HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

Monday, May 9, 2022 - 10:30 AM

 

 

 

Joe Pete Wilson, Chairperson

Charles Harrington, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Wilson called this Human Services Meeting to order at 10:40 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, Tom Scozzafava, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler Joe Pete Wilson, Davina Winemiller, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright.Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Derek Doty and Jim Monty were excused.

 

Department Heads present: Linda Beers, Jim Dougan, Dan Palmer, Judy Garrison, Krissy Leerkes, Michael Mascarenas and Terri Morse.

 

News Media:Tim Rowland Ė SUN

 

 

WILSON:Okay letís get our Human Services committee underway.I think weíve got enough members, Mike Mascarenas Ė Department of Social Services.

 

MASCARENAS:Good morning.I donít have any resolutions today but with the temperatures outside this week you can see that summer is quickly approaching for a lot of you that run day camps and whatnot hopefully youíve been able to get some people to apply to those jobs.I know some of you were struggling with that.We do have trainings that are being set up.I know a couple of you have asked about it.Weíre waiting on use of facilities forms right now and confirmation from the trainers typically they will be that last week in June before your program is open in terms of first aid and CPR.RTE is another training that weíre trying to get established.Every day camp has to have those individuals trained and they have to have CPR for the professional rescuer for those individuals in order to operate a summer day camp.Those trainers are getting harder and harder to come by like everything else.Weíve been hearing and not only Essex County but around the world.

One thing that we have talked about recently which is nice in talking with Max and Matt they do have access to some trainers and would be happy to help us moving forward in that endeavor so I think that would be a really nice option going forward and maybe we could do some of these trainings a little more frequently so that weíre not withholding to the very few individuals that we have in our county.

The summer food service program just so everybody knows, last couple of years you operated under waivers that had basically allowed you to not have to do, follow the traditional rules of the program those waivers have since gone away so every meal site will have to be a site that you eat at thereís no more grab and go, thereís no more delivery of the meals that is no longer allowed.Not to say you couldnít but if you did the cost would be on you not necessarily, a claimable meal that you could get reimbursed for by the State Department of Education.If you have any questions on that, give me a buzz.Weíll get you hooked up with Dee Olcott she ran the program last year, she did a good job and sheís got her feet under her this year and a better understanding of how that works and whatís going to happen other than that I donít have anything for you unless you have questions?

 

WILSON:Questions for Mike?

 

HUGHES:Good morning.I have a question.We spoke about this privately and I didnít even think about it until you were just giving your report.I wanted to bring it up because it may affect other supervisors in other municipalities in here.So, I have a family in my town who doesnít not have vehicular transportation, they are Amish and just do not have transportation and require, for a lack of a better term bumming rides from neighbors, family and friends to rely on them to get them where they need to go, medical issues and things like that.My question is, I know that weíve spoken that itís not possible to get a vehicle where might one go, another step back, Iíve been going to this website where I basically submitted a narrative about on this family on the internet to try and see if I could get a free car for them from some generous person but can you speak to me what local resources or regional resources might exist for something like this?I know that your department would handle that, correct me if Iím wrong but where could someone go to obtain a vehicle, a used vehicle for a real dire situation?

 

MASCARENAS:To actually obtain a vehicle, I canít really help you unfortunately.In terms of transportation it would really depend on the family and what services they potentially qualify for so in my world, if we had a family that was maybe a APS family or family which is Adult Protective or if they had children in the household, if they were a preventative family we would look to get them rides places.You know MAS handles a lot of that medical transportation for those Medicaid eligible families, they handle those types of rides.APS often itís not unusual for us to try to bring people to meet their basic needs, grocery shopping and those types of things, appointments they may have for themselves or children but in terms of actually getting a vehicle thereís not a lot I can do.Jim does have daily bus runs for his transportation department but again, those are very limited in terms of meeting peopleís personal needs and not having long waits in terms of appointments and that sort of thing.I think probably Krissy does some things depending on the clientele with the senior citizen group in terms of transportation but in terms of getting a car I canít really help you with that. I apologize.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Thereís an organization in Vermont, I just sent you the link because I had an old van that I donated to them and they take them and they rehab them.I donít know if they do it for New York State but there are organizations out there and they did me a big favor taking the van.

 

WILSON:Anything else?

 

DEZALIA:Did you check with the United Way?

 

HUGHES:Weíve had conversation, yes.Thank you.

 

WILSON: Anything else for Mike?Thank you.Terri Morse Ė Mental Health.

 

MORSE:Good morning everyone.And Ken, just to piggyback on that conversation if the individuals are recipients of Medicaid insurance then for their health care, mental health, any kind of a health type of appointment they can access Medicaid transportation which is free.

 

HUGHES:Thank you.

 

MORSE:So I have a number of resolutions that I would like to jump into resolutions if I may but if there are any questions about my report Iíd be happy to entertain any questions about my report.With none, letís jump into resolutions.So, I kind of arranged the resolution packet so they went from the simplest what we call, low hanging fruit in my office to more complicated.So I have two resolutions that are carry forward one is in the amount of $257,795.10, for CARES revenue that hopefully we will be able to utilize all of that.Thatís in the combination of the health department and Mental Health but we may have to pay some of that back.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $257,795.10, CARRY OVER CARES FUNDS.Scozzafava, Wright

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor, aye Ė any opposed, motion carries.Thank you, please go ahead.

 

MORSE:In 2016, Essex County Mental Health received a bequeath in the amount of $85,000 and we still have some funding left over from that, that we would like to utilize and so I have $15,898.49, that I would like to carry forward.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $15,898.49, CARRY OVER CARES FUNDS.Scozzafava, Stanley

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor, aye Ė any opposed, motion carries.Thank you.

 

MORSE:And resolution #3, which should say, Human Services committee by the way, is so the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition is putting together a Fun Run and it is happening on July 17 and we applied for a grant from the Adirondack Foundation in the amount of $7,600.00, and a non-profit organization had to be the applicant so Mental Health Association, bless their hearts agreed to apply for the funding on behalf of the coalition but we would like to map that over to Essex County mental Health with a transfer of funds and then we will be setting up a separate bank account that will be, this money will be seed money and then there will be additional monies that we will be collecting through the Fun Run and so it will become a sustainable funded revenue stream for Essex County.So, itís two, itís one to accept the funding from the Mental Health Association to the county and then Number two, to set up an account through I believe itís the bank across the street.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $7,600.00, MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION OF ESSEX COUNTY TO ASSIST IN FUNDING THE VIVID LIFE RUN HOSTED BY THE ESSEX COUNTY SUICIDE PREVENTION COALITION AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING A SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT TO BE SET UP TO RECEIVE FUNDS RAISED FOR THE ESSEX COUNTY SUICIDE PREVENTION COALITION. Wright, Wood

 

WILSON:Any questions?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Dan, is this the way we do it?

 

PALMER:Yeah, thatís fine.We donít need two resolutions, we can just do that as a resolution authorizing the amount and setting up the bank account.

 

WILSON:Any other questions?All in favor, aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.Thank you.

 

MORSE:Thank you.The next resolution is about receiving a grant or funding from the Office of Mental Health to start a satellite at Champlain Valley Educational Services (CVES) in Mineville and I was encouraged to show you on a map what communities have school based Mental Health Services.In future, I will not make everything a star but what I will say to you is that anything with two little stars in it mean they have adult services so we have a satellite clinic in North Elba at the Town Hall and also in Ticonderoga at the hospital so there are two communities that have adult services outside of the Elizabethtown main office and then, every other place where there is one star is a school based satellite clinic and the thing that I like about us doing, opening up one at CVES is that really, that covers every school in Essex County and it focuses on the more higher needs kids within our communities so we are starting a school and receiving $25,000 to do so from OMH.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000.00, SCHOOL BASED MENTAL HEALTH CLINIC SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH GRANT FROM THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH.Hughes, Harrington

 

WILSON:Any questions?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So on the in person adult services, explain that?What exactly is that?

 

MORSE:Sure.So we have staff who are working out of a satellite clinic and right now in Lake Placid and Ticonderoga and they deliver services to community members in person meaning, human being to human being no video or telephone.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:At a specific location obviously?

 

MORSE:Right, in Lake Placid we used to be at Adirondack Health before they transferred their location and so Lake Placid at the time, Mr. Politi was willing to allow us to transfer that group of clients over to the Town Hall.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:So is location the biggest difficulty in having the in person adult services in communities, finding a suitable location?

 

MORSE:No, itís staffing.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Staffing?

 

MORSE: Yes.

 

SCOZZAFAVA: Okay, thank you.

 

MORSE:Your welcome.

 

WOODS:Iím curious, I see the towns at the top end of the county donít have any stars is that because they are not in need, thereís no need or is there no staffing or?

 

MORSE:So Ausable School is on the border of Clinton and Essex and BHSN Ė Behavioral Health Services North has a satellite office for that group of kids.So North Elba School based services would serve those other groups and then some kids that live in that St. Armand probably go to Saranac Lake and Saranac Lake has school based services provided by citizen advocates in Franklin County.

 

WOODS:Thank you.

 

MORSE:Your welcome.

 

PALMER:Terri, what happens after the $25,000 is gone?

 

MORSE:Well, by then the services will be up and running enough so that insurance reimbursement will cover the cost of the services provided.

 

PALMER:So whatís the $25,000 specifically used for?

 

MORSE:We can use it for advertising, I can share it with the school if they need like a desk or some sort of equipment but most of it will go to helping us recruit and train a school satellite provider.

 

WILSON:Any further questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.

 

MORSE:So May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and I have prepared a resolution that I would like for your group to support and Iím not going to read it out loud but would appreciate you all just acknowledging the fact that mental health is a serious issue especially now in the year 2022 after the pandemic and that all making mental health and I like to call it mental wellness sometimes because we all have mental wellness so itís really not about a group of people itís about all of us being mentally well.

 

WILSON:So I need a motion to designate May, Mental Health Awareness Month.

 

RESOLUTION DESIGNATING THE MONTH OF MAY 2022 AS NATIONAL MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH AND MAY 1-7, 2022 AS NAITONAL CHILDRENíS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK.Stanley, Wood

 

WILSON:Thank you, any questions?All in favor, aye, any opposed Ė thank you, motion carries.

 

MORSE:So the next resolution is probably the more important resolution in this entire packet and what Iím asking for in this resolution is for us to be allowed to add up to, two additional staff members, front line therapists to our group.Iíve provided the budget to do so.Those numbers are what I would call, worse-case scenario being the highest level of insurance needs and then I also provided you an addendum to the resolutions and on the back side of that page, I provided you with an outline of what a front line therapist actually means to Essex County Mental Health because I would imagine, if I were sitting in your shoes youíd hear, add staff equals add expense and so yes, it adds an expense but our front line therapists are individuals that are meeting at least six people a day and that is covered with insurance reimbursement.Nine therapists that are front line therapists are actually individuals that generate revenue for us so they not only come with their costs but help us with the cost of other additional staffing needs in our organization so theyíre actually a benefit to our bottom line.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO HIRE TWO LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH CLINICIANS. Scozzafava, Wright

WILSON:Questions?

 

GILLILLAND:Terri, we are only a few months out from budget season why is there an urgency in here?

 

MORSE:So in 2021, specifically when I heard my colleagues across the state saying those that have you know, clinics and were Directors of community services for example, one county said they went from thirteen therapists down to three and so I anticipated that in 2021, that would actually happen in Essex County but low and behold, it did not.I actually was able to retain our number of staff and even grow our number of staff in 2021 and 2022 so whatís happening though is because of the pandemic weíre getting more and more request for services from primary care, from the Office for the Aging, from schools and so I just cannot meet the demand in services with the amount of clinicians we have on staff.So, not only did we not lose staff but the demand had continued to what I would call pour in, we cannot meet it and the other thing too is that most of the therapists have gone from a caseload size of you know, around fifty to about sixty-five so not only did we increase the number of services with those staff members but we just keep getting more and more requests.

 

GILLILLAND:I would note that all the human services agencies in the county are experiencing that same phenomenon.Have you gone over with Dan or with Linda on this because during the last budget season there was issues with revenues and appropriations I just want to see if this has been analyzed independently?

 

MORSE:Right.

 

PALMER: Yeah, we did.We looked at it.Iím okay.

 

HUGHES:Two questions, first one, how quickly do we receive the reimbursement from the insurance or slowly from the insurance?

 

MORSE:It depends on what insurance company, Medicaid and managed care is pretty quick in reimbursement.Sorry, did I say Medicaid?If I said, Medicare they are like the slowest so managed Medicaid and Medicaid are the most quick in reimbursement and thatís the largest majority of our services.

 

HUGHES:Thank you.My second question is, where on this map would these two individuals go?

 

MORSE:So, probably one of them would stay at Elizabethtown and serve the majority of adults.The other one would be, we donít let our staff members be in schools five days a week because we want them to have the culture of our organization so each of them would probably have satellite responsibilities and then Elizabethtown main office responsibilities so itís a shared, two days out, three days in so with kids and adults would be both served.

 

HUGHES:Thank you.

 

McNALLY:The Town of Minerva doesnít have a school program, is it because they donít need, havenít asked for it?

 

MORSE:So the Town of Minerva is actually served by BHSN.

 

McNALLY:What is that?

 

MORSE:Behavioral Health Services North has a satellite in Minerva.I donít serve them.Essex County does not serve them.Those little stars are for what is served by Essex County.

 

McNALLY:And why do they cover Minerva instead of Essex County?

 

MORSE:Because Minerva, I was not able to find a staff member who lived in that area and also, Behavioral Health Services North has an employee who lives in Chestertown and so it was very convenient for BHSN to set up a satellite in Minerva.

 

McNALLY:How about the cost for that?Does Minerva pay BHSN?

 

MORSE: Yes, they do.

 

McNALLY:We pay taxes in Essex County, before we pay an outside firm from Warren County it seems like we should be covering the district or at least getting reimbursed the town for coverage outside the county in all fairness.

 

MORSE:Yup, thatís a good point.Thank you for that.

 

McNALLY:Any other questions?

 

DEZALIA:Iím not on this committee but in looking at this report, I see things listed of what happens if we donít get more licensed staff and then I donít think we can handle the scenario but if we can add services to almost 300 more people I donít understand what the question is, why we wouldnít do this?Especially when thereís, with the revenues coming in thereís a possible gain for us with those additional revenues and then we are able to provide services for almost 300 more people and it sounds like Tom is saying he needs that service in his community from what I kind of sound from him?

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Well, I mean I think we all realize that the last two and a half years the need has increased dramatically.I absolutely support this.It is something that is needed.I mean, if we were talking about something with cancer or something else thereís no question.Obviously we need to realize that mental health is a huge issue.Itís about time that has been recognized.

 

MORSE:Thank you Tom.

 

WILSON:Any further questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries thank you.

 

MORSE:Thank you so much for that.I do have one more quick resolution as my hat of the Director of Community Services we do have a new member for the Development of Disabilities Subcommittee that we would like to invite into our board.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF SARA EVANS AS A MEMBER OF THE ESSEX COUNTY COMMUNITY SERVICES BOARD DEVELOPMENT DISABILITY SUBCOMMITTEE FOR A TERM EFFECTIVE 4/13/2022 Ė 12/31/2024.Hughes, Wright

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.Thank you.

 

MORSE:Thatís it.

 

WILSON:Anything else?Any other questions for Terri?Alright, thank you very much.And now we have Public Health, Linda Beers.

 

BEERS:Good morning.Iím going to start with my resolutions as well.I think itís easy and then I will review a few key points in my report and I believe the first resolution I have is to apply for accept funds from the Adirondack Foundation in the amount of $5,000, this is brought to us by our WIC Department theyíve applied for that and later on in my report thereís a definition of what weíre doing with it.Itís Farm to Table and getting WIC recipients to go to actual local farms, pick their own produce and pay for it and have cooking lessons.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH WIC DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $5,000.00, ADIRONDACK FOUNDATION.Hughes, Wood

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries, thank you.

 

BEERS:So the next resolution is, Iím sure you are all following the Governorís budget but the Essex County Health Department, well, Iíll just read it itís also in my report.So the first time since the Stateís fiscal year 2013-í14 local health departments are seeing an investment in Article 6, State aid and mandated services for core public health.In the new Governorís budget, they have allocated for partial service counties which we are, an increase of $77,500, in our base grant.That is forever in our base grant increased, after meeting with Mr. Palmer and saying, how do I go about this?He recommended that I move in this process and so the Essex County Health Department is requesting approval from the Board of Supervisors aka, the Board of Health to create a new position, Disease Specialist.If you remember, we had this position we absolved it because we had an RN apply and the RN licensing was higher than the Disease Specialist and when we can get an RN, we use an RN.Now we are back to struggling to get RNís and the Disease Specialist, one of the biggest reasons of core public health especially is that they are readying us in trying to prepare us for long term pandemic response and many viruses, not just Covid obviously, but rabies increased, tics, Lyme disease all of those things so we found that really evaluating all of our staff that a disease specialist position could be completely funded in this amount will cover everything from fringe to everything else this $77,500 and so we would like to create the position of Disease Specialist and post it with this extra funding.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING TO CREATE THE POSITION OF DISEASE SPECIALIST IN PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT, IN THE AMOUNT OF $77,500.00, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM BASE GRANT FUNDING.Harrington, Hughes

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.Thank you.

 

BEERS:I do have one other one and that is the Essex County Health Department requesting approval to the Board of Supervisors Aka Board of Health to appoint Cory Murphy, Boquet Valley School Nurse to our Professional Advisory Council.

 

RESOLUTION APPOINTING CORY MURPHY, BOQUET VALLEY SCHOOL NURSE TO THE PROFESSIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (PAC) AND THE PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL (PHAC).Hughes, Stanley

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.Thank you.

 

BEERS:And now I will just quickly review my report, community level update, disregard that when I wrote that, itís inaccurate today.On Thursday it changes, every Thursday Essex County has as much as the State of New York as going to a high level.This is not just Covid rates, this Covid is based on Covid cases, hospitalization, beds and staff thatís the new metric and Essex County and all of our buddies in upstate New York and many other parts have all in this Thursdayís group gone to a high level.I think that is evident if you know people and on the next following pages, I do thank Andrea Whitmarsh she will point out to you what the variants are.Again, Iím going to email this to you in a color format, it really is much easier for you to see the variants and it really describes to you in case you wanted to know a variant is happening and where.Also, important to know is April 29, the New York State Department of Health stopped all virtual calling, they dissolved that entire department and we took it all back in the Essex County Health Department and weíre using our health educators.We are also discontinuing universal case investigation meaning weíre calling everybody that weíre doing a risk assessment on based on age, and other factors and we are following up on people of the greatest risks and calling them and honestly when our caseloads are low we are calling everybody but if they got high we would do a risk analysis.

Page 3 Ė is treatment is now available.I really tell you this that there are antivirals out there and that when people are testing they should also be considering treatment.If you are autoimmune or over 50, youíre eligible you should at least call your doctor and see if youíre eligible for antivirals.Theyíve been extremely successful in reducing the time of illness or long term concerns of people with Covid so if you know of anybody that has Covid, I always advise the to call their doctor.You never know when your doctor would say you should be on antivirals because of some other preexisting health conditions.Down below of course is the eligibility for boosters who can get a first booster, everyone ages 12 and up and the second booster is adults 50 and over and anybody 12 and up with underling health conditions.

I think I mentioned last week, I will say, I thank Jim Dougan for this.Jim Dougan talked about and I stole it badly well, I should say about his Intern.We and this board approved a Public Health Intern and we hired Emily Jesmer.Emily was a SUNY Brockport student.I shared some information with Shaun and Dan last week about her presentation she did to SUNY Brockport.They were marveled by what sheís done at the Health Department, they said it was one of the best internships she had had.She did a great job of thanking Essex County.Sheís doing a survey as one of her final projects so I encourage you, if you can link on there and give her that support that would be great.Emily also graduates in May and hopes to apply for one of our positions for a full time employee so exactly what we had hoped for and I couldnít be happier.

Also talking about the Excelsior pass.People call us all the time, they continually lose their cards and we encourage everybody to get the Excelsior pass and you can do what is called the Pass Plus to put on your other boosters and if you have that then you have that information on your phone, in case you lose your card.

Also, we are in the middle of our sore public health programming which is that community health assessment.If your new, they come due every three years, itís an unbelievable wealth of information you want them and we get it, we do it digitally and we often make a few packets they are very thick and itís really, specific to Essex County weíre just telling you right now weíre in Step 4, to collect and analyze and on that, we have a survey so Iím encouraging you to do if you only have time for one survey, this one is really important to your towns.This is important to where we get our data so I encourage you to really, do that survey and represent your town.

And then if you saw, the County health rankings came out.In Essex County we donít often put a huge amount in this because we always do well and counties across the state that do poorly trust me, their boards really look at this number.Out of 62 counties in New York State, we rank 13 in health factors and 19th in health outcomes.We did very well and we often do.We have an increased in health over the last several years and Iíd like to say, itís partially because of all of our combined efforts in moving these, many of the survey questions the data showed an increase in services to residents in Essex County.I encourage you to look at that report.We also did a press release on it.

Moving ahead, please note about bats.We have had an increase. We did a lot more than most people.We have a steady increase in bat exposure and rabies exposures consistently since the beginning of rabies.There is a legitimate concern meaning that we are vaccinating or immunizing over a course of 14 days and you do not want rabies prophylaxis it is not a fun thing.Itís injections in your stomach and it goes by your weight and sometimes it can be as many as nine injections at one time, over a 14-day period.It is not something pleasant so we really encourage people about that safety and what it means and we have a whole campaign on it.

Also next up is the rabies clinics theyíve been really successful.We are doing great at that and the new format of drive thru has been really greatly appreciated.

Chronic disease, public health preparedness Ė I think I told you all last week, we hired a new gal Amber Levesque from Newcomb, New York and she came to us with great experience.

Jim is not here today but one of the big things that we talked about was childrenís services unit.So I brought to your attention our preschool program, our center based program is closing.I want to tell you; Iíve met endlessly with every school district.I still have meetings going on to try and get one of our schools, two of our schools in Essex County to pick up from any private industry equally Iíve met, probably at least six times and I have three more meetings again to go over this.We really, desperately need a center based program in Essex County to support our kids.A center based program in pre-school.At this moment in time, this is important to your constituents we have a wait list in preschool of 13 children for special ed instruction, 8 of them in Moriah alone and 10 waiting for speech therapy.In early intervention we have 10 children waiting for speech therapy, 4 for special instructions and 2 waiting for physical therapy.I can really tell you, Lucianna Celotti does an amazing job soliciting people.She goes to the colleges; she goes to the universities.We are encouraging people now getting out of college to go for one of these domains.We usually get people that are retired that have done that especially in speech therapy, the office of profession continues to increase the requirement of what you need. You need to have a masterís degree now in speech pathology, physical therapy you need a doctorate it did not used to be that way four years ago.So, they increase what is required educational statue wide but the pay rate hasnít gone up and for kiddos coming out of college that have now got their PhD and all that college and all that money entailed, itís really hard for them to take a job like this even if they wanted to given the reimbursement rates and these are contracted positions, many of them right?So, this is not unique to Essex County.It is shortage all across the United States and certainly hard hit in rural areas where we donít have anybody else.

Home health unit Ė National Nurses Week was May 6-12, please, please I will say their names out loud Iíd like to thank, Kelly Rich, Deb Cox, Cathy Selkirk, Shawna Barber, Brittany Krasher, Brandi Cotrupe, Patty Crowningshield, Cara Graves, Kelly Bush, Ruth Corle, Danielle Rohrer, Jon Schrader, Tara Spaulding and Jen Newberry.These are the nurses that make up the Essex County Health Department, couldnít be more pleased with all of them and all the hard work we did. If you take a minute below, Iím on page 8, these are accolades from many of the residents all over Essex County.I just added a few of them so you would know what people say about them and then celebrating the history of nursing and Florence Nightingale and the Lady with the Lamp and you can read that.I think really interesting is nursing statistics, there are four times as many nurses in the United States as there is physicians.The average age of a registered nurse right now is 52 years old, thatís across the United States.Men comprise 9.4% of them.The median salary of a registered nurse in 2020 was $75,330, thereís over 3 million open nursing jobs in the United States right now just to give you an idea of where weíre headed.

And lastly, I will turn your attention to WIC.†† The WIC program just received the $5,000 from the Adirondack Foundation.I tell you and I encourage you, Krista Berger does an amazing amount of things with little groups of money.She always goes after philanthropy money.Iíve added up what she takes in a year and you would be amazed how it doesnít cost our taxpayers, she uses all these small grants.This one is a collaboration of two local farms, it will run for an eight-week series where participants and their families will come to the farm, pick their own vegetables, prior to each picking session, a short educational workshop will be held topics will include how to store and prepare foods that they pick and they will include children in the cooking process, quick, canning and vegetable freezing information.With the price of produce and whatnot families are more eager than ever to really get their hands involved in this.We also offer seeds and have been sending packets of seeds out to every one of our WIC recipients and encourage them to plant small gardens.

Also, itís not in this report because it is just an emergent issue.I bring to you that there is you can assess this for yourself, I encourage you if you find this please let me know.Thereís been a formula shortage.So moms that havenít breastfed or certainly if the baby is on breastmilk Similac has been recalled for a variety of reasons and Enfamil is another one.We have shortages all across our region significantly like if your baby needs formula thereís really no substitute for that.So weíre assessing it as we speak.I did look at Amazon, Walmart some of those places online to see if we could get it, they are all sold out.So itís not just Essex County but it really hits you in a rural county.They did have some at Kinneyís but they donít have it at Tops so thatís how it is going.So in a rural area where many of our people struggle and number one barrier we say repeatedly is transportation we need to ensure, WIC dollars can be used to purchase the formula that isnít available right now so Iím really trying to assess the need of that.itís not been really widely set in the press I think they are worried to cause panic because it is a panic situation.I can tell you so much so that in the last couple weeks weíve dropped shipped it, the State has dropped shipped cans of formula throughout our county to ensure that there was enough here.So I just bring it up to your attention that that is an emergent issue and weíre aware and weíre working on and that concludes our report.

 

TYLER:Whatís your opinion on the second booster shot?

 

BEERS:I would really get it.How about that?Iím just going to be truthfully honest, I got Covid.If you didnít know that, about three weeks ago now I was scheduled to get my second booster shot on Monday.I really believed if I had gotten it I would not have gotten Covid.Me and my staff, we made it two and a half years we are still masked in my office we never didnít stop masking and we succumbed.Weíve been giving lots and lots of boosters but my staff that got Covid was really from the children, all school age moms that had children at home that were school age.So, I would honestly, seriously recommend it. I donít know why you wouldnít?Now the recommendation is going to be three months out after having Covid you will get it.I will be the first one signed up.You can hear my throat scratchy thatís my, really the only affect I did have from Covid but would also tell you I took the antivirus.I called my doctor and she said absolutely and she prescribed it from day one I was diagnosed I took an at home test, I took them from day one and I took them for five days, six pills a day, three in the morning, three at night itís not an easy step but I did because amongst all things I didnít want to be a long hauler.I didnít want something that comes up three months from now, six months from now.I have younger staff that werenít necessarily eligible for the antiviral and one of them still has great fatigue, sheís really exhausted and she had it a week before me.I feel fabulous except for a scratchy throat so thatís my answer. I donít know why you wouldnít.

 

WOOD:Is there going to be another one in the fall?

 

BEERS:I donít know. Thatís when I will be ready for my third shot, or my second booster I should say.Who knows?Honestly Covid continues to change.What will the flu look like this year, right?I mean, thatís the craziest thing again, the problem with Covid is why weíre talking about it is because of the high risk and now the metric is not just cases itís hospitalization and our high levels as our beds are going up in the hospital so itís not just a regular cold, right?People do get more hospitalized for this, if they didnít, we would have really said it was an endemic at this point and let it go so we are still tracking it.Weíve always been but much more so now it is up to a personal responsibility.

 

WILSON:Any other questions?

 

HUGHES:Are you still coordinating with the School Superintendents?

 

BEERS:We still meet.We book it every other week, all the time we talk with them, all the time.WE offer boosters to all of their teachers and whatnot, they were doing a poll, they really didnít feel that there was need for them most of the people have gotten it and so we are, just in case anybody else wants to know, we are still testing every unvaccinated teacher, every week, they are not happy about it but thatís still a regulation if youíre not vaccinated in a school district you are tested every week to make sure youíre not positive.

 

HUGHES:Thank you.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yeah, I spoke with Dan this morning, I know in the hallway there are still cases of tests, that expired by the way.

 

BEERS:A lot of them have been extended so we will have to look at your case numbers.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Yeah, Iím going to take one back.

 

BEERS: Take one.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:And encourage more people to take the home test if you donít feel good.

 

BEERS: Yeah, and what happens too is people take once and oh, Iím negative and you still have the same symptoms for two days take them the next day, take them the next day these tests are yours to use.Thereís not a shortage in Essex County.Take them, take them, take them.I will have to say Essex County does an amazing job of reporting.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:The problem is the test doesnít show a positive until youíve already been out and infected everyone.

 

BEERS:Thereís truth to that right?Thatís what happens you are infectious prior to.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:I didnít feel well for four days after I was near Ike and then I tested positive four days later.

 

BEERS:Well, itís the viral node of what those tests pick up.

 

WILSON:Anything else?Alright, thank you Linda.And now, Krissy Leerkes from the Office for the Aging.

 

LEERKES:Good morning.You guys have a copy of my report.I do want to just highlight that our eleven funded congregate sites that are located in local communities around the county, nine are up and running.One will be our Ti site will be up and running fairly soon they just have to do some staffing and that just leaves our lone Elizabethtown site that still needs to be staffed and open up.

I do have two resolutions.The first is May is also known as Older Americanís Month so I have a sample proclamation that I will also not read but just a resolution to recognize that.

 

RESOLUTION PROCLAIMING MAY 2022 AS OLDER AMERICANíS MONTH.Scozzafava, Hughes

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries.Thank you.

 

LEERKES:And my last one is permission to purchase one new and unused mid-size sedan not to exceed $27,000.00, and weíll use our CARES and our Families First Coronavirus Response Act funding.As Terri noted and as Mr. Gillilland noted, everybody in the Human Services world is seeing a drastic increase and need for services and my population whether they have transportation or not they are not going to come to Elizabethtown.Weíve seen an increase of individuals that we are making home visits on.We do have a small fleet of cars which is four so this will add for a little bit you know that fifth car to get another staff person out and just really, really needed at this time.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASING AGENT TO PURCHASE A NEW AND UNUSED MID-SIZE SEDAN IN THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING DEPARTMENT IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $27,000.00, WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM CARES AND FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT FUNDING.Wright, Wood

 

WILSON:Any questions?

 

HUGHES:Two quick questions.One, is this adding to your fleet or replacing?

 

LEERKES:Right now it is going to be adding to our fleet.We have a car itís a 1998, Ford Focus.Sheís getting pretty tired.So I anticipate within the next year or two she will be surplused but right now sheís running thanks to Jimís mechanics so it will add to the fleet right now.

 

HUGHES:Let me know when you surplus that.(laughter) Also, whereís the balance, after the expenditure of $5200, come from?Does that come from budgeted funds?

 

LEERKES:Iím sorry Iíve got to look at that.Oh, so right now we have, for these two funds we have $32,000 and then once we spend the $27,000 it will bring our balance down to $5,000 we still have left to spend and then we have additional, we have another five, Covid funds I think in the tune of $191,000 that weíre looking at areas that we can address to spend that money.

 

HUGHES:Great, thank you.

 

WILSON:Any other questions?

 

McNALLY:Last week I believe we had one of your employees down to our meal site that went over everything and I guess it was really, really well received.People really like it.She knew all the programs and was good at it.

 

LEERKES:Yeah, anytime like if you want somebody to come to a town board or if you have an organization where a group in your community that would benefit from a presentation just a general overview we would send either myself or most likely the person that covers your towns.Hopefully you have met them.If not, let me know and I will make sure that you are meeting them.They should be stopping in and seeing you on a regular basis.

 

McNALLY:it was very well received and the people there were very thankful.

 

WILSON:All in favor of the motion on the floor aye, any opposed Ė motion carries. Thank you.Anything else for Krissy?Thank you very much.Anything from the floor?Supervisors have anything?Alright this committee meeting is adjourned and weíll have solid waste in five minutes.

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Human Services committee it was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors