Grand Forks Public Health Department

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I. Call Meeting to Order
The Grand Forks Board of Health meeting was called to order at 4:18 p.m. on Thursday, July 8, 2010, at the Public Health Department conference room. Members that were present: Don Shields, Judy DeMers, Cynthia Pic, and Dr. Hargreaves. Others present: Theresa Knox, Debbie Swanson, Mary Barrett, Tim Haak, and Aly Eckroth.

II. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, April 8, 2010
A motion was made and seconded to approve the April 2010 minutes as submitted. All approved and the motion passed.

III. Old Business
A. Tobacco Ordinance Initiative: Theresa Knox gave a briefing.

- The expanded ordinance passed on April 5th through city council motion. Opposition failed to gather appropriate number of signatures to place ordinance on ballot. They didn’t know for sure until May 6th. Ordinance implementation date is August 15th.

- Pre-Implementation: they have met with the City Attorney and he developed a Frequently Asked Questions brochure which explained the ordinance. This was put on the website. They gave directions to others on where to get the information and fielded phone calls. City Attorney met with the Inspections Department so that when people apply for applications to expand their smoke-free areas they will have the appropriate information and remain compliant with the ordinance.

- Print materials have been developed and are in production. Theresa said they are working with the Mayor’s office on direct mail to offer these as a free resource to business owners in the community. Not only will bars be affected but casinos and all businesses as well. Smokers will now have to be at least 15 feet away from the establishment when smoking outside; it used to be 5 feet.

- Theresa mentioned that they have been collaborating with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce. They have been doing 3-part series in their newsletters from pre-implementation right up to implementation. The countdown to clear air campaign includes: updating the Smoke Free Grand Forks Facebook page, the Grand Forks Public Health Facebook page, Twitter, and the digital billboard with the countdown to August 15th on the intersection of DeMers and Washington.

- The coalition wants to have a coalition driven event to celebrate the implementation. Theresa shared that they are collaborating with the Red River

Runner’s Club; who hosts an annual Fall Frolic Run. This year’s theme is Smoke Free Grand Forks. Both of these are community driven.

IV. New Business
A. Welcome new Administrative Specialist, Kristie Hegg and Alyssa Eckroth: Don introduced Alyssa Eckroth who took over for Peggy Vanyo and previously worked at Altru. Kristie Hegg (not present) was also introduced. Kristie used to work at the police department. Kristie took over Marlene Johnson’s position who stepped up to be the supervisor when Juanita Peterka retired. Jim Schothorst announced that he will be retiring at the end of this year.

B. Welcome new Public Health Nurse, Mary Barrett: Debbie Swanson introduced the new Public Health Nurse, Mary. She works half time at the County Correctional Center and the other half in the health department.

C. Welcome new City Council Representative: Judy informed us that unfortunately the new representative has not been named yet and this will be deferred to the next meeting. Don shared that the city is going through all the openings and will appoint a Board of Health member soon.

D. Election of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson: This election will also be deferred to the next meeting.

V. Next Regular Scheduled Meetings – 4:15 p.m., Thursday, October 14, 2010 and Thursday, January 13, 2011 at Public Health conference room.

VI. Other:
A. Mosquito Control: Judy asked for an update on mosquito spraying that has been occurring so far this year. Don provided us with an update. Since April, we did get approval from city council to build a laboratory for PCR testing of mosquitoes to detect West Nile Virus. The laboratory will be on the second floor and construction should start this fall and be available next year. Todd Hanson, Mosquito Control Supervisor, is seeing about 25% culex mosquitoes in the traps. He continues to test mosquitoes and is aggressively knocking these down. The Air Force came last week to do the aerial spraying but the winds were too high therefore, they could not spray. They are scheduled to come back in August. The city has conducted about nine sprayings so far this year. Fifteen sprayings are usually budgeted for the summer. We may be dipping in to the capital carry over funds so we can continue to aggressively keep mosquitoes at low levels. Todd is also working in special areas like the greenways, parks, and spraying for special events.

B. Food Service Inspection Scores: Tim shared that the food service inspection scores are now accessible on the Public Health website ( These are updated monthly. This

included their most recent score, previous score, and the date they were last inspected.

C. Flu Shots this fall: Debbie gave an update on this.
The state health department is using some discretionary federal funding that they had to purchase a large quantity of flu vaccine. They have asked health departments if they had interest in doing school-based flu clinics. Grand Forks Public Health will be going to all schools in Grand Forks County grades K-12 and offer with parent consent the flu vaccine. It’s a one time opportunity so Debbie said she’s unsure how this will continue in the future. There will be a small administrative fee. Blue Cross and Medicaid will be billed and fees will be waived for those who are not able to pay. In addition, there will still be community based flu clinics for all ages. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

D. Aurora Hospital: Don informed us that Bev Collins from the city’s Building Inspections Department announced Wednesday, July 7 that they certified the new Aurora Hospital as being completed with construction. The official opening date is unknown.

VII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 4:52 p.m.

Attachments: Issue Listings
Division Activity Reports (April – June 2010)
Calendar of Special Health Events (July – September 2010)

Respectfully submitted,

James Hargreaves, MD, Secretary
by: Alyssa Eckroth
Administrative Specialist
Public Health Department