Grand Forks Public Health Department

Thursday, April 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, April 8, 2010, at the Public Health Department conference room. Members that were present: Judy DeMers, Don Shields, Cynthia Pic, and Dr. James O’Connell. Others present: Theresa Knox, Tim Haak, Richard Klockmann, Kathy Dunn, Carolyn Kaltenberg, Haley Thorson, Keith Westerfield, Kim Schulte (Intern with Public Health), and Jenna Scharmer (UND Nursing student).

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

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

III. Old Business

A. Influenza A H1N1 and Seasonal Flu Update: Kathy D. gave an update on this (see Issue Listing).

- Public Health still has flu and H1N1 vaccine, that doesn’t expire until June 2011. Kathy stated that everyone should get this vaccine, and it was recommended to her that public health have this extra stock on hand, in case of another wave of H1N1 occurs.

- The ND Department of Health received funding to provide influenza vaccine this fall for all children in Grand Forks county schools, kindergarten through twelfth grade. There are nineteen health units that are going to take part in this program, and Grand Forks Public Health is one of those units.

B. Tobacco Ordinance Initiative: Haley T. gave a briefing.

- The Grand Forks City Council voted to amend city code relating to indoor smoking regulations, on Monday, April 5, 2010, which passed by a narrow margin. This amendment will be effective August 15, 2010.

- The coalition has been talking to the city attorney to find out how to start the education/ implementation process, and they have already received calls requesting guidelines on how businesses can build patios or shelters to be in compliance.

- Haley read a Thank You letter from the coalition, thanking the Board of Health for their support (see attachment). Don thanked Haley T., Theresa K., and Kailee Dvorak (not present) for their hard work on the Tobacco Free Coalition, whose members rallied the community. Don also thanked Judy D. for going to the City Council earlier to tell the members that this was important, and that the Board of Health requested they pass this ordinance.

C. Civil Surgeon: Theresa K. gave an update.

- As Civil Surgeon, Dr. Hargreaves has started to see clients, but there have been some people who are not showing for their appointments, and since he is the only infectious disease physician at Altru, there are other people needing his services. Dr. Rob Beatty, University of North Dakota School of Medicine, has agreed to apply to be another civil surgeon.

Board of Health Minutes
April 8, 2010
Page 2

IV. New Business

A. Welcome new Administrative Supervisor: Don S. gave congratulations to Marlene Johnson (not present) appointed as Public Health’s new Administrative Supervisor (see Issue Listing) March 15, 2010, taking the place of Juanita Peterka, who retired in January. He also welcomed visitors; Jenna S. and Kim S. to the meeting.

B. Goodbye to Administrative Specialist: Don S. also briefed the board that Administrative Specialist Peggy Vanyo (not present) will be retiring on June 18, 2010 (see Issue Listing).

C. Welcome Public Health Nurse: Theresa K. gave an update (see Issue Listing).

- Unfortunately, we are not welcoming a new public health nurse yet. There was a register of ten candidates, with the first three names going to the Mayor. However, none of them accepted the position, so they are currently are in the process of sending more names of candidates to the Mayor for consideration.

D. Flood 2010 Public Health Activities Update: Don S. briefed on this (see Issue Listing).

- On Friday, March 12, 2010, the Red River was at 17 feet and still under the ice, but by Monday, March 15, it was at 28 feet, and by the following Saturday, March 20, it had crested at 45.99 feet.
The Red River has not risen so quickly before, closing two bridges with its high water, but for some of the citizens of the city, the flood seemed ‘anti-climatic.’ The flood protection was worth every penny.

- FEMA started stockpiling supplies at the Air Force base that Friday, March 12, and the State contacted UND to set up shelter for evacuations of other communities, such as Fargo and Moorhead, and brought in supplies to our warehouse. FEMA had sent many semi-trailers of supplies also.

- The Red River Valley had approximately 50 inches of snow this year (there was 100 inches of snow the year of the 1997 flood), but what really affects Grand Forks more than the Red River or how much snowpack, is what occurs in the Red Lake basin (that river crested at the same time as the Red River in 1997). The Red Lake had less precipitation this year, and had crested 3-4 days earlier, so that helped with less flooding this year, along with the cooler temperatures at night.

V. Next Regularly Scheduled Meetings4:15 p.m., Thursday, July 8, and October 7, 2010 at
Public Health conference room.

VI. Other:

A. Public Health Week Champion Awards: Kim S. briefed on who was awarded (see attachment):

- In observance of National Public Health Week, the Grand Forks Public Health Department honored Public Health Community Champions. This year’s theme was ‘A Healthier America: One Community at a Time.’ Nominees were submitted, based on essential Public Health Services, and had to meet certain criteria. Seven people/organizations were awarded:

Dr. Eric Johnson – Medical director for the ND Tobacco Quitline.
Jane Croeker – UND Health Promotions Advisor.
Delbert Streitz – Grand Forks Public Health Department’s Emergency Response Coordinator.
Julie Ludwig – Community Resource Coordinator at Valley Community Health Centers.
Board of Health Minutes
April 8, 2010
Page 3

Valley Community Health Center Dental Clinic – Established in 2007.
SimmonsFlint – Marketing Communications Firm.
Grand Forks County Public School Districts – Emerado, Grand Forks, Larimore, Manvel, Midway, Northwood, and Thompson.

- Don S. thanked Kim S., who started her internship at Public Health in January 2010, and finishes it next week, then graduates in May. She has been instrumental in helping with Public Health Week, developing a toolkit for Community and Local Public Health assessments, and also helping with tobacco policy issues.

B. Rabies Outbreak: Don S. and Richard K. briefed on the current situation (see attachment).

- Last large outbreak was in 1995, with a rabid puppy at a pet store. It affected 800 people, from Wisconsin to Wyoming, and up to Alberta, Canada.

- A week ago Wednesday, March 31, around 2:00 p.m., Public Health received word of a dog from the Grand Forks ‘Circle of Friends’ Humane Society tested positive for rabies. Richard K. and Tim H. had interviewed all the cases of human contact with the dog (or other dogs) to assess their risk of exposure to rabies. There was tremendous demand with trying to find people who were exposed, and trying to address those issues.

- Richard K. commented that the Grand Forks Herald did a good job of getting the information out. Two dogs, that were thought to have been strays, were brought in from Marshall County, Minnesota to the Grand Forks Humane Society, which is a shelter for Grand Forks County and the region. One dog had been fostered out to a family in Grafton, but later developed symptoms. The dog was taken to a veterinarian, who sent the samples in for testing, which came back positive for rabies. It was thought that no one had been bitten, just casual contact, but that was later found out to be more than just casual exposure). The test results came back on March 31, as positive. The family was advised to seek their physician’s advice.

- Approximately 21 people were given rabies shots at Altru. Through the development of a questionnaire, Public Health was able to decipher whether someone was exposed, and if exposed, how severely. The Grand Forks Humane Society was praised by the Center for Disease Control and the State, for having better records of any humane society that they’ve seen. Keeping your pets vaccinated for rabies would have prevented this situation.

- Judy D. complimented Richard K. and Tim H. on their hard work; doing contact and follow-up work.
Don S. motioned for the board to publicly thank Richard K. and the other people, such as Tim H. and John Bernstrom (not present) who had worked on this issue, for all their hard work. It was unanimously approved.

C. Public Health Ranking: Don S. gave a briefing on a newly published report (see attachment).

- Just received County Health Ranking, a report put out by the Robin Wood Johnson grant. This was the first time they did health rankings by counties throughout the entire United States. Basically, it provides a very good baseline on health factors and outcomes. It talks about Health Behaviors, Clinical Care, Social Economic Factors, and the Environment.

- Grand Forks did very well overall in terms of outcome, but it also provides some opportunity for improvement, such as in Health Behaviors, in which Grand Forks was number 36 out of 44 counties in the state. Some EPA data was inputted in error, so that affected the Environment ranking, but the report still gives us a good baseline to work from.
Board of Health Minutes
April 8, 2010
Page 4

VII. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Attachments: Issue Listings
Division Activity Reports (January – March 2010)
Calendar of Special Health Events (April – June 2010)
National Public Health Week Champion Awards
Grand Forks “Circle of Friends” Humane Society Rabies slides
Grand Forks Tobacco Free Coalition Thank You letter, dated April 8, 2010
Ordinance #4290, Amended

Respectfully submitted,

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