The Meigs County General Health District (Health Department) Advisory Council convened on March 28 in the basement meeting room of the Pomeroy Library. There were eight of 13 townships; four of five Villages and the Board of County Commissioners represented. There were three guests; six elected officials; two Board of Health Members; seven Health Department employees in attendance as well as contract Medical Director Douglas Hunter, MD.
What is the District Advisory Council (DAC)? Per Ohio Revised Code 3709.3: There is hereby created in each general health district a DAC. A council shall consist of the president of the board of county commissioners, the chief executive of each municipal corporation not constituting a city health district, and the president of the board of township trustees of each township. The board of county commissioners, the legislative body of a municipal corporation, and the board of township trustees of a township may select an alternate from among themselves to serve if the president, the chief executive, or the president of the board of township trustees is unable to attend any meeting of the DAC. When attending a meeting on behalf of a council member, the alternate may vote on any matter on which the member is authorized to vote. The council shall meet annually in March at a place determined by the chair and the health commissioner for the purpose of electing the chair and the secretary, making necessary appointments to the board of health, receiving and considering the annual or special reports from the board of health, and making recommendations to the board of health or to the department of health in regard to matters for the betterment of health and sanitation within the district or for needed legislation. The secretary of the council shall notify the district health commissioner and the director of health of the proceedings of such meeting. The district health commissioner shall attend all meetings of the council.
The council has adopted by-laws governing its meetings, the transaction of business, and voting procedures. All sessions, and when necessary special sessions, of the District Advisory Council are held in full compliance with the Sunshine Law of the Ohio Revised Code.
The council organizes by selecting a chair and secretary from among its members. Officers may be re-elected. Current Chair Joe Bolin of Rutland Township opted to relinquish his duties. Therefore, Marco Jeffers of Columbia Township was unanimously voted upon to be the new Chair. Jeffers was the DAC Secretary; consequently, Racine Mayor J. Scott Hill was elected to be the new DAC Secretary. The term of each office is one year or until their successors are duly elected. Any officer may be removed at any time by a majority vote of all members.
Jeffers as the Chair conducts all meetings of the District Advisory Council, signs records thereof, and performs generally all the duties performed by chairpersons of like bodies or corporations. He is ex-officio, a member of all committees with the right to vote. Jeffers and/or Hill with assistance from me [the Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) Administrator] offers to certify each delegate to an annual or special meeting mileage accrued to and from the meeting and to verify the delegate’s attendance. Delegates are entitled to $5 per meeting and necessary expenses to be paid by the municipal corporation or township he/she represents in addition to regular compensation. Eligible attendees rarely opt to receive this reimbursement.
The DAC appoints five members of the board of health (BOH). At least one member of the BOH is a physician. Appointments are made with due regard to equal representation of all parts of the district. There were three candidates for two unexpired BOH terms. The Membership voted via ballot to appoint Pam Patterson of Chester Township to serve an unexpired term March 2014-2019 vacated by Jim Clifford, Jr. and Eric Rock of Columbia Township to serve an unexpired term March 2013-2018 vacated by Gene Jeffers. Wilma Mansfield, MD was appointed as the BOH Medical Member (term March 2017-2022), which was previously held by James Witherell, MD. The three new BOH Members’ first meeting will be April 11 at 5 p.m. in the conference room of the Meigs County Health Department (MCHD).
During the DAC meeting, Marc Barr was introduced as the new, part-time Meigs County Health Commissioner. Attending MCHD employees were also introduced. I, as the MCHD Administrator, presented the 2016 Annual Report including services rendered, fiscal information and reportable communicable disease data for each township. To view the report, visit www.meigs-health.com.
MCHD staff members Laura Cleland and Michelle Willard surveyed attendees and gathered responses to understand more about the health issues seen in their community and what they think could be done to improve the health of their community. These staffers also wanted to hear how attendees find out about health and health services and the best ways to promote this information. Responses will be used to update the 2015 Community Health Assessment (which also can be viewed at www.meigs-health.com).
Attendees were told about the status of the Meigs County Community Health Improvement Plan, which is being facilitated by the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College and the Get Healthy Meigs! Coalition thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Health. Five priority areas being addressed include substance abuse, maternal and child health, workforce development, chronic disease and healthy behaviors. Execution of the five-year plan, which currently is being finalized and will be posted on the MCHD’s website, will be a collaborative effort of numerous partners throughout the County.
With no other business to be discussed, it was announced that the next DAC meeting will take place in March 2018 on a date and at a location to be determined.
Courtney C. Midkiff, BSC, Administrator
Courtney Midkiff is the Administrator/Vital Statistics Registrar with the Meigs County Health Department