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July 2019

Change Ahead


Happy July OCHD! July 1st marks the beginning of a new fiscal year and for most of us, a new programmatic year as well. This is often the time of year when we hit the “Reset” button. We close out program deliverables and begin to set our calendars with meetings and activities to ensure we satisfy program requirements for the New Year. OCHD is experiencing our fair share of changes beginning July 1st, so I wanted to highlight a few of those for you below.

Family Success Alliance (FSA) Navigators
Effective July 1st, the Navigators are coming back to the department as County Employees. FSA was implemented five years ago. During this time the program has done awesome work addressing poverty and assisting some of our most vulnerable families as they navigate several systems in the community. As the complexity of their work continues to grow, it has become evident that there is a need to reunite the team (staff and managers) under one agency. The health department is eternally grateful to our community host site agencies (OCIM & EmPOWERment, Inc) for their support and partnership over the last five years. We look forward to our continued work with not only the host partners, but all our community partners. As we position the full FSA team back into the department, we are moving the program from Health Promotion & Education Services (HPES) to Personal Health Services (PHS). Moving FSA to PHS allows us to align staff that do similar work and use similar resources to reduce duplication of efforts as we serve families. In PHS, FSA staff will have an opportunity to work closely with our Family Home Visiting teams and the clinic staff (specifically the behavioral health staff). This positions our families/patients for the opportunity to receive more complete wrap around services.
Welcome Home Navigators!
Board of Health
We will also see some significant changes to our Board of Health this month as we lose three dedicated members and welcome two new members. Join me in saying THANK YOU to Dr. Paul Chelminski (Physician Representative 2009-2019), Susan Elmore, DVM (Veterinarian Representative 2010-2019) and Barbara Chavious, MPH (At-large Representative 2015 -2019). We appreciate their wisdom, guidance and selfless service to the Board. Their work showed true commitment to the health and well-being of all Orange County residents.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! You will be missed!
We would also like to say WELCOME to our two newest board members, Dr. Aparna Jonnal (Physician Representative) and Dr. Alison Stuebe (At-large Representative). We look forward to working with you. See you in August! 

In Good Health,

Quintana Stewart
Health Director 


Happy Birthday
birthday candles

Claudia Yerena: 7/7

Shannon Barnes: 7/8
Linda Hupman: 7/9
Dominika Gazdzinska: 7/9
Lauren Spey: 7/11

Wendy Thigpen: 7/13
Carla Julian: 7/17
Jennifer Riddle: 7/26

Quintana Stewart: 7/29
Lisa Lowe: 7/29
Victoria Hudson: 7/29
Zannie Gunn: 7/30
Joan Melton: 7/31

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

Welcome New Staff
Lauren Spey
Welcome to Lauren Spey! Lauren is our new Public Health Nurse 1. Lisa Lowe is her supervisor. 
Debra Wright
Welcome to Debra Wright! Debra is our new Public Health Nurse I.  Meghann Johnson is her supervisor. 
Meet the Staff
Zin Lyons

Zin Lyons

Title, Division and Supervisor: Communicable Disease/ Refugee Health Nurse, Division: PHS, and Supervisor: Mike DeFranco

Started Working with OCHD: December 2018
Favorite Part about Working at OCHD: Meeting the community members and awesome staff from all walks of life 

Did You Know? I was born in Myanmar and immigrated to California. I knew I wanted to serve as a nurse and a leader since I was in high school. I enlisted in the National Guard and later commissioned as an Army Nurse Officer in the military. After my time in the Army, I traveled to 20 different countries before I resettled here in North Carolina. I love outdoor activities, travelling, and overall learning life as I go. I am excited to be a part of the OCHD Communicable Disease team and look forward to serving people, as always. 

racial equity commission logo

From the Desk of the Racial Equity Commission (REC)


The Reparations Debate--Should the US Pay Reparations to Black Americans?

At this stage, REC work focuses primarily on how race operates within the Health Department. This month, we look outside the Department to a public policy debate about race that is in the news. On June 17th the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing about H.R. 40, a proposal from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) that would authorize a national apology and study reparations for slavery and racial discrimination against black people in America. Before we go further, let’s review some terms:

  • Reparations: reparations for slavery is the idea that some form of compensatory payment needs to be made to the descendants of Africans trafficked to and enslaved in the Americas as part of the Atlantic slave trade.
  • Jim Crow laws:  were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.  All were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures after the Reconstruction period. The laws were enforced until 1965.
  • Racial wealth gap: refers to the difference in average household wealth by race. The U.S. racial wealth gap is substantial and is driven by public policy decisions. In 2011 the median white household had $111,146 in wealth holdings, compared to just $7,113 for the median Black household and $8,348 for the median Latino household. (

Have we done this before? Yes! In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The legislation offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim. The first reparations bill to address slavery was introduced in Congress in 1989 by former Congressman Jon Conyers (D-MI).

Are there other examples of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow? Yes. For example, in the state of Virginia there is the Brown vs Board of Education scholarship fund. This fund pays for returning students whose education was interrupted by desegregation as far back as 57 years ago. Since the program's start in the 2005, $1,263,777 has been disbursed to support the education of 88 individual students.

You decide: Watch a PSB debate on the topic of reparations and vote

Additional Resources:
C-Span: Watch the complete committee hearing.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Case for Reparations

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

YOUTH Racial Equity Institute Phase l

  • Raleigh, NC – Friday & Saturday, July 19th & 20th – To register click here.
  • Durham, NC – Tuesday & Wednesday, July 30th & 31 – To register click here.
  • Efland, NC – Saturday & Sunday, August 3rd & 4th – To register click here.
Racial Equity Institute Phase l
  • Durham, NC – Monday & Tuesday, July 22nd & 23rd – To register click here. ALUMNI ONLY
  • Chapel Hill – Tuesday & Wednesday, July 30th & 31st – To register click here.
  • Burlington, NC – Friday & Saturday, August 9th & 10th – To register click here.
  • Durham, NC – Thursday & Friday, August 8th & 9th – To register click here.
  • Greensboro, NC – Monday & Tuesday, August 12th & 13th – To register click here.
Racial Equity Institute Phase ll
  • Raleigh, NC – Thursday & Friday, August 22nd & 23rd – To register click here.
Webinars, Conferences, Workshops, Lectures
  • Race, Gender, & Jim Crow Lecture Series – To Wait or Walk Out?: African American Activism for Educational Equality in NC during Jim Crow – July 11th – Click here to register.
  • Conversations on Equity Series – “Orange County School District: My Two Years in Education Activism” – July 16th @ 6:30 pm Chapel Hill Public Library
  • Foundations in Internalized Racism – Tuesday, August 13 @ 12 pm – Click here to register.
Community Events
  • No More Stolen Sisters – Community Art Project Reception – July 11th @ 12 pm – Orange County Public Library
  • African American Cultural Festival – August 31st and September 1st –  Click here for more information.
  • Community Reading of Frederick Douglass’ Essay - “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro” – July 4th @ 12 pm at Carrboro Century Center


Delta Dental Smiles for Kids Foundation

Congratulations to the Dental Clinic!


The Dental Clinic received a $4000.00 grant from the Delta Dental Smiles for Kids Foundation to purchase new cordless handpieces for all three hygienists. These handpieces will help us keep up with the growing demand for cleanings from our expanding patient population. The NuPro Handpieces come with a wireless foot pedal, three autoclavable sheaths, and weigh less than the older handpieces to reduce the strain on the hygienist. We are excited to upgrade the equipment and services that we can provide our patients!

Survey results

Results from the Computer Virus Hotwash Survey

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to the Computer Virus Hotwash survey we sent out May 8th – May 31st. We received 27 responses, which was about a 25% response rate for our permanent staff. The Health Department IT team (Juliet Sheridan, Steven Campbell, Kim Quatrone, Carla Julian, and Rebecca Crawford) learned so much about what worked and didn’t work about our response during the emergency and will implement many of your suggestions. We learned that of the 27 respondents, 

  •  24% didn’t understand what caused the March 18th computer system problems, which means we can help IT do a better job of explaining why we have to make all of these drastic decisions with our computers. (Just as a clarification, here’s a link to a News and Observer article that had a pretty good description of what happened )
  • 72% thought Health Department communication about the virus was “Just Right” while 24% thought Health Department communication was “Not frequent enough.” The Health Department IT team decided to keep daily emails in the morning as part of our emergency process along with text trees as necessary but will make sure to start the daily updates on day 1 of the emergency.
  • The majority of the respondents prefer email and text communication for status updates (72% and 52% respectively).
  • Communication was the most frequent response in the request for the Top 3 Strengths of the Health Department’s response to the virus: Frequency/Speed of communication, content of communication, and having a unified message to staff.
The Top 3 Areas of the Health Department’s response that could have been improved were: Communication about what happened and why, communication to staff at multiple sites, and a need for a back-up protocol for delivering services in an emergency. Text trees were found to be really helpful for staff at multiple sites that may not have easy access to email so we will continue that practice, especially to communicate information that is needed at the beginning of a work day. Having back-up protocols for when internet or power is out is also a great idea and one we should all take on to help prepare for future events.
Updated Health Department Brochures

Updates to our Health Department Brochures

New Health Department Services Brochures in: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, Karen, Kinyarwanda, and Spanish.  Easy to download and print.  Please share with clients inquiring about services!New Community Clinics Brochures, low literacy – featuring Piedmont Health Services, OCHD, Planned Parenthood, SHAC, UNC, and local Urgent Care Centers  in Orange County, NC.  Please share with clients searching for health care in Orange County.  Available in: Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, English, Karen, Kinyarwanda, and Spanish. 
CDC Rabies

Rabies Facts and Protection

Every 10 minutes someone in the US is treated for possible rabies exposure—usually after contact with a bat or other wild animal.

Bats are responsible for 70% of human deaths from rabies in the US, according to the latest Vital Signs report.

You can protect yourself from rabies by leaving wildlife alone , seeking medical care after an animal bite or scratch, and vaccinating your pets

Sign up with CDC for Did You Know?
Dress Down to Stock Up!

Are mosquitoes bugging you? Watch this video to learn how to fight the bite. Environmental Health is here to help! Call 919-245-2360 for more information.

Spicy Panzanella

Spicy Panzanella 

Serves four

[This recipe is an excerpt from Good and Cheap (Eat Well on $4/day ) by Leanne Brown. Download a free copy here.]

Old hard bread soaks up tomato juice and dressing for a super flavorful and filling salad. You can toss in any vegetable or fruit so long as it’s juicy. Bell peppers or carrots won’t work so well, but peaches, grapes, and zucchini all do. If you don’t like spicy salads a feel free to replace the jalapeño with garlic or shallot.

2 small field cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper
4 slices day-old bread

Keep about 2 tablespoons of chopped tomatoes aside to use in the dressing, but throw the rest of the tomatoes and all the cucumbers into a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; the salt helps draw out the juices. Toss the vegetables quickly.

Place a small saucepan on medium heat with a few drops of olive oil. Sauté the jalapeño for about a minute, then add the remaining tomato and a tablespoon of water. Cook for another 
2 minutes, until the tomato juices release. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Once the water has evaporated, turn off the stovetop and dump the jalapeño-tomato mixture on your cutting board. Chop it very finely, then throw it back into the pan—with no heat—along with the lime juice and olive oil. Taste it and add more salt and pepper as needed. You’ve got dressing!

Chop or tear the bread into bite-sized pieces, then toast it in a skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally until the bread chunks are toasty on all sides. Alternatively, just toast full slices of bread in a toaster and tear them up afterwards, or skip the toasting entirely if the bread is already super-hard.
Mix the bread and vegetables with the dressing. Taste and adjust salt and pepper once more.

Let it sit for a few minutes so that the bread can soak up the juices, then serve!

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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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