Grand Forks Public Health Department

Thursday, January 21, 2010


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

Those Members Present: Don Shields, Bobby Vogel, Dawne Barwin, Gretchen Graf, Julie Anderson, Jon Green, Margaret Tweten, Craig Knudsvig, John Packett, and Peter O’Neill. Others present: Colonel Rob Reinhart (319 Medical Group, GFAFB), Irene Dybwad (GF County Social Services), Kim Schulte (Intern with Public Health), Theresa Knox, Haley Thorson, and Keith Westerfield (all with Public Health).


1. Review and Approval of Minutes of October 15, 2009 Meeting:
Minutes were reviewed and approved with no changes.

2. Grand Forks “Detox” Community Facility Initiative Update – Don S. provided an update for Kate Kenna (Northeast Human Service Center (NEHSC).

- A small working group has, since September, been working on social and medical detox issues in Grand Forks. This group consists of 6-7 people, but will progressively get larger. This group have been working to decide how large a problem there is in Grand Forks, and decided that about one person a day needs social detox (some of those people need it repetitively).

- The group has looked at developing a community detox center (similar to the new community dental clinic), that would have service available 24/7. The group is discussing the cost (about $300,000) and the various funding sources.

- The group is also meeting with the Douglas Center in East Grand Forks, MN, who is in the process of being certified for both medical and social detox, and they expect that to happen in April of this year. One alternative being considered is to contract out this “Social Detox” service to a private provider in the community.


1. Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition: Theresa K. and Haley T. gave a slide presentation, and handed out packets regarding getting the community aware of the benefits of a smoke-free community.

- History: Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition established in 1990. Tobacco vending machines that youths had access to in the past, were removed in 1992. A Tobacco Retail ordinance (businesses had to apply for a license to sell tobacco products) was put into place in 1995 (monitor youth access). The focus was not just on youth smoking, but also on dangers of second-hand smoke in the workplace. In 2005, the Smoke-Free Workplace ordinance was enacted (the coalition was hugely involved in that).

- Around 2000, the coalition adopted this mission statement: “The Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition is a group of citizens working together to create and promote a healthier, tobacco-free community through education, legislation, and enforcement of policies.”

- Coalition Membership: the largest members are the community volunteers!

- Measure Three (North Dakota’s November 2008 Ballot issue) established the ND Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Committee, who were tasked with creating a comprehensive state plan to prevent and reduce tobacco use in ND. Of the four goals of their plan, the GF Tobacco-Free Coalition is focusing on the second goal, to eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke. The second objective of that goal is, by June 2012, increase the number of communities that have enacted local ordinances for 100% smoke-free workplaces/public places (currently only one community – Fargo).

- How can you help? Fill out the ‘Ignitor Info’ card that was in the coalition packet. Your agency can also adopt a resolution supporting smoke-free workplaces (see attachments).

- The Grand Forks Tobacco Free Coalition has planned a Smoke-free Workplace Community Forum for
Tuesday, February 2nd, from 6-8pm., in the 6th floor conference room in the GF County Building.

Mayor’s Health and Human Services Grand Forks Cabinet Minutes
January 21, 2010
Page 2


Irene D. – For next 30 days, Social Services is remodeling, and moving the reception area out into the lobby area.

Dawn B. – Since the last cabinet meeting in October, 48 people have been resettled, with 85 expected by end of this fiscal year. Also have refugees that move to Grand Forks from their place of initial resettlement because of jobs available. The refugees have had a positive impact in Grand Forks where they shop, pay taxes, and bring skills.

John P. – Officers attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Somalian Community Center this week. There are about 400 Somalians in Grand Forks now, with about 80 in schools, and the language barrier has been causing frustration (any problems tend to show up in schools first). There has been no real increase in crime (may be kept within the refugee community and not reported), however, there does seem to be some tribal and gender issues.

Craig K. – There are two Somalian Community Centers, but they are different due to cultural and gender issues. New arrivals are being welcomed into the community, but being told they have follow the rules. Increase of ‘second immigrants’ from the Atlanta, Georgia, and the Twin Cities (Minnesota) areas. There has been an increase in number of people who want to move to Grand Forks, due to either job offers or schools, and have been put on a waiting list for housing assistance. There are three times more people on the waiting list than there were at this time last year (currently over 1,000). GF Housing Authority are able to fund about 1,200 vouchers. The vouchers, once issued, are very transportable to any community people move to throughout the USA. Due to economics, people are using the vouchers longer, and more people are applying than usual. The poverty rate in Grand Forks in increasing, therefore they are seeing an increase in demand.

Margaret T. – The Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to grow an extra row in their gardens this year, to donate to it to the local food panty. One out of eleven people in North Dakota go hungry. Their target is to get 500 pounds of grown-food donated. Their staff has been working with refugees, demonstrating how to cook with a stove in stead of firewood. North Dakota has been without ‘AgriAbility’ for number of years. This program helps farmers, or individuals who work in the Ag industry, if injured, to go to another career, and/or adapt their farm equipment.

Julie A. – Just last week admitted a new class of undergraduate nursing students, and they currently have over 1,000 undergraduate nursing students at the college (UND). The Graduate population has increased to 200 students, which is well over what they usually take in. A normal class size is about 80 students.

Col. Rob R. – On the tobacco issue, the base discourages usage, and is trying to make facilities non- smoking, but there are legal issues, dealing with civilians that are hired. There are three main bases that are supporting Haiti (earthquake recovery), and a lot of medical personnel involved. Grand Forks AFB is helping support it, although it does not have a main roll in it.

V. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 1:05 p.m.

VI. NEXT MEETING: Thursday, April 15, 2010
12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m.
(lunch will be provided by Altru Health System)
Altru Hospital (Lower Level, Multi-Media/Board Room)

- Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition slides
- Grand Forks Tobacco-Free Coalition packet