Grand Forks Public Health Department

Mayor’s Health and Human Services Cabinet Minutes
January 19, 2012


Thursday, January 19, 2012

I. Call Meeting to Order

The meeting was called to order at 12:15 p.m. by Don Shields.

Members present at the meeting: Dr. John Clayburgh, Col. Jane Denton, Tara Dupper, Lynette Flage, Terry Hanson, Dr. James Hargreaves, Mark Lambrecht, Dr. Leland Lipp, Peter O’Neill, John Packett, and Don Shields. Others individuals attending the meeting: Shelly Scholand (Red River Valley Community Action), Lt Col. Laura Place (319th Medical Group, GFAFB), Clint Urvand (University of ND senior student interning at Public Health), and Keith Westerfield (Public Health).

II. Old Business

A. Review and Approval of Minutes of the October 20, 2011, Meeting: The meeting minutes were motioned and approved with no changes.

B. Grand Forks “Detox” Community Facility Initiative Update: Kate Kenna was not available, so Don S. gave an update.

· There will be a meeting of the Social Detox Committee next week with the City Council, County Commissioners, Altru, and the University of ND. It was discussed at their last meeting that they were very close on the detox issue, and they may contract out to Douglas Place in East Grand Forks, MN. The committee was all set with funding and to contract with them until Douglas Place went into receivership on December 8, 2011, but they are still operating. The committee will determine how this affects the social detox timeline and they hope to still contract with an agency to provide this service for Grand Forks in the near future.

C. Alliance for Health Care Access Update: Cory Mock was not available, so Don S. gave the latest update on the Community Health Center (CHC):

· A Planning Grant from the federal government was received in September 2011. The Alliance hired a coordinator, Mara Jiran, for the CHC in November 2011. She is currently working with subcommittees that have been set up to look at location, financing, staffing, and what services are to be provided. This is similar to what occurred for the Community Dental Clinic. The Planning Grant goes through the end of August 2012. A planning grant was needed to do the legwork prior to submitting a federal grant. If the federal grant is awarded, the Alliance will only have a short time period to have the CHC up and operating.

III. New Business

A. Welcome New Member: Terry Hanson, Grand Forks Housing Authority.

· Don S. introduced and welcomed Terry Hanson as a new member.

B. Member Update:

· Don S. – Public Health has arranged a walk-thru tour of the new Doctor’s Hospital on the south end of town. The tour will be on Wednesday, January 25, 2012, at 9:00 a.m., but space is limited. The Doctor’s Hospital should open in February 2012.

· Dr. John C. – The Third Street Clinic is operating well at this time. They are referring low-income and other eligible individuals to appointments with physicians, optometrists, and dentists. There has been a significant decrease in dental need since the Dental Clinic opened in Grand Forks. However, the need is not completely met, and there are still people in need of dental care.

There is an effort underway by a state legislator to consider a new type of mid-level health care provider, who would be able to fill or remove teeth. The American Dental Association (ADA) opposes this because these procedures are considered irreversible and permanent. Also, it is not clear what level of training would be needed, and how these personnel would be used. The ADA feels that a new type of dental provider is not needed. Instead, there should be more funding available for the providers already in place. There are some mid-level dental providers that practice in the outlining areas of Alaska, and a few in Colorado.

Community forums are to be conducted across the state to gauge public opinion of dental access for low-income people. There will be a forum in Grand Forks on February 6, 2012,
in the Community Room at the Grand Forks Herald.

· Shelly S. – The Red River Valley Community Action (RRVCA) agency is now taking appointments for taxes. The appointments are for those at 125 percent of the poverty level or below. Their phone number is (701)746-5431.

The RRVCA had received a new grant that they are using to help qualified people with rent deposits and past due rents.

The RRVCA provides shelter for homeless women and their children, and has been at its busiest this past year. One reason the shelter has seen a higher need is because of the unemployed as a result of the American Crystal Sugar lockout which began in August 2011.

· Lynette F. – The Grand Forks County NDSU Extension Office continues to provide educational programs to the schools in the region: food nutrition education for youth, parent/child readiness for school, and parent education. They have added a new part-time person in their Parent Information Resource Center.

2012 Farm/Ranch Transition Planning brochures were made available (see attachment). This is a great program that was offered last fall in a number of locations in the state. It will start up again on Thursday, February 9, 2012, and the NDSU Extension office will be one of the sites offering it. The cost is $55.00 for three sessions. There will be attorneys, financial planners, and communication specialists as speakers. The sessions are all about communication and how families should express their wants and needs as they are transitioning their farm to the next generation.

· Dr. Leland L. – If you go to St. Cloud, MN, you can find ‘Clara’s House.’ It is a day-treatment program for children and adolescents who have a chemical addiction with emotional or behavioral problems. There is a group of people in Grand Forks who are discussing how they can put together a place like this in our community for treating kids instead of sending them to a hospital or an out-of-area treatment facility. These are currently just on-going discussions that could evolve into a nice treatment option for the kids in this community.

‘Clara’s House’ was named in memory of its donor, Mae Ellingson-Skalicky’s mother, who had done a lot of fundraising and entrepreneurial work. The concept of the facility was based on fundraising initiatives. The Grand Forks group is trying to accomplish the same thing using a private foundation concept so there will not be any funding issues.

The day-treatment model has the advantage of getting the family involved in the day-to-day treatment. Rather than dropping the child off at a hospital and picking them back up three weeks later, the child spends their nights at home. This model has been shown to be very effective. If a facility could be built and funded, the treatment cost would be more reasonable. Hospitalization is very expensive. Residential treatment programs for long-term residential care, such as Ruth Meiers, is also an expensive process.

Correction: Don S. mentioned that there is also an initiative to put a Ronald McDonald-like family support House in Grand Forks. Jon Green made the following e-mail correction on February 15, 2012: a group is looking at a 'hostel style' home for those receiving medical care, however there is absolutely no connection to a Ronald McDonald House. Grand Forks does not qualify for a 'McDonald's' house for multiple reasons. The interested group wants to serve all age groups, whereas a 'McDonald's' house would limit occupants to families with patients aged 18 and younger. Altru may also be interested in donating land just west of their medical center for this possible use.

· Terry H. – There is a lot of activity in western ND that is pushing families east. In Williston, families that have lived there for decades are being dislocated because they no longer can afford the rent, which has increased 340 percent. There was recently an article in their newspaper called, “Six Figures and Homeless.” The Census data came out recently, regarding poverty in ND. Poverty in Grand Forks, ND, has increased and is more of a problem than most realize.

U.S. Bank recently contributed $1.2 million towards a Housing Incentive Fund that the State Legislature set up. One of the programs that the funding is directed toward is a project undertaken by Valley Memorial Homes. A 30-unit housing facility project, costing close to $5 million, will be constructed behind Tufte Manor. These will be independent living one-bedroom apartments with assistance available to them. The facility will be considered ‘Section 202’ because it will be for extremely low-income elderly individuals.

· Peter O. – They have run into situations with hoarders and the resulting accumulated items contributing to home fires. Dr. Lipp is working with the Fire Department to put something together to hand out to folks on this sensitive subject. Dr. Lipp noted that they have had success a few times rebooting the hoarders thought process, but it takes a long time and is a slow process.

· Tara D. – The New American Services (NAS) office have been very busy for the past six or seven months. The fourth quarter of their last fiscal year saw more than half of their new arrivals. Of the 90 refugees that were scheduled for arrival this fiscal year, 60 have arrived already. Of the latest new arrivals, 80 percent are Bhutanese and 20 percent are Somalian.

There is a class every Friday for any refugee wishing to learn more about life and culture in the United States.

NAS will again host the Building Bridges Conference in Fargo, on April 3, 2012.

· Col. Jane D. – The 319th Medical Group is currently in a steady state. They have been notified that there will be a Health Services Inspection, along with a Unit Compliance Inspection for the Wing in August 2012. They will be a little busy making sure everything is in order, but they are ready.

About nine percent of the medical personnel are constantly deployed at any given time, plus there are humanitarian missions that they support .

IV. Other: At the beginning of the meeting, Don S. asked Peter O. and John P. to talk about the fire that happened at the Red River High School on the morning of January 18, 2012.

· Peter O. – A fire at Red River High School was the result of construction workers trying to dry out an area with blowtorches the previous night. Unknown to them, they must have left a smoldering hot spot. A wall had caught fire, but it was mostly the styrofoam insulation that was burning. The fire took a little effort to extinguish due to the below zero temperatures outside. There were no injuries, and there was an orderly evacuation of students as a precaution. Estimate of damages will have to be determined by the insurance company and structural engineers. There was only minor damage to a mechanical room inside the school. There was not an issue with smoke in the cafeteria, so Public Health was not required to inspect the school food facility.

· John C. – It was a mess on South 17th Avenue with all the kids evacuating Red River High School due to the fire. The officers that work at the school were really not adequately dressed for the weather and the length of time they had to help outside.

· Dr. Clayburgh was asked if there was an emergency after-hours phone number for dental emergencies. He said there was not, and that a broken tooth is not considered an emergency. A tooth that is knocked out may be able to be saved. The tooth should be cleaned and placed back in the mouth, preferably in the socket it came out of. The mouth’s temperature and saliva will help. A tooth could also be placed in a glass of milk, but the tooth will need to be replanted by a dentist as soon as possible.

V. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

VI. Next Meeting: Thursday, April 19, 2012, at 12:00 noon
Altru Hospital (Lower level, Multi-media room) Conference Room
(Lunch will be provided by Altru Health System).

1. 2012 Farm/Ranch Transition Planning brochure, NDSU Extension Service
2. Building Bridges Conference postcard, New American Services