BROOKVILLE – “We have wonderful news,” Franklin County Health Department preparedness administrator and grant manager Kim Robinson told board members at the Oct. 15 quarterly meeting. Andrew Naumann will move all the way from Montana to become the new public health coordinator tasked with updating crisis preparedness plans.
After supervisor Diane Turney, R.N., interviewed eight candidates Sept. 20 and narrowed the field four days later, he was chosen. “His degree is in preparedness,” reported nurse Angie Ruther. Robinson will oversee the public health coordinator and grant-writing process two days a week with her salary paid by a grant.
Since being hired in July, Robinson has spent the first two months learning. She attended an Indiana State Department of Health District 9 meeting. Of the county’s preparedness plan, she said, “I’m trying to keep some of it up to date” until Naumann digs in.
Board member Lindsay Jackson, New Fairfield, asked sanitarian David Fehlinger about his report that stated he helped inspect refrigerated food trucks with Indiana State Police, ISDH officials and other county sanitarians July 16. Fehlinger reported trucks were stopped on I-74 near the Batesville exit. “The last truck of the day (Dairy Fresh, Detroit) had temperature issues.” ISP troopers escorted the truck to a landfill, where the food was dumped. Turney asked where the truck was headed before it was detained. “It had just left IGA and was going to Oldenburg,” the sanitarian answered.
Members were surprised that during July, August and September, Fehlinger notified county food establishments about 35 recalls of products that could be contaminated. “Some that come through don’t really apply to us, oddball stuff” that may not be stocked in Hoosier stores. However, other recalled items “are name brands, such as Kraft,” he said.
Ruther was questioned about the county documenting 15 animal bites during the quarter. “It’s not more than usual,” she observed. “I’m notified of it now” by urgent care facilities and physicians’ offices. “I used to not be,” but now bites must be reported to ISDH.
The nurse calls each animal’s owner and insures the animal is quarantined either by the owner or the county small animal control officer to see if rabies or another disease develops.
Of bites, Ruther said, “I’m sure it happens daily in the county … most of them are pretty minor.”
Board President Patsy Weileman, Brookville, asked about sanitarian Joe Meier’s investigation of mold in the Brookville courthouse. According to him, “They had a formal request from one of the office holders” who was concerned about visible mold. An ISDH employee conducted a series of mold tests. Health officer Dr. Michael Fain, Oxford, Ohio, who practices in Brookville, reported the tests “met or exceed all recognized (air quality control) standards.”
Meier reported that a moldy vacant home in West Harrison’s Autumn Oaks subdivision that FCHD declared uninhabitable was sold to a company that does mold remediation. “It’s a business venture.”
He and Fain agreed it might be a conflict of interest. The physician suggested that another company certify the home to be free of mold. The two will discuss the issue when FCHD receives paperwork from the company.
Debbie Blank can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.