The Larimer County Board of Health convened its regular meeting at 7:00 PM at the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Lee Thielen, M.P.A.
Teri Olson, R.N., M.S.N.
Blair Trautwein, J.D.
Mark Richards, M.D., M.P.H.
Judy Robinson, B.S.N., M.P.H.
Adrienne LeBailly, MD, MPH - Exec. Secretary
OTHERS PRESENT: Marie Macpherson, Bruce Peters, Averil Strand, Jerry Blehm, Amy Smith, and Amanda Berrian, MSPH/DVM student.
1. Call to Order
Meeting was called to order at 7:06 P.M.
2. Approval of the Minutes of October 11, 2007
Minutes of October 11, 2007 were unanimously approved.
3. Public Health Bill sponsored by Rep Hagedorn for 2008 session – Lee Thielen
Lee Thielen provided a summary of a bill being introduced by Representative Hagedorn to restructure local public health in Colorado (Public Health Revitalization Act). It would define public health services to be delivered at the local level and make some changes in local structure, potentially affecting workforce, finance, and legal authority. While this law would not greatly change what we do in Larimer County, it would require a public health improvement plan to be created by each local health department that would have to be approved by the State Board of Health. This may help us be prepared for future local health department accreditation requirements coming in the next few years. Lee also discussed the possible bills which may emerge from the 208 Commission (Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care) report on improving Colorado’s health system. There is the potential for meaningful legislation to come out of this report, including a possible $23 million to support Public Health.
4. Policy Governance Report for 2007 – Dr. LeBailly
Dr. LeBailly distributed the “Policy Governance Report” for 2007 and reviewed the policy expectations and reported the Health Department to be in compliance. (See the report for specific details.)
In the area of asset protection, the Board was updated of the incidents that occurred causing the loss of vaccine (one accidental breakage of a vial, one due to refrigeration issues) and steps that have been taken to avoid a repeat of such losses.
In the area of preparedness for emergencies, Dr. LeBailly distributed an organizational chart of a “Unified Area Command” structure to manage a pandemic flu incident. This was recently approved by the Pandemic Influenza Planning Partnership steering committee. Dr Richards has been attending as an unofficial Estes Park representative to that group. Blair Trautwein suggested sending the Commissioners a copy of the pandemic flu plan organizational chart.
In the area of Board communications, Ms. Thielen commented that she would like the uranium issue to remain on the Board’s agenda to stay abreast of the issue. Jerry Blehm updated the Board that Powertech has not submitted plans yet to the State. The Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) will be looking at the risks of in situ uranium mining, not the specifics of Powertech’s proposal.
The report will be discussed by the EAB on February 12, 2008, and this report will be forwarded to the Board of Health when finalized. Doug Ryan, Environmental Planner for the Health Department, staffs the EAB and will help us get the report to the Board of Health before the Feb 14th meeting if possible. Mr. Blehm advised the members of the Board the Commissioners will be hosting a meeting to discuss the mining issue and invite all concerned parties. Mr. Blehm suggested the Board of Health may want to attend. No action required at this time.
The Board accepted the Policy Governance Report for 2007 submitted by Dr. LeBailly.
5. Goals for 2007 Report – Dr. LeBailly and Division Directors
(See Goals for 2007 final report for details) Marie Macpherson discussed the resource planning process that the Health Management team has begun and informed the BOH members of their meetings that have continued since October. The group will be looking at lessons learned from dealing with previous budget constraints and at generating ideas for increasing revenues and decreasing expenses, all with the goal to decrease reliance on reserves. Ms. Macpherson informed the Board that the Health Managers will continue to meet and plan to review the priorities methodologies as well. A report back to the Board by March 2008 is planned.
On the goal relating to accepting credit cards, Bruce Peters updated the Board that PIN based machines (primarily debit card) have been installed in Fort Collins, and will soon be in place for Estes Park and Loveland. The machines are being used for birth certificates, death certificates, and any other service with a fee. The merchant roll is handled by VitalChek (a third party vendor). Clients pay VitalChek with their debit card, along with a $2.50 convenience fee, and a check is printed immediately payable to LCDHE behind the counter. The Health Department does not incur any costs or fees, or chargeback risks under this system. Regular credit card acceptance is anticipated in early 2008.
Dr. LeBailly suggested everyone to start thinking about goals for 2008 which will probably be discussed at the February meeting (the meeting in January is tentative and most likely will not be held).
Lee Thielen would like to have a goal to encourage interaction of the Board members with Commissioner Eubanks, who has had less direct contact with the Health Department and the Board of Health than the other two commissioners.
6. Appointed official salaries discussion – Marie Macpherson
Macpherson distributed a handout that has the results of the salary survey data
on the Public Health Administrator/Director position for those agencies with MD
positions. While the Board does not need to take formal action on the other
appointed positions within the Department, the Board is always kept
informed of this information. She explained to the Board that she did not have the information on those other positions at this time because there were questions about the salary spreadsheets that Human Resources used for the calculations. The Board decided to not take action on the Public Health Administrator position until Marie has had a chance to review the pay range recommendations with HR so that all position range changes could happen at the same time.
7. Director’s Report
Budget handouts that were distributed at this meeting included a 2008 summary budget document from the County Budget Office entitled “Larimer County Budget Brief” and two reports from the County Budget System which shows the Department’s final Adopted 2008 Budget. With the return of unspent West Nile Virus emergency dollars to reserves, the Health Department’s fund balance is within 10% of our total budget, per the Board of Health’s guidelines (which also meets County guidelines). Ms. Macpherson informed the Board of approximately $60,000 in personnel expense savings already anticipated for 2008 which will also help reduce fund balance usage for that year.
Lee Thielen described the Governor’s meeting in Fort Collins on health care issues. One of its goals appeared to be to assess the level of public support for possible health legislation to be introduced in the upcoming session.
The Board was informed of a recent land use hearing regarding the request by Allnutt Funeral Services to move their crematorium to the Resthaven Memory Gardens between Fort Collins and Loveland. The Health Department expressed concern about mercury from dental fillings being released during cremations in an area close to residences and near three bodies of water with fish advisories for excess mercury. Neighbors felt a crematory was incompatible with current land uses. The planning commission unanimously opposed the request to allow a crematorium on the Resthaven site. Allnutt may chose to appeal the decision to the Board of Commissioners.
7. Motion was made for the next BOH meeting to be held on February 14 of 2008, unless there is critical business requiring a January 10th meeting without Dr. LeBailly.
Motion was unanimously approved.
9. The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM
Amy Smith, Recording Secretary Adrienne LeBailly, MD, Executive Secretary