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May 2019

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.



April was a busy month! As busy as it was, I must say I found fulfillment in each day. As I completed the Municipal & County Administration Course, which was truly a labor of love, I had some time to reflect on OCHD as an organization. I will continue to work hard to create an environment in which you all feel like you are part of something bigger than you and I. I am well aware that some of you are not feeling inspired at the start and end of your work day. However, I would like to ask you to dig deep and ask yourself, "WHY?" The concept of WHY has proven to be a strong motivating force for me. When I am faced with tasks and relationships that aren’t very appealing to me, I stop and ask myself, WHY this must be done. I continue to answer the question until I reach the point of realization that my work has a purpose of service to help some of the most vulnerable in our community.
I also had the opportunity to attend a GARE (Government Alliance for Racial Equity) Meeting in April. The meeting reminded me of the WHY behind the racial and health equity work that we’ve begun in the department. A group from Fairfax, Virginia shared this quote, “We ALL do better, when we ALL do better.” This statement really resonates with me as I understand when everyone in the community is thriving and living at their maximum potential, the community as a whole benefits in many ways. I believe success is not achieved alone, but with a group. This reminds me of an old African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” For the purpose of this article, I would like to define community as OCHD staff. I make an assumption that we understand what we do. Most understand how we do it.  Do we all understand WHY we do it?
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms! Congratulations to all the graduates and parents of the graduates! 

In Good Health,

Quintana Stewart
Health Director 

Happy Birthday
birthday candles

Stephanie George: 5/1

April Richard: 5/11
Lukisha Dossett: 5/16
Michael Day: 5/17
Rebecca Crawford: 5/23
Latitia Chavious: 5/26
Caroline Shumaker: 5/27


Please remember to nominate exceptional employees for KUDOS! Just fill out and submit the KUDOS Nomination form HERE.

A KUDO is praise or a compliment given for something well done. Kudos can be given to thank or congratulate a person, team, or group for their efforts. This appreciation and/or acknowledgment can be presented for service, performance, effort, courtesy, efficient or effective work.

Eligibility: Kudos can be given to any Health Department employee (full time, part time, temporary or student intern). There is no length of employment required.

The nominated Health Department employee must exhibit one or more of the Core Values:

Customer Centered
High Quality



Congratulations to Medical Billing Team for being the 1st quarter’s (January – March 2019) Kudos award winner!  Please see Trisha Tant for your $50 gift card.
Below are the employees that were nominated for Kudos award during the months of January to March 2019 in the order of date nominated. 
Please see below for the link to submit your Kudos.  Once you’re on the webpage, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom.
The website is here:

Donna King
Lisa Yourko
Ruth Pizarro Cisneros
Gailey Tatum
Latitia Chavious
Christy Bridges
Lesly Penick
Renee Kemske
Medical Billing Team
Latitia Chavious
Lisa Yourko
Lisa Yourko
Iulia Vann
Susan Clifford
Iole (Julie) Johnson
Lisa Yourko
Margaret Campbell
Susan Wagoner
Johnna Reed
Janice Poole
Cristina Melendez
Latitia Chavious
Candi Campbell

Tracey Langley
Congratulations to Tracey Langley!  Tracey is, without doubt, one of the most reliable team members with whom I have ever had the pleasure of working. I have been working on an accounting process revision with our new software. Tracey was the steward of this process for several years. She kept in good shape and her preservation of documentation has been essential to fixing errors. I do not know how Tracey has time to do everything she does for EH.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Whetsell!  Liz is a pleasure to work with. She is an excellent RN and I appreciate her thorough care of OCHD patients.  She is often the charge RN at Whitted and juggles those responsibilities while working with a provider and always has a kind word for our patients.
Zin Lyons
Congratulations to Zin Lyons!  Kudos to Zin as she often takes the initiative to improve clinic efficiency by taking the time to color- code forms used daily during intake to reaching out to IT to help with EPIC navigation. In addition to her drive and motivation, she is also knowledgeable and brings a skill set that not only benefits the clinic but the patients as well. She is truly an asset to the clinic.
Meet the Staff
trisha tant

Trisha Tant

Title, Division and Supervisor: Accounting Technician, FAS, Kim Quatrone
Started Working with OCHD: Dec. 17, 2018
Favorite Part about Working at OCHD:Working
with such a diverse group of people, both co-workers and clients.

Did You Know?I have 2 kids, both boys.  I’m native to Orange County, having lived here my entire life.  I worked in Public Health at UNC years ago, and most recently worked at a public school in Durham.  I enjoy helping people, so I’m glad I’ve been able to continue my work in the public arena, serving both kids and adults. 

racial equity commission logo

From the Desk of the Racial Equity Commission (REC)

In Our Own Words: Interviews from OCHD Staff
As many of you know, the Racial Equity Commission is working to ensure that racial equity is an active agent throughout all organizational processes. In order to do that, we’ll be taking many approaches to ensure that equity is normalized, operationalized, and organized with in our agency. This means that equity will hopefully begin to show up among individuals, among different racial and ethnic groups and within these groups, and in our institution.

This month we interviewed two staff members, Ana Salas and Mike DeFranco to learn more about their experiences growing up and how that shapes them today. Through our work in REC, we see how important it is to build relationships with co-workers. Listening is the beginning of any meaningful relationship.  Listening is when each person makes sense of his or her actions and searches for common space without denying the validity of the other's point of view.  When people are heard and take the time to hear one another, the work has already begun.

We hope these interviews allow you to get to know Ana and Mike in new and meaningful ways and that you find commonality in their stories both within and across racial and ethnic groups. We asked Ana and Mike four questions. Below are their answers.

1.How racially diverse was your neighborhood growing up? What message(s) did you get about race from living there?
Ana: I grew up in a very small family owned neighborhood that was quiet, rural, and white and one in which my family was the odd family out. My dad worked in farming and the family that owned the neighborhood hired him and offered him rental housing so that he could be close to the job. Eventually, the family offered to sell the land we lived on to my dad. Growing up I wasn’t aware of any messages about race at the time, because where and how we lived was the norm for me. We played with the kids in the neighborhood who were all white and they would come over to my house and ask questions wondering why we did this or that or wanting to try my Mom’s Mexican food. It felt like a calling out of all the things that we did that was different, but also felt normal because I did not have a comparison.
Mike: Not very. I grew up an hour west of Boston. It was predominantly white, very middle of the road, middle class. Messaging about race like we’re talking now, I would say not very much. We had this great thing at my house, kind of a roundtable. My parents had some very strong convictions and were also very progressive minded. They had both come from New York City. They had the lived experience of living in diverse neighborhoods. We didn’t have that. There were maybe a handful of African American families that I knew, that we were friends with that we were with in school. But the vast majority was a sea of white. The space that my parents created in the house, we were able to talk about lots of different things including political issues, some racial issues, and just asking a lot of questions. It was awesome because those weren’t mainstream conversations for me, at least at that time.
2.When was the first time you had a teacher of a different race? How often did this occur? When was the first time you had a teacher of the same race? How often did this occur?
Ana: The first time I had a teacher of a different race was the first time I went to school; all my teachers were pretty much white. I really had to think back very hard about people of color teachers I’ve encountered. In high school, I remember having one Hispanic teacher that was only there for a year and taught Spanish and one black teacher that taught English. In college, both undergrad and graduate school, I remember having one Hispanic teacher for Latin American studies and two black teachers that taught elective classes. What I remember is that when I did finally encountered other people of color teachers, I felt that they taught their classes with more passion and dedication to the topics and were more attentive to my needs.

Mike: Mrs. Wiggins, she was my second grade teacher and she was biracial. In college there were a few individuals from various backgrounds. It was sprinkled in but it wasn’t the norm. A lot of the professors and the teachers even in high school where from that general area, it was pretty white.

3.When/how did you first realize that races were treated differently in society? Who helped you make sense of that difference in treatment, and how did they do so?
Ana: Growing up you kind of know there’s a difference, but you don’t really SEE if because you’re used to the way it is. You begin to just think this is how life is. I didn’t really begin to see that there is actually a difference is how people of different races are treated until I started school at UNC Chapel Hill. I encountered people who told me that the only reason I got in to UNC was because I was Hispanic and the school was just trying to meet a quota. I remember thinking to myself ‘why aren’t you saying that to other people because I know I worked by butt off to get here’. It wasn’t until I joined the Carolina Hispanic Association (CHA) that I knew I wasn’t the only one facing these accusations and there were other people on campus with similar experiences. The CHA also partnered with other minority groups on campus for various things and honestly it was one of the best times of my life. My whole life growing up I lived in a majority white neighborhood and I was in Honors and AP courses in school and the majority of the students in those classes were white and they only brought their perspectives with them to class. I didn’t even realize I was missing something in my life until I was shown it and experienced it in CHA and when we bonded with other minority groups on campus. It was amazing! Just being around CHA and other people of color I realized I wasn’t alone and that the treatment of different races is actually a thing, it’s real. I wish I had taken more Latin American studies to learn more about my own people because there’s so much that I never knew and still don’t know. The Racial Equity Institute was also significant in that it helped me to actually put what I had been feeling my whole life, even when I didn’t know what feelings, into words that I can understand and that I know to be true. REI validated and connected me to my feelings in such a powerful way.
Mike: I would say probably one of the biggest things for me was living outside the country, living abroad and being a foreigner is a wonderful way to readjust your lens. So the Peace Corps for me was the first time I was a minority in this area in southeastern Guatemala. It was very different than being a minority in the US but nonetheless, it was an amazing experience to give me a different lens to look at the world through.
Some of my friends were enlightened at a much earlier age that I ever was. They helped me see structural issues. And I think, damn, why didn’t I think on that same level in high school? And even now, I’ll go to training and it’s fascinating and a little bit frustrating to be constantly surprising yourself that you might not necessarily be aware. That something that I would never ever experience, like walking into a store to pick up something and then you hear a friend who is a person of color who says I’ve been walking into stores like that and I’ve felt the eyes on me, the camera, I’ve made notice of that. That I find frustrating because I never experience that and the way our society is set up, I never will. Awareness is our biggest thing, the biggest messaging piece; how do you get more and more people to acknowledge and to become more aware and open up the channels of conversation if we’re ever going to make things more equitable.

4.When did you first work in a community that was racially different from the one you grew up in?
Ana: I’ve always worked in public service type of job in which we’ve had client bases that are different races and ethnicities. But working here at OCHD, I feel like I’ve worked with more clients and had more co-workers that are people of color that feel like I do and have the same ideals that I do than any other place I’ve worked in. Even though there isn’t many Hispanic staff, OCHD is the one that has the most people of color in any setting that I’ve been in even though there still isn’t a huge number of people of color staff here.

Mike: Working in emergency trauma, from a medicine standpoint, there were so many individuals that came into ER, people of color who had a previous diagnosis of hypertension, Type ll Diabetes; two of the most preventable illnesses if you have access to care, medications, follow-up, and reduced stress. To really start to see that play out, what seemed like half the population for all of these things because they don’t have access to care, it further reinforced in me to do something from the preventive health standpoint. It was enlightening to me to see individuals from different walks of life that were having different outcomes simply because they didn’t have resources. And you take it a step further—well why didn’t they have it? Why are all of these individuals underprivileged and why are all of these individuals coming from a similar cohort? This is what motivated me to work in public health.
Upcoming Trainings

REC encourages all staff to attend REI trainings (REI Phase l & ll, Latinx Challenge Workshops, Groundwaters, etc.) more than once in order to begin to form a common language and analysis lens among us all. Once trained, we encourage staff participation in the joint and affinity caucusing groups.  For more training opportunities please visit and

Racial Equity Institute Phase l
Burlington – Friday & Saturday, May 3rd & 4th – To register click here.
Durham – Saturday & Sunday, May 4th & 5th – To register click here.
Greensboro – Monday & Tuesday, May 13th & 14th – To register click here.
Durham – Monday & Tuesday, May 20th & 21st – To register click here. Alumni ONLY
Raleigh – Friday & Saturday, June 7th & 8th – To register click here.
Durham – Thursday & Friday, June 20th & 21st – To register click here. Alumni ONLY

Racial Equity Institute Phase ll
Durham – Thursday & Friday, June 13th & 14th – To register click here.

474 CLAS Standards Advancing Health Equity Agreement Addendum: Required Trainings Below
Understanding the Social Determinants of Health – May 24th – Whitted BOCC Room – To register click here.

Webinars, Conferences, Workshops
May 15th – Self-Care for the Public Health Professionals - Please see Rebecca Crawford for details
Community Events
May 21st – Campaign for Racial Equity Speaker Series – Chapel Hill Public Library @ 6:30 pm

Learning Community
Book Club: See April Richard or Juliet Sheridan for more information
Joint Caucus: May 8th 12 pm – Whitted Classroom – open to any staff who have gone through Racial Equity training. See Juliet Sheridan or April Richard for more information. 

Tick Prention

Spread the Word!


Tick-borne illnesses include: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, STARI , and red meat allergies.

Use repellent with DEET. Treat pets. Wear pants and long sleeves. Keep lawn short. Remove plants that attract deer and rodents. Learn more:


Kronos Timestudy


Health Department employees need to begin allocating time in Kronos as of May 1st. Below is a link to folder with a manual and Powerpoint preview.
Timestudy Manual and Powerpoint.

Safety First

Home Visitor and Field Worker Safety, Part 3

This is the 3rd and final Safety First article dedicated to home visitors and field workers. The first part focused on Workplace Violence for Employees that Visit Clients at their Home, and the 2nd article focused on severe weather, driving-related injuries and animal threats. This 3rd installment will cover the following job stress, musculoskeletal disorders, unsanitary homes and temperature extremes.

1. Job Stress
There are a number of factors that home and field workers face that may not be typically encountered by employees that work at county-operated building. Some of these stressors include: high caseloads with time pressure to reach clients at their homes, working alone without support from coworkers or supervisors, traveling in unsafe neighborhoods, alcohol and drug use by clients, and client family arguments.
Employers should provide:
  • Frequent, quality supervision
  • Adequate job training, including stress management techniques 
  • Regular staff meetings where problems, frustrations and solutions can be discussed
  • Encouragement for employees to take breaks, lunch breaks, and allow sufficient time for travel
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program for counseling and support

2.Sprains, Strains and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Home visitors and environmental health staff are faced with uncertain conditions that can lead to sprains, strains and musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) affect the muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons. Home care and field workers can be exposed to a number of risk factors, such as lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively.  Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. Below are some ways employers and employees can work together to improve workplace conditions and decrease the risk of injury:
  • Commitment by management to providing safe environment and ergonomic solutions
  • Involvement of workers in the ergonomic approach with direct participation in worksite assessments, solution development and implementation
  • Training on how to prevent musculoskeletal injuries by utilizing proper body mechanics and ergonomic assistive devices if available
  • Identify and report problems early
  • Early implementation of solutions to control or eliminate workplace injuries
  • Ongoing evaluation of corrective actions and further solution implementation as needed

 3. Unsanitary Homes and Temperature Extremes
Controlling unsanitary conditions and potential health hazards in the home can be difficult for home visitors. These hazards have important implications for the health and well-being of the client and the home visitor. Some of these hazards include overheated room temperatures, poor indoor air quality, and unsanitary conditions, such as the presence of insects and rodents, clutter, unhygienic practices, poor lighting, and loose rugs.  Studies have also documented the survivability and spread of microbes in the kitchen. Pathogens associated with raw or undercooked food items, such as poultry, have caused disease in household members, including those who are especially vulnerable due to age or immune status.
So what can be done?
  • Be observant and move cautiously in the home.
  • Wear personal protective equipment if necessary.
  • Only bring in what is needed for the visit. Do not set things on the floor if possible.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.
  • If the home is uncomfortably warm, ask for permission to open the window. Drink plenty of water.
  • Contact social services for assistance if you believe the client or others in the home are at risk due to unsanitary conditions, extreme temperatures or lack of running water.

Come Celebrate with Kathleen!


Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

Orange County supports healthy eating for a healthy lifestyle. Use those winter greens to load up on fiber, vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium and iron.

  • 8 cups chopped, stemmed kale (about 1 large bunch)
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. yellow or Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted, hulled sunflower seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted, hulled pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
    2 Tbsp. grated, reduced-fat Parmesan cheese
Prepare the kale: Lay each leaf onto a cutting board. Use a knife to cut each side of the kale leaf's rib to remove and discard it. (Kale ribs are quite bitter and tough, making it best to remove.) Repeat with remaining leaves. Then, slice the kale into about ½-inch pieces. If kale is still wet from washing, dry it in a salad spinner.
In a large bowl, add lemon juice, oil, mustard, and pepper. Use a fork to mix dressing together. Add the chopped kale into the bowl. Use your fingers to gently massage the dressing into the kale until the kale has wilted from 8 cups to 6 cups, just a few minutes.
Top kale salad with pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese. Serve.

OCHD Language Service Team

Regional Medical Interpreter Summit


The OCHD Language Services team enjoyed learning best practices and networking with colleagues from across the state at the Atrium Health Regional Medical Interpreter Summit in Charlotte on April 6, 2019. 

This was our third year attending this high-energy, meaningful and fun event!
Pictured here: Susan Clifford, Danilo Formolo (Director of Language Services for Atrium Health and Conference Leader), Julie Johnson and Victoria Alonso.

A Day Of Remembrance


At Margaret Lane Cemetary
May 18th, 2019 at 3pm

A Day of Remembrance
A Day of Remembrance

Cycle the Riverwalk!

Want to cycle the Riverwalk in Hillsborough? On Wednesday, May 15th from 11am-1pm come by the entrance below Weaver Street Market for free bike checks and a guided tour.
cycle the riverwalk

For Teens: Coping after Mass Violence

Mass violence incidents, where several people are injured and killed, affect everyone in the community. Coping with mass violence can be very stressful. You or your friends might have been physically injured; you may have been worried about the safety of family and friends, or lost a loved one. You may have been interviewed by the police. It can be difficult to figure out where to begin when trying to understand what happened. Over time, most people begin to feel better and return to normal routines, but knowing about the impact of mass violence can help you take care of yourself and others. Learn more here with information for teens about common reactions to mass violence, as well as tips for taking care of themselves and connecting with others.
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Orange County Health Department

  • 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • 2501 Homestead Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
  • 131 W. Margaret Ln., Hillsborough, NC 27278

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