Next week, November 11th, will be Veterans Day. It’s a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day, originally celebrated as Armistice Day, was first issued on November 11, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson a year after the end of World War I. The purpose of Armistice Day was to honor the fallen soldiers of the Great War for their sacrifice and bravery. Today, here at the District, there are several Veterans working among us. On this holiday, I wish everyone a very restful and recharging day off. I’d also welcome each of you to join me in thanking all of our veterans for their service to our country. Take care, stay Safe.
A Note From Dr. Spitters
For 37 (19%) of 195 respondents to Jennifer Reid’s emergency alert test last week, John Snow’s cholera investigation and removal of the Broad Street well pump handle was a top milestone in public health history (among many other worthy honorable mentions). Nice job keeping things fun, Jennifer! For those of you so interested, here’s a link
to a nice review of the London cholera investigation and an overview of waterborne disease prevention. It is not mentioned in this article, but I recall reading elsewhere that Dr. Snow was not particularly popular in the moment for that pump handle removal. Remember this whenever someone gives you a hard time about doing your job.
Remember to get that flu shot and follow up with HR by December 1. It’s usually not so great at preventing infection, but it does substantially reduce severe disease, secondary pneumonia, hospitalizations, and deaths. Doing so collectively also protects the people around you at home and here at work. Sound familiar?
- The Food Team recently completed two interactive statewide trainings with DOH to help standardize local food programs on upcoming food code revision that is scheduled to go into effect in March 2022.
- Land Use staff are currently having some preliminary conversation with Snohomish County about the possibility of us taking over the Savvy Septic program. Savvy Septic is a financial assistance and outreach program designed to help homeowners with septic systems maintain and make needed repairs.
- Customer Service will be very short staffed the next few days! The counter will be closed through Monday, but will hopefully open on Tuesday if all goes well.
- Safe Environments staff are currently working to resolve ongoing issues with several nuisance properties. SE staff partner with the Snohomish County Sheriff and County Code Enforcement, a.k.a. Nuisance Property Team, to jointly resolve property issues involving chronic and significant solid and hazardous waste violations, junk vehicles, derelict RVs, illicit sewage discharge, and other violations. Often times eviction of tenants or squatters from the property is necessary as a first step toward cleanup. The eviction moratoriums in place due to COVID-19 has hampered eviction efforts over the past year or so. Those moratoriums have recently been lifted allowing enforcement to move forward at several of our most problem sites.
Human ResourcesOpen Enrollment Is Here!
Snohomish Health District online enrollment is now open! Please log into your Paycom Employee Self-Service to review your benefit eligibility and make your benefit elections for the upcoming year. Please contact Human Resources at HRQuestions@snohd.org if you have any questions during the online enrollment process.Open Enrollment Runs November 1 – 17
If you missed the open enrollment meeting this Tuesday, you can watch a recording
to go over what's new in 2022 and how to complete open enrollment via Paycom.
If you’re trying to watch the recording of the OE presentation you must type in the passcode. Copying and pasting it doesn’t work for whatever reason.Get Your Flu Shot
Flu season has come again, and it’s time to get your flu shot. Email HRQuestions@snohd.org proof of vaccination or sign a declination form – email HR for the form.
The Wellness Committee is offering an incentive to get your flu shot documentation in on time! Submit documentation of your flu shot (or declination) to HRQuestions@snohd.org by December 1, 2021, to be entered to win one of two customizable snack packs
, delivered right to your home!
Public Health Emergency Preparedness and ResponsePreparing for Winter WeatherWinter Weather in Western Washington
Winter is quickly approaching! Winter weather can vary quite a bit from winter to winter, however you should expect the following types of weather: flooding, severe wind, ice, and snow (accumulation and frequency depends on the location in the county). You can check out the winter weather forecast here.How to Prepare Yourself and Your Family
The best way to prepare for winter weather is to plan ahead! Stock up on important winter weather items before the storm is predicted. These items can include de-icer/salt, sandbags (if you live in a flood prone area), emergency food and water kit (in case you lose power), snow shovel, and warm clothes.
Also, determine how you and your family will receive important emergency weather updates so that you can modify your plans as the conditions change.How to Prepare and Respond to Winter Weather in Your Daily Job
Winter weather conditions can have a large impact on how you are able to conduct your daily work. Again, preparation is key!
How Might the Health District Be Expected to Respond to Winter Weather?
- Talk to your supervisor!
- What are you going to do if you can’t get to work or will be late due to winter weather conditions? How will you notify your supervisor of the change?
- Discuss what you can do to alter your fieldwork in the event of bad/extreme weather.
- How will you keep your supervisor informed of your location for fieldwork in the event of a winter weather emergency?
- Plan ahead! If you regularly conduct fieldwork, make sure that you carry warm clothes, flashlights, and extra food and water in your car in case you need them. Make sure you check the latest weather report so you can assess if changes need to be made.
In the event of a winter weather emergency, the County’s Department of Emergency Management (DEM) might activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to respond to the emergency. SHD’s role will vary depending on the type and severity of the emergency. For a flood, the Health District might be expected to spread communication related to the affected area and keep an eye on any water quality or water spread diseases.
Prevention Services We Have an Amazing TB Team!
Did you know that SHD has an amazing TB team?! During the last 18 months, our Public Health Nurses, Community Outreach Workers, and Disease Investigation Specialists have visited people’s homes and local facilities to provide screenings, and for many, lifesaving medication.
Each visit requires a whole lot of care and compassion during “normal” times, but they have stretched beyond to ensure their clients have been able to continue moving towards better health during these challenging COVID times.
Behind the scenes, our administrative support staff has ensured the documents are flowing in the correct direction, been fielding calls, and have been keeping track of a swirling amount of processes, enabling our team to function more efficiently.
Dr. Spitters acts as our TB Medical Consultant, and we are truly grateful for his ability to juggle the pandemic alongside providing excellent medical care to our patients. We have even changed our name from the “TB Control Program” to the “TB Program”. Controlling TB remains our top priority, but the use of the word “control” wasn’t quite capturing the overall care and support that this team provides to our community.