||West Nile virus
||Hepatitis A Case
||Office of Public Information Updates
||Pullout of GoldStar
||4C’s open house
||West Nile Virus
||Beach Watch Advisories
||Kids Health Fest
||Office of Community Health Programs Updates
||Back to School immunizations
||Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Exercise for Community
Health Nursing staff.
||Community Health Services Program Business Meeting and other
||Office of Environmental Health
||Communication Plan Concerning Changes to Fees and Hours of
||Storm Debris Management
||High Island Sewage Problems
||Public Health Laboratory Activity
||4C’s Clinic Updates
||Bureau of Primary Health Care Visit
||Case Management Services
||Office of Emergency Medical Services Updates
||EMS coverage continues on the Mainland
||County committee working on future solution for Mainland EMS
||New Ambulance Arrives
||Other Executive Updates
||The Galveston County Emergency Response
National Medical Reserve Corps
||The Health District has submitted 5 birds for WNV
testing. Three of the 5 have tested positive for the virus. Of the
positive birds, 2 were submitted from Santa Fe and 1 from Texas City. The
Health District continues to educate the public on WNV prevention by
implementing the 4 D’s: stay indoors during DUSK and DAWN, DRESS appropriately,
use insect repellent containing DEET, and DRAIN all standing water. For more
information, please contact Dana Wiltz-Beckham, DVM, Chief Epidemiologist at
(409) 938-2322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|| A high school student was recently
diagnosed with Hepatitis A. The Epi investigation revealed recent travel to
India, which is listed as an endemic country for this condition, according to
World Health Organization. All personal household contacts were identified
and given immune globulin. In addition, the student participated in a NASA
scholarship program during the time of illness. The Health District
and Department of State Health Services assisted NASA with information to
distribute to participants and parents. One contact was identified to
receive the immune globulin. For more information, please contact Dana
Wiltz-Beckham, DVM, Chief Epidemiologist at (409) 938-2322 or email
Dr. Guidry had three presentations this month. The first presentation was
targeted to Texas public health students and faculty at the UT School of Public
Health about Strategic Health planning in Galveston County. Using
telecommunications, the presentation was seen in Houston, San Antonio, El Paso,
and Dallas. The presentation outlined the Health District's success at
developing a community participatory Strategic Health Plan and its
accomplishments as outlined in the annual report. The second presentation
was targeted to Texas public health officials during the 2nd Annual Summer
Institute - workforce training developed by the Texas Public Health Training
Center. Dr. Guidry participated in a joint presentation on Testing
Emergency Plans, providing education and a demonstration on how a local health
department can test the effectiveness of emergency response plans with local
partners. Finally, as part of UTMB Diversity Week activities, Dr.
Guidry participated in a panel discuss of demographic trends outlining how the
Health District is preparing itself for projected increases in Hispanic
populations, seniors, and the uninsured. All of the presentations
were well-received and opportunities to educate the public about the Galveston
County Health District. For more information, please contact Harlan “Mark”
Guidry, MD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer at (409) 938-2401 or email
|Office of Public
For more information please contact Kurt
Koopmann, Public Information Officer, at
With the pullout of GoldStar from the local EMS market there has been
community discussion on how to fill the service need left behind. On June
the Galveston County Daily News published an editorial where it listed
cities contracting with the Health District for services as one of three
options. This editorial can be found at
The Beaumont Enterprise published a story on June 30th
noting litter control efforts being made on Bolivar Peninsula beaches.
Garret Foskit with the District’s Nuisance Abatement services was interviewed
for the article that can be found at
Plans are being made for the 4C’s open house to be held on the
afternoon of September 14, 2005 at both clinic locations. Public
Information staff designed and distributed a promotion poster for the redesign
of the clinics. “Redesigned with You in Mind” is the message
displayed. More information on the open houses will follow as plans are
Fox 26 News contacted the District on July 19th while working on a
West Nile virus story. No staff was interviewed but they were
informed that we have had three birds test positive for WNV in Galveston County,
and at this time there have been no reported human cases locally.
Beach Watch advisories continue to garner attention from the public
and elected officials. Dr. Guidry along with Kurt Koopmann participated in
a conference call on July 21st with the City of Galveston’s mayor,
city manager, public information officer, city attorney, and management from the
local beach patrol. There were concerns about the large number of
advisories posted and how the city should handle questions. Dr. Guidry
provided them explanation on what the advisories mean for most people. As
a result of this call the District’s web page for this program has been modified
to make language consistent with the signs that are actually posted on local
beaches. To view these changes please visit
Kids Health Fest was the subject of a press release issued July 25, 2004.
Information was included on the relocation of mainland immunization efforts to
the La Marque office for the duration of the event, and the availability in the
Galveston immunization clinic. New requirements adopted by the Department
of State Health Services were also outlined. This release can be found at
Office of Community Health Programs
For more information please contact Susan Studebaker, RNC,
Director of Community Health Programs at
Back to School immunizations will be given at the Kids Health Fest in La
Marque (1207 Oak) from August 1 to August 19, Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Dickinson and Texas City Immunization Clinics will relocate to La Marque during
this time. Galveston Immunization Clinic will remain open as usual,
Mondays and Wednesdays. Lots of fun and give-a ways are planned for the
Stockpile (SNS) Exercise for Community Health Nursing staff. In
anticipation of a SNS Exercise that will be conducted on August 16th
in conjunction with the Kids Health Fest, the SNS Coordinator conducted training
on July 13th. The purpose of the exercise will be to test
clinic flow, organization, and communications during a mass vaccination clinic.
WIC - Texas City WIC offices moved to Suite 631 in the Community
Family Center in July. Texas City WIC clients were sent a letter
announcing this move. In general, the move went smoothly and clients and staff
seem pleased with the new space. WIC will be celebrating World
Breastfeeding Month with a program at the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway
on August 3, 2005. The program will include speakers such as a
breast-feeding mother, a representative from La Leche League, a pediatrician,
Community Health Services Program Business Meeting and other projects.
This month, CHS staff discussed ways to 1) increase WIC participation, 2)
improve TB services (ex: evening clinics), and 3) enhance breast cancer
screening services. CHS staff will also be planning a Senior Health Summit
to be held in the fall 2005.
Environmental Health Services Updates
For more information,
contact Ronnie Schultz, Director of Environmental Health Services, at
409.938.2214 or email:
Communication Plan Concerning Changes to Fees and Hours of Operation- The
Office of Environmental Health Programs is currently implementing a
communication plan aimed at notifying our customers to the changes approved by
the Board for animal services and public health laboratory fee increases.
The plan will also notify of the changes to the hours of operation at the Animal
Shelter. The Division is working with our Public Information Officer on a
press release. In addition, the information is currently posted on the
doors of the Public Health Laboratory and the Animal Shelter and on our website.
Storm Debris Management – Garret Foskit and Ronnie Schultz met with
officials from the Galveston County Office of Emergency Management and the State
Division of Emergency Management to discuss finalization of the County’s Debris
Management Plan. This plan describes the County’s responsibilities to
remove and safely dispose of storm event debris from the unincorporated areas.
The Health District will play a key role in providing expertise in the proper
disposal of the debris that includes the disposal of hazardous waste. All storm
debris will be transported to regional debris sites that are currently being
identified. It is important to get the debris out of these communities and
properly disposed of to reduce the risk of disease transmission caused by
harboring of rats in these materials.
High Island Sewage Problems – Marty Entringer and Michelle Belco, an
attorney working with the Houston-Galveston Area Council met with the Bolivar
Special Utility District (SUD) Board to discuss the possibility of the SUD
sponsoring a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). The Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality allows monies generated from fines for
violations of environmental laws to go toward funding these approved SEPs.
These monies generated under this SEP would be used to assist low-income
households with correcting their on-site sewage facility problems. The
Health District will be working with the SUD in the future to help identify
persons eligible for this funding and assisting the SUD in identifying resources
for these environmental needs.
Public Health Laboratory Activity – The Public Health Laboratory has
seen an increase in current workloads due to additional beach water testing.
Recent elevated bacteriological levels along both Galveston Island and Bolivar
Peninsula has required the re-testing of our local beaches. These
additional samples have increased the workloads in our Public Health Laboratory.
Part of the laboratory’s responsibilities is to input the analytical data into
the Texas General Land Office’s statewide database. This system
automatically updates the information on the GLO’s website and sends email
notifications to identified parties alerting them to beach advisories. With this
system, we can provide accurate data in a timely manner to our public health
- Dr. Dana Beckham, Health District Veterinary Consultant, conducted an internal
assessment of the operations at the Animal Shelter. The shelter received a
satisfactory assessment and is in compliance and meets
the minimum standards set forth by The Texas Administrative Code Chapter169.26
and Animal Shelters 823.003. Recommendations for future improvement
were listed in the assessment write up. The assessment is used to review
general structural strength and sanitation of the shelter, proper storage of
food products, controlled substance security and drug log documents, signage,
compliance with quarantine rules and regulations, etc.
For more information, please contact Mike Carr, JD, 4C’s Business Manager at
(409) 949-3406 or email email@example.com or Pam
Jahnke, RN, Strategic Plan Evaluator at (409) 938-2256 or email
Bureau of Primary Health Care Visit - On July 13, 2005, Janet Hawkins,
Federal Project Officer for the 4C’s Clinic’s and Jose Camacho, Executive
Director of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers visited with the
4C’s Clinic Leadership Team and one 4C’s Governing Board member Mr. Tony Juarez.
The purpose of the visit was to acquaint Ms. Hawkins with the 4C’s leadership
and have an opportunity to visit one of the 4C’s clinic sites. CLT briefed
the visitors on the re-design efforts in progress and answered question
regarding this and other related clinic issues. After visiting with CLT,
Ms. Hawkins and Mr. Camacho toured the 4C’s Clinic in Texas City.
New Provider – The Clinic welcomed a new provider to the staff on July
25, 2005. Jean F. Lein is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and
Certified Nurse Midwife. She has eight years of experience working as a
Maternal Child Health Specialist and as a Nurse Midwife in Texas and Colorado,
as well as many years in practice as a clinical nurse. Ms. Lein will be
working with both adults and children in both clinic sites.
The 4 C's
Case Management Services will take over new offices at the La Marque
Headquarters as of August 1, 2005. The Department recently gained two new
Resource Coordinators in connection with the Hogg Grant to help support mental
health and substance abuse patients. They will coordinate case management
activities to free the 4 C's Counselor to pursue individual and group counseling
duties. The two Case Managers that work in the Texas City clinic will move
to the new offices, but will continue to be available to patients in person at
both clinics as well as by telephone. A phone number for the La Marque
location is (409) 938-2328.
Office of Emergency Medical Services
For more information, please contact Greg Kunkel, GAAA Operating Chief,
at 409.765-2524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
·EMS coverage continues on the Mainland – Galveston Area Ambulance
Authority continues its temporary assignment on the Mainland. The County entered
in to an agreement with GAAA to begin coverage of the Bayshore area on July 11th.
This puts three (3) GAAA ambulances on the Mainland. To handle the additional
service the County leased one of the old GoldStar ambulances for GAAA. GAAA now
has 14 units. GAAA has also hired several temporary employees to aid in the
coverage. GAAA has responded to over 200 emergencies in La Marque, Dickinson,
and the Bayshore area. Dickinson and La Marque already signed agreements with
County committee working on future solution for Mainland EMS
– A committee was formed after Goldstar began shutting its doors to coordinate
the contingency EMS plan. The committee is putting together solutions for the
future of EMS for those areas vacated by GoldStar. The top three plans being
considered are forming an Emergency Services District that would contract the
EMS, expanding GAAA to cover the entire area, and creating a cooperative effort
where La Marque, Dickinson, Texas City, and GAAA provide service to the area.
These solutions will be presented to the public and appropriate elected
officials for their review.
Ambulance Responses – in June kept GAAA busy with 887 emergency calls
and 178 non-emergency transfers.
New Ambulance Arrives
– Wednesday, July 20th, GAAA took delivery of a new Type I ambulance
built by Frazer Built, Inc. of Houston. The $87,000 ambulance will replace the
ambulance covering EMS District 2 that runs from 25th Street to 45th
Street in Galveston.
Updates: For additional information on any of these topics, contact
the Health District’s Executive Assistant at 409-938-2401 or email
The Galveston County Emergency Response Collaborative (GCERC)
met at the Galveston County Emergency Management Building. David Zane, an
epidemiologist with the Texas Department of State Health Services in Austin,
informed members how public health assessments can be used to assess the needs
of residents after a tropical storm or hurricane. Assessment teams will use a
one-page survey to ask residents a series of questions after a storm. The
information obtained from these assessments can then be used to better direct
services to residents in affected areas. Members also discussed evacuation plans
and took a tour of the Emergency Management Building.
Reserve Corps - On July 13th
the Public Health Planner and SNS Coordinator participated in a telephone
interview with a Coordinator from the National Medical Reserve Corps to seek
approval to form a Galveston County Medical Reserve Corps Team. The mission of
the Medical Reserve Corps is to establish teams of local volunteer medical and
public health professionals who can contribute their skills and expertise
throughout the year as well as during times of community need. We should know in
a couple of weeks if our application will be accepted. If it is, we will have
our own nationally recognized group and will have considerable latitude in
operations and training.
Volunteer Coordination Office recruited 18 volunteers for the month of July. In
an effort to increase volunteer services at the Health District, Shirley Carr
met with Mara Smith. M.S.Ed., Director of Student Engagement and Student
Orientation Programs at College of the Mainland on July 19, 2005. Ms.
Smith was given an overview of the Health District Services and volunteer
opportunities for students. Ms. Smith is developing community service
opportunities for students participating in clubs and organizations on campus.
She feels that the volunteer program is an excellent way to get the students
involved and will be actively recruiting volunteers for two big events that are
being held during the month of August; The Children’s Health Fest and Strategic
National Stockpile Smallpox exercise.