The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 2, 2013

Fayette Board of Health talks emergency prep

FAYETTEVILLE — The Fayette County Board of Health met Thursday afternoon, led by Health Department director Rose Michaels.

The department is assisting with preparations for the Boy Scouts Jamboree, from permits for swimming pools, to food sanitation, to threat preparedness.

They are also working with Plateau Action Network to create an Onsite Septic System Database Project, part of a larger plan that aims to improve water quality and eliminate public health threats posed by flawed septic systems and direct effluent discharges.

The database project will pull together existing records and data sets from the Health Department and link them to a Geographic Information System (GIS) to easily visualize the data.

Pulling together the data has been a challenge, according to Michaels.

She also reports that the department has given 1,400 flu vaccinations this season. They are still available on a walk-in basis.

Officials there are also participating in the upcoming Bluestone Dam emergency preparedness exercise. Employees will go and see if they can set up and function outside their headquarters.

On April 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the department will participate in a health fair on emergency preparedness at Fayetteville High School.

A new logo has been adopted and the board wants to work toward establishing it on their building.

“All of these things make a continuous pathway for developing relationships when we do have an emergency,” said Michaels.

A seat on the Board of Health from the Valley district has been vacant since May, and another board member’s term runs out in June.

Board members are appointed by the Fayette County Commission, a function that serves as the main connection between the two entities.

Unlike many other county health departments, Fayette County’s does not receive funding from the county commission, according to the board’s directing physician, Dr. Donald Newell.

If the two seats are not filled, the board will not have a quorum to vote.

After the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, with which the department is assisting, the board plans to undertake board training and re-examination of its mission.

— E-mail: cmoore@register-herald.com

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