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Galveston County Health District - Providing Credible Service since 1971

 

9850-A Emmett F. Lowry Expy, Suite A108, Texas City Texas 77591 - Phone - 409-938-7221

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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 939
La Marque, TX 77568
Monthly
Executive Report
Phone: 409-938-2401
Fax:
409-938-2243
The Executive Report is a monthly summary of key activities and significant happenings in the Health District overall.  This summary of activities and/or happenings may involve: one of many different public health programs, the Galveston Area Ambulance Authority (GAAA), the 4C's federally-funded community health clinics (CHC's), and/or collaborate efforts among community health partners.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact: Pisa Lewis , Executive Assistant,
at 409 938-2401, by email:plewis@gchd.org; or Kurt Koopmann, Public Information Officer,
at 409-938-2211, by email:kkoopman@gchd.org.
March 30, 2005

Archives

red diamond pic Texas City BP Explosion
red diamond pic Immunization Advisory Council
red diamond pic 4C's Clinic Re-Engineering
   
red diamond pic Office of Public Information Updates
  Funding efforts should target programs that will address health and safety needs of children 0-5 years of age
  National Nutrition Month
  Beach Watch postings
  Health District services ad
  World TB Day
   
red diamond pic Office of Community Health Programs Updates
  State Grant for Essential Public Health Services
  The Senior Health Advisory Council
  World TB Day
  Breast Cancer Screening Services
  Immunization Services
  Community Outreach
  Robert Wood Johnson Community Supports for Diabetes Self- Management
   
red diamond pic Office of Environmental Health Services Updates
  Trash Bash
  Animal Services Task Force
   
red diamond pic 4C’s Clinic Updates
  4C's Clinic Staffing Update
  4C’s Appointment Initiative
  NurseLine
   
red diamond pic Office of Emergency Medical Services Updates
  Staff Town Hall Meeting
   EMS & Tox Medics respond to hazardous material spill
  Psychiatric Emergencies increase by 60%
   
   
red diamond pic Other Executive Updates
  Community Youth Forum
  Regional Epidemiology and Bioterrorism Meeting
  Coordinating Emergency Mental Health Services
  Community Education about Disaster Preparedness
  MOU for Facility During Disaster
  Volunteer Office
  Meeting with Commissioner Patrick Doyle
  Annual Policy Updated for Board Review
   
 
red diamond pic Texas City BP Explosion On March 23, 2005, an Incident Command for Health District operations was activated in the Administration conference room with Dr. Guidry (Health Authority), Ronnie Schultz (Director of Environmental Programs), Dr. Dana Beckham (Chief Epidemiologist), and Brian Rutherford (Public Health Planner and Acting Public Information Officer).  Greg Kunkel, EMS Operations Officer, coordinated ambulance efforts with the Texas City Office of Emergency Management.  The Health District responded to health concerns, air quality inquires, media questions, gathered patient statistics from UTMB, Mainland Medical and Clear Lake Regional Hospital, coordinated an environmental assessment, & gathered informational reports.  A complete report on the roles and response activities will be posted on the organizational website:  www.gchd.org.  For more information, please contact Harlan “Mark” Guidry, MD, MPH, or functional response leaders at 409-938-2401 or mguidry@gchd.org
   
red diamond pic Immunization Advisory Council met on March 10, 2005.  The Council is gearing up to support the upcoming National Infant Immunization Week in April.  The group also discussed the availability of flu vaccine at the Health District and ways to improve immunization rates for the County.  Some of the ideas include a coloring book with important public message about the importance of immunizations and a partnership with NASA astronauts to help attract kids to future events.   The next meeting is scheduled for April 10th when members will give an update of tasks assigned, will be provided a briefing of the Immunization Reminder System, discussion of Mass Vaccination and they will review the Council’s website that will be located on the Health District’s main page.   Efforts are being taken to improve the operations and participation in the council.  The council website (in development) has a list of Council members representing an inclusive list of community partners: www.gchd.org/councils/immindex.htm  For more information, please contact Harlan “Mark” Guidry, MD, MPH, at 409-938-2401 or mguidry@gchd.org
  
red diamond pic  4C's Clinic Re-Engineering. A clinic design team comprised of a representative sample of various clinic staff are making dramatic progress in testing out new solutions to patient care.  The goals are to increase patient satisfaction, increase access to care, and decrease wait time in the clinics.  Redesign team members include: Jennifer Chaisson (mid-level provider), Marissa Gonzales (cashier), Sheila Coleman (nursing), Carla Sanchez (laboratory), Titus Venyah (physician), Renee Mc Culloch (registration), Patsy Linscomb (nursing), Margaret Johnson (patient complaint resolution), Michelle Robinson (medical records) & Fannie Cotton (appointments & coding).  The team, guided by a hired consultant, has identified barriers and solution and is still testing new ideas as they are implemented. The Team will educate the entire clinic staff on its progress at the next schedule in-service on April 13, 2005 and will recruit and train additional teams to expand the testing process.   The eventual goal is to fully implement and integrate lessons-learned and a new tested model of care in both clinics.   Additionally, knowledge gained in the process will benefit long-term clinic improvement plans, to include structural changes and implementing electronic medical records.  For more information, please contact Fannie Cotton, team contact person, at 409-938-2248 or email fcotton@gchd.org.
Office of Public Information For more information please contact Kurt Koopmann, Public Information Officer, at 409.938.2211, email kkoopman@gchd.org
red diamond pic Kurt Koopmann, Public Information Officer represented the Health District at meetings of the Galveston United Way Children’s Community Investment Initiative at UTMB.  The group has now completed the charge given and developed an RFP process that Galveston United Way will use for future funding of local programs targeting children.  After looking at community needs it was decided that funding efforts should target programs that will address health and safety needs of children 0-5 years of age in the community.  The Galveston United Way Board will now take information developed in the meetings and design future campaigns that will target the needs identified.  http://www.utmb.edu/AVPPlanning/Community/UWG/CIInfo/ChildrensTF.htm

Assistance was given to the District’s WIC program in developing a message that would be distributed to all program participants, employees, and to be posted on the GCHD web site promoting National Nutrition Month.  In the article leaders within the WIC program were introduced each giving very useful information on how individuals can develop proper eating habits.  The article can be found at http://www.gchd.org/press/2005/03NutrtionMonth.htm.

On March 16, 2005, a reporter from the Beaumont Enterprise doing a story on Beach Watch postings contacted the Health District.  Jefferson County has recently begun notifying the public when bacteria levels are elevated on county beaches.  The reporter wanted information on the District’s testing program in particular how we notify the public of any currently issued warnings.  The story published on March 17, 2005 can be viewed at http://www.southeasttexaslive.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=14166666&BRD=2287&PAG=461&dept_id=512588&rfi=8.

An ad was published promoting Health District services in the Galveston Daily News annual Horizons edition focusing on health and fitness on March 20, 2005.  Dr. Guidry was quoted on the epidemic of childhood obesity.  In the same edition there was an informational story published that summarized many different numbers concerning health indicators in Galveston County.  In the article credit was given to the District’s Epidemiology staff. 

A news release was issued on March 23, 2005 about World TB Day. The article quotes Dr. Guidry and TB Program Manager, Dr. Syed Haidry, and explains what the Health District is doing about TB, how the disease is spread, the importance of taking all the medication for those infected, and how to contact the TB program with questions. The news release can be viewed at the following link http://www.gchd.org/press/2005/03worldtbday.htm.

Office of Community Health Programs Updates  For more information, please contact Susan Studebaker, RNC, Director of Community Health Programs, 409.938.2457 or sstudebaker@gchd.org
red diamond pic The second quarter "000" State Grant for Essential Public Health Services report has been submitted to DSHS for review. This grant provides funding for Environmental and Consumer Health, Community Health Services (including Community Health Nursing, Tuberculosis Elimination, Immunizations, and Daycare Immunization Surveillance), State Lab, and Epidemiology.   Currently, we are meeting or exceeding our projected goals and activities.

The Senior Health Advisory Council met on March 15, 2005. Members discussed ways of reaching homebound and more isolated seniors to assess their health and social needs and barriers to meeting those needs.  To date, staff, student nurses, and County Extension volunteers have surveyed over 250 seniors using the community senior assessment tool. This month, an in-service activity was presented to all senior center directors detailing the services provided by the Health District and Senior Resource cards were distributed to over 300 people at the College of the Mainland's Senior Expo.  The Council is still working on the senior-friendly brochure. 

World TB Day - Staff celebrated World TB day on March 24, 2005.  During February 2005, one new case of Tuberculosis was identified, staff performed 241 home visits for Directly Observed Therapy (DOT), and 67 people were provided care in the clinic.  96-targeted tests were placed and 54 (56%) of these were read.  22 TB contacts were tested; all of these skin tests were read.  296 jail inmates were also tested this month.

Breast Cancer Screening Services - Only sixty-one (61) women received breast cancer screening exams in February, primarily due to problems with the mobile unit; these issues have been resolved.  Five women (8%) were found to have an abnormal screening exam and have been referred to their choice of UTMB or Mainland Medical Center.  Ten (10) charts were reviewed as part of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Services (BCCCS) Quality Assurance program. No major deficiencies were noted.

Immunization Services - 1,128 immunizations and 111 TB skin tests were given during February 2005.  240 children were tracked for reminder purposes and 321 children were tracked for recall.  40 charts were audited for immunization status and 21 home visits were made.  Six VFC vaccine inventories were reviewed.  The four-part teleconference "Prevention of Vaccine- Preventable Diseases" was hosted by GCHD (13 total attendees) and one Immunization Core Curriculum class was held with five participants.  Regarding record reviews, 989 immunization records were assessed at five private schools.  Their immunization completion rate was 92.3% and, therefore, no follow-up was necessary.  10 follow-up day care assessments were conducted, all with a 100% compliance rate.

Community Outreach - The Senior Health Services Coordinator participated in five community activities during February: Healthy City Assessment Project (a collaborative activity with UTMB), planning meeting for senior Cooking Schools, presentation on QMB at Interfaith Caring Ministry, and seminar for the Senior Center Managers regarding GCHD services.  In addition, several members of the GCHD staff attended the Senior Expo at College of the Mainland.  During February, Community Health Nurses (CHN) made 13 home visits, made 11 presentations (including seven "Go Red Sunday", "Community Health Nursing"), shared supervision of 20 UTMB nursing students, and served as back-up for TB and Immunization Clinics.  Two CHN's participated in the clinic diabetes classes and support groups and the other CHN taught a community diabetes class.  They represented the Health District at meetings of these agencies: City of Galveston Children, Family, and Youth Board, Teen Health Center, Galveston Health Task Force, Texas Gulf Coast Association for Health Care Quality, Galveston County Homeless Coalition, and weekly planning meetings of the St. Vincent's House WelCare Program.  One series of vision and hearing classes was conducted with four participants

Robert Wood Johnson Community Supports for Diabetes Self- Management.  GCHD staff hosted an agency "Show and Tell" on March 29, 2005.  The purpose of this meeting was to 1) share programs and resources among agencies and 2) elicit support for a community Diabetes Day in May (tentatively set for 5/19).  17 people from various agencies attended to provide information to others about their program and all expressed interest in participating in the community activity.   
Office of Environmental Health Services Updates  For more information, contact Ronnie Schultz, Director of Environmental Health Services, 409.938.2214 or rschultz@gchd.org
red diamond pic Trash Bash – On March 12, 2005, approximately 300 volunteers ascended on Texas City ready to participate in the cleaning of the dike.  This annual event held at the Texas City Dike, now in it’s twelfth year, is one of thirteen Trash Bash sites around the Houston-Galveston area.   The event is designed to raise awareness about issues such as solid waste and the impact it has on our environment in Galveston County.  The Trash Bash volunteers were treated to a wonderful lunch, given an appreciation gift and were entertained with music, environmental and safety presentations, and games for the kids.  The Texas City/La Marque Chamber of Commerce sponsored an environmental exposition where exhibitors provided excellent information on many environmental topics.  The Health District once again served as Trash Bash Committee chair and, as such, would to like to extend a great big thank you to the Trash Bash Committee, the many event volunteers that made the event on March 12th such a success, our 300 volunteers that gave their time and efforts to participate and lastly, to the employees of the Health District.

Animal Services Task Force – The second meeting of the Animal Services Task Force was held on March 29th in the Health District Boardroom.  The task force reviewed the latest draft of the Animal Services Interlocal Agreement.  This agreement is a legal document between the Health District and participating cities or municipalities that outlines the scope of work under animal services.  This Task Force was assembled to provide input from our many animal services stakeholders.  The major change to this agreement is the fact that this agreement addresses both animal field services and shelter operations.  The agreement also defines a new makeup of the Animal Services Advisory Board  to include members of animal rescue groups, the general public and representatives from each participating governmental entity.   Task Force members were also asked to provide their nominations to the Animal Services Advisory Board.  The recommendations coming from this task force along with the Animal Services Interlocal Agreement will be forth coming to the Board for review and approval.      

4C’s Clinic Updates For more information, please contact Mike Carr, JD, 4C’s Business Manager at (409) 949-3406 or email mcarr@gchd.org or Pam Jahnke, RN, Strategic Plan Evaluator at (409) 938-2256 or email pjahnke@gchd.org. 
red diamond pic 4C's Clinic Staffing Update - Comfort Moore, RN, MSN, FNP. began working with the clinic on March 7, 2005.  We welcome Comfort to the 4C’s Medical clinic and invite our patients to greet her when they see her in our clinic.  On April 8th, one of our contract dentists will become a full time GCHD employee and a full time hygienist will start on April 4th.  This will leave the Dental Clinic with 3 vacancies; 1 Full Time Dentist, 1 Dental Assistant, and 1 Contract Dentist.

4C’s Appointment Initiative - The 4C’s is attempting to be more responsive to patient needs for appointments.  Staff members are working to make sure that patients who need return appointments are given those appointments before they leave the clinic.  In addition, staff members are working to make appointments available at least 90 days in advance.

NurseLine calls for February dropped to 664 calls from the previous month's 809 (the most calls ever).  Of those, 544 appointments were made for patients within a few days and 23 same-day appointments were made.  Walk-in patients to both clinic sites numbered 599 in February with 223 same-day visits 324 patients appointed for another day.    Staffs are working to implement a standard process to handle patients’ calls about medications starting with nursing services.

Office of Emergency Medical Services Updates: For more information, please contact Greg Kunkel, GAAA Operating Chief, 409.765-2524 or gkunkel@gchd.org
red diamond pic Staff Town Hall Meeting – GAAA held a town hall meeting on March 16th. Top issues included pay increases, the need for new ambulances, a field supervisor as an additional response unit, creating a “friends of EMS support” group, and providing educational support for staff upgrades. Dr. Guidry was not only the facilitator, but he presented to strategic health plan update.

EMS & Tox Medics respond to hazardous material spill - EMS's tox-medics and ambulances responded to a hazardous materials spill at the County’s Evidence Storage facility in Galveston. Seven (7) people received minor exposure to a mixture of acids and chloroform. EMS performed “gross” decontamination and transported the exposed to UTMB for evaluation. Tox medics are GAAA employees certified as hazardous material technicians that have specific medical training for such.

Psychiatric Emergencies increase by 60% - The number of psychiatric emergencies have increased by 60% since 2001. GAAA looked at these specific emergencies upon request of the Sheriff department. The Sheriff department’s metal health service is seeking a grant to provide a mobile medication service to assist patients in filling their medication needs. The lack of medications is a chief complaint on many of the mental health patients seen by GAAA

Other Executive Updates     To get additional information on any of these topics, contact the Health District’s Executive Assistant at 409-938-2401 or plewis@gchd.org.
red diamond pic Community Youth Forum– On March 5th, 2005, the Health District participated in a Community Youth Forum hosted by the Galveston County Teen Parenting Coalition.  The purpose of the forum was to increase awareness of health and behavioral issues affecting adolescents.  These issues consist of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, HIV/AIDS, jobs, and juvenile matters. 

Regional Epidemiology and Bioterrorism Meeting- On March 11, 2005, the Health District Epidemiology Services hosted a regional epidemiology and bioterrorism meeting.  This meeting is held once a month and consists of representatives from local and state health departments from 16 counties.  The Epidemiology and Bioterrorism Workgroup promotes the exchange of information and assessment of issues between jurisdictions.

Coordinating Emergency Mental Health Services -, Health District staff, in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Center, hosted a meeting on February 25th, 2005 to develop an effective capacity to respond to county mental health needs during disasters.  The meeting came about as a result of a session in the "Diseases and Disasters: Are We Ready?" Conference held in League City on September 1, 2004, where participants identified a need for a coordinated approach to meet the mental health needs of victims and responders in a large-scale public health emergency.   Many community partners and volunteers attended the meeting and identified a variety of needs and next steps towards the goal. 

Community Education about Disaster Preparedness - On March 14th, Health District staff and a volunteer conducted a presentation for union delegates at the AFL/CIO union hall in Texas City. The 13 delegates who attended represented various professions in Galveston County. The representatives were provided a general overview of the Health District, told what they could do to be better prepared for a public health emergency and were informed about the need for volunteers to assist should mass vaccination or antibiotic dispensing clinics be needed to protect the public from the spread of disease.   Additionally, on March 15, 2005, a Health District representative met with members of the Red Cross Disaster Services Group in Texas City. Committee members were given an overview of Health District programs in general, informed about the Public Health Preparedness program in particular, and discussed how additional volunteers could be recruited around Galveston County.  

MOU for Facility During Disaster - On March 16, 2005, City Commissioners with Texas City approved a resolution allowing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Health District and the Texas City Department of Recreation and Tourism.  The MOU would allow the Health District to use the Doyle Center and/or Nessler Center as a clinic site for dispensing antibiotics or providing vaccinations in the event of a disease outbreak or other public health emergency.

Volunteer Office - During March 2005, the Office of Volunteer Coordination assigned 36 volunteers to various departments within the Health District. In addition to actively recruiting volunteers, the Volunteer Coordinator, Senior Health Outreach Coordinator and a senior volunteer, attended the Senior Expo Health Fair that was held at the College of the Mainland on March 9, 2005.

Meeting with Commissioner Patrick Doyle – On March 23, 2005, Dr. Guidry provided Commissioner Doyle an orientation to the Health District.  This included an overview of our organization chart, health district services, provided a copy of the Strategic Health Plan and Progress Report.  Discussions were also geared towards animal services, environmental health issues, and future senior health initiatives

Annual Policy Updated for Board Review:  Executive Managers are currently reviewing policies in the health district that are due for annual board review and approval.  At the April board meeting, policies will be presented to both boards for annual approval.