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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.

July 27, 2005

Archives

red diamond pic West Nile virus
red diamond pic Hepatitis A Case
red diamond pic Community Presentations
   
red diamond pic Office of Public Information Updates
  Pullout of GoldStar
  Litter control
  4C’s open house
  West Nile Virus
  Beach Watch Advisories
  Kids Health Fest
   
red diamond pic Office of Community Health Programs Updates
  Back to School immunizations
  Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Exercise for Community Health Nursing staff.
  WIC
  Community Health Services Program Business Meeting and other projects.
   
red diamond pic Office of Environmental Health Services Updates
  Communication Plan Concerning Changes to Fees and Hours of Operation
  Storm Debris Management
  High Island Sewage Problems
  Public Health Laboratory Activity
  Shelter Assessment
   
red diamond pic 4C’s Clinic Updates
  Bureau of Primary Health Care Visit
  New Provider
  Case Management Services
   
red diamond pic Office of Emergency Medical Services Updates
  EMS coverage continues on the Mainland
  County committee working on future solution for Mainland EMS
  Ambulance Responses
  New Ambulance Arrives
   
red diamond pic Other Executive Updates
  The Galveston County Emergency Response Collaborative (GCERC)
  National Medical Reserve Corps
  Volunteers
   
 West Nile virus 
red diamond pic 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 dbeckham@gchd.org.
   Hepatitis A Case
red diamond pic  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 dbeckham@gchd.org.

   Community Presentations

red diamond pic 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 mguidry@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 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 22nd 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 http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=d11335fb3501368f.

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 http://www.gchd.org/press/2005/06BeachCleanUp.htm.

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 developed. 

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  http://www.gchd.org/pollution/BeachAdvisory.htm.

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 http://www.gchd.org/press/2005/07HealthFest.htm.  

Office of Community Health Programs For more information please contact Susan Studebaker, RNC, Director of Community Health Programs at 409.938.2456, email sstudebaker@gchd.org
red diamond pic 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 kids.

Strategic National 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, and others. 

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.

 

Office of Environmental Health Services Updates  For more information, contact Ronnie Schultz, Director of Environmental Health Services, at 409.938.2214 or email: rschultz@gchd.org
red diamond pic 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 partners.

Shelter Assessment - 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. 
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 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 Clinic 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 Updates: For more information, please contact Greg Kunkel, GAAA Operating Chief, at 409.765-2524 or email gkunkel@gchd.org
red diamond pic 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 GAAA.

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.   
Other Executive Updates: For additional information on any of these topics, contact the Health District’s Executive Assistant at 409-938-2401 or email plewis@gchd.org
red diamond pic 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.

National Medical 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.

Volunteers - The 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.