Grand Forks Public Health Department


GRAND FORKS BOARD OF HEALTH MINUTES
Thursday, July 9, 2009

I. Call Meeting to Order

The Grand Forks Board of Health meeting was called to order at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, July 9, 2009, at the Public Health Department conference room. Members that were present: Judy DeMers, Don Shields, Cynthia Pic, Dr. James Hargreaves, Mike McNamara, and Dr. James O’Connell. Others present: Debbie Swanson, Theresa Knox, Jim Schothorst, Kathy Dunn, and Keith Westerfield.

II. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, January 8, and April 9, 2009

A motion was made and seconded to approve the January and April 2009 minutes as submitted. All approved and the motion passed.

III. Old Business

A. Vaccination Expedition, May 2009 Conference Update: Kathy D. gave a briefing on this.

- This was the fourth successful time the 2009 Vaccination Expedition, hosted by the Greater Grand Forks Immunization Coalition (GGFIM), was held (every three years). It was done at the at the Alerus Center, and there were 270 participants from all over North Dakota and Minnesota. The highlights of this year were the keynote speakers, and new this year, a motivational speaker (see attached Division Activity Report).

- “Good Job!” from the Board of Health to Kathy D., all the staff who helped, and to the GGFIM on making it a success.

B. ND Legislative Bills Update: Don S. gave an overview on health-related legislative bills, and the Department of Health’s 2009-11 Final Budget (see attached Issues Listing). It was a very successful year, in terms of funding for the state! State aid also went up, which will help local public health.

- This translates into about $12,000 more of annual state aid for Grand Forks Public Health Department. Some areas, such as immunizations, it may help; and additional money is available state-wide for Women’s Way screening, now for women age 40 to age 50, which will help citizens in our area.

- Deb S. commented that the $1.2M appropriated (for immunization services) is to reimburse local public health departments for any losses (but federal stimulus funds are to be used first). The federal stimulus funding will bring more vaccines to the state, and the State Health Department has an advisory committee, which Kathy D. is on, that recommends how to spend the dollars available on vaccines.

- The Dental Loan Repayment program: Grants for practicing dentists that works in a non-profit clinic, like in Grand Forks, where a portion of their school loans are paid for every year they work at the clinic ($20,000 per year, up to three years).

C. ND Tobacco Measure 3 Update: Theresa Knox gave an update on the Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund (see attached handout), but Haley Thorson is the point of contact (787-8135).

- The ND Comprehensive State Plan to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use, 2009-2014, was released earlier this week (a copy of the plan can be found at the Tobacco-Free ND website: www.tfnd.org ).

- Theresa K. stated that tobacco taxes in ND has not increased since 1993, and 19% of North Dakotans smoke, compared to 21-22% nation-wide.

Board of Health Minutes
July 9, 2009
Page 2

IV. New Business

A. Influenza A H1N1 Swine Flu Update: Don S. briefed (see Issues Listing attached) and gave a handout (see attached):

- It’s continuing to spread easily throughout the world. In the last month, there has been a rapid rise in cases; now almost 100,000 total cases world-wide, in 136 countries (it’s influenza season in the southern hemisphere). In the U.S., 34,000 confirmed cases.

- It continues to be a mild form of the disease, with the average age of confirmed cases of 18 years of age. In ND, 76% of those getting it are under the age of 29. Grand Forks county had eight cases.

- In the four months since the swine flu first kicked-off in Mexico, we have gone way beyond the Avian flu, which has been tracked since 2003 (100,000 cases, 429 deaths world-wide due to the swine flu, versus the 400 cases, 262 deaths from Avian flu).

- Vaccines are currently under development, and may be available November timeframe; with two doses, 30 days apart. More discussion followed.


B. Environmental Health Performance Measures (Metrics): Jim S. gave on overview on Environmental Health (see Issues Listing attached).

- Nuisance complaints are checked within 24 hours, however, they could take longer than the resolution goal of 30 days if court gets involved. Nuisances involving housing in the university area, the most difficult for complaints due to houses that are turned into rental units for students. The landlords are usually absentee, and they have to be tracked down.

- Restaurants are inspected once every six months, sooner if there is a complaint. All food services are inspected; including nursing homes, hospitals, and schools (they have low turnovers, compared to the high turnover rate with restaurants). With restaurants, focus on items that can make people ill; handwashing, cross-contamination, use of cleaning products in a food area, etc. Over 78% of Grand Forks restaurants have someone that has been through the Certified Food Manager (Serv Safe) Course. This course was designed and put on by the National Restaurant Association, and the program is taught by a doctor from NDSU. The course is not required anywhere in North Dakota, but is in Minnesota. There are though, a lot of corporations that require it (McDonalds, Burger King, etc.) to become a manager, and also required for food service at the university. Further discussion followed.

- Public or commercial pools are inspected twice a year (sooner if there is a complaint). If someone has a problem with their private pool, Environmental Health can stop by and do a water chemistry test free of charge.

- Board of Health members voiced support for updating the Grand Forks Food Code, and posting Food Service Inspection scores on the public health website.

- Mosquito program: No city-wide aerial spraying yet (planes spray where trucks can’t get to), however, lavaciding has been on-going. Mosquito Control treats 1,000 areas in a six-mile area this side of the river. The board thinks that Todd Hanson has been doing a wonderful job controlling the mosquito population.

Board of Health Minutes
July 9, 2009
Page 3

C. Healthiest Nation in One Generation: Deb S. showed a short video by the American Public Health Association, which has been placed on Public Health’s Facebook page.

- Deb S wanted to recognize the Disease Prevention Team for winning a “model program” award from the National Association of City and County Health Officials for a vaccination clinic they did for refugee community, done on-site in a FEMA trailer. The program was called, “Vaccination on Wheels - Take It to the Street.” They’ll be receiving that award in Orlando, Florida on July 30, 2009.

V. Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting4:15 p.m., Thursday, October 8, 2009, and January 14, 2010 at Public Health conference room.

VI. Other:
- Don S. wanted to go on record to thank Wally Helland, who retired in June from the Public Health Department after dedicating 32 years of service to the citizens of Grand Forks. Judy D. motioned to send a letter of thanks from the Board of Health, which was approved.

VII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,



James Hargreaves, MD, Secretary
by: Keith Westerfield
Office Specialist, Senior
Public Health Department