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Environmental Health and Safety Staff Meeting Recap

By RJ Beck, Environmental Health Coordinator

The Environmental Health and Safety staff met on Oct. 27 at Boone County Extension Center for an annual training. The day’s agenda moved briskly, with nine different presentations on various topics.

Division Director Steve Divine led off the training by recapping accomplishments from 2017 including:

  • More than 16,000 services completed by Environmental Health and Safety staff
  • Disaster preparedness planning and coordinating a drive-thru clinic drill in May
  • Mosquito control and surveillance efforts
  • Collaboration with St. Elizabeth on new policies and procedures around rabies

A late breaking update on the construction of the new building was also presented by Steve, and blueprints and a rendering were available for all to see.

Dr. Saddler then gave a State of the Health Department address.

Ted Talley and Stella Barber facilitated a simulated food-borne illness outbreak exercise titled “Queasy Rider.” Staff divided into four groups to investigate reports and focus on the suspected source of the outbreak. After much discussion, it was determined that a campylobacter outbreak had occurred among a local motorcycle rally stemming from tainted cheese at an unlicensed chili cook-off. Fortunately for staff working on the simulated investigation, the scenario had our own Jimmy Newman (owner of a motorcycle) having taken part in the rally, giving an inside scoop to assist in the investigation.

The day was rounded out with several brief but helpful and informative presentations by Tony Powell, Laura Strevels, R.J. Beck, Ted Talley and Justin Hancock; along with a presentation from Colleen Bray of Boone County Animal Control about the recent distemper outbreak at the shelter.

Lastly, several staff were recognized for achieving service milestones, including:

  • Sheila Edwards – 15 years
  • Stacy New – 15 years
  • Jimmy Newman – 20 years