Grand Forks Public Health Department


Thursday, January 13, 2011

I. Call Meeting to Order

The Grand Forks Board of Health meeting was called to order at 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, January 13, 2011, at the Public Health Department conference room. Members that were present: Don Shields, Judy DeMers, and Dr. James O’Connell. Others present: Mandy Burbank, Tiffany Boespflug, Debbie Swanson, Todd Hanson, Shawn McBride, Tim Haak, Kristie Hegg, and Keith Westerfield.

II. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, October 14, 2010

A motion was made and seconded to approve the October 2010 minutes as submitted. All approved and the motion passed.

III. Old Business

A. Letter to the Editor, Grand Forks Tobacco Ordinance: Debbie S. thanked the Board of Health for their support, and for the letter to the editor that was published in the local newspaper (see attachment). The letter thanked the Grand Forks City Council for the expanded smoke-free workplace ordinance, which was implemented on August 15, 2010, to protect all workers from second-hand smoke.

B. Fall Flu Shot Update (school/community clinics): Debbie S. gave an update on the school located influenza clinics:

· Public Health conducted in the Fall of 2010, for the first time ever, a school influenza campaign of all schools in Grand Forks County. They were hoping to vaccinate half of school-age children, ages 5-18, which would have been about 4,000 children. However, only 1,600 children were vaccinated. Although it was less than anticipated, a lot of children that may otherwise not have been vaccinated received flu vaccine.

· The school with the highest percentage of students participating was Thompson School, with 43% of their students getting vaccinated.

· In addition to schools, Public Health also gave vaccinations at many community clinics, employee groups, and walk-ins at the Health Department. About 2,000 additional doses have been administered through these endeavors. We are starting to see an increase in flu cases, so there has been a second wave of people coming to get vaccinated.

· Another significant achievement is 97% of the Public Health personnel have been vaccinated against influenza.

C. Grand Forks Community Health Care Access Update: Debbie provided the following update:

· Community stakeholders met on September 24, 2010 and December 1, 2010, to discuss healthcare access. There has been great participation from community stakeholders, with 25 to 30 people attending the meetings.

· The Bureau of Primary Care at HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) is awarding planning grants up to $80,000. Our community would be eligible to apply for this planning grant. A grant writer has been identified, but funding is needed to pay for the services of a grant writer.

· It is a long process, but community stakeholders feel that a community health center would be beneficial in our community, and it is something we should strive for. It would help close the gap for people unable to access health care services.

· The next step is a meeting on January 21, 2011. Representatives from the Community Healthcare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD) will present information on what is necessary to qualify for the Community Health Center in Grand Forks. Debbie asked Don to secure support from the City to be the fiscal agent for a one-year planning grant to be awarded in August, 2011. After that, the community could apply for the funding to create a community health center.

D. North Dakota Public Health 2011 State Legislative Issues Update: Don S. briefed on
Legislative Issues, and he gave board members a booklet of ND Lawmakers.

· The Legislature session just started hearings this past week. One of the key bills coming up is the Appropriation Bill for the Health Department. There is a portion of state aid in this bill that the Local Public Health Departments across the state would like to see increased. If that happens, the increase would help fund the additional costs of health insurance, fringe benefits, pension, etc.

· In discussions with the House Appropriation Committee, this bill was favorably received.
Although no testimony was given when the bill was before the committee earlier this week,
they were going to set up a time later in the month to hear this testimony.

IV. New Business

A. Public Health Staff Changes: Don S. briefed that Jim Schothorst retired in December, after working for 25 years; Kathy Dunn also worked close to 25 years and resigned January 1st; Beth Erickson was the previous Epidemiologist who left us in the fall. Welcome to Shawn McBride, our new Epidemiologist who started January 3rd, and came from The Stadter Center where he worked for the last three years; and Tiffany Boespflug who has been managing the Women’s Way Program since November 2010.

B. City and County Wellness Program: Mandy B. gave a brief overview on the program, and supplied an Employee Wellness Program handout (see attachment).

· The Wellness Program has been ongoing since early 1992.

· The handout showed services provided to City and County Employees, and the 2011 Calendar of Events for the Wellness Program. There are many ways the Wellness Program tries to reach employees through group events and individual challenges.

· Mandy also e-mails out newsletters that have wellness challenges. These challenges are popular because you can do them at home; such as keeping track of the number of days you eat breakfast. The program tries to create a culture of wellness, instead of one-time events. Monthly plans for this coming year were also listed on the handout

· The annual Wellness Fair will be held March 28th and 29th. Some services offered during the fair are: cholesterol and blood pressure checks, information on healthy weight-loss
classes and tobacco cessation classes. Over the coming year, Mandy will be forming a
wellness committee and surveying employees to gather input on future activities.

· Since the average savings-to-cost ratio is $3.50 for every $1.00 spent on wellness, it is estimated the City and County together saved just below $100,000 with the Wellness Program. Blue Cross/Blue Shield changed their program a couple years ago. They now offer incentives, such as a $250 gift card or gym membership reimbursement to employees that participate in their program.

C. New Mosquito Control Laboratory: Todd H. gave a briefing on the new laboratory.

· Finishing touches are being done on the new Mosquito Control Laboratory, and the lab should
be ready for use next week. When the Public Safety Training Center was built, there was not
enough funding in the budget to build the laboratory in the Mosquito Control portion. Next
mosquito season they will be doing West Nile Virus (WNV) testing in this new laboratory.

· Testing for WNV was done last summer, but did not identify any positive pools of
mosquitoes. There were a total of nine human cases of WNV last year in the state, but no
one from Grand Forks County. Across the nation there were 981 human WNV cases and 45
deaths in 2010.

D. Bed Bugs Update: Tim H. briefed on the subject.

· Bed bugs are one of those old issues that have popped up again in the last few years. Part of
the reason they have spread is due to lack of pubic awareness. Bed bugs can be found in
about every city in the state. In the fall, there was a lot of media coverage, both local and
national. The media coverage has helped educate the public on the problem and reduced the
number of calls we receive. Public Health’s Environmental Health inspectors were getting a
lot of phone calls in 2010 about bed bugs.

· A reason that bed bugs are a huge problem is that they are extremely hard to control. That is
mostly due to their life cycle, and they are good at hiding. An Integrated Pest Management campaign is the best way to control bed bugs.

· There are many ways to control bed bugs instead of using pesticides. Heat from a clothes
dryer, steam, and good house cleaning, especially the use of a vacuum cleaner in areas where
they like to hide. There are enough ways of controlling them, but it has to be an on-going
process to get all generations of the bed bugs.

· When traveling keep luggage, clothes, and shoes off the floor. Check the mattress and
sheets. When you return, if you feel you may have brought them home with you, run clothes
through the dryer on high heat if possible. Put your luggage in a plastic bag until you check it
out and thoroughly clean it.

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

VI. Other: Don S. discussed Public Health’s 2010 Top Accomplishments, and also Goals for 2011 (see attachment).

VII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.

Attachments: Letter to the Editor, dated December 2, 2010
Employee Wellness Program handout
GFPHD 2010 Top Accomplishments and 2011 Goals handout

Respectfully submitted,

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