The Health Department worked in collaboration with multiple organizations including, Shiawassee Health and Wellness, Memorial Healthcare, Alliance for a Drug-Free Shiawassee, Shiawassee HOPE, Salvation Army, Shiawassee Prevention Network, Shiawassee RESD, Shiawassee County Drug Court, Lincoln High School, Friends of the Shiawassee River, Shiawassee Conservation District, Shiawassee County Drain Office and Shiawassee County Parks and Recreation Commission.
The Personal and Community Health Division received a grant to provide a full-time, licensed social worker at Perry High School. Through this position, students are able to obtain services during school hours. Additionally, the Health Department received a grant from the Shiawassee Community Foundation for the Period of Purple Crying initiative. This initiative is a collaboration with Memorial Healthcare and Shiawassee Great Start to teach parents about the infant developmental stage between 2-5 months of age when infants cry a lot. The program provides parents with coping skills during this difficult time. An outbreak of the rare Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus occurred in Michigan in September. Health Department staff worked with local school districts to provide information and resources to help contain the virus. The Personal and Community Health Division continues to provide prevention and health promotion programs and initiatives to the Shiawassee Community.
In our Environmental Health Division, highlights of the year include a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) satellite collection event held in Durand in addition to our annual fall HHW collection held in Owosso. Almost 300 cars came to the collections and our yearly total of HHW was almost 27,000 lbs. We also continued to see a high level of volunteer participation with the Annual Shiawassee River Clean-Up and Tire Collection. The 24th Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up and Scrap Tire Collection received grant funding for an unprecedented twelfth consecutive year. Approximately 170 volunteers worked to remove 20 cubic yards of debris and 30 tires from the river. Additionally, 794 tires were received at our community Scrap Tire Collection held in conjunction with the river clean-up. Serv-Safe Food Protection Manager Certification classes were held throughout the year. 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. To date, 51 people have become Certified Food Managers. 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.
Our Emergency Preparedness Division played a vital role in responding to the two tornadoes that hit Shiawassee County on March 14, 2019. The tornadoes caused widespread damage prompting the need for the community to come together to support recovery efforts. The Health Department in partnership with other community, regional and state partners assisted with the overall coordination of the initial response and transitioned into a lead role in recovery efforts. The Health Department activated their Volunteer Management plan to coordinate all spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers, affiliated volunteers, community, regional and state partners and responding non-profit organizations that assisted with cleanup efforts. Over 140 spontaneous volunteers assisted in the recovery effort which lead to a very successful nine-day response. The Emergency Preparedness Division is proud and thankful to work with such a dedicated community.
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: Jill Koterba, Maternal Infant Health Program; Lisa Harkness, Communicable Disease Coordinator; Kayla Grey, Durand School Nursing Program; Michele Griffin, Maternal Infant Health Program Coordinator and Lincoln School Nurse; Marji Nichols, Immunization Coordinator; Amanda Rockol, Sexually Transmitted Infections Program Coordinator; and Kay Hite, Women, Infant, Children (WIC) Program Coordinator. Annalisa Creger and Connie Brown work as Registered Dietitians in our WIC program. Nicole Vorce is our Social Worker/Family Care Coordinator with the Maternal Infant Health Program. Crystal Wirostek is our Social Worker in Durand Schools and Kari Bendt is our Social Worker in Perry Schools. Heather Keves and Christel Root are technicians for the Vision and Hearing Program. Jennifer Babcock is our International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant and Tiffany Hanson is our breastfeeding support counselor. Julie Brown, Terri Horton and Lauri Rubelman are our WIC technicians. Our Administrative Assistants include Chasity Ardelean, Maternal Infant Health Program, Heather Jancarik, Immunization Program and Grace Perkins, Children’s Special Healthcare Services.
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 Kate Klawuhn are Administrative Assistants to Environmental Health staff.
Administrative staff include Derek Burton, Director of Finance and Administrative Services; Jodi DeFrenn, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; Amber Bias, Account/Human Resources Specialist, 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 Pajtas, John Morovitz, Joy Welty, and County Commissioners Jeremy Root and Brandon Marks.
The Shiawassee County Health Department looks forward to an exciting year in 2020 and a bright future continuing to serve the residents of Shiawassee County.