Grand Forks Public Health Department

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I. Call Meeting to Order

The Grand Forks Board of Health meeting was called to order at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 21, 2010, at the Public Health Department conference room. Members that were present: Judy DeMers, Don Shields, Cynthia Pic, Dr. James Hargreaves, and Mike McNamara. Others present: Debbie Swanson, Theresa Knox, Allan Anderson, Timothy Haak, Keith Westerfield, and Kim Schulte (Intern with Public Health).

II. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, July 9, 2009

A motion was made and seconded to approve the July 2009 minutes as submitted (no meeting occurred in October 2009). All approved and the motion passed.

III. Old Business

A. Influenza A H1N1 Update: Debbie S. gave a briefing on this.

- The first H1N1 vaccinations were given in October 2009 at Headstart in Grand Forks, because only a small amount of vaccine was available (vaccine was available only for ages 2-4 yrs).

- The first major shot clinic was held in November 2009 at the Alerus, which also held the last clinic in January 2010, plus several county clinics were held in-between. In all, a total of over 5,400 vaccines have been given by Public Health through the clinics and office walk-ins.

- We will be going back to the schools in February to catch up the children who hadn’t the opportunity to be vaccinated yet for the H1N1 virus, although the disease is on the decline.

- Although Public Health has always had planned for a pandemic flu that included putting everything on hold, we did all the vaccination clinics, and everything else normally done (such as home visits), so we didn’t stop doing our daily duties.

- Timothy H. thanked Kathy Dunn (and all of Public Health) for her help with the Emergency Preparedness Plans; the planning and execution of the plans. To actually execute the plans took some additional planning. A lot of things worked, but some things didn’t.
-- Public Health tested the Alerus, and showed that we could do huge amount of vaccinations, although
they require a lot of volunteers. The last clinic vaccinated about 600 people an hour, so having more
lanes open so more people could be vaccinated per hour and working around the clock, it could be
possible to vaccinate the 70,000 Grand Forks county residents in three days.
-- There were some challenges; such as staffing, clinics held at different places, and not knowing how
much vaccine was going to be on-hand since there were five different vaccine vendors.
-- More discussion followed.

IV. New Business

A. Welcome new Environmental Health Supervisor: Don S. introduced Timothy Haak as Public Health’s new Environmental Health Supervisor (see Issue Listing, attached). Don also introduced our new intern at Public Health, Kim Schulte.

B. Welcome new Regional Environmental Health Specialist: Timothy H. introduced Brenda Bergman as Public Health’s new Environmental Health Specialist (see Issues Listing, attached).

C. & D. Update on GF Wellness Activities, and Prevention Obesity: Allan A. briefed on both subjects.

- Obesity has become a major issue in society today, having wide-spread ramifications throughout health care, and the general health of the public. The Nutrition division of Public Health is studying how to address obesity in the community, and is developing a plan to fight obesity.

Board of Health Minutes
January 21, 2010
Page 2

- They participate in a couple different coalitions; the ‘Coalition for A Healthy Greater Grand Forks’, involves many different agencies that have an interest in health promotion. They seek ways to collaborate together to implement programs, affect policies, and change the environment for the better.
Another is the ‘Moving More, Eating Smarter’ coalition, which is facilitated by the State Health Department, where they get together to discuss issues of importance (NDSU Extension Office, Altru, University of ND, Grand Forks school system are a few key players).

- The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it will provide $363 Million for obesity and tobacco prevention state-wide (which the Coalition of A Health Greater Grand Forks is applying for some of that funding).

E. Civil Surgeon: Debbie S. requested the Board of Health’s assistance for recruitment, as well as ideas, to find applicants. (see attached Issue Listing)

- A civil surgeon is a designation given by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immigrants have trouble finding a civil surgeon, whose immigration forms can only be signed by one. They are needed for the increasing refugee population in Grand Forks needing medical exams. The closest civil surgeon, besides the one in Grand Forks (Dr. Hargreaves) is in Fargo.

F. Reappointment of Health Officers: Don S. briefed that Dr. Hargreaves have been reappointed, by Mayor Brown, as the Grand Forks Public Health Officer (along with Dr. Brousseau and Dr. Lunn as Deputy Public Health Officers). Also, Mr. Mike McNamara was reappointed as the City Council representative on the Board of Health. (see attached Issue Listing and Appointment letters)

V. Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting4:15 p.m., Thursday, April 8, July 8, and October 7, 2010
at Public Health conference room.

VI. Other:

- Timothy H. briefed on a complaint lodged on a facility in Grand Forks, for possible food-borne illness. On December 11, 2009 at a wedding reception, 24 out of 48 wedding guests became ill. Due to the large number, it was referred directly to ND Department of Health, Disease Control department, who just completed their investigation (with GFPHD Environmental Health’s help), and issued a report. (see attachment)
- Theresa K., representing the GF Tobacco-Free coalition, wanted to thank the Board of Health for their past support on efforts to protect all workers from the hazard of second-hand smoke, and make the board aware of a couple of events; there will be a press conference on 26 January at the Alerus Center, to release the results of a survey done, asking the public awareness/perception of second-hand smoke, and their attitude on protecting all workers from hazard of second-hand smoke. The data is being analyzed and will be available on their website: ‘’ shortly. The will also be a Community Forum on 2 February in the County Office Building in the evening.
- For the fourth year in a row, the Grand Forks Public Health Department is the recipient of the ND Public Health Association’s Public Health Worker of the Year award, won by Terri Keehr! Past recipients include; Debbie Swanson, Theresa Knox, and Carolyn Kaltenberg. Terri will receive it in April, at the Dakota Conference.

VII. AdjournmentThe meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

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