HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE

Monday, February 13, 2023 - 10:30 AM

 

 

 

JoePete Wilson, Chairperson

Charlie Harrington, Vice-Chairperson

 

Chairman Wilson called this Human Services Meeting to order at 10:30 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Robin DeLoria, Stephanie DeZalia, Derek Doty, Shaun Gillilland, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Steve McNally, Noel Merrihew, Jim Monty, Tom Scozzafava, Matt Stanley, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson, Margaret Wood and Mark Wright.Kenneth Hughes and Davina Winemiller were excused.

 

Department Heads present: Angie Allen, Linda Beers, James Dougan, Judy Garrison, Krissy Leerkes, Michael Mascarenas and Terri Morse.††

 

Also present:Sylvie Nelson, Executive Director North Country Workforce Development Board.

 

News media:Sun News Ė Alana Penny

 

WILSON:Good morning everyone.Weíll call Human Services to order.Thank you.We do have a guest today and I would like to welcome Sylvie Nelson, the Executive Director of the North Country Workforce Development Board.So, please come on up and weíre interested to hear from you.

 

NELSON:Thank you.So thank you so much for having me this morning.I am Sylvie Nelson the Executive Director of the North Country Workforce Development Board and I also oversee another branch of our operations the North Country Workforce Partnership which is a 501c3 and that organization allows us to do complimentary work that is workforce related that the workforce development board cannot do such as run programs, apply for grants and things like that so today Iím very proud to be here to talk to you a little bit about what we have been up to and I think I was here in the fall?I know it was Covid time because I had my mask but anyway and I remember I talked to you a little bit about the authentic stem project that we were doing with CVTech at the Mineville campus regarding the New Vision applied engineering students.We had four students participate in the program and in a nutshell, it was partnership, well, it still is ongoing but it was a partnership with the University of Siegen and the students worked on the real world problems Schluter systems and I think at the time, they were in the process of working and developing the solution for the company and they were working with their counterpart in Germany to come up to that solution so since then, Iíd like to point out that the students did come up with a solution and the problem really briefly, was that Schluter systems has drain covers.If youíve ever redone a bathroom you might be familiar with the company but they have these drain covers that came in two parts and then someone was assembling them together and putting two screws into them and they would package it and they would sell them.The gentleman was maxed out at 150,000 assembly of these drain covers per year and the company did not know really what they wanted to do.Do they want to hire someone else or do they want to automate it so that was the problem put forth to the students at the Mineville campus and together, with their counterparts in Germany they came up with a prototype assembly machine but their first question was what happens to the gentleman that is doing the assembly?Is he going to lose his job if we come up with automation?And they said no, we are going to upscale him and he is going to operate the machine so now, Iím very proud to let you know that the students prototype is being built by Schluter system and those are 17 year old students and one of the students did not know what he wanted to do, had no direction and now, they were seniors last spring so now, I believe he applied to Clarkson University and is doing an engineering degree.Isnít that cool?So this is really a great project and weíre continuing, we just had a kick off on Wednesday.We went with four students in Mineville and three students in Germany to now a total of 77 students and thatís in one year and now we went from one company and now we have three companies and the companies, one of them is Beta Technologies based out of Burlington Vermont but they do test flights because it is an electric airplane company.Isnít that cool?They do that in Plattsburgh so they are working with CVTech.We have TMD Friction which is a Germany company but if you own a car, they make about 95% of the brake pads for cars and light commercial vehicles so thereís a good chance that your car has TMD Friction brake pads and then the other companies, itís out of Poughkeepsie, itís a Ė oh my gosh Iím having a blank, itís a senior moment.Iím sorry but itís a company out of Poughkeepsie where we are testing our program outside the immediate region and weíre hoping to bring it to other regions as well in the State of New York so thatís whatís going on with authentic step.We also have our own middle school participating, 8th graders and we have FEH BOCES, two students from the Malone campus and two students from the Saranac Lake campus and I donít know exactly which ones come from the Lake Placid School District verses maybe Saranac Lake or Tupper Lake but definitely with CVTech FEH BOCES in Malone middle school itís a great project for our North Country students and weíre very proud of that and weíre hoping to continue expanding it and we did receive a grant from the Northern Borders regional council for $335,000 to bring it to the next level so weíre so excited.So, thatís that for that.

And the other thing too, I just wanted to make sure you know we are always working very closely with our counties and from the Workforce Development Board side I oversee workforce development in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties and this year we have a new board of Legislator Chair in Franklin County and because of that I sent your Clerk of the Board I believe is her title, Judy Garrison?Oh, is that you?So nice to meet you.So, it is a Chief Elected Official agreement and whenever you are ready to sign it Mr. Gillilland, feel free to do that and then weíre asking all of our counties to do that because every time you have a changeover in one of the counties unfortunately we have to redo the paperwork for the State of New York so thatís in the process.

The other thing I wanted to just kind of put on your radar because this is going to be a big change.We are in the process of, we issued a request for proposal, Clinton County who has been our partner for the workforce innovation and opportunity act for I donít know how many years, at least thirty, thirty-five years they had advised us they no longer want to continue being the contract holder for adult dislocated worker and out of school youth for the funding, for the services that we provide to our clients in Clinton County.Itís not going to change anything for you because Clinton County is our fiscal agent and they have agreed to remain our fiscal agent so weíre in the process of hopefully finding another entity that will take the adult dislocated worker and youth out of school coalition which Essex County is part of, they actually have an MOU between Franklin County, Essex County and then Clinton County being the lead so hopefully thatís not going to change much, it could but we are going to make sure that whoever comes into that position is well trained and has plenty of time to also kind of ease into it with Clinton County guidance.So, thatís hopefully going to be, July 1st is the date our year starts, our fiscal year so that would be starting on July 1, 2023.So, aside from that I donít think I have anything else unless you have questions of course.

 

WILSON:Any questions?Well, thank you very much and itís great to hear of all the progress youíre making with the programs youíre doing and the countyís working on recruitment and retention and maybe we can find ways to partner up to holster our workforce here at the county.

 

NELSON:Yes, Iím having a meeting with your Assistant Manager Jim after this meeting so that we can kind of look at the different strategies and how our office can also assist you because youíre not the only one unfortunately everybody, itís the workforce development, everyone is looking for qualified employees so hopefully we can come up with some kind of ideas and ways for you to pursue that.

 

WILSON:Well, Iím glad youíre connected with Jim and thank you for jumping right in.

 

NELSON: Thank you so much for having me.Itís a pleasure, as always. Thank you.

 

WILSON:Alright, and now the Department of Social Services, Angie Allen.

 

ALLEN:Good morning.Just a few announcements before I open up for any questions.I just wanted to inform you of the official appointment of Dan Sadowski as Deputy Commissioner.I was asked last time and I did let you know that I was planning on taking the two and combining them into one so Dan Sadowski who was actually the Deputy of Mr. Mascarenas was officially appointed on Friday.He is an asset and will keep me straight and really help out with my learning curve in the financial realm so he is definitely an asset.

Another announcement was actually a transition from Bonnie Long-Stay who was the previous Confidential Secretary to Zoe Sherman, someone from Westport.I just wanted you guys to be aware so when you do contact the office youíll be speaking to Zoe Sherman.She is delightful.She is knowledgeable.She is a go getter and definitely and asset to our team. We have some exciting ideas on to really boost the resilience in the workforce and bring back some of the old school ways so I think thatís pretty cool to announce.

One more thing, which is actually huge.Mike, I hadnít gotten a chance to tell you this one but Stop DV through BHSN was given approval to put a safe house for DV victims back in Essex County.A few years ago we lost the home that we had here so weíve been having to move families either to Franklin County or Clinton County which in our realm itís just such a huge obstacle because of children and schools, transportation, custody across county lines, so a lot, a lot of obstacles but they were able to get approval to the pursuing a home inside Essex County so thatís pretty huge in our realm so itís definitely a move in the positive direction.

You guys have my report. Any questions you may have?

 

MONTY:Is that home going to be a new built home because I was with Loral Letty on Friday and she mentioned that to me about this home but she didnít, we were at the United Way so we werenít really discussing it.Iím supposed to call here this afternoon and stuff, so are they trying to locate a home that is in the county or are they going to build a home?

 

ALLEN:They are looking to look at a home within the county itself.Right now we are talking about funds and supporting her and trying to find some infrastructure and capital funds.

 

MONTY:How much is the grant for?

 

ALLEN: She was not able to tell you at that point. There was a couple other things that she wanted to line up. She was just really excited to tell me itís coming so she and I will be talking later this week.

 

MONTY:I think it would be important to have it centrally located.

 

ALLEN:Yes. Weíre definitely looking at, thereís a couple hubs in the county and taking a look at one where there is more need but itís also the confidentiality right? So, sometimes when you do put something in a hub people find out a little bit in terms of a safe house but yeah, so again, I will keep you posted but thatís really awesome, great news for the families in Essex County.

 

MONTY: Thank you.

 

DOTY:Just a quick question regarding domestic violence, in a home situation like that how does your agency oversee security for that or is the Sheriffís Department involved?I mean, certainly it is a volatile situation.

 

ALLEN:Absolutely.So the home itself is overseen by BHSN and thereís not a secure measure. The whole concept of security is kept in the confidentiality so unknown locations. Each of the counties, Franklin, Essex and Clinton operate on whatís called a waiver which means under financial eligibility also within childrenís family court can be the ability to protect the address by law we cannot give out the address to a safe house to anyone whether they are seeking financial assistance or support in the county system.So, thereís really no security other than that. They are housed with staff through the BHSN. What we financial do is just financially support it in terms of children services, the adult services.We do help with transportation. We do help with the schooling and providing the supplies to the families when necessary if there is a need for doctorís appointments or letís say, a medication we are kind of that go between on a voluntary basis.

 

DOTY:Thank you.

 

McNALLY:Just so youíre aware, Mountain Lakes Services has closed or vacated a lot of their properties in the southern part of the county, one in Schroon Lake, one in Minerva and they are an ideal facility because they meet the requirements of access for multi-family use.

 

ALLEN:Thatís a great idea, thank you.Iíll make sure I share that with Loral.

 

McNALLY: I know they had one they put on the market last week, itís a four bedroom they are ideal facilities and they are very well kept.

 

ALLEN:Yes.Great idea, thank you.

 

STANLEY:I see thereís another lifeguard training scheduled for Moriah Central School.Is there any thought to have one in the northern part of the county?

 

ALLEN:So, there was actually two trainings offered.I think there was a flyer for one.I believe we spoken about that.I know that Danís aware of the need whatís interesting of the two, when usually I think we have an eight slot open, I think we had actually opened up for nine and they were filled probably before the posting came out.

 

MASCARENAS: I think too and Iíve done this for twenty some years, the issue is really weíre withholding to the actual person providing the training so finding those individuals who are certified to be able to conduct those lifeguard trainings, working it into their schedules is the difficult part.We never were against holding a training up in Ausable. There is only two pools in the whole county, one is in Moriah and one is in Ausable. Ausable, we always felt that it might pull in more Clinton County people where we are trying to put people at your beach but weíre not against doing it if you know of a provider somebody that can do the training I think we absolutely would look at doing that for you.

 

STANLEY:I just think itís been an issue for Wilmington and Chesterfield to try and get lifeguards.

 

MASCARENAS:Yeah, everybody so if you guys have people or have providers again, anybody that is certified let us know because again, this training is really set up, we pay for it, we sponsor it but itís really about the individual who is holding the training and their availability so thatís why itís limited.

 

ALLEN:Itís my understanding that the towns will get a list of those, I believe thatís what Mr. Sadowski explained to me.Each of you will get a list of those that have been certified so their pool will be shared.

 

DELORIA:We have certified lifeguard trainings in Newcomb and Iíll just simply put them in contact with you.

 

MASCARENAS:And Linette Chase has worked with us in the past.

 

McNALLY:We run programs in the south in May and June in Minerva too.This is my personal feeling, I think the lifeguarding classes should not be taught in a pool unless youíre going to swim in a pool and Iíll tell you why itís not a controlled environmental.Weíve had people not pass the course because of fish and weeds and are you going to teach them to lifeguard in a pool and send them down where there is fish itís something to think about. Weíve had people flunk out of the class because of fish in the water.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Reading through your report, child support $2.9 million, year to date is that calendar year?

 

ALLEN:Yes, actually.So there is a monthly that we get and a year to date as well.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Wow.

 

MASCARENAS: It is basically over a twenty-two month period in DSS the way it works so you have, the State has the ability to close claims over a twenty-two month period and then they fall off provided you donít have the information but they were way behind.Itís not unusual. We were over $4 million during Covid thatís when we asked the board to take action and do a resolution itís not unusual to be about $2 million, thatís a little high, itís like your DOS grants or anything else you do, right?You spend the money and you wait for payment thatís kind of how it works.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:I thought it was a fiscal year.So, this is not just January that Iím looking at?

 

MASCARENAS:Thereís two.I think thereís two fiscal years in that report usually.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Year to date collected $2,988,667.

 

MASCARENAS:Yes.So you see claims registers from 2021, claims registers from 2022 so those are for two separate years totaling that amount right on the front.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:And secondly, I want to thank Ms. Allen, our Commissioner for we had a situation in Moriah last week and your promptness, right on top of that in a hurry and I really appreciate it. Thank you.

 

ALLEN:Thank you.Definitely when you guys have a concern, give us a call thatís what weíre here for right?If we are not able to get to it quickly then it usually causes bigger problems and more financial expenses for you guys so whenever you have a concern.I will be probably bringing up next month, thereís been some reform to the child abuse hotline system, not a lot to bog you down with some information but just to open up a communication and offer trainings to any entity you may have in your town you may feel would benefit from learning some of the changes.Itís a friendly approach, I think everyone is recognizing that you donít always need a child protective report to support a family but you can do them through a friendly more transparent resiliency handoff with services you usually get further down the line so that will be coming as well.

 

HOLZER:Backing up to lifeguard training, do we offer like a stipend to the like if we were to find our own instructors for the Ausable region, do we offer any kind of extra salary to the instructors or are they only making the registration fee for compensation?

 

MASCARENAS:You can see our lifeguard fee is $125 which is incredibly low. The reason for that is we are paying that instructor directly so the $125 fee that youíre seeing there is really for the ancillary items.Itís for use of facility.Itís for the books, whatever they are going to need, the mask for CPR, those types of things so most lifeguards when they are put on by an individual is way higher than what ours is so weíre not against hiring those people directly paying them an hourly rate, taking care of setting all of those up, doing that leg work for them and just having them show up and do the course.

 

HOLZER: Okay, thank you.

 

MONTY:I know, we donít have lifeguards in Lewis but we have the summer program. We pay our counselors Roy to go get the training they need. We give them a stipend for going so I would think if your municipality could pay them a stipend for taking that course.

 

HOLZER: Which we do.

 

MASCARENAS:We are not against like I said subsidizing that, we have for years itís just getting those instructors in those outlining areas to be able to hold the course and do the work.

 

WILSON:Anything else for social services?Alright, thank you very much.

 

ALLEN:Thank you.

 

WILSON:Mental Health Ė Terri Morse

 

MORSE:Good morning.I couldnít agree more with Mr. McNally, as a swimmer in high school in the pool, when I was invited to do open water swimming with a friend of mine I had panic attacks the first two or three times I had to do that so, yes, I completely agree with you that swimming in a pool is very different, lifeguarding in a pool is very different.

My report is kind of showing that our crisis numbers are going down.I can tell you that I think some of what I call warm calls are being diverted to the 988 environment but that the significance and the severity of our crisis calls are actually increasing over the last probably six months to a year.That is absolutely why I included information about the mobile crisis services that we have available; Mental Health Association in particular has available mobile crisis 24/7.If you are ever going to use these for somebody in your community I would think about the safety factor before calling MHA because maybe law enforcement would be a safer option than peers who are lived experiences who are responding to crisis in the community so you can call their 1-800 number or on their website they actually have a little link to fill out a mobile crisis form.Essex County Mental Health also has mobile crisis and Iím glad to say MHA is the primary organization for that. We do collaborative outreach with MHA and Essex County Mental Health for example, if MHA feels like there is a need for clinical assessment then we dispatch together and then St. Josephís Treatment and Recovery Center also has a mobile crisis available too and I have included their phone number and then 988 will continue to come on board.

I just have a few resolutions that weíll do.So, I have a resolution from the Community Services Board to update and renew some terms so Angie Allen and Laurie Kelley as a board member, John Haverlick as Mental Health subcommittee, Brandon Titus for Alcohol Substance Abuse subcommittee and Laurie Kelley and Vicki Fergus for the Intellectual Development Disability Subcommittee their terms will be effective January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2026.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO THE ESSEX COUNTY SERVICES BOARD OR SUBCOMMITTEE FOR A TERM EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2023 TO DECEMBER 31, 2026.Scozzafava, Wright

 

WILSON: Questions, concerns?All in favor, aye, any opposed - motion carries.Thank you.

 

MORSE:One of the organizations that we contract with for psychiatric services is an organization called Innovatel.They are owned by FlightSuit.They had asked or informed me that they are having to pay their prescribers 8% higher this year than they were but they are passing on a 5% increase for us so where we pay $139.00 an hour now, that will be raised to $145.95 per hour.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A RATE INCREASE OF INNOVATEL/FLIGHTSUITS CONTRACTED PRESCRIBING STAFF FROM $139.00 PER HOUR TO $145.95 PER HOUR WITH FUNDS TO COME FROM BUDGETED FUNDS.Doty, Stanley

 

WILSON:Questions, concerns?All in favor, aye, any opposed - motion carries.Thank you.

 

MORSE: And last but not least, the second week of February is known as the School Counseling Appreciation Week and I have to say that my work with schools over the last year and a half during Covid has revealed that there is a lot of difficulty in schooling children at this time and when I think about the jobs that school counselors do in Essex County Schools I am just amazed and honored to be working with them because they wear a lot of hats in the school and I wanted to honor them with a resolution today and have your support for doing so.

 

WILSON: I will move that and ask for a unanimous second.

 

RESOLUTION DESIGNATING FEBRUARY 6 Ė 10, 2023, AS SCHOOL COUNSELING APPRECIATION WEEK IN ESSEX COUNTY.Wilson, unanimous

 

WILSON: And that motion carries, thank you.Anything else Terri?

 

MORSE:I was just going to add one more thing about that that I forgot so in May the BRIEF coalition is hosting our second school counselorís summit and we will be giving out this resolution also at that time.

 

WILSON: Thank you.Any further questions?Alright, thank you very much.Public Health Ė Linda Beers.

BEERS: Good morning everybody.How are you?Thank you for having us.My report is in front of you.Iím just going to highlight some wonderful information about that.One of the first things I wrote in this report just because it came out and I want to be fair and unbiased as I report and one of the highlights or one of the most recent things that came out of the cannabis counsel of New York State Office of Cannabis Management was this new study that showed that cannabis was good for managing chronic pain and meant less opioids for people.

I also wanted to tell you at NYSAC, I will be at the NYSAC Conference. I am actually the Chair for Mental Health and Public Health at the State level and we are calling on the Governor just so you know we passed resolutions there.I wanted you to be aware that at that through Public Health and Mental Health and the statewide coalition we are going to ask move a resolution forward, itís attached here, for the Governor to recognize a State of Emergency regarding overdoses and the rate of them.I wasnít sure if I was asking you to also pass that but I wanted to bring it to your attention as I didnít want to move something that you might not be aware of but I thought Iíd share this, in 2022, report release by New York State Comptroller showed that in 2020, opioid overdoses increased 38% nationally, 44% in New York and provisional data indicated that in 2021, overdoses increased by 17% nationally so between 2/19 and 2021 opioid overdose deaths increased by 68%. We are seeing trends in Essex County with increased opioid deaths. I will have some data for you next month itís only February so I donít want to report on a month but one of the nice things or not nice things but one of the great things about the ECHO coalition and really, putting all those ducks in a row is that opioid tracking mechanism on OD mapping and honestly it works amazingly now.I mean we have everybody on board and what it does is it provides Terriís group and NEMERS for those opioid reversals to make a connection with those people.We are also working with Dave Reynoldís group through a grant and EMS project called Leave Behind so whenever anybody goes out they do an opioid reversal they will be leaving naloxone behind so thatís exciting.So, I just wanted to call that to your attention.

 

WILSON:Linda, would it be helpful for this board to pass the resolution?

 

BEERS:Yes.I would love you to do that.

 

RESOLUTION URGING GOVERNOR HOCHUL TO DECLARE A STATE OF EMERGENCY REGARDING THE OVERDOSE EPIDEMIC IN NEW YORK STATE TO REMOVE STATUTORY BARRIERS TO LOCAL DATA SHARING NECESSARY FOR TIMELY INTERVENTIONS.Wood, Doty

 

WILSON:Any questions?All in favor, aye and that motion carries.

 

BEERS: Thank you.We do try to do that so when the Governor gets it many of the counties can say, we have that approved by our board too.Thank you.

The Governorís budget really called out lead poisoning primary prevention proposal, tobacco enforcement around flavored vapes and a reform of Article 36.

I will tell you proudly that today is no mask Monday.You have not been wearing a mask but I and Terri have been wearing masks nonstop until today, today is the first day since two years weíve come to work and donít wear a mask.My staff have been masked every single day since this happened and today is the first day; we still leave our office waiting to like, do we put it on?I did find several of my staff wearing them they didnít believe so that is exciting in the world of Covid moving forward.

Onto the next thing which is waste water surveillance so anybody who has, we will be working on this initiative as we move forward into the next year, this year encouraging water treatment plants to sign up for waste water testing and so the waste water testing was really about Covid levels Syracuse does it and they use waste water product and they can tell levels of disease in it but unbeknownst to me, there was a PILOT done in Essex County specifically with Lake Placid was in it and they did a PILOT, there were five or six counties in it, we happened to be one of them and they looked for specific drugs in the wastewater.I have a list of them, I was really quite surprised how detailed they can get it so there were five counties across New York State and the one that was included was the Lake Placid treatment and so results indicated low variability of detected drugs over the six weeks of measurement and they did expect to use patterns including cannabis use was higher than other drugs used.It is legal in New York State so we would expect that so anyway, more to come on that as we move forward again, it was a PILOT that was done last year but you can see that there could be great value in understanding population health with this type of approach but also with that, comes great responsibility because who is really being tested in the waste water for a specific place.I would argue probably in Lake Placid that is the businesses and the people that visit there a lot more than maybe the citizens of your wastewater treatment plant so you just have to be very careful in looking at that data.

On that, in Lake Placid, I will bring you to the communicable disease prevention program.Probably nobody knew but we knew, during the FISU games there was a concern of a flu borne illness.If you with our Sheriffís Department and whatnot, people had concerns that they were food poisoned.I was at there and I spent a great deal of time run around and handing out stool samples, thatís what I did and so I was chasing people down. Anyway, at the end of the day we did get some stool samples back and it was not a flu borne illness.It was Norovirus which is a very, very communicable stomach bug.Many of these people had driven there and transported together on buses and during that time we feel they probably exchanged that virus but when they got to Lake Placid they all seemed to get sick within a very quick time of all one another and it appeared to be something different but none of that was found so we were glad we were able to do that but it took a lot of work.

Flu & respiratory illnesses going down.I call your attention to tick borne illnesses and tick bite bot, itís really interesting.Itís a new tool online and it will really walk you through removal of a tick and help you do that. Also talking about this inclement weather, every time it goes below freezing ticks come back out, they are really unbelievably amazing vectors and so just because itís winter donít think you canít get a tick with this melting and this warmer temperatures they will very well produce again.

I want to call your attention and thank any of you and all of your DCO, Dog Control Officers, your Animal Control Officers; weíve had, itís really a large group of animal bites. Essex County received 13 bites in January, just so you know, over the weekend we had three.So, my staff over the weekend spent a great deal of time on dog bites, we had three dog bites in just one weekend alone and thereís a little story about Ticonderoga and the fox story.We always have one of those.If you get a new Animal Control Officer, if there is any changes please alert our office.

Weíve been really working a lot on Facebook and getting the information out, one of those is chronic disease.We put a poll out, of the seventeen responses of community members nobody got it right but did you know the most common chronic disease in Essex County?It is cancer.So, thatís what it is.And then I call your attention to our Facebook post. Thereís a really nice article about, I donít know if it gets enough, but Belfry Mountain Tower.I think Lucianna Celotti took this picture so, just to give you an idea, first reminder of our residents in Essex County, we have snow shoes that we got a grant in 2022, you approved it.Iím sure, who remembers that long back but it was snow shoes and Blue Cross/Blue Shield Excellus gave us that money.Just to give you an idea, that post reached 4,852 people and was shared 41 times.We have had such, people are waiting in line for these snowshoes.If you look they werenít really expensive.We would support any of that if there is any mini grants or whatever that you know of to buy more of those and then the rest moves on and talks about communications.I canít thank you enough, weíre using a grant person right now, and we hired a communications specialist.The data speaks for itself, look at the increased amount of people and the amount of publications and public health is really about public information and getting people to understand chronic disease and how they can do things to change it.We also have a new emergency preparedness person and I just wanted to call, especially in light of the most recent emergencies in our county with low temperatures and power outages we are working with Matt Watts department and the Red Cross and the Red Cross is going through lots of structural changes in Essex County, actually out of Plattsburgh. We are meeting with them I think this week or next and weíre going to talk about, thereís two kinds of shelters, probably more but we call one a warming hut, warming shelter and one where youíre going to set up cots and give people meals and all of that, thatís a completely different thing and those are Red Cross shelters as a rule if you ever open one and youíre not a Red Cross Shelter you need to be very careful because that liability and whatnot isnít covered.You also have, if youíre bringing in and serving food whatnot Department of Health and into those codes and if youíre housing people, thatís a whole other regulation so I caution anybody doing anything like that unless you really, and I encourage you to do it but I think you need to work through the Red Cross, understand what all those requirements are and then go through and do it correctly and become a Red Cross Shelter.We are going to work with the Red Cross to find out where they are.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Most of us, I think all of us have emergency plans that were adopted a while back and hopefully all those shelters that we designated are Red Cross Shelters?

 

BEERS: So, I did get a list of them.I think thereís lots of new supervisors here.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Matt should have it.

 

BEERS:He does but they didnít work, how about that?So new supervisors or people that had those plans from previous supervisors they didnít all go into effect correctly, how about that?I mean people werenít showing where the warming shelters were in their town or who signed up to do them or whose names were on the list. I just got that list and we are sharing it out. Does that make sense?Youíve been here a long time Tom.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Well, to be honest, it does make sense because we all thought that these were our shelters now we are hearing that they may not be so we do need to get that Ė

 

BEERS:No, no thatís a warming shelter you didnít sign up for a Red Cross shelter.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:They were always, we had Moriah Fire House, we had Moriah Central, they were always to my knowledge certified Red Cross Shelters where they could serve food, bring cots in and so on.

 

BEERS:Yeah, Iíll tighten that up and get you more information.Again, weíve called and meeting with them this week.Thereís a whole distinction about warming shelters and getting people temporary and getting people coffee and bathrooms and maybe even a shower so Iíll just give you the reasoning why.So, during Irene many schools opened places but when their houses were gone the people didnít leave, they couldnít go to school, they couldnít open up their town halls because they were filled with people.If there is a reason people canít return home you canít get those folks out of your shelter and they stay for months while they are waiting or weeks and weeks so thereís a reasoning and you have to have long term planning once you let people in if theyíve lost their homes you have to have a secondary plan on how you transition them.Weíve seen in this county with even fires it has taken us a long time to get people another housing around here so, thatís one of the reasons I caution and that we work with the Red Cross thatís a real shelter but I know, the ones Iíve got is a list of every one of you, they were warming stations more a shelter where you brought people in but not cots and food and bedding thatís what I saw but Iím going to tighten it up.Iíll have more next month.

 

SCOZZAFAVA:Thank you.

 

BEERS: Children Services Ė oh my gosh.I canít even begin to tell you, itís getting only worse right?Thereís 31 children active in Early Intervention, fourteen children are on a waiting list.Preschool program has 90 enrolled, 31 children waiting for a referral and on Friday of last week, Mountain Lake Services called and let us know their school psychologist, their only evaluation team resigned.It is a crisis.So, we had talked about it awhile back and I just bring up.Weíll talk more about it next month.You graciously gave me a speech pathologist which Iíve been unable to fill. Weíve been putting it on and there has been some thought that perhaps we could use this money and dedicate and redirect the funds to support Mountain Lake Services with this money and bolster up with pay increases or something to help them survive this because people are leaving for better paying jobs and other reasons.

 

WILSON:Could I ask you if there is anything essential, critical crisis hit that but otherwise we could wrap up?Thank you.

 

BEERS:Sure.So, the Home Health I call to you thatís based off 3,500 people and on the back is that, this would be the end anyway, is the home care plan report.Itís for your information and I encourage you to read the chronic research report from Home Care, Jenn Newberry has spent a great deal of time and itís really interesting if you want to see where our money is going.Thatís it.

 

WILSON:Any further questions for Linda.

 

GILLILLAND:Going back to the overdoses, have you got trained, the animal tranquilizer mixed with fentanyl; do we have any cases in Essex County on that?

 

BEERS:No, not to my knowledge.Not from that so we are and thatís another grant we just got rescue breathing bags I think thatís what they are called so, that tranquilizer requires you to give mouth to mouth they wonít Narcan wonít save them because itís the tranquilizer drug is whatís killing them so they stop breathing so Narcan, not that we wonít continue to do Narcan because you wouldnít know but you have to give mouth to mouth with it and through another grant through Hudson Mohawk AHEC they purchased them.I have 30 on my desk right now waiting for more and all of our area agencies including our Sheriffís Department have asked for them so, in order to give mouth to mouth we use the bag and you put it on and you squeeze the bag but we have not but it was seen in Saratoga County and we made two post alerts and it was spread widely that there was concerns all around the area.

 

GILLILLAND:I read an article yesterday and itís growing so fast Ė

 

BEERS: Agreed and that tranquilizer drug is not.They said there was a reversal but my understanding, itís a veterinarian drug, there is but it is an injection so itís not something thatís going to get easily corrected anytime soon. Thank you. Thereís also fentanyl strips that you can test drugs to see if thereís fentanyl in them, perhaps the next thing.Thanks.

 

WILSON:Thank you. Alright, Office for the Aging, Krissy Leerkes.

 

LEERKES:Good morning.I passed out to you this morning the green folder that has all the documents that I will very briefly touch on but in my report you received last week one of the really innovative creative ideas was we did a Be My Valentine project that definitely hit a lot of areas, it hit down in Albany where folks sent in Valentines for our older adults and they are being distributed today and tomorrow to all of our home delivered meal folks, to some of our sites, to our case management folks just to brighten someoneís day and again, a very small lift for us.

You have my newsletter in there.I did give you a copy of a community survey, I believe that I did send that to you Mr. Mascarenas, to share out I believe.Itís a random community survey that your State Office for the Aging is doing so individuals will be randomly selected. It will go out in a post card form, they can fill it out through a little URL or they can get a paper copy.Itís just so that if any of your constituents come to you and say, why am I getting this?What is it for? You have a little background, itís nothing you have to send out.

You also have our care give assistance newsletter.The next document is a hospital and home care collaborative with aging providers.It shows some collaborations across the State and we were fortunate enough to be included in that document with our collaboration of Elizabethtown Community Hospital as well as our CHHA so thatís really great to see that weíre highlighted at the State wide level and actually attached to the green binder is our Advocacy binder document that the Association utilizes with all of our local elected officials whether itís county based, state wide based.In there it talks about our network and our services. Whatís really great though is that it breaks it down to our North Country region and also highlights Essex County so itís not just statewide itís really hitting the local level.

Last thing before I go into resolutions is every March we do NYSOFA, New York State Office for the Aging brings forth a March for Meal campaign so Iím opening up the invite to anybody that would like to help deliver home delivered meals.I know that many of you are very familiar with that program whether you support it with local staff or volunteers or maybe itís located in one of your community buildings but if you would like to see maybe a neighboring community or just go out and deliver the meals just let me know and I can arrange that for you.I know Mr. Monty and Mr. Tyler have worked in the kitchen before. Mr. Gillilland Iím pretty sure heís delivered before so if you want to look at that definitely let me know.

I do have a couple of resolutions that came to Judy late on Friday.I apologize.Last week got a little crazy at the end but the first one is to accept $10,481.50 of reimbursement from our contract with Adirondack Community Action Program that actually came out of the Unmet needs funds that we were awarded late last year that ended in December.Since we are over our county match requirement it will show that without those county funds we would go with a waiting list so we were able to use those funds that we didnít otherwise have the ability to spend them so weíre offsetting that contract.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT IN THE OFFICE FOR THE AGING DEPARTMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $10,481.50, ADIRONDACK COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAM.Scozzafava, Stanley

 

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

 

LEERKES:We created a cooperative agreement with Linda, with the Essex County Health Department and the CHHA team to provide Covid 19 vaccines to the homebound population in the amount of $6,050.00.This agreement would go back into effect from April 1, 2021 to September 30 of this year.We work really closely with Lindaís CHHA to create a list of individuals who werenít able to get out to a vaccine site and as her nurses had the availability they were giving those vaccines and still are so we would just like to help offset those costs.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ESSEX COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE AGING DEPARTMENT AND THE ESSEX COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT FOR A TERM BEGINNING APRIL 1, 2021 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2023, TO PROVIDE COVID 19 VACCINES TO THE HOMEBOUND POPULATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $6,050.00.Wright, Stanley

 

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

 

LEERKES:And the last is to enter into a shared services agreement with the North Country Healthy Heart Network.Two of my staff are trained leaders in the chronic disease self-management program and they have received some funding to kind of give incentives to agencies that have these leaders to give out those programs so from February 1 to May 31, any workshops that we deliver, itís a six week series we would be reimbursed at the level of I believe $1800.00, just a compensation and weíre hoping to get two in so allowing us to accept the money.

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY CHAIRMAN OR COUNTY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ESSEX COUNTY OFFICE FOR THE AGING DEPARTMENT AND NORTH COUNTRY HEALTHY HEART NETWORK FOR A TERM BEGINNING FEBRUARY 1, 2023 TO MAY 31, 2023, FOR THE DELIVERY OF THE CHRONIC DISEASE SELF MANAGEMENT PROGRAM AND FURTHER AUTHORIZING A BUDGET AMENDMENT INCREASING REVENUES AND APPROPRIATIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF $1800.00, FOR THE SAME. Stanley, Doty

 

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

 

LEERKES:And there is one more last, quick thing I know weíre past our schedule, I just touched on the unmet need funding and we were able to offset that cost right now with the unmet need money that we have available through March 31, we put it into contract with the North Country Home Services for personal care level 1&2 so itís help in the home, personal care, bathing, light house keeping with those funds we were able to turn on service.I want to say immediately itís not really, itís definitely within a couple of days, where in the past those individuals would have been going on a waiting list, they would have been hitting the ER, they would have had unnecessary hospital stays so those funds have been crucial, crucial the unfortunate part is and I donít want to speak to Lindaís CHHA team but I can say yes, we can authorize five hours a day for five days a week to help with caregiver respite or to keep this person in the home, out of the nursing home, out of the hospitalunfortunately we donít have an aid from North Country to cover that, that money is kind of I donít want to say useless because weíll find other ways for it but with all the good, unfortunately comes the bad so I just want to say thank you guys for allowing us to accept that unmet need money, it doesnít cost the county anything if anything it saves it and if anybody has any questions?

 

WILSON:Anything?Alright, thank you very much.Anybody have anything else for Human Services?Alright then weíre adjourned.

 

 

††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Human Services Committee it was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors