2018 began with Shiawassee County being declared a hepatitis A outbreak county. The Personal and Community Health division began working with community organizations who serve individuals most impacted by the outbreak – individuals who are homeless and those who use illicit drugs. This resulted in nine offsite hepatitis A vaccination clinics at various community agencies throughout the county. Between the offsite and onsite clinics, nurses gave 1,104 hepatitis A vaccines. We also worked closely with the Shiawassee Sheriff’s office to vaccinate inmates in the jail. The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program hired a new certified lactation consultant, thus expanding the program’s ability to serve more women who are interested in or are currently breastfeeding in Shiawassee County. WIC also hired a Registered Dietician who works closely with families on their nutritional needs. The Personal Health Division collaborated with the Durand School Wellness Program and the Durand Middle and High School Youth Advisory Committees (YAC) to create a photovoice project entitled, The Health of Shiawassee County: Our Thoughts Through Photos. Ten students participated in the project and created photos that represented healthy and unhealthy aspects of their community.
In our Environmental Health Division, highlights of the year include a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) satellite collection event held in the City of Perry in addition to our annual fall HHW collection held in Owosso. The HHW event held in Perry served 92 cars and collected 7,421 lbs. of HHW. At the annual fall collection held in Owosso, we had 143 cars and collected and additional 13,520 lbs. of HHW. This brought our yearly total to 20,941 lbs. of HHW that was collected and properly recycled. We also continued to see a high level of volunteer participation with the Annual Shiawassee River Clean-Up and Tire Collection. The 23rd Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up and Scrap Tire Collection received grant funding for an unprecedented eleventh consecutive year. Approximately 130 volunteers worked to remove 20 cubic yards of debris and 57 tires from the river. Over 1,300 tires were received at our community Scrap Tire Collection held in conjunction with the river clean-up. A ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification class was held in the fall. This class is nationally recognized and is intended to certify food professionals. The class also provides knowledge of food sanitation to prevent contamination and foodborne illness. We also continued to teach our general food safety class to residents who wish to better understand the general principals of proper food safety and illness prevention. We continued to see an increase in our well and septic permits as the economy has improved. Our food service facility inspections have also increased over the last year as we work to protect public health.
In our Emergency Preparedness Division, efforts this year have continued to focus around preparedness and response geared towards our vulnerable populations. The efforts have identified sectors of the population who are at risk during an emergency and a Steering Committee has started to form. Next year will be a year of implementation and assessment as community organizations lead the way in strengthening disaster preparedness and community resilience by planning for and with vulnerable populations.
No organization can fulfill their mission without quality staff. We would like to thank our outstanding staff for all they do at the Health Department. In our Personal Health Division, our general nursing staff consists of, Registered Nurses: Kayla Davis, Maternal Infant Health Program and Lead; Lisa Harkness, Communicable Disease Coordinator; Kay Hite, Durand School Nursing Program; Michele Griffin, Coordinator of Children’s Special Healthcare and Maternal Infant Health Program; Jill Koterba, Maternal Infant Health Program; Marji Nichols, Immunization Coordinator; and Amanda Rockol, Women, Infant, Children and Sexually Transmitted Infections program. Melissa Slater and Annalisa Creger work as Registered Dieticians in our WIC program. Nicole Vorce is our Social Worker/Family Care Coordinator with the Maternal Infant Health Program. Heather Keves and Christel Root are technicians for the Vision and Hearing Program. Jennifer Babcock and Tiffany Hanson are our breastfeeding support counselors. Julie Brown, Terri Horton, and Lauri Rubelman are our WIC secretaries/technicians. Our Administrative Assistants include Chasity Ardelean, Maternal Infant Health Program; Heather Jancarik, Immunization Program; and Diane Butcher for the Director of Personal and Community Health.
In our Environmental Health Division, Registered Sanitarians, Katie Plashek, Kristina Richmond, Steve Alworden, and Laura Kickham provide general environmental health services including food service inspections, septic system and water well permitting & inspections, soil erosion permitting and inspections, campground inspections, public swimming pool inspections, body art facility inspections, point of sale well and septic inspections, household hazardous waste, radon, surface water sampling, and environmental health nuisance complaints. Denise Gagnon and Katie Klawuhn are Administrative Assistants to Environmental Health staff.
Administrative staff include Derek Burton, Director of Finance and Administrative Services; Jodi DeFrenn, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; Deb Bebow, Administrative Specialist/Biller and Grace Czubachowski, Health Educator. Jason Camargo provides Information Technology services.
The Health Department wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the Health Board for their diligence in serving the department and representing the community. Health Board members include Mary Buginsky, Patricia Cords, John Pajitas, John Morovitz, John Plowman, and County Commissioners Jeremy Root and Brandon Marks.
The Shiawassee County Health Department looks forward to an exciting year in 2019 and a bright future continuing to serve the residents of Shiawassee County.