Grand Forks Public Health Department

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I. Call Meeting to Order
The Grand Forks Board of Health meeting was called to order at 4:23 p.m. on Thursday, October 9, 2008, at the Public Health Department conference room. Judy DeMers called the meeting to order. Members present: Judy DeMers (Chairperson), Arvin Kvasager, Don Shields, Dr. James O’Connell, and Mike McNamara. Others present: Debbie Swanson, Todd Hanson, Haley Thorson, Nicole Swanson (UND Nursing student) and Keith Westerfield.

II. Approval of Minutes of Regular Meeting, January 10, 2008
A motion was made and seconded to approve the July minutes as submitted. All approved and the motion passed.

III. Old Business

A. ND Immunization Update: Debbie S. explained that most of the financial impact is being felt at the local level.

- The intent of the program was to set up a system for public health agencies to bill insurance companies for vaccines given to children with insurance coverage for immunizations. Many contractual arrangements have impacted how immunizations are provided to both children and adults. One impact of the new system is that there is now more federal funding to purchase other vaccines, such as shingles vaccine for adults, because the state is no longer purchasing vaccines for insured children. Some of these vaccines are reimbursed at a rate that is lower than our cost to administer them.

- We expect a large volume of claims to be processed by the UND billing system during flu shot season and their claims process is already delayed in making payments to our department. Most of our claims will run directly through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) with anything not paid by BCBS such as co-payments or deductibles to be collected from patients by UND. If patients receive immunizations at Grand Forks Public Health, and it is considered ‘out-of-network’ with their insurance plan, they will receive a bill for the amount due from UND.

- Public health departments in ND asked the “PROtect ND Kids” Task Force to request more funding for implementation. An additional concern with newly added state supplied vaccines occurred when Medicaid did not have them on their list of covered vaccinations for adults and wasn’t prepared to process claims from public health units for these vaccines.

B. Smoke-free Resolution: Haley T. briefed on the revised Smoke-Free Resolution, asking for the BOH to support the Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition.

- The revised resolution now reflects the statistics collected after the implementation of ordinances in 2005. A study indicated that 89% of random adults feel it is important to have a smoke-free environment inside all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. The present ordinance was adopted by the City Council in 2005.

- It was motioned and seconded to approve the October 9, 2008 Resolution Supporting Smoke-Free Workplaces, and the motion passed. It was signed by Judy DeMers on this date. (see attachment).

C. CDC Study: Don S. gave a recap of the Lead In Venison study.

- Last March, a physician in Bismarck that x-rayed 100 pieces of venison that came from food pantries around the state, and found that 50% contained lead fragments. As a result of that, a number of states, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin pulled wild game from food cupboard shelves.

Board of Health Minutes
October 9, 2008
Page 2

- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) did a follow-up study in May/June. They had taken blood samples of 738 people in ND (about 100 from Grand Forks); some who ate wild game, but also those who did not. On September 5th, the CDC sent out letters to individuals, telling them what the lead levels were in their blood. They are not completely done with the study, and have not published the results yet. The letters did say that there were a high percentage of people in the sampling that had lead in their bloodstream, but that’s not uncommon due to dust, paint chips, fishing lures, hobbies, etc. A level of 2 would normally be seen in any population, and no one in the study in ND had levels above 10 (trigger level for action). The study results won’t be available for a few months.

- ND is currently limiting donation of wild game to those harvested with bows and arrows.

IV. New Business

A. West Nile Virus (WNV) Update: Todd H. reviewed last year’s West Nile Virus:

- ND was the hardest hit state in the country, per capita, with 369 human cases of WNV. So far this year, ND has had 42 human cases. Grand Forks has had one human case of WNV this fall.

- They have tested over 100 pools of mosquitoes, but did not find any of those positive with WNV. Part of the plan, when WNV is identified, is to go to the detected area to see if larviciding or adulticiding is needed, and place additional traps, to do everything they can to reduce risk of WNV.

- New equipment in the Mosquito Control office, located at the new Public Safety building, can test DNA sampling of mosquitoes in 24 hours, instead of waiting three weeks to get notified by the state.

B. ND Ballot Measure 3, Comprehensive Tobacco Prevention and Cessation for ND: Haley T.

- In July, the Measure was in ‘Signature’ phase (see attached Issue Listing for more information).

- Judy D. stated that one of the concerns was that all the Tobacco Settlement dollars would go to Tobacco Education, which is not true. A bonus payment to this settlement would be applied, and all the original monies still would be distributed by law passed in 1999 (see Tobacco Settlement attachment)

V. Next Regularly Scheduled Meeting4:15 p.m., Thursday, January 8, 2009, at Public Health conference room.

VI. Other – None

VII. Adjournment – A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at
4:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Attachments: - Signed BOH Resolution Supporting Smoke-Free Workplaces, October 9, 2008
- Issues Listing, October 9, 2008: ND Ballot Measure 3
- Tobacco Settlement Dollars in ND slide