2009-10-21 / Front Page

Accreditation may be coming for the local health dept.

By Debbie Lowe Staff writer

Carroll County Board of Health members met for their quarterly meeting Oct. 14 at the Wildcat Bed and Breakfast near Cutler.

County health officer Dr. Jordan Dutter, who supervises the health department and its staff, reported that two nurses, Marilyn Nance and Susie Robinson, are volunteering in the health department to help with immunizations.

“There is quite a bit of H1N1 in the county right now,” Dutter told board members. “We are as prepared as we can be.”

Dutter said there was conflicting information being received about when to inoculate for the H1N1 virus and how long to advise affected individuals to stay home before re-entering the general population.

It was announced that a nationwide, local and state health department accreditation program was being tested for future use by the Public Health Accreditation Board. According to the Web site, the group’s goal is to help raise the standard for public health across the nation. Thirty health departments, including 19 local, eight state and three tribal health departments across the United States were selected in September to participate in a sample program which will evaluate standards, measures, processes and written support documents.

PHAB will identify improvements which should be made to ensure that the accreditation program is logical, practical and promotes improvement in all health departments. Dutter said it is expected that the Carroll County Health Department would become accredited at some time in the future.

County health sanitarian Kris Jones’ activity report indicated a drop in the number of sewage and waste disposal permits issued for both new and repair projects, complaints, inspections and site surveys in the past four months from the same time period in 2008.

Ten permits were issued in 2009 while 31 were issued in 2008. Fifteen sewage and waste disposal complaints were registered in 2009 and 23 in 2008 in the same four months. Eighteen sewage and waste inspections were done in 2009 in the past four months, however 31 were done in 2008. Jones performed six well inspections in 2009 and 18 in 2008.

Jones said that he continues to test spring water at Pittsburg although it is not required by the state.

Food sanitarian Randy Myers’ report indicated that he inspected 93 food service entities since June as opposed to 50 in 2008 during the same period. He inspected 15 itinerant entities and 13 were inspected in 2008. According to the report, 19 itinerant permits were issued the last four months. Myers made six follow-up visits to those establishments with violations compared to two documented visits in the same four months in 2008. Myers said he visited a potential tattoo parlor established in Flora and provided required paperwork for completion for lawful operation in the county. He reported that the owner of the establishment decided he would not locate a shop in Carroll County.

Health department clerk Joyce Sturdivant reported that eight birth certificates and 135 death certificates were issued during the last four months while 18 birth and 291 death certificates were issued for the same time period in 2008. Fifty tuberculosis tests were administered in the same time period this year versus 21 in 2008.

There was no report from public health nurse Hope Kinzer who did not attend the meeting.

Schools’ reports

Delphi Community School Corporation Nurse Kay Ross reported there were 353 health room visits in the high school in the first eight weeks, 626 in the middle school, 808 in the elementary school and 200 at the Camden Early Childhood Center.

Ross said a case of H1N1 was confirmed at CECC. She said many students have missed school due to fevers, vomiting and one case of strep throat. There have been three confirmed cases of H1N1 diagnosed at the middle school.

Thirty-five hand sanitizer units were purchased for the elementary, middle and high schools.

Carroll Consolidated Schools Nurse Jennifer Wellbaum reported 321 health room visits in the elementary school in August and 499 in September as well as 280 visits in the Jr./Sr. high in August and 586 in September.

She announced that Becky Comoglio was hired as a nurse for the junior-senior high school. Wellbaum said she is coordinating drug testing for the corporation transportation drivers and student drug testing is ongoing.

Emergency care plans for students with high risk medical conditions, such as allergies to foods and latex, are being established and reviewed. Random vision screens requested by teachers have been performed.

The next board of health meeting will be Jan.13 at 7 p.m. in the courthouse lounge.

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