Bloomfield Board of Health meeting, February 18, 2021
1:38AM Feb 19, 2021
guys a lot.
Excellent. Thank you. All right, it is February 18 2021 The time is 7:39pm Eastern Time 639 sorry 639 My apologies. Alright due to multiple executive orders declared by Governor Murphy in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19 the February 18 2021 Blizzard Board of Health because the general public there's these Board of Health meeting will be streaming live on channel 35 channel 3030 on Verizon YouTube or Facebook Live. A link for the live stream will be posted on the township website. Both always has an opportunity to make public comments and health department during public meetings. However with this new format, if you have a comment or question, please submit it in writing to the health department in advance if there are any public comments or any ordinances on second reading, please submit those as well. The board will read on the record your question or comments of me during the public comment portion of the meeting. when submitting your comments concerning the question within the subject line of the email, please write comment, concern or question the meeting and within the body of the email prior to your comment, concern or question. Please indicate your name and address submissions will be accepted until 4:30pm. Thursday February 18 2021. is February 18 2021. regular meeting of the Bloomfield Board of Health is called to order. public notice of this meeting in compliance with the open public meetings act was given by public notice appearing in the independent press and posted on the bulletin board in the municipal building. informal discussions by board members will proceed each item on the agenda. Any board member wishing to comment for the record may do so after the item has been properly moved. Seconded. No new business may be brought forward by board members after 10:30pm. This meeting will adjourn no later than 11:30pm. This meeting may include any other business that may be brought to the attention of the Board of Health. Formal action may be taken by the board at this meeting. roll call please.
Call Elkins president Antonio Rodriguez, President. Dr. Mehta Denise sorbet as it Sarah Binya president, council liaison Davis, absent, also present Mike Patrick, health officer.
All right, thank you. For our procedures. Let me remind everyone that since we're doing this in this format, when we vote, please hold up your hand in addition to the usual you know, hi, etc. Okay. First up is the approval of the minutes of the previous meeting of December 10 20. Wait, right, December 10. No. Yeah, that should be January meeting.
January 21 2020, reorg. Meeting.
That's what I thought. Okay. All right. So first up is the approval of minutes of previous meetings the January 21 2021, reorg. Meeting. Motion to discuss please. motion, like so. Tony. Second, please. Okay. Thank you, Doc. Any questions or comments relating to those minutes? No. Okay. All those in favor? Aye. Aye. Aye. Opposed? None. Okay. It's not listed by saying we need to do the same, Karen. Okay. All right. Next up is approval of the minutes of the previous meeting for January 21 2021. The regular meeting? Motion discussed please. Motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay, Doc. Any questions or comments regarding those notes? Okay. Although all those in favor, Aye. Aye. Aye. Opposed? None. Thank you. Okay, public comment.
Okay, if you just give me a minute, we did change the format a little bit where the public can text in any public comment in addition to mailing in a public
No comments received. All right.
Thank you very much. All right. Next up licenses pending approval for. Again, it says January. Is that correct? Correct. Spending approval for January. So I'll double check on that. Okay. Thank you. Motion disgust please. Motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay. Thank you, Doc. Any questions or comments related to this item? No. All those in favor of approving aye. Aye. Any opposed? None. Thank you. All right. Next up review of January 2021. Communications motion, please. Motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay, Doc. Questions or comments? Okay, all those in favor, say? Aye. Aye. Any opposed? None. January 2021. Financial Report. motion, please. Motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay. Thank you, Doc. Questions or comments? All right. All those in favor of accepting the January 2021. batch report, aye. Aye. Opposed? None. The directors January 2021. Report. motion, please. Motion? Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay. I think sorry, you got in on that one. Excellent. Okay. All right. Karen, you're up.
Good evening, everyone. Um, a couple of things to go through. As you know, the department has been working extremely hard on the accreditation process, we did complete submitting all of our documentation at the end of the year that our deadline, this point, we are in a review, and we are prepping for a mock site visit. So what that involves is that we go through all of the documents internally, we make sure that they are fresh and familiar, because we're really submitting information over the last, you know, three to three years. So that process is underway. Also, we'll be working with the board in terms of going through a similar review. Once we finished with our mock site visit, then we'll be ready for the real site visit, which we anticipate to be in about six weeks. So I'll be reaching out to you individually to just kind of go through the process. Last time when we did the site visit, it was in person this time, it will be virtual because of COVID. So I'm not sure if they will want all of the board members present and available. Last time they worked with the board president So Joe was was with us. And I believe the vice president was also there, along with myself and Mike, our health officer. So that is currently underway. We also in preparation for that part of Mike will be going through the orientation process for the board. It's for both new members and also refresher for existing members. So that's scheduled on the agenda. That will be a brief kind of overview. Also, on Wednesday, met with Matt, the town administrator, and he had the public hearings regarding the budgets. So presented the budget. Obviously, as always, three attempt to keep the budget as flat as possible. And we hit that mark with a couple of exceptions that were related to consulting costs and whatnot. So we asked for a little bit of an increase. That process is ongoing. As you know, Matt is retiring at the end of March. So he started the process, but we don't anticipate the budget process to really be fully complete until after his departure. So we're really in the early stages of it. I did submit a capital request for new vehicles, we looked at our fleet, our fleet is old, and it's in need of repair. And with the staff and the way that they travel, we did have to request some additional vehicles. So right now we're looking for six vehicles to replace older ones. And that capital request was made. In terms of COVID, the COVID, clinics, testing clinics are ongoing. They're being held at this point Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays at watch assessing by appointment. And that's the accessing school. The demand for testing is slowing down, as is some of the cases, positive cases that we're seeing the numbers seem to be declining. So depending on the demand for that testing, we may continue, we'll continue with for as long as the demand is and as long as the mayor council requests us to continue to have that ongoing. And additionally, a task force has been established with police department and other department heads to really look at how to deal with some of the non violent offenses that police are called into some of the mental health issues of their, you know, incidences where there can be more support from mental health personnel and also social workers. So the mayor Council have requested that we put a task force together, which was done by director DeMaio. So the task boards will be meeting tomorrow, we're going to explore ways that we could work to
make sure that we have the appropriate response for whatever the polls are that come in. Right now, with the Human Services Division, we are actively involved in doing a lot of calls and doing assessments, mental health assessments, and also case management, crisis intervention. So there'll be an opportunity to really look at some of our processes and how we can make sure that we have the right resources for the right types of calls. And I will keep you posted on that as we move forward. And that's all I have. If anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
anyone have any questions? All right. In that case, all those in favor of accepting the directors January 2021. Report, aye. Aye. Any opposed? None. Next up is the Health Officers January 2020. Report motion to discuss please. Motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Thank you, Michael.
Good evening, everyone. pleasure to see you all hope you stayed safe and that snow got a few snow services we met last. And so we're still very active in the health department. As you can imagine with all aspects of COVID. Currently in Bloomfield has 226 active cases. And that's defined as cases over the last 14 days that have come in and are presently considered people that are isolated and or quarantine because of a positive, positive result and or symptomatic condition. We have an average of about 14 new cases a day. Some days, we have seven some days, we have 21 or 17. So between 14 and 17, probably a good average per day. That's down from some of the numbers that we've had, right after Christmas in New York holidays. And the averages are going down generally in the northern part of the state. And in in Essex County and the surrounding counties, where our numbers now are similar to what they weren't Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving, we're not low numbers. But prior to Thanksgiving, and around Thanksgiving, the numbers were kind of what I'll call winter numbers that are kind of ascended. And then working days after Thanksgiving, the numbers escalated, they started to go back down. We then had Christmas holidays and New Year holidays, you know, 14 days after that they went up and then they started going down. Until now those numbers are continuing to go down to where you're not low at the present time. Like we were back in September, but the trending is actually dropping, and it's week after week. You can see that the numbers are dropping. I'm gonna say measurably not precipitous But definitely measurably measured, measured. So that's a very good thing. As Karen said, testing is still ongoing. The need or the demand is less. But we still have that availability through a vendors that separate from the health department. But we do stop over once in a while, verify everything's going. But that's a good thing. I was on a meeting with the governor's actually, last week, and the county health club, and Essex County is doing one of the best jobs of vaccinating based upon our population. So we were kind of like the number one, Marsh county has more but ever mixing. So that kind of is not fair. So when you just look at what the county pieces do, Essex County was received a big pat on the back for doing a fabulous job too. Often, apartments are involved to some extent, but primarily the Lynx agency, Sheriff's Department. And essentially, the executives have an executive office, along with the health officer is running that. So it's a big, it's a big system that is done very, very well. It's a very well oiled machine. And it's helpful. We go over and assist on on every few days just to make sure that things are flowing. And we can answer some general questions. But by and large, it's managed very well by the county. And we're kind of at this point, ancillary Hill. But let's move forward six or seven weeks from now, when the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will not only be approved, which is anticipated, I believe that's coming Thursday, a week from tonight. And then we have a single shot that doesn't need to be frozen. And there's going to be some 20 25% more availability. And it's anticipated that we at that point, might be able to successfully request some additional vaccine to be delivered locally to homebound individuals, to senior citizens that cannot travel easily, and to other individuals that are in need and are essentially vulnerable populations. So we're looking into that constantly every week. So we have that on our radar, we can't do that now, for a couple reasons on the vaccine is very hard to handle because of the Deep Freeze issue. And also, because if you have the thought in someone's house for two hours, it just takes a long time. And then you have an individual in their home that may have some repercussions, or hours after you give them the inoculation and no one's there to watch them. So we would only be there to watch them for 15 minutes. So it's not only discouraged, it's not allowed to do homebound in that individual way, we are waiting for the other vaccine and we'll be able to handle it'll the needs of our residents that are in that limited faction, it would not be for all residents, because they would still be going to the main site and work to the counties where the vast majority would be.
That's uh, other than that are normal inspections, complaints, rodent issues are being dealt with on a daily basis as complaints come in or scheduled inspections. So we're also doing that piece of the work with staff interspersing their regular duties occasionally to COVID, whereas the nursing staff and the COVID staff are predominantly doing COVID. But they are doing other natural public health work also as that's essentially my report.
Thank you. Does anyone have any questions for health officer? All right. All those in favor of accepting the Health Officers January 2020. Report. I and the opposed not? By the way, Mike, just a comment that actually know a few people who have recently gotten vaccinated at one of the Essex County centers, and they described it as one of the most well run efficient operations they have ever seen related to a government entity who's gonna say to a government, I knew you were gonna say it is
run like a business. It is it is as as individuals associated with Bloomfield and Essex County is one of the best models in the United States. It is I've been involved with a lot of clinics for a lot of years. And this is done under stress. And it's done extremely well. So I would agree,
and I've heard nothing but rave reviews.
Absolutely. They even admitted one day, they had a problem where people had to stand out for an hour and a half or so which is very unusual, because there were a bunch of glitches, fix it that day, the computer issue that created a problem, but they knew how to fix it, they fixed it. And business went on the next day in a streamlined fashion. So even when there's glitches, they don't linger. So kudos to how they're running it. Absolutely.
I experienced that on a
daily basis and I couldn't agree with you more. Where as county employees as well. were very impressed with the process. They are doing a great job, not about tears.
Yeah, good question.
All right, thank you. All right, next up council liaison Report, I'm pleased to present board presidents report, I have nothing unique to offer there. We have no unfinished business. So next up is new business. First up is a discussion of the Board of Health orientation, resources and information motion to discuss please, motion, like a Tony. Second, please. Thank you, Doc.
Okay, this is the presentation where he's going to have the slides shared, but my share screen has been disabled by the host. So I don't have that capability. But Mike is very prepared to review the information with you without the the slides. And also you have the slides in your packets. So if you want to look at them after the presentation, they're available to you.
Let me just pull up the lovely just pull up slide. So I'll make this brief and hopefully useful. So part of not only accreditation, but running a health department, there are 10 essential elements of running a health department. And those relate to very big picture pieces, such as the assessment are your needs, and then your policy development of how you're going to implement what you found your needs work. And then eventually, as you implement your assessment and your evaluation of how effective your plan was that you devised based upon the assessments, you can think we do a very robust assessment. And also another term you might hear is a chip community health improvement plan. That's the piece where you're starting to implement what you found our needs in the community. those needs are all types of public health needs, they can be transportation limitations, they could be cultural limitations, it could be language limitations, it could be various kinds of other issues, such as people have chronic diseases and do not understand where to go to have access to proper medical care. So we're always looking at barriers and boundaries, trying to assess what they are, instead of us determining what they are, but assess through a community analysis and evaluation. And then bring that information forward to the board as we go through a the accreditation processes we've done over the last five years. And be also every two years or so we want to reevaluate and switch up or change up, or what we find is the needs in the community that we can be best providing those services to them. Again, coming back to the board, coming back to the administrator and the mayor and council asking for appropriate resources so we can explain what we have as an issue, what the needs are and what our solutions are to drive forward some success in assisting residents. So that's kind of the process. And within that some of the essential elements are nursing, environmental health, administration, health education, again, the assessment,
evaluation as far as research, and I will tell you that I'm proud to say that we actually have two individuals on our staff that have gone to medical school in different countries. So they're not licensed to practice, but they actually are on our staff, and they're now able to do our research, which was always something any local health department would struggle with. So we've densified them as excellent research resources, and researchers. And we're gonna try to create some affiliations, particularly with Rutgers University Medical School, and also with Rutgers School of Public Health, and frankly, Brent out the john hopkins. So we've got a few ideas that we would like to do as far as that research beats, and that's usually a very weak link, a local health department, obviously, because of small sizes. I think we're fortunate here in Bloomfield based upon the board's leadership and guidance and allowing us to have contracts, also having a tremendous number of grants in term of a couple $100,000 where we can take individuals put them on the grant and look at things like vulnerable populations and and he down in not just with senior citizens, but with residents that have children have nutrition inequities have other kinds of health inequities, and other limitations that are barriers to really their success for themselves and their family. So thank you for giving us that opportunity. And seeing you know, as we try To provide information to you over time, that you have supported us to be able to implement some of these things, if the one of the circles that go around, the more we do, it seems like the more availability there is to do more and to find more resources. So it's, it's a bit of a full circle, you start with what you need, you implement and activator circle gets bigger in your performance and supplying services to the community. That's essentially what a local health department should be doing. I think we are successfully managing that. And we will have that verified by our application that's pending for our reaccreditation. In the next few weeks, they should, I'm sure accept what we have, and then do that virtual site visit. And I think we'll be in pretty good. I think we'll be in pretty good shape with that. And the last piece is that second, the second picture was the goals of public health, and essentially, embrace role of the chief strategist. So that gets back to that people. It's a very first poll. And it really gets back to the assessment. But it also goes back to the people that could do some research to help us be strategist, being Karen could be the street strategist, I could be the chief strategist. But frankly, I think it needs to be a communal effort to determine what strategy we need, so we can be most successful in blue. And we need to do engagement and a cross section collaboration. So now we start to talk to community partners, talk to boards, Mayor and councils and facilities like ymcas in the local area, and other other groups to assure that we truly understand and verify, then we're going to seek fab accreditation. So that's another piece of of what the State Department of Health would like us to do, and good public health practice and best practice. And we gathered timely, relevant, accountable data, which is what we have done, and then we explore that information. And we submit that information. And then we look for funding sources such as grants, obviously, municipal budgets, and obviously, some kind of other funding that may not be grants, but may be not grants from the state, but actually from private or nonprofit. So that's kind of the circle and the cycle that we try to follow and then inform the board about as we move along from meeting. That's that's the short orientation. And thank you very much for your support.
Thank you. Any questions or comments for Michael?
I would just like to add to that, in your packet. There's also that a 27 page, book booklet for boards of health and it goes through in detail, everything you ever wanted to know about your local board of health, and more. So that's a that's a document for review. And just to kind of emphasize what Mike is talking about the primary goal really in public health is as equity. And health equity is a goal that we're constantly working towards achieving. And it's going to be a big focus for us, particularly with the additional funding for our vulnerable populations coordinator with the grant. So we're hoping that's going to help move us along. And we're excited about that opportunity.
Thank you. All right, all those in favor of accepting the worth of orientation resource information presentation, Aye. Aye. Aye. Any opposed? None. All right, next up is a resolution 14 2021 designating the 2021 holiday schedule whereas the board was established holiday schedule for non contractual Non Us eyes please board whereas the board is an independent and autonomous entity sorry entity because the board must maintain health, safety and welfare of the residents of town. And whereas the board's full time rank and file employees are currently subject to a scope petition concerning union representation before the state of New Jersey's Public Employment Relations Committee. And whereas the board has offices in the housing boom business building, where the board believes it is best interests for efficiency to maintain a similar holiday schedules town to Bloomfield, therefore be resolved that the board as hereby designate the following as a 2021 holiday schedule for non contractual on use is placed board as specified below. Motion to discuss please, motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Thank you, Doc. Any questions or comments related to this? All right, roll call. Please.
Antonio Rodriguez. Yes. Dr. Mehta Denise sorbet. Yes. Sara Barnea. Yes. Council liaison, Dave. Oh, sorry. Yes.
All right, thank you. Next up is resolution 15 dash 2021, ratifying the resignation retirement separation or termination of Board of Health employees, whereas the following employee has retired resigned or is no longer effective sorry no longer working for the board the Board of Health resigned. Jaber or Jabbar Social Work assistant is effective February 12 2021. Whereas the formation employee is notified the director is their desire to resign, retire or separate from their position. Now therefore be resolved by the board. The board hereby accepts the above notices. The further resolved the board instructs the director to be all necessary paperwork and take other actions necessary to properly effectuate said notices motion, please. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay. Thank you, Doc. Any questions or comments with regard to this? Now? Okay, roll call, please.
Antonio Rodriguez. Yes. Dr. Mehta. Yes. Denise sorbet. Yes. Arab Neil. Yes.
Thank you. Okay. I'm not on the original agenda, but I believe we need additional resolution here the 16 2021.
okay. So this resolution 16 2021 is ratifying a title change modification of hours worked for new hire Board of Health boy. Whereas in order to meet the obligations required by the Board of Health to carry out their current responsibilities and volume personnel changes are recommended. And whereas the board may in places personnel as an EDI necessary in order to maintain efficiency and productivity increase the duties and compensation of his appointees, whereas the following plays have demonstrated the efficiency competency license and or skills required to perform these duties. Specifically, Carlos Tello our HS lateral into current step, effective February 15, annamaria Valencia David health educator also lateral into current steps effective February 15. Jean Nash public health nurse lateral to current step also effective February 15. While we, for those social service assistant step one as of March eighth 2021, that's also a full time provisional hire, and a TVD health educator vulnerable populations grant step two, effective date TBD isn't a full time temporary grant hire not to exceed the terms of the grants now therefore be resolved by the board the board accepts the former personal changes as recommended by the director, further resolved that the board hereby authorize director taking action. This is already probably factually changed about clients with the nj DLP motion to discuss please. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Thank you, Doc. Okay.
Okay, so one of these positions is to replace the person that resigned. So that would be the social service assistant. The second is for the vulnerable populations grant. We don't currently have a but we have candidates, but we're not sure which one is going to fit the need. So it's to authorize for the hiring, once we find the appropriate candidate, if we if we are able to do that prior to the next board meeting since we are a little behind on that grant. The other three are really employees that have been with us and they have been hired under the lead grant. And because we now have additional grants, we don't want them restricted just to one particular grant. So what we're doing is we're just changing their status and moving them to temporary hire. Same title, same responsibilities, but they'll be able to do a variety of different activities for us, and they won't be as limited.
Anyone have any questions or comments? Okay, roll call please.
Antonio Rodriguez. Yes. Dr.
Yes. Denise sorbet. Yes. Sara Binya. Yes.
Thank you. Karen. Do we have anything for closed?
Okay. There is another wrestler I don't know if you have it in front of you resolution 17. We can put it on for next month. It's not.
I don't think I received that one.
Okay. All right. Well, then we will put that on for the next meeting that that this that just has to do with a process issue for open public meeting. So we can defer that following
month. That's fine. Okay. So nothing for close that. No,
no, just in terms of we're still negotiating contracts. So once that gets resolved, we will be taking that up in the closed session. Of course. Okay.
Thank you. All right. Is there any other business? Because Oh, no. All right. upcoming meeting dates. Our next meeting is Thursday, March 18. Anyone have any issues with that date?
All right. Then if there's nothing else, the time is 713. Do I have a motion to adjourn, please? motion. Thank you, Tony. Second, please. Okay. Thank you, Doc. All those in favor of a journey. I. I mean, he is now adjourned. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Good night. Bye. Bye, everybody. Thank you so much. care.