Want the chance to win a $100 gift card? All you have to do is go online and complete a community health survey that the Whitley County Health Department currently has underway. So far the health department has received about 164 responses.
The survey takes about 11 minutes to complete, and is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/WhitleyCounty.
Public Health Director Marcy Rein told the Whitley County Board of Health during a special meeting Monday that the information would become part of the health department’s community improvement plan.
Rein noted that the health department has received $20,000 in funding from the state, which will help pay for the project.
During its meeting Monday, the board also discussed the status of communicable diseases, including severe pulmonary disease associated with vaping.
Rein said that there are 43 reported cases in the state, and six have been confirmed statewide. Officials think the cause is due to THC cartridges.
“It is not a specific brand. It is not a specific device,” she said.
THC is the active ingredient in marijuana, which gets you high.
Rein said that state officials are recommending that people not vape, and if they do vape, not to vape THC or anything bought from an informal source. Also people shouldn’t add things to their vape.
As of last week there were three confirmed cases of influenza in Whitley County. Rein added that the health department is still offering flu shots, and is encouraging people to get their flu shots.
In addition, Rein announced that 211 Naloxone kits had been distributed since May. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a proposal to utilize Enterprise Fleet Management for health department vehicles. Enterprise will monitor maintenance on the health department’s vehicles, and recommend when to sell vehicles in order to get the maximum value out of the vehicles and save money on maintenance costs.
Jessi Gross, an account executive with Enterprise, noted the idea is to sell vehicles while they are still worth more than what is owed on them.
Rein noted that the health department has a little over 20 vehicles, but some are old and don’t run or don’t run reliably. Many health department employees drive their own vehicles and receive mileage because of the condition of the health department vehicles.
The plan is to keep the 10 best vehicles, and add 10 new vehicles this year.
Rein added that payment on the 10 new vehicles has already been factored into the budget, and will be largely covered with reduced maintenance costs and reduced mileage reimbursements.
• Set board of health meeting dates for 2020. The board will meet on March 16 and Sept. 21 at the health department office in Williamsburg, and on June 15 and Nov. 16 at the health department office in Corbin. The meetings start at 7 p.m.
• Recognized two new members of the board of health, Angelica Weaver and Dr. Travis Sulfridge, who will serve as the veterinarian representative on the board.
Sulfridge replaces Dr. Michael Culver, who had served on the board for 31 years. Rein noted she has a plaque of recognition for Culver, and officials discussed how best to get it to him.