Page 1


PG. 6

LEGAL MARIJUANA? Lessons from Colorado PG. 8

ACTIVE SENIORS In Southwest Utah

PG. 20




LET TER FROM THE HEALTH O F F IC ER Local health departments are charged with the responsibility of preventing disease, promoting wellness, and protecting the health of the population. Governed by a Board of Health comprised of county commissioners and appointed citizens, The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) employs 55 staff members and offers over 80 programs to serve the 220,000 residents living in Washington, Iron, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield counties. These services have the most impact at the local level, and our health department will continue to do our best to offer effective, evidence-based programs to our communities. We also encourage individuals to take an active part in maintaining and improving their own health. Investing in good health habits throughout the lifespan helps us live longer with less risk of chronic disease and injury. This issue, our 15th since we started the magazine in 2010, emphasizes the benefits of lifelong activity and nutrition, as attested by some of our older (and wiser) neighbors. We have also included the 2016 annual report for the SWUPHD. We hope the articles in this magazine will motivate you to protect and improve your health, regardless of your age or circumstances. Sincerely,







for the ages By David Blodgett, MD, MPH interview with Tom Gorman

the man who saved the children By Shana Chavez









voice By Paulette Valentine drinking water By Robert Beers of alternative tabacco products By the Washington Youth Coalition safely By Lexi Little







seniors By David Heaton

David W. Blodgett, MD, MPH SWUPHD Health Officer & Director

mealtime By Audrie Frehner activities





Southwest Utah Public Health Department



David Heaton

Jeff Shumway


Chris White


David Blodgett, MD

DESIGN Kindal Ridd

Special thanks to Glenn Osborn of Milford, Utah for his 101 years of shared wisdom.



Tomato Gardening

PG. 16

AIR QUALIT Y In Southwest Utah

PG. 24


The entire contents of this publication are Copyright ©2017 HEALTH (the magazine of the Southwest Utah Public Health Foundation) with all rights reserved and shall not be reproduced or transmitted in any manner, either in whole or in part, without prior written permission of the publisher. Health magazine hereby disclaims all liability and is not responsible for any damage suffered as the result of claims or representations made in this publication. Printed by Hudson Printing Company / Salt Lake City, Utah /



Our mission is to PROTECT the community's health through th

NURSING SERVICES Baby Your Baby Breastfeeding Consultation Case Management Child Care Resources/Referrals Early Intervention Health Screenings Immunizations International Travel Clinic Maternal Child Health Mobile Clinic (rural counties) Pregnancy Testing Prenatal Resource Referrals Reproductive Health School Exemptions, Education & Tracking School Health/Nursing WIC



75 West 1175 North Beaver, Ut. 84713 (435)438-2482

260 East DL Sargent Dr. Cedar City, Ut. 84721 (435)586-2437

HEALTH PROMOTION Bicycle Safety Car Seat Classes Certified Car Seat Inspection Points Community Training and Outreach Healthy Dixie Liaison Healthy Iron Co. Liaison Injury Prevention Safety Resources Physical Activity & Nutrition Resources Resources to Quit Tobacco Tobacco Compliance Checks Tobacco Education(retailers) Tobacco-Free Housing Data


COMMUNICABLE DISEASES Disease Surveillance & Control Epidemiology Tuberculosis Program


620 South St. George, (435)673


Birth Certificates Death Certificates Disinterment Certific Divorce Certificates Marriage Certificates


he PROMOTION of wellness and the PREVENTION of disease.




400 East Ut. 84770 3-3528

445 North Main Kanab, Ut. 84741 (435)644-2537

601 East Center Panguitch, Ut. 84759 (435)676-8800






Bioterrorism Prep/Planning Community Training & Outreach Free Emergency Resources Hospital Surge Planning Mass Flu Vaccination Events Medical Reserve Corps Pandemic Prep/Planning Preparedness Buddy Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Coordination

Air & Water Quality Body Art Regulation Child Care Inspections Food Handler Permits Hotel Sanitation Inspections Pool Inspections Restaurant Inspections School Inspections Septic System Inspections Tanning Bed Sanitation, Inspection/Enforcement Temporary Mass Gathering Permits Used Oil Utah Indoor Clean Air Act, Inspection/Enforcement Water Lab



By David Blodgett, MD, MPH SWUPHD Director & Health Officer


he current growth in the number and proportion of older adults in the United States is unprecedented. By 2050, it is anticipated that Americans aged 65 or older will number nearly 89 million people, or more than double the number of older adults in the United States in 2010. Many Americans are now living into their 70s, 80s, and beyond. There are aspects of good health specific to the senior demographic, and since all of us will continue to age and become senior adults if we live long enough, these are principles everyone should pay attention to. A recent national initiative identified three critical priorities for national health agencies to promote healthy aging. First, reduce binge drinking. Excessive alcohol use, including binge drinking, accounts for more than 21,000 deaths among adults 65 or older each year in the United States. Excessive drinking increases a person’s risk of developing high blood pressure, liver disease, certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and

many other chronic health problems, as well as a person’s risk of car crashes, falls, and violence. Second, protect vulnerable older adults in emergencies. Natural or man-made disasters have the potential to be devastating for all of us, but they are especially serious threats to the elderly and people with disabilities. They can face challenges when it comes to physical mobility and the ability to receive and act upon critical, life-saving information. Some older adults may need extra help planning for and dealing with emergencies, which can also disrupt the systems they normally rely on for independent living. The Preparedness Buddy program was specifically developed with these populations in mind. It involves teaching vulnerable people the basics of emergency preparedness and connecting them to a reliable contact who is aware of their specific needs and could check on them in an emergency. You can get more information at Third, improving health literacy among older adults. Research indicates that today’s health in-


formation is often presented in ways that are not usable by most adults. Nearly 9 out of 10 adults have trouble finding and using the health information that is routinely available in health care facilities, stores, media, and community resources. This becomes more prominent as people age. Without clear information and an understanding of the information’s importance, people are more likely to skip necessary medical tests, end up in the emergency room more often, and have a harder time managing chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created tips to increase health literacy at cdc. gov/healthliteracy. Death, disability, and decline associated with the leading chronic diseases are often preventable or can be delayed. Although the risk of developing chronic diseases increases as a person ages, the root causes of many of these diseases often begin early in life. Practicing healthy behaviors from an early age can substantially reduce a person’s risk of developing chronic diseases and associated disabilities. Here


are some proven indicators for long-term good health, and most of them can be practiced at any age: PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Regular physical activity is one of the most important things older adults can do for their health. Physical activity can prevent many of the health problems that may come with age, including the risk of falling. Older adults need to do both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise to improve and maintain health. EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES DAILY: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular illness. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. Appetites may decrease with age, which makes food choices even more important to make sure adequate nutrients are present in the food eaten. BODY WEIGHT: Older adults benefit from maintaining a healthy body weight. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic conditions, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. NOT SMOKING: Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in seniors in the United States. TAKING PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS APPROPRIATELY: Studies indicate that as many as 70% of older adults do not take prescribed medications as directed. INFLUENZA AND PNEUMONIA VACCINE: Although both are largely preventable through vaccination, flu and pneumonia represent the 7th leading cause of death among U.S. adults aged 65 years or older. About 90% of seasonal flu-related deaths and more than 60% of seasonal, flu-related hospitalizations in the United States each year occur among people in this age group. COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING: Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. They can also detect colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. Twothirds of all new cases of colorectal cancer are in people aged 65 or older. FALLS RESULTING IN INJURY: Each year, one in three adults aged 65 years or older will experience a fall. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and increase the risk of early death. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions due to trauma. Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, leading to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, which in turn increases their actual risk of falling. BEING MARRIED: Yes, it is true, one of the most consistently documented ways to live a longer life is to be in a happy marriage. MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH: Activities that challenge and stimulate your brain keep you interested and engaged in life (and healthier). GET ENOUGH SLEEP: It is clear that sleep is very important to long term physical and mental health. A well-known quote states, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”. We understand more about aging than we ever have, and the assumption that chronic disease is just part of getting old is not true. We all have the opportunity to step up to the challenge of maintaining health throughout our lifespan, and the sooner we start, the better!



What Utah can learn from Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization An interview with Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program. Tom previously retired from California’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. He is currently based in Denver, Colorado.

WHAT DOES YOUR PROGRAM DO? It’s designed to bring local, state, and federal resources together to target illegal drug trafficking organizations. We identify and try to dismantle or disrupt those operations in a region that includes Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. YOU’VE BEEN CALLED A “SOLDIER IN THE DRUG WAR”. HOW IS THAT WAR GOING? First of all, I’d like to get rid of the term “war on drugs”. In a war you have the expectation of victory, and we’re never going to have victory over human behavior. It’s like saying you’re going to completely eliminate crime or poverty. The idea is to reduce it as low as possible. In that sense we’ve been relatively successful. In the late 60s and 70s, it was a mess. We have illegal drug use down to 10% in the U.S. That’s measured by anyone aged 12 and above who has used in the past month. If we had that kind of low rate in use of alcohol, a legalized drug, we’d be celebrating a major victory as far as lives adversely affected and the burden lifted from families and communities. WHAT IS THE WORST DRUG IN AMERICA? It’s alcohol, bar none. We almost have as many people addicted to alcohol as all the illegal drugs combined. The reason for that? Four factors affect the rate of drug use in a community: price, availability, perception of risk, and the big one is public attitude. Public tolerance sends the message that it is ok to use,



and any time a society demonstrates tolerance or acceptance of a drug, the use of that substance will increase. Alcohol is cheap, relatively available, has little perception of risk, and is publicly acceptable. We like to think we regulate it, but it’s still highly abused and does tremendous damage to individuals, families, and society. It’s also a big business involving lots of money. Alcohol, and tobacco for that matter, are heavily taxed but only pay for about 10-12% of societal costs. The difference between these two legal substances is that, unlike the factors I just mentioned for alcohol, tobacco has increased in cost and it’s very restricted as to where you can use it restricted in retail settings, age limits, and where you can use it. The risk to health is well known, and - perhaps most importantly - it has a negative public perception. Smoking isn’t cool anymore. We used drug policy techniques with tobacco, and use has plummeted over the years from about 50% down to 25%.

Regarding harmfulness, which you can’t always measure in dollars, marijuana-related traffic deaths in Colorado have gone up 48%. Emergency rooms have seen a 49% increase in pot-related admissions. Our youth now lead the nation in marijuana use at 55% above the national average, while use among young people in the rest of the nation has actually dropped slightly.

WHAT ABOUT REGULATIONS THAT ARE PUT IN PLACE? You’re allowed to possess up to an ounce and can only purchase that much at a time. However, you can go from store to store, and one visitor observed up to a pound sold at a time. Colorado and Washington can try to convince themselves into thinking they can regulate marijuana, but they can’t. They’ve allowed it to become a for-profit business. It makes a lot of money and with money comes power, in the form of marketing, lobbying, and campaign donations. Whether you’re running a business selling marijuana for medical or WHAT ABOUT MARIJUANA? recreational purposes, you want to increase your customer Why do we want to model the regulation of marijuana, an base and sell more product, like any business would. Unforintoxicant, after alcohol, which has such a negative impact tunately, younger people are going to provide most of that on society? That seems asinine. It makes no sense in regard business, so they become the target market. to such things as educating our youth, having skilled, reliable workers for our labor force, or for the general good of WHAT ABOUT THE THE MEDICAL POTENTIAL OF the country. Increased availability and tolerance results in MARIJUANA? increased use. Do we really want more people smoking pot It does look like some of the cannabinoid components of and getting loaded? Interestingly, marijuana is still illegal in marijuana have medical promise, but that’s where they the United States according to federal law, so states that legal- should be put through the normal testing process, even fastize it are actually licensing criminal enterprises and enabling tracked by the FDA. Then you have a medication that treats people to commit federal felonies. What we’ve done is let the seizures, or whatever you’re targeting, without getting those people who have a bias toward legalization dictate the high. But what we’re allowing is the approval of a “medicadialogue. We’ve had very few people stand up - including in tion” by popular vote. our federal government - and say “No, this is wrong and this is why.” I’m not sure what the new administration will do. The legalization movement has used the medical benefit tactic as a red herring for years, because they know it’s hard not ADVOCATES OF MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION CLAIM to have compassion for a person suffering with an illness, esIT’S A HARMLESS DRUG. pecially a child. States might take action if the FDA won’t, but And they insist legalization will free up law enforcement re- you’d have to take the profit motive out of the equation and sources, crime will go down, illegal drug trade will fade, and make it state run. States don’t want to do that since it’s a fednew revenue will come streaming in. Let’s take Colorado, erally illegal product, but they’ll authorize the private sector which legalized marijuana in 2013, although we had de facto to do it. That’s like saying “I don’t want to commit a robbery, legalization as early as 2009 with grow sites, medical dispen- but I’ll help you plan it and you do it.” saries, and edibles. Denver police are looking at tripling their forces for the downtown area where we’ve had urban trav- WHAT WOULD YOU TELL UTAH DECISION-MAKERS elers (young pot users) harass people in public. Downtown REGARDING THE ISSUE OF LEGALIZED MARIJUANA? businesses will be spending more for added security. Almost Regardless of your position on marijuana, we’re either a nahalf of event planners surveyed recently say they have a neg- tion of laws or we’re not. Utah strikes me as a state that has a ative view of the city now, where there are far more medical lot of respect for the law, and I just can’t see them doing the marijuana centers than pharmacies. It should be pointed out same thing by essentially licensing and authorizing a crimthat approximately 70% of Colorado’s city and county juris- inal enterprise and felonies. You’ve also got to see through dictions have now taken the option to ban marijuana grow the rhetoric and “big money” influence to make a decision sites and stores within their boundaries. that’s best for the people of your state. What kind of message do you want to send to the younger generation? Base your Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, actions on facts, wisdom, and the experience of other states crime has actually gone up, and the illegal drug trade and which have gone down that road. Once you open that door, black market continue to flourish. In fact, we’ve become the it’s going to be hard to close it. Consider the societal costs black market for other parts of the nation. Highway Patrol sei- from the legalization of alcohol and tobacco, which far outzures of Colorado marijuana destined for 36 different states weigh the revenue they earn. Ask yourselves, What is best for have increased 37% in 36 states, and seizures of Colorado pot our future?” being sent out in the mail have increased 427%. Nebraska and Oklahoma, along with some sheriffs, actually sued Col- What do you stand for? orado for the impact our marijuana is having on them. I don’t think the .5% tax revenue contribution to the state budget is worth the actual cost to our people. For more information, visit



By Shana Chavez SWUPHD Clinical Assistant


any adults may have memories of lining up as children in school to receive a sugar cube saturated with pink liquid. This was a vaccine to prevent poliomyelitis (commonly called polio), a highly contagious viral disease which took a devastating toll on children until a few decades ago. In 1952, at the height of the polio epidemic, nearly 58,000 cases were reported with more than 3,000 deaths and more than 20,000 people left with some form of paralysis. Polio was once the leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. By the mid 1960’s less than 100 cases of paralytic-polio were reported. The last wild-virus Polio case acquired in the United States was reported in 1979. There are now just a handful of countries where the disease is still active. How was a once-feared virus defeated to the point of near global eradication? It began with Dr. Jonas E. Salk, an American virologist famous for his research and development of the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Jonas Salk was born in New York City on October 28, 1914. He lived in the Bronx with his Polish-Jewish parents, Daniel and Dora Salk, and two brothers, Herman and Lee. Salk was an obviously bright child, who, at the age of 13, attended Townsend Harris High School, a public school for intellectually gifted students. Many students were sons of immigrants who lacked the money and pedigree to attend top private schools. Students were to complete a four-year curriculum in just three years and as a result many dropped out or flunked out. Salk completed his studies, and at the age of 15, enrolled in City College of New York, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1934. He had originally aspired to be a lawyer,



but fortunately his mother urged him to focus on classes that were necessary for medical school. As a child, Salk was not interested in science or medicine, but was quoted in a later interview as ”being interested in things human, the human side of nature”. Salk continued his education at New York University School of Medicine, where tuition was lower and did not discriminate against Jews. He stood apart from his peers at NYU because, while most were planning to practice medicine, Salk became involved in research and focused his studies on bacteriology, which became his primary focus. His desire was to help humankind in general rather than single patients. During his final year of medical school, Salk began work in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Francis, Jr., who would become a lifelong friend and mentor. Francis had recently joined the faculty of NYU after working for the Rockefeller Foundation, where he discovered the Type B influenza virus. The two months spent in Francis’ lab were Salk’s introduction to virology. Following his completion of medical school, Salk began his residency at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where only the best of the best practiced. A friend of Salk’s once said, “To intern there was like playing ball for the New York Yankees.” At the end of his residency, Salk began trying to secure a permanent research position. Eventually, he contacted Dr. Francis, who

was directing University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Dr. Francis was able to secure extra grant money and offered Salk a job where together they worked to perfect an influenza vaccine that was widely used on Army bases.

After preliminary results the Man Who Saved the in 1954, Salk’s vaccine was Children. ready for the much larger field testing. Salk earned many honors and awards over the years With over 2.1 million par- as he continued his work ticipants, it became the in virology, including the most elaborate field tri- Presidential Medal of Freeal of its kind, including dom, awarded by President physicians, public health Jimmy Carter, who issued In 1947, he continued flu workers, school personnel, the following statement: vaccine research at his volunteers, and more than own lab at the Universi- 1, 800,000 school children. “Because of Doctor Jonas ty of Pittsburgh School of A 1954 Gallup Poll showed E. Salk, our country is free Medicine until he was ap- that more people knew from the cruel epidemics of proached by the director about the polio field trials poliomyelitis that once struck of research at the National than knew the full name of almost yearly. Because of Foundation for Infantile the U.S. President. his tireless work, untold hunParalysis. He was asked to dreds of thousands who might participate on the founda- The announcement of a have been crippled are sound tion’s polio project, estab- safe and effective vaccine in body today. These are Dr. lished by President Frank- was made on April 14, 1955 Salk’s true honors, and there lin D. Roosevelt who was a at the University of Michi- is no way to add to them. polio victim himself. gan, by Dr. Thomas Fran- This Medal of Freedom can cis, Jr., who monitored the only express our gratitude, Dr. Salk was thrilled to test results. In attendance and our deepest thanks.” accept this appointment were 500 people, oneand devoted himself to the third of whom were press, Salk went on to establish cause for the next eight radio, and television re- the Salk Institute for Bioyears. Other researchers porters. 54,000 physicians logical Studies, where he remained involved until his death in 1995. He spent “Because of Doctor Jonas E. Salk, our country his last years engaged in reis free from the cruel epidemics of poliomyelitis search to develop a vaccine that once struck almost yearly. Because of his for AIDS. tireless work, untold hundreds of thousands who might have been crippled are sound in Dr. Salk was one of severbody today." al vaccine pioneers whose President Jimmy Carter hard work and dedication have made it possible for also working to develop a were sitting in theatres people worldwide to lead polio vaccine were experi- across the country, watch- much healthier and longer menting with highly dan- ing the broadcast through lives. Having no experience gerous live vaccines and closed-circuit television. with diseases that were feared and commonwere unsuccessful. Salk It was clear – the vaccine once place, younger generations decided to focus on a safer, worked! may not truly appreciate “killed” virus. the benefits of vaccinaBy the time the announce- tions. After testing the finalized ment had ended, church vaccine successfully on an- bells were ringing across Contracting a vaccine-preimals, it then needed to be the country, factories were ventable disease may be tested on humans. Dr. Salk holding moments of si- rare now, but these illnessknew he needed the trust lence, and people every- es still exist in the environof the American people for where were weeping. One ment, kept at bay by the the human experiments observer recalled, “It was as population’s immunity. The and mass trials. In 1953, he if a war had ended.” cost and risk of vaccinations announced that he - along are minimal compared to with his wife and children Following the announce- the misery historically and - was among the first vol- ment, Dr. Jonas Salk was currently suffered by people unteers to be vaccinated. deemed a miracle worker, throughout the world.



By Paulette Valentine SWUPHD Emergency Preparedness & Response Division Director


couple of years ago I attended a national training for local health departments, where stories were shared about responding to measles outbreaks, chemical spills in drinking water, and weather-related emergencies, along with the Ebola scare. I realized how important it is for our communities to have trusted sources of information when health and safety are at stake. I was reminded of a community meeting I had attended during the initial Ebola frenzy. Reporters, politicians, and even some medical professionals had already been less than helpful as they took part in spreading fear through

media outlets and across the internet. The gathering also took a turn toward the extreme, with messages like “this is the end of the world”, “the government is lying to us”, “Ebola will spread here and threaten our lives”, and “we need to turn our homes into fortresses”. I was quite taken aback by the things I was hearing and tried to speak up as a representative of the health department to reassure the audience, but I’m not sure how effective I was.

breaks on the local level, and that the risk of Ebola actually becoming a problem here was incredibly low.

I wanted to explain that there are reasons we don’t have some of the diseases that other countries struggle with, that we have protective surveillance systems in place which already monitor potential out-

While Ebola was devastating in the countries where it was spreading, the virus made little headway into the rest of the world. There are reasons certain pathogens flourish in a given area; including how they

After the meeting, several people approached me to ask me what I thought and I was able to take the time to explain what I knew from a public health perspective regarding preparedness and disaster risk. I hope I lessened their fears from what they had been hearing by providing some fact-based information.



spread, economic and medical resources, public health infrastructure, even cultural beliefs and behaviors. While those factors can change, there was simply not much of a chance for Ebola to become a global pandemic. There are certainly diseases we should be concerned about. This past year, the Zika virus was able to become locally transmitted in Florida and Texas. Its link to birth defects in newborns is concerning, yet Zika is not as dangerous to the larger population as other mosquito-spread illnesses such as Dengue Fever, malaria, yellow fever, or Chickungunya. And while these exotic-sounding diseases sound deadly, none of them are as dangerous to us as influenza. We often take the “flu” for granted, yet this family of respiratory viruses makes an annual visit every winter during flu season and causes thousands of hospitalizations and deaths every year in the Unites States. A few times a century, influenza viruses mutate to cause pandemics, like the one in 1918 which killed up to 40 million people worldwide. So, while the health department keeps a lookout for the diseases mentioned above (along with over 70 others which local healthcare providers and labs are required to report), we and our community partners put a lot of time into planning and practicing for a flu pandemic. Luckily, these response plans would also apply to many different types of disease outbreaks. The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is tasked not only with monitoring and responding to outbreaks, but informing and educating our community as well. When an outbreak is assessed to present a risk to the public, we notify the local media and post information on our website and social media accounts. You’ll be able to get accurate news and updates through these sources, which is especially important if rumors or inaccurate information begin to spread online.







By Robert Beers SWUPHD Environmental Health Division Director


rom the aqueducts of ancient Rome to the advanced culinary systems of modern metropolises throughout the world, providing clean drinking water has always been a hallmark of developed civilizations. The availability of clean water has enabled societies and governments to thrive and expand their influence, along with cultivating the arts and sciences for which they are renowned. The availability of pure water and the effectiveness of hygienic sanitation facilities form the foundation of public health in any society.

testing. Water systems are required to provide residents with testing information annually. This information, found in a consumer confidence report (sometimes called a water quality report) describes drinking water sources, efforts to protect these sources, water quality test results, and health information regarding any bacterial or chemical contamination within the system during the previous year. Just like restaurants or public swimming pools, water systems are inspected regularly to make certain that their workers are adequately trained, equipment operates properly, and the system provides a safe and healthy product to consumers. Environmental health scientists from the health department partner with engineers and water system professionals from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) to complete these inspections for more than 200 public water systems within southwest Utah. We are fortunate to have pure mountain spring water to meet most of our area’s needs.

Residents of the American Southwest are well aware of the importance of water in our arid region. Droughts have had a devastating economic effect, as we have observed in California and surrounding areas over the past several years. The increasing population in our area has placed an increased demand on available supplies of good water – which is diminished in dry years. The need for additional water infrastructure to sustain the growth and livelihood of families and communities will continue to demand our attention. Unfortunately, contamination can occur during scheduled maintenance, when water lines break, if improper Public water systems go to great expense to provide connections are made to the system, or if water treattop-quality water to their customers. Water system oper- ment measures are inadequate. State and Federal reguators are typically certified and go through hours of train- lations require drinking water systems to check for bacing each year to increase their knowledge and expertise. teria monthly. These tests allow water system operators These operators are responsible for installing, maintain- to verify that water purification and delivery methods ing, and replacing water sources, which include wells, are maintained and operated effectively. The Southwest springs, pumps, disinfection apparatus, supply lines, and Utah Public Health Department operates a laboratory to equipment to keep pure water flowing to consumers. perform bacteria testing. Bacteria samples may be submitted to health department offices in St. George, Kanab, In addition, operators collect and submit water samples and Panguitch (call for hours and collection procedures, for required monthly bacterial and periodic chemical see page 4-5). HEALTH MAGAZINE |WINTER/ SPRING 2017


Despite these efforts, water systems become contaminated occasionally. Routine repairs and maintenance, equipment failures, and impurities that infiltrate sources - during floods, for example - can compromise even the best operated systems. Flooding as a result of isolated thunderstorms is the most common cause of contaminated drinking water systems in our area. Contamination detected after these unusual events - or through routine testing - can result in a “boil order” situation. A boil order is a safety measure recommending that residents boil their tap water for at least one minute before using. Public water system operators have the responsibility to notify customers when a boil order is issued, often by telephone or sign-posting, although getting the word out through television and radio has also proven effective. The

UDEQ’s Division of Drinking Water hosts an informative website that provides answers to frequently asked questions about boil orders and water system safety (visit and search for “boil order”). This information is also helpful in the event of any emergency that could affect a water system and water quality.

use and limiting outdoor watering, have relieved some of the demand for additional water while saving money on water bills.

We are fortunate to avoid many illnesses and diseases outbreaks associated with impure water in many parts of the world. Drinking water system operators, environmental engineers, and public health officials work together to maintain drinking water system infrastructure and are invaluable resources in keeping our drinking water safe.

Another important way to protect our water is to keep common household cleaning products and chemicals from spilling onto the ground. These items, including motor oil, antifreeze, pesticides, fertilizers, and cleaners can travel through the soil to contaminate groundwater or find their way into storm drains to pollute streams and lakes. Flushing medications down toilets or drains can also have long-lasting effects on streams, lakes, and wildlife. Removing contamination from water supplies is difficult and extremely expensive.

Citizens can also take some simple precautions to protect our precious water resources. Conservation efforts in our communities, including reducing unnecessary household

Let’s not take for granted the efforts made to protect and provide clean, pure, and high-quality drinking water for those of us fortunate enough to live in southwest Utah.

Beaver, Utah beat out over 700 contenders to become America’s best tasting water in a 2006 contest sponsored by the National Rural Water Association. In 2010, Beaver’s water was recognized as the “World’s Best” by the prestigious Berkely Springs contest.



OF ALTERNATIVE TOBACCO PRODUCTS By the Washington County Youth Coalition Guest Columnists


he U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally ended the “wild west” of unregulated tobacco products as of August, 2016. We, as members of the Washington County Youth Coalition (WCYC) are excited for this change. For too long, cigars, hookah tobacco, and e-cigarette products have increased in sales without product standards, consistent age limitations, or controls on claims about health effects.

product among youth for the second consecutive year. This is an increase from the 3 million middle and high school students who were current users of e-cigarettes in 2015, and an estimated 2.46 million in 2014. We have seen similar trends here in Washington County.

The new rules by the FDA allow for the opportunity to regulate how tobacco products are made, marketed, and sold, along with lowering toxicity and - most importantly - less appealing The growth in rates of to teens! e-cigarette use among young people has been Without regulation, cusalarming. Sixteen percent tomers do not have a of high school students guarantee that the prodand 5.3 percent of middle uct was made in sanitary school students report- conditions or that the listed being current users of ed ingredients, including e-cigarettes in 2015, mak- the levels of nicotine, are ing e-cigarettes the most accurate. We believe that commonly used tobacco regulation can help us keep

the product out of youth hands, while still allowing the freedom of adults to make the choice to use. The American Lung Association agrees, stating that “It will help prevent young people from starting to use tobacco, and help consumers better understand the risks of using these products, It will also prevent new tobacco products from being marketed unless a manufacturer demonstrates that the products meet certain public health standards.” What does this regulation do? The ruling essentially brings the same limits on traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to a fuller array of tobacco products. Standards can be issued for all regulated tobacco products to make them less toxic and addic-



tive, including a nationwide standard making it illegal to sell any kind of tobacco product - including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah - to minors (under the age of 19 in Utah), or to sell them in vending machines. The Washington County Youth Coalition encourages our community to support these regulations. Even more importantly, we encourage parents to talk with your teens about these products and the risks involved. For the “wild west� of alternative tobacco products to end, we need our community, and our parents, to do their part.

We are a volunteer group of high school students committed to making a healthier, better, and safer community through drug prevention. We have become a driving force for local policy change in regards to tobacco and underage alcohol use. Find us on Facebook (washcoyouth) or on Twitter (_WCYC_)




By Lexie Little SWUPHD Heath Educator

id you know that seatbelt use is now a primary law in Utah? That means that an officer doesn’t need another reason to pull you over if you are not wearing your seatbelt, like they did in the past. You can now be stopped and cited for simply not buckling up. The law states that all passengers must wear seat belts and children up to age 8 must be properly restrained in a carseat or booster.

Always remember to buckle up every time you get into a vehicle. Children 12 years and younger should always ride in the back seat, and have any backpacks or bulky coats removed before fastening their seat belts. When using car seats or boosters, check the manufacturer’s label on the side of the seat to make sure that your child is in the appropriate sized seat according to their weight and height. The health department offers free car seat checks if you’re wondering if yours are properly installed (see page 5 for locations). The reason behind these laws and recommendations is, of course, to prevent injuries and save lives. Here are some stories shared by some southwest Utah residents: “In 2013 we were traveling from Oklahoma to Utah for Thanksgiving. While driving through Texas it started to rain and the roads quickly became icy. We hit black ice on an overpass and rolled our Durango. My husband and I were both buckled up. Our three kids - ages five, 18 months, and three months - were all securely fastened in their child car seats. The Durango was totaled. My husband got the worst of it with a gash on his head, but other that that it was just bumps and bruises for me and a little scratch on my baby from stuff flying around. If we weren't all properly buckled up it would have been a different result and I could have lost one of my babies or my husband.”

-Mardi H., Hurricane

“We were hit head-on at 65 miles per hour with the total force of impact reaching 110 mph. The remains of the crash were so bad that we were thought to be dead. Both my wife and I survived , and I know if we weren't wearing our seatbelts that we would not have made it.”

-Kyle L., Cedar City

“We rolled our vehicle on the freeway with our three children buckled in the back. Had they not been properly restrained they would have all been injured or ejected. Our car rolled three-and-ahalf times and landed upside down, but all of us were perfectly safe - and buckled in - with only minor injures.”

-Sam L., St. George

“I just was involved in a car crash last month on my way from Kanab to St. George. Had I not had my seatbelt on, I am not sure I would have walked away from the accident.”

-Clint C., Washington

“My wife and three of our daughters were involved in a car crash on December 24th of last year, while traveling from St. George to Enoch. Our van rolled several times before coming to a stop. Fortunately we all were wearing our seat belts. None of us would have been saved had we not been doing so!”

-Martin K., Cedar City

Besides buckling up, you can keep yourself and your passengers safe by staying alert and focused on the road while not being distracted or impaired by any of the following: being in a hurry, being fatigued or sleep-deprived, driving aggressively, texting, or using alcohol or drugs. HEALTH MAGAZINE |WINTER/ SPRING 2017


& B A D W E AT H E R D R I V I N G

Here are some additional tips for driving in bad weather or winter conditions:

• Consider staying home if you don’t really need to travel • Try to plan your travel around storms • Avoid traveling at night or when temperatures are lowest • Plan for plenty of time to get to your destination • Clear snow and ice off the windows for visibility • Keep your gas tank close to full • Dress for the weather • Avoid quick stops & turns • Increase your following distance • Use extra caution when changing lanes • 4 Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive don’t make you invincible • Watch for black ice • Bridges freeze first • The road behind an active snow plow is the safest to drive on • If you skid, ease off the gas and turn into the skid • Don’t use cruise control • And, of course, ALWAYS BUCKLE UP!

Keep these items in your vehicle in case of an emergency:

� � � � � � � � � � � �


Jumper cables Tire chains Tow rope Small shovel Reflectors or flares Flashlight with extra batteries Battery, solar, or crank radio First aid kit Water and non-perishable foods Blanket Chemical hand warmers Extra sanitary supplies

SENIORS By David Heaton Managing Editor / SWUPHD Public Information Officer


here are approximately 140 people living in Utah who have reached the age of 100 or older. These men and women have been witness to many historical events and seen amazing progress in technology. They have their own life lessons and wisdom to share, as well.

est of four children. His father was was a miner and rancher. His family moved to Nevada, then California, where Glenn lived through the Great Depression as a teenager. The family moved back to their Nevada ranch where Glenn worked for ten years until he was drafted into the Air Force as an airplane mechanic during World War II for threeGlenn Osborne, one of six and-a-half years. members of the Utah Governor’s Century Club liv- Glenn met and married ing in southwest Utah, is Marie as the war was windamong the youngest of his ing down, and he found centenarian peers at age work as a caretaker on a 101. We visited with him large ranch where he manin his Milford home to get aged up to 1200 head of his perspective on healthy cattle. He supplemented living. their income by mining and selling obsidian. After Glenn was born in 1915 in his wife of 17 years died in Frisco, Utah, as the young- an accident, he remarried

a couple of years later to Billie, a widow who had lost her husband around the same time. They retired early from “cow chasing”, as Glenn calls it, when he was 62, in Milford. Glenn remembers always being an active person, and he stayed that way after leaving ranch work, spending three years remodeling and completely rewiring the home he and his wife had moved into. They bought a camper and boat and enjoyed getting to know all the good trout fishing spots in the area, along with traveling along the California coast. Later, Glenn devoted his energy to caring for Billie, who struggled with Alzheimer’s for six years before she passed away in 2000.



Glenn has outlived most of his friends and loved ones, but continues to enjoy relatively good health and a strong mind. The town of Milford threw a big party for him at the church when he turned 100. “Getting old and feeble is all,” he answers when asked if there are any challenges to staying active. But that doesn’t stop him from his walks. “I take a walk in the morning and one in the afternoon. Not very far, and I take small steps and use a cane, so it takes a while.” But he does it every day, making use of an indoor treadmill when the weather is bad. Glenn’s philosophy: “You’ve got to stay active. If you sit down, you’re gone. I still mow my own lawn (with a push mower, no less), to heck with let-

ting someone else do it.” He still takes care of his own shopping, cooking, and driving. Glenn’s mother lived to the age of 94. His sister died at 56. “She had as many miles built into her as my mother did,” he says. “The difference was, my sister got to smoking and drinking. I never touched a cigarette in my life. Always lots of fruits and vegetables, stayed away from alcohol.” After pausing for a moment, Glenn confesses, “Well, I drank a beer in - I think it was 1954 but I’m pretty sure that’s worn off by now.” continued on next page


We appreciate Glenn’s example and insights. Here are some additional stories of healthy living from some local seniors who are youngsters, compared to him. Since we will all eventually find ourselves at a phase when age presents new challenges and opportunities, it would be wise to learn from those who are further ahead in life’s journey:




Retired Navy and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Company

Retired, enjoying friends, my cats, road trips, and occasional traveling abroad

Retired IT with Utah Power & Light Company

I have always been somewhat active, but more so since retiring 11 years ago, since I have more time now. I workout with a personal trainer three times a week, hike three times a week, and play golf once a week. It keeps my body and my mind in good health.

I’ve been physically active all my life, which has helped me enjoy good health. I have a little vertigo I have to remain aware of, but I love lap swimming, yoga, aerobics, and hiking multiple times a week. I balance that out with reading and volunteer work, but I would tell others approaching retirement to learn to say “no” to volunteer requests when necessary and to take time to smell the roses!

I’ve always been active, and I currently golf four days a week, play pickleball once a week, and go Jeeping once a week. Arthritis has been a tough challenge. I had a shoulder replaced two years ago, and the cup/ stem has come loose, so I had to have surgery in December to repair it. Medications, ice, heat, and a hot tub help me manage the arthritis, and so does exercise, which also helps the healing process after surgery.

I have had a knee replacement and two back surgeries, so I do a stretching routine every morning to ensure my range of motion does not diminish. My personal trainer customizes my workouts to ensure that I keep my mobility and strengthen the areas needed to keep my knees and back strong.

However you choose to get active or to stay active, make it fun!

Since retiring, I have climbed Mount Whitney (21 miles in one day), hiked the Grand Canyon rimto-rim (21 miles in one day) three times, backpacked the John Muir Trail in the Sierra Nevadas (200 miles), and walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain (500 miles). Always stay as active as you can for the rest of your life. Nobody knows how long they will live, but being active will increase your lifespan and make those years more enjoyable and productive!


As far as staying active, I find that it helps to find some things you like, set a schedule, and do them! I also chose to live in an active adult community where recreation is right outside your front door. The golf course, trails, and other activities are readily accessible.





Part-time Massage Therapist

Former science librarian for BYU and retired Army chaplain

Retired owner of two sandwich shops and an assisted living facility in Nevada

Exercise keeps my energy levels up and allows me to enjoy life by doing many physical activities. I really didn't get any exercise until I turned 35 and my metabolism slowed down and I started to put on weight. I also had a teenager and a “terrible-twos” child at that time and found that exercise saved my sanity! My advice is to start slowly. Find something you really enjoy doing, and don't forget to stretch.

I go for walks and bike rides with my wife, golfing with a group, and weightlifting on my own. I’ve always been active, it will help you feel better and live longer. I may not have as much energy as I did in my twenties but I’ve stayed healthy due to clean living, exercise, good nutrition, and adequate sleep. The key is consistency; keeping it up on a regular basis.

I have been physically active all of my life, and the only thing I have to watch out for now is the age of my joints. I spend a lot of my time working out with weights or exercise classes and playing sports like tennis and pickleball. I also jog, ride a road bike, and swim. I’ve learned you can’t do the same things every day; you need to change up your exercise routine. I participate yearly in the Huntsman Senior World Games triathlon here in St. George.

I love how exercise has mental as well as physical benefits, especially yoga. Also I'm not surprised to hear that many doctors are now prescribing hiking. At least once a week I hike and play pickleball. Almost every day I either walk or take an exercise class or workout in the gym. And my favorite form of exercise is dancing which I do a couple of times a week. I counter my osteoporosis with weight-bearing exercises.

If you have not been doing any physical activity, try to start out slow and then build on that. There are also other things you can do do to stay active and involved. I do some volunteering, work in the SunRiver Library, and run the Social Club, Dominoes Group and the Ukulele Circle. I play the guitar, ukulele, and study Italian, as well.


M E ALT I M E By Audrie Frehner SWUPHD Health Educator

Dinner Is Better When We Eat Together


rocery shopping, laundry, work, bills, after school activities… sound familiar? Like most people, planning a healthy meal and eating as a family at the end of a tiring day is not always my top priority. But what if I told you that enjoying a meal together offers a myriad of health benefits to your children?

A report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University states that compared to teens who eat dinner with their families five to seven times per week and those who don’t, are twice as likely to have used tobacco, nearly twice as likely to have used alcohol, and 1.5 times likelier to have used marijuana.

Nationally celebrated during the month of September is Family Meals Month. This month was designed to demonstrate how parental engagement reduces children’s risk of e-cigarettes, alcohol, and drug use.

Not only does eating a family meal reduce those risks but research has shown that children who eat home cooked meals more frequently were less likely to be overweight. Children that ate at home were



also found to get better grades and tended to be happier you will have the opportunity to view with life overall. numerous meal ideas that will be perfect for your individual family needs. In addition, ParentsEmpowered. Although these numbers seem alarming- parents, you org is a supportive site used in Utah to help eliminate play a bigger role than you can imagine. With the recent underage drinking. This organization gives tips to parrise in younger chilents to take a more dren using drugs, it's active role in keep“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” important to engage ing their children with your children, alcohol-free. Both President Ronald Reagan have a conversation, of these websites are and show interest in a great tool to use their lives. According to parents empowered, a recent when planning a meal and learning how to further bond survey shows that when it comes to underage drinking, with your children. teens reported that parental disapproval is the number one reason they choose not to drink. In 1989 Ronald Reagan gave his farewell address and said “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” I inThere are many resources made available to parents to vite you to make the change and have a great meal with improve and enrich their family meals. By going to Utah- your family tonight.


Looking for a fun and healthy family meal? Try this pizza from the Food Nanny (Liz Edmunds)!



keeping it healthy

an authentic italian recipe

Makes: 3 pizzas (10-12 in) Prep-time: 1 hour

Makes: 1 pizza (10-12in) Cook-time: 10 min

1/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon sugar 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 tablespoon olive oil 3-4 cups bread flour or all purpose white flour (You can use any kind of flour with this recipe white spelt, whole wheat, kamut, gluten-free, whatever you prefer) 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1 1/4 cups warm water

1 pizza dough ball – Tuscan Sun Pizza dough ⅔ cup fresh Mozzarella cheese 2 cups fresh arugula ½ cup fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half Olive oil, for drizzling Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 2

3 4

you can also add... avacado, olives, onions, or any other veggie topping

Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Mix 1 Preheat oven to 500°. with a spoon. Let sit until foamy 4 to 5 min. Add olive oil. Roll out the dough. Place the dough on an oiled pizza pan or In a large bowl add the flour and salt. Make a well. Stir in the 2 baking sheet. Or, on a pizza peel with a little flour and cornyeast mixture and the 1 1/4 cups warm water. Use your hands meal to move pizza to a stone or tile. Brush olive oil over the if you want to. When you can't stir anymore and the dough is entire pizza. thick, yet sticky, bring it together with your hands and put out on a lightly floured counter or a breadboard and knead with 3 Slice the fresh mozzarella cheese and place it on the crust or top with shredded regular mozzarella. your hands for 5 to 7 min., adding more flour if it is still sticky, until the dough is very smooth. Shape into a ball. in a 500° oven for 6-8 min. on bottom oven rack until 4 Bake crisp. Oil a large bowl with a little olive oil. Place dough in bowl smooth side down, then turn the dough over and cover with 5 Remove from the oven and immediately pile the arugula a wet dish towel or oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until double pieces onto the hot melted cheese and top with tomatoes. in bulk. (About 1 hour). Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Season lightly with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. When the dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 3 equal balls, or 6 balls for Tuscan thin crust. I felt like adding some avocados (but you can add or take off 6 whatever your taste loves! Enjoy!! XOXO TIP: To freeze dough - after you have divided the dough and made 3 equal size balls, wrap each dough ball seperately in plastic, then again in foil and freeze up to 2 months. When Thank you so much to the Food Nanny for this healthy, famready to use, take out of freezer and let the dough come to ily-friendly recipe. For more from the Food Nanny visit theroom temperature and form dough into pizzas. SWUHEALTH.ORG | PAGE 25

LOCAL ACTIVITIES BEAVER COUNTY • Fishing - Minersville Reservoir • Snowmobiling • Snowboarding/skiing - Eagle Point Ski • Rockhounding Resort • Wildlife watching • ATV riding - Beaver County ATV Club • Open gym - Beaver and Milford high • Swimming - Beaver City Pool schools • Cross country skiing • Beaver City Golf Course - Beaver GARFIELD COUNTY • Fishing - Panguitch Lake and Boulder Monument Mountain • Capitol Reef National Park • Snowshoeing - Bryce Canyon/Ruby's • Kodachrome Basin • Cross country skiing - Bryce Canyon/ • Horseback riding - Triple C Arena Ruby's • Open gym - Panguitch, Bryce Valley • Ice skating - Ruby's Inn and Escalante High Schools • Bryce Canyon National Park • ATV riding - Paiute and Fremont trails • Grand Staircase Escalante National KANE COUNTY • Hiking & biking local trails • Exercise, Zumba, Yoga, & dance • Navajo Lake local fitness centers and studios • Horseback riding • Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park • ATV riding • Fishing on Lake Powell • Valley High School - open gym IRON COUNTY • Fishing • Snowshoeing • Hiking • Cedar City Aquatic Center - swim• Mountain bike trails ming & fitness center, ice skating • Rock climbing, canyoneering • Three Peaks Recreation Area • Snowmobiling • Cedar Breaks National Monument • Skiing/snowboarding - Briand Head • Private fitness centers & gyms • Cross country skiing WASHINGTON COUNTY • Hiking • Sand Hollow Aquatic Center • Mountain Biking • Washington City Recreation Center • Trails - over 25 miles of paved trails in • St. George City Recreation Center St. George City • Zion National Park • Golf - 11 courses • Snow Canyon State Park • Private fitness centers & gyms • Sand Hollow State Park • Fishing - Pine Valley, Enterprise, Sand • Red Cliffs Recreation Area Hollow, Quail Creek, & Kolob reservoirs




Are you uninsured, low-income, or have insurance that doesn’t cover certain blood tests? THEN YOU QUALIFY FOR FREE HEALTH SCREENINGS! LIPID PANEL* (CHOLESTEROL SCREENING) A1C* (BLOOD SUGAR TEST) HEMATOCRIT* (ANEMIA SCREENING) BMI (BODY FAT %) BLOOD PRESSURE NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY, JUST VISIT OUR CEDAR, ST. GEORGE , AND KANAB OFFICES. (SEE PAGE 4-5) SOME INDIVIDUALS MAY ALSO QUALIFY FOR A FREE HEALTH EXAM VOUCHER FROM FAMILY HEALTHCARE. Expires June 30, 2017 - Funding provided by The Utah Department of Health, Division of Family Health and Preparedness, Bureau of Primary Care, Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. Grant Award $39,975. 100% of funding goes toward this project. No other non-governmental funding used. *Normal cost for Lipid Panel($35), A1C($25), Hematocrit($15)


2 016 A N N U A L R E P O R T B OA R D O F H E A LT H Commissioner Vi c t o r Ive r s o n » w ash ing ton count y

Linda Rider

» w ash ing ton

count y

Commissioner Dale Br i n k e r h o f f » i r on cou nty

D r. C l a y t o n Pe t t y » iron count y

Commissioner Jim Matson » kane count y

Ro s a l i n d Metcalf

» k a ne

cou nty

Commissioner Mike Dalton » b e ave r count y

Ke n n e th El m e r

» b e ave r

count y

Commissioner D a vi d Te b b s » g ar fi eld cou nty

Nick Re y n o l d s

» g ar f ield

count y

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) serves the nearly 222,500 residents of Washington, Iron, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield counties. Our mission is to protect the community's health through the promotion of wellness and the prevention of disease.

SERVING OUR COMMUNITY NURSING SERVICES • Immunizations administered: 17,561 including (4,579 flu vaccines) • International travel consults: 669 • TB (Tuberculosis) tests: 1,541 • WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) client contacts: 15,923

VITAL RECORDS • Births: 3,275* • Death certificates issued: 1,764* (*provisional) • Total vital records issued: 19,522

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH • Total food service inspections and consultations: 3,515 (25% increase) • Food Handler Cards issued: 7,000 • Water samples analyzed (for swimming pools and drinking water facilities): 4,697 (10% increase) • Public pools & spas in district: 681 • Restaurants / food establishments in distric: 1,018 • FDA grants recieved for training and program improvement: $72,300 • Total septic system inspections, plan reviews, and consultations: 3,313 (10% increase) • Compliance of swimming pools submitting monthly samples: 90% (compared to 20% in 2013

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS • MRC (Medical Reserve Corps) registered volunteers: 380 • POD (Point of Distribution) agreements: 221 (organizations and businesses set up to receive medication and supplies in a public health emergency for distribution to their staff/ clientele) • Community preparedness trainings and presentations: 63 • Preparedness activites with community partners: 76 (1,998 in attendance) • Medical and behavioral health preparedness trainings and exercises: 12 (2,974 in attendance) • Full Scale Surge Pandemic Exercise ("SPANDEX") held on March 17, 2016 to test area response to a pandemic incident when hospitals are at full capacity. 885 participants from five counties, 6,000 boxes of personal protective equipment delivered by Regional Distribution Site as part of drill. • Disease Surveillance and epidemiological investigations conducted: 1,274

HEALTH PROMOTION • Families participating in the Play Unplugged program: 146 • Certified car seat installation checks: 145 • Low-cost car seats distributed: 88 • Convenience/grocery store clerks trained on preventing tobacco sales to minors: 387 • Convenience/grocery stores in district checked quarterly for underage tobacco sales: 188 (illegal sales to minors have declined 85% over past 15 years) • Cities assisted to develop policies to reduce tobacco availability to minors: 5 • Presented to all high schools in district on the harms of e-cigarettes • Parents and teens receiving training on safe driving skills: 1,698 • Assisted St. George and Washington City in developing plans and policies to make streets more accessible to walking and biking


TO P 10 C O M M U N I C A B L E D I S E AS E S I N T H E D I ST R I C T, 2016



















1,271 826
















2 016 A N N U A L R E P O R T FRIENDS OF PUBLIC HEALTH Every year, the SWUPHD selects three members of the community who have demonstrated exceptional support and service to the field of public health.


Writer, Storyteller, Preparedness Expert, Renaissance Man Al Cooper served for many years as an emergency management executive at both the county and state level. Al recently wrote his 400th weekly column for the Spectrum newspaper. He writes and speaks on a wide range of topics; from preparedness and patriotism to history and the culinary arts. He has written several articles for past issues of this magazine. Al was perhaps best known locally as a radio personality with his long-running talk show, Provident Living; Home and Country, which aired on KSUB 590AM. His work can be found at


MRC and CERT Volunteers Former Navy Commander Warren Jederberg and his wife Mary are very involved in the local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) organization and serve on its leadership team. With a special interest in preparedness and public health, the Jederbergs also take an active role in the community as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainers and self defense instructors.



Retired Southwest Utah Board of Health & Dixie Regional Medical Center Linda Rider (RN, BSN, CIC) recently completed 13 years of service on the Southwest Utah Board of Health as an appointed board member. She worked as a Certified Infection Preventionist at Dixie Regional Medical Center for the past 14 years before retiring this last fall. Prior to that, she worked in the same field in Deland, Florida. In 2014 Linda volunteered to join an Ebola Treatment Unit in the West African nation of Liberia. She now does some work for the Utah Department of Health’s Healthcare Acquired Infection Program and enjoys camping, rockhounding, and spending time with her animals, neighbors, and friends. Thanks to Linda Rider for her many years of service in healthcare and public health on behalf of southwest Utah!

Recreation Manager, City of St. George

Steve Bingham has been a strong advocate for encouraging active lifestyles among residents and visitors to the St. George area. He served as chair for the Healthy Dixie Council where he educated local city leaders about the importance of active transportation (biking, walking, etc.). Steve was a key contributor in making the Play Unplugged summer program successful, including the sponsorship of 7 different activites by his recreation department. He also worked with the Council and the health department to implement no-smoking policies in city parks. We appreciate his dedication and support over the years.



familes participated in play unplugged


grants: 51% fees: 26% county contribution: 22% other: 1%


vital records issued

681 public pools & spas in district

3,275 births


total immunizations given


flu shots


medical reserve core volunteers

1,764 deaths


food service inspections

top 4 disasters to prepare for

flood, fire, pandemic, earthquake



water samples analyzed

hospitalized flu cases

2016 data for the five counties served by the SWUPHD.



Health | Spring 2017  

'Health' is a publication of the Southwest Utah Public Health Foundation for Iron, Washington, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield counties. This iss...

Health | Spring 2017  

'Health' is a publication of the Southwest Utah Public Health Foundation for Iron, Washington, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield counties. This iss...