Grand Forks Public Health Department


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I. Call Meeting to Order

The meeting was called to order at 12:10 p.m. by Don Shields.

Members present at the meeting: Kristi Mishler, Lee Lipp, Brenda Severson, John Packett, Pat Berger, Col. Jane Denton, Ed Christ, Mary Amundson, Terry Hanson, Mark Lambrecht, and Don Shields. Other individuals attending the meeting were: Keith Westerfield (Public Health), and presenter Dennis Reisnour (Altru Health System).

II. Old Business

A. Review and Approval of Minutes of meeting on July 19, 2012: The July meeting minutes were motioned and approved with no changes.

III. New Business

A. Presentation – “Community Health Improvement Initiative”: Dennis Reisnour from Altru Health System gave a presentation on Altru’s Community Health Assessment (CHA), and community health improvement projects.

· Altru is forming a community group to serve as a steering committee for their CHA. Altru sees the CHA as an important piece of what they do as an organization to “Improving Health, Enriching Lives.” Altru had done a CHA and some projects in the 1990s. They planned to continue doing assessments, but went through some rough times after the flood of 1997. Altru did not have the resources to fulfill lower priority missions outside their walls. They are now working to extend Altru’s missions outside their walls again. With the projects done in the mid-1990s, Altru did have success with some initiatives. There is one initiative still underway after 15 years, with the school system. It was originally called “The Answer.” It encourages kids to make wiser choices about alcohol, drugs, sex, and other problems or adventures kids get themselves into. A group that Altru was part of for 12 years, survey students every two years about these problems. This group has had remarkable success changing some of those behaviors of students, which has had an impact that can be measured. Altru hopes that there will be many more projects like this that come out of this assessment process.

· Altru knows they cannot do this assessment alone, so they want to form a partnership with the community. Initially there is the steering committee, and during the last assessment subcommittees were formed by health issues. Experts in each of these areas worked to compile data, develop reports, and made recommendations to the steering committee. It was ultimately the steering committee that set the priorities that resulted in “The Answer,” and other projects that they worked on during that time. This committee envisions a similar scenario happening this time. There are requirements for healthcare providers regarding assessments, to meet and fulfill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The committee is following the Assessment for Community Health Improvement framework for the process, which is pretty standard and include: 1.) Establishing the infrastructure, which is the steering committee and future subcommittees. 2.) These committees will define the purpose and scope of the project. 3.) The subcommittees will later collect and analyze data. Grand Forks Public

Health Department (GFPHD) already has a lot of data collected. The committee will be doing some quantitative research by having expert focus groups, in a cross-section of organizations and agencies, see what they believe are the priorities in the community. 4.) The steering committee will then select priorities for health improvement initiatives. The committee will also do quantitative research to get baseline data to determine later on if there was any impact. Altru has budgeted for both of these researches. 5.) Document and communicate results of the research, and 6.) The steering committee will plan, organize, and get initiatives under way. They will then monitor the progress of the initiatives, and report the results to Altru. The committee will also be required to give a report every three years to the federal government.

· Altru is looking at the following CHA timeline: The steering committee will meet twice in November 2012. Focus groups will conduct field work and research starting in January 2013. The assessment report should be completed in June 2013, and then will be shared with the community. The committee will then adopt plans and start working on implementation of initiatives by September 2013.

B. Member Update:

· Col. Jane D. – The 319th Medical Group had their big Health Services Inspection the third week of August 2012. They scored a 96 on their inspection, the highest score this year for the visiting Health Services Inspection Team. It was also the third highest score in the history of the Health Services inspections. The medical group is now ramping up for the Wing Readiness Inspection in May 2013, and AAAC Civilian Inspection in August 2013.

· Lee L. – Mental health issues peak in the fall and spring, and seem to be peaking right now. Pressures build when kids are back in school, and mom and dad are not seeing eye-to-eye on issues. It has been stressful in the area lately, and Lee’s office has been seeing more of these mental health issues going on.

· Don S. – Get your flu shot! You are encouraged to get your flu shot from your doctor or come to the GFPHD. GFPHD can bill North Dakota Medicaid, Medicare Part B, or Blue Cross Blue Shield for your flu shot to stay healthy.

Don also asked the Alliance for Healthcare Access (AHA) to come back at the next meeting in January 2013, to give an update on the Community Health Center (CHC) for which they are making good progress. They are currently waiting for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to release the requests for operation grants.

· Mary A. – There is a sadness that is magnified in small rural communities. Mary has visited communities around the state and has seen despair in some of the young people. They turn to drugs, alcohol, and sometimes suicide, thinking life is not worth living. There is a need in the state to deal with mental health issues, and not enough clinics. The psychiatric ward at the hospital in Williston recently closed.

The Public Health Master Degree Program began this fall through a collaborative agreement between the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University (NDSU).

Ed C. – Child Protection Services in the Grand Forks County Social Services (GFCSS) office is also seeing a spike in the level of reports of concern. GFCSS has made some changes. They have instituted a call center for their Eligibility Department to handle most of the calls right there. This will give social workers more time for working cases. GFCSS is also transitioning from two reception areas to one, to make better use of their staff.

· Kristi M. – The Community Foundation is having community conversations with NV360 (the NV stands for North Valley - New Vision). NV360 received a grant that gave funds to go out and engage the Forks (Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN) on website, a virtual town hall meeting place. Everyone is encouraged to weigh-in on issues, especially on social issues impacting our communities. The NV360 category currently has five topics listed, along with categories for Grand Forks Housing and the Park District. The Community Foundation will be releasing preliminary findings on a year’s worth of conversations. They are working on recommendations, problem-solving, and finding solutions from pulling different groups together. The results will be released on January 17, 2013, at the Chamber of Commerce.

· Pat B. – 1,079 is the number of children enrolled in United Way’s Imagination Library program which provides books to children, from birth to five years of age. Altru is a huge partner in this program. A brochure is placed in the new baby packet given to new parents at Altru, and that is where most of the referrals come from. Children are learning to read up to the third grade, and after third grade they are reading to learn. In major cities, studies show that 95 percent of minority males by age 25 will either be incarcerated or dead, if they not reading third grade level by third grade. In Grand Forks, the percentage of children reading at the third grade level is about 85-90 percent. In major cities, it is only about 60-65 percent and only about 50 percent in some major neighborhoods. If you can read, you can do anything.

You can donate just $25 to United Way to sponsor a child in this program. Altru, the Education Foundation, and the Community Foundation are sponsors, and United Way is also going after a grant from the Target Foundation. The Imagination Library program is also a designation on the United Way’s pledge form. The United Way maintains the list of children on the program, and the bill comes to the United Way. They will be spending about $85-88,000 a year on this program.

Donations to the United Way are getting to more people. When LM Wind Power company had to let employees go, their corporate gift remained the same. One of the United Way issues is that a few major businesses are not allowing United Way to solicit donations. They are not only making that decision for themselves, but also their employees. Companies could at least let United Way distribute pledge forms.

· Terry H. – Normally, Grand Forks has 200-300 homes available for sale, but currently down to only 90-100 homes on the market.

Twice a year, the Housing Association puts out a report. The last report in July 2012, shows the vacancy rate in Grand Forks at 2.8 percent, and this is when the college students are gone. The vacancy rate gets worse in August, when the college students come back. Five percent is a more normal turnover rate. There is no one big contributor to the high cost of housing, whether rental or owner units.

The State recently released, for the third time, the State-Wide Housing Needs Study. It shows a lot of need for housing in the west, but also a need for housing in Grand Forks. Grand Forks also commissioned a study that was released in July 2012. Both studies confirmed that for mid-price housing over $160,000, Grand Forks has enough housing to meet the needs for the next 15 years.

What the city is missing is housing for the elderly, which the elderly population is predicted to
increase in the future. Starter homes and affordable housing, including rental units, are needed for lower-to-moderate income levels. Over the next 12-15 years, Grand Forks would need to build 200 of these affordable units a year to meet the housing needs, which the current developers are not developing. The ranch-style FHA homes with 1,100 square-feet, built in the mid-1960s up to the end of the 1970s, are the type of affordable housing units that Grand Forks has today.

IV. Other: None

V. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

VI. Next Meeting: Thursday, January 17, 2013, at 12:00 noon,
Altru Hospital (Lower level, Multi-media room) Conference Room
(Lunch will be provided by Altru Health System).