DHHS Shoutouts: August 14, 2019

Black Mountain Promotes Recycling 

The Wellness Committee and other co-workers at NCDHHS’ Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center Wellness Committee recently helped promote recycling initiatives and being environmental conscious by using some of their volunteer service hours for a creek clean-up project with Asheville GreenWorks. They collected a total of 16 bags of trash, or roughly 320 pounds of trash from Sweeten Creek. 


CDC Publishes Reports from DHHS’ Division of Public Health 

During July, two reports authored by teams at DHHS’ Division of Public Health were published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 

On July 19, a report that analyzed emergency department visits during Hurricane Florence found that 31 percent of emergency department visits were for medication refills. An important takeaway is that the messaging to the public before a storm should emphasize that prescription medications should be refilled before a hurricane hits to last throughout the storm. 

Lauren Tanz was the lead author. Other authors from DPH were Molly Hoffman, Dana Dandeneau, Zachary Faigen, Zack Moore, Scott Proescholdbell,  

On July 26, a report from the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of DHHS’ Division of Public Health was also published by the CDC. The report reviewed the branch’s 30-person exposure investigation for possible GenX and other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances near the Chemours Plant in Cumberland County. 

Jamie R. Pritchett was the lead author. Co-authors from DPH were Jessica L. Rinsky (now at the CDC), Beth Dittman, Ariel Christensen, Rick Langley, Zack Moore, Aaron T. Fleischauer and Kate Koehler.  


Safety Drill Goal: Practice Makes Perfect 

Staff and leadership at DHHS’ Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Center were joined in late July by DHHS safety staff and a team of Buncombe County first responders and emergency management experts, all to coordinate a live safety drill at the skilled nursing facility. As part of the drill, a ladder truck was used to simulate an upper floor rescue/extraction for patients and staff whose normal pathways to safety may have been compromised by conditions incorporated into the drill. 

“Several factors were built into this drill to test the facility evacuation plan, community involvement, incident command structure, and accounting for their residents,” said Martin Sinicki, DHHS Safety Program Director. “Practice makes perfect as we prepare for tomorrow.” 


We’re looking for DHHS people and partners to give “shoutouts” to. Know of someone who deserves a shoutout? Reach out to your Division’s Communications Manager or email news@dhhs.nc.gov