Stories indexed with the term ‘H1N1 flu’

A Night of Transitions at County Board

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (March 17, 2010): The theme of Wednesday night’s meeting was one of transitions, as commissioners voted to dissolve the county’s land bank authority, join a regional energy office, and approve a contract for the next county administrator, Verna McDaniel.

Wes Prater, Paul Schreiber

County commissioner Wes Prater, left, talks with Ypsilanti mayor Paul Schreiber before the start of Wednesday's county board of commissioners meeting. Schreiber came to speak in support of the county's land bank. In the background is deputy clerk Jason Brooks. (Photos by the writer.)

Commissioners also got an update from their lobbyist in Lansing, who spoke of upcoming transitions in state government that will impact the county. Kirk Profit said the turnover in the legislature, governor’s office and other administrative posts could lead to opportunities for the county. Several commissioners raised concerns over the state budget and state funding for local programs, and are worried that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Wednesday’s meeting also included two official farewells to long-time county employees: finance director Pete Ballios and Trenda Rusher, director of the county’s Employment Training and Community Services (ETCS) department. Both received standing ovations from commissioners, staff and others in the boardroom. [Full Story]

County Reorganizes 911 Dispatch

Ken Weber

Ken Weber of Weber's Restaurant & Hotel, foreground, sits next to Kevin Gudejko of Main Street Ventures at the Nov. 4 county board of commissioners meeting. They were among the restaurateurs who spoke at a public hearing and questioned the need for a proposed food safety training program. (Photo by the writer.)

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners (Nov. 4, 2009): After removing a major item from their agenda – the 2010/2011 budget – county commissioners spent the bulk of their Nov. 4 meeting listening to presentations, reports, and a public hearing. Commissioners also voted and approved a new tax to raise roughly $603,000 annually for economic development. The 0.04 mills will be collected on the December 2009 tax bill.

Sheriff Jerry Clayton spoke about plans to reorganize the county’s central dispatch and emergency services operation. Changes include co-location of the county and the city of Ann Arbor’s central dispatch, which will both be housed in Ann Arbor.

Dick Fleece, director of the county’s Public Health/Environmental Health department, gave an update on the H1N1 outbreak and vaccination clinics in Washtenaw County. [On Monday, Nov. 9, the county announced a new clinic for mass immunization of people in expanded priority categories. That clinic will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.]

Commissioners also heard concerns from local restaurant owners and managers – including Ken Weber of Weber’s Restaurant & Hotel, and Rick Strutz of Zingerman’s Deli – during a public hearing on a proposed new food safety training program. [Full Story]

County Revamps H1N1 Vaccine Strategy

At Wednesday’s briefing of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, the county’s top two public health officials gave an update on the H1N1 flu situation and their plans to retool previously planned clinics to deliver the vaccine to high-risk groups.

High demand and lower-than-anticipated supply has led to a “tremendous shortage,” said Dick Fleece, director of the county’s Public Health/Environmental Health department. And in the wake of Tuesday’s public clinic that drew hundreds of people and created safety concerns because of traffic and crowds, the county is canceling four clinics planned for next week at local high schools.

Instead, they’re scheduling a community clinic that will likely be held on Saturday, Nov. 7, at either Eastern Michigan University or Washtenaw Community College. Details will be released on Thursday, Fleece told commissioners. Update: The county will hold a clinic to vaccinate people in its high-priority categories on Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the EMU Convocation Center. [Link to directions] [Full Story]

Drive Thru Flu Shots Test Preparedness

medic prepping a flu vaccination in a garage bay

Huron Valley Ambulance medic prepping a flu vaccination shot for administration as part of Saturday's immunization clinic. (Photo by the writer.)

Last Saturday morning, The Chronicle rolled south down State Street just past I-94, turned right at the Citgo gas station and headed for Huron Valley Ambulance headquarters on State Circle. At 9 a.m. HVA medics and staff had started delivering seasonal flu shots “pit crew style” to motorists who waited in their vehicles at one of four stations in two open garage bays.

The early rush already put two dozen cars ahead of us.

Around 15 minutes later, The Chronicle was immunized against the regular, seasonal flu – but not the H1N1 variant known as “swine flu.”

The drive-through clinic was scheduled to go through 3 p.m., but around 1 p.m. Joyce Williams, HVA’s public affairs manager, began explaining to motorists that the 400 doses they’d started with were gone.

Williams started giving directions to other locations where flu shots were available: Concentra (3131 S. State St. in Ann Arbor – 734.213.6285) as well as a series of clinics through St. Joseph Mercy that are staffed by Michigan Visiting Nurses Association nurses. [Link to .PDF]

For a list of additional seasonal flu shot clinics, the American Lung Association has created a flu shot clinic locator.  [Results of ALA locator for 48103 zipcode]

After the jump, more on the HVA clinic, as well as the local arrival of the vaccine against the current H1N1 variant of the flu, which was announced today. [Link to .PDF] [Full Story]