The greater race is to avert additional hospitalizations and deaths.”

If you can still get COVID, why get vaccinated?

“It’s hard to then for people to understand the idea that a vaccine wouldn’t protect you 100 percent. Although honestly, the flu vaccine also doesn’t protect you 100 percent, you know? But the people that were vaccinated in the clinical trials, even if they got symptomatic COVID were not admitted to the hospital, were not admitted to the ICU and did not die from COVID. So, you might get mild COVID, but if you can be almost guaranteed not getting admitted to the hospital, being in the ICU or dying from COVID, it’s worth it.”

2022 Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Health Net is conducting this survey to identify health needs in Northwest Pennsylvania.  We need your input!

We are conducting a 5-minute Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) survey. It is a way of involving community members to identify Erie’s community health needs. The survey results also provide a way for us to prioritize, plan, and act upon unmet community health needs.

This is an ANONYMOUS survey. You must be 18 years or older to complete this survey. Please complete this survey ONLY ONE TIME.

Thank you for participating. Your feedback is important.

Community Health Net is the preeminent, community-focused healthcare network that advances the wellness of the region. Our mission is to improve our region’s quality of life by providing professional healthcare services with compassion, respect, and dignity to all. We are a Federally Qualified Health Center with seven locations serving the Lake Erie region for over 35 years.

June is National Men’s Health Month

Most of the factors that contribute to men’s shorter lives are preventable. This month let’s encourage early detection and treatment among men!

Get the Facts.

  • Nearly three-quarters of men prefer to scrub the toilet or do other chores than see a doctor for preventive care, such as annual checkups.
  • The leading causes of death for men in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and accidents.
  • Men are less likely to recognize and seek help for depression.
  • As a male, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women.
  • One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

Take Action

  • Get regular check-ups, and don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about the uncomfortable stuff.
  • If you have chest pain, lightheadedness, back pain, or arm pain, go to the doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor about how often you should get a prostate exam.
  • Regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent diabetes.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling withdrawn.
  • Acting aggressive, irritable, and hostile.
  • Depression can also be seen in physical symptoms such as a racing heart, headaches, tightening chest, and digestive issues.
  • Deal with feelings by drinking, abusing drugs, or pursuing risky behavior.

In many cultures, it isn’t okay for men to be depressed because it is seen as “feminine.” But that isn’t true. Depression is a real problem that can affect any sex. Depression affects men in different ways than women. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your doctor or trusted friend about how you have been feeling. If it is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 800-273-8255 or go to


Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

How do we know the COVID vaccines are safe?

“We in this country are really privileged to have a very good, very robust system, that looks at vaccine safety. So, before any vaccine goes on the market there’s been months of tests to make sure that it is safe. Those months before vaccine goes on the market are meant to find common side effects that could be serious. And based on those results, we say, “Yes” or we say “No.” After a vaccine is approved it doesn’t mean we stop looking, right? We keep looking. And when we give it to a lot of people, millions and millions and millions of people, then we’re going to find the potential one-in-a-million side effect that could happen. When that happens, the right thing to do is to stop and say, “What happened here?” So, everyone knows how to treat this if they see it. And so, we don’t lose lives. And so, we don’t lose hope, and we don’t lose our faith in the safety of vaccines.”

Call us at (814) 455-7222