RILEY COUNTY - MANHATTAN
BOARD OF HEALTH
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2010
The Department Highlight was presented by Dawn Searles, Nursing Supervisor and concerned the Flu clinics given by the Health Department. There are many places in town giving flu shots including Wal-Mart and Walgreens. Charles Murphy, Health Department Administrator, noted that by law the pharmacies can not give flu shots to children. There has been some consideration about doing a drive-by clinic but this has not yet been decided.
The Administrative report noted the conclusion of the H1N1 grant. By utilizing regular staff and paying them for overtime rather than hiring new temporary staff and by adding the vaccinations into the regular system the Health Department was able to bill Insurance companies and collect $20,000 and to save $50,000 from the original grant. This funding may be used, under the criteria of the grant, by the Health Department for other health needs. An example is the new phone system, useful during the HINI crisis, can now be used by the Department.
Mr. Murphy announced that on November 9th “Raising Riley”, which is the name used as an umbrella for all the children’s programs, will provide an information program at the Wharton Center. Keynote speaker will be Ken Wagner from Health and Human Services who will discuss the new Health Reform Law as it applies to children. The public and especially the Board are encouraged to attend.
The Board then went into Executive Session to consider the Administrator’s contract for 2011. The first session was 20 minutes, then extended for 10 minute and then extended for 15 minutes. Upon returning to the open Board meeting, Dr. Derek Mosier made two motions, First, there would be no cost of living increase in the contract due to the difficult economy. Second, there would be no merit increase again due to the economy and not because Mr. Murphy was not doing a good job.
The motions passed with 5 ayes, one abstention and one nay.
In consideration of the Grease Traps and Food Service Ordinance changes, Mr. Murphy explained that the City administrative staff has proposed that the Health Department administer the proposed “grease trap ordinances”. This would include, in part, collecting fees, which would go to the city, giving permits, receiving and tracking all maintenance logs, as well as denying, revoking and/or suspending licenses. Mr. Murphy contended that the Department did not have the clerical staff to do all the required paper work nor a staff attorney to conduct the possible enforcement requirements which would, without doubt, include hearings and appeals. He said that when he agreed to doing grease trap inspections with the food inspections he did not envision administering the ordinance in total . He has scheduled a meeting with the city staff on November 2nd to discuss this issue and requested input on the issue from the Board. Lauren Palmer, who is Assistant City Manager,was called on to clarify what the issues were from the City’s point of view. She stated that the proposal was a draft and would be expected to be rewritten before agreement was reached. She noted that because the City agreed to pay for food inspection by the Health Department that the City thought that that money should also include the total administration of the ordinance. In the discussion Board members indicated that the issue was at least in part a Public Works issue and supported Mr. Murphy’s contention that, originally, there was not an intention that the Health Department be involved in enforcement of the ordinance. Mr. Murphy noted that no other Health Department in the state was doing enforcement. He also indicated that he felt it would be necessary for the city to pass another ordinance giving the authority to the Health Department to do enforcement before it would be appropriate for the Health Department to take this on. Ms. Palmer reiterated that further negotiations would be taking place.
Brady Burton, President of the Board, then suggested that a committee be appointed to prepare a tool for Administrator Evaluation and the search plans for seeking a replacement for Mr. Murphy when he retires. Deb. Nuss and Dr. Derek Mosier will co-chair. Dr. Daniel Winter and Lauren Palmer will be the other members.
In conclusion, Mr. Murphy discussed two informative handouts concerning drug resistant “super bugs”. One suggested that food can be conducting drug-resistant “super bugs” to residence in human intestines where they can grow and overwhelm the body when antibiotics are given for other infections since the ”super bugs” would be resistant to the antibiotics. The second dealt with the fact that there is only one drug left that effectively treats Gonorrhea and that drug resistance to that one is bound to come. And then there will be no effective drug treatment for this common Sexually Transmitted Disease. The Health Department routinely tracks these diseases. The information was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sue Cohen, Observer