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September 2019

be prepared not scared
Prepared, Not Scared

September is National Preparedness Month! This is a nationwide effort held each September to encourage everyone to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, and schools.  National Preparedness Month is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to TAKE ACTION!  The theme for 2019 is “Prepared, not Scared.” Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator, Kirby Saunders sent everyone an informative email about preparedness on Labor Day as he was preparing us for Hurricane Dorian. Kirby outlined the following three steps:
Step one: Get a Kit
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival:
· Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
· Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
· Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· First Aid Kit
· Whistle to signal for help
· Filter Mask, to help filter contaminated air 
· Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
· Unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula, or diapers, and   important family documents.
Keep your emergency supplies in a waterproof container that can be easily carried in case you have to leave home. You could use a large bag, plastic container, or a trash can with a lid. Don’t forget to fill up your car with gas and have cash in hand in the event of a power outage!
Step Two: Make a Plan
You and your family members may not be in the same place when an emergency happens. The best way to assure that you can make contact is to make a plan for how you all will check-in and get back together. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find. Be sure to include in your plan which items in your home may need to be secured so they don’t become projectiles in the event of high winds!  
Step Three: Stay Informed
Make sure you stay in touch with Orange County Emergency Services for timely information and updates regarding the emergency. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Encourage your friends and family to register for OC Alerts!

In Good Health,

Quintana Stewart
Health Director 

Youtube link to emergency preparedness videos

In the early summer the OCHD Preparedness Coordinator and Sarah Pickhardt from EMS presented important emergency preparedness information in a series of workshops directed at Orange County's Limited English Proficient (LEP) population. The content of their workshops has been made into videos available on the OCHD YouTube channel! Please share widely as we head into another hurricane season. The videos are available in the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Burmese
  • Karen
  • Arabic
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Mandarin
Happy Birthday
birthday candles

Philip Vilaro: 9/2
Jena Dolby: 9/2
Anitra Kincy: 9/4
Cintia Gevawer: 9/10
Margaret Campbell: 9/17
Zin Lyons: 9/19
Ana Salas: 9/21
James Stewart: 9/23
Angela Sowers: 9/24
Leovita Galeana: 9/28


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

Tracey Langley
Congratulations to Tracey Langley!  Tracey has worked very diligently this week while many of the EH staff people are on leave, at a conference, or have been out of the office taking on their share of the work. She has fielded a wide variety of client requests and did them with courtesy and confidence.

Her efforts have made services seamless to the public.
Kudos to the Frontline Staff in the Medical Clinics
Kudos to the Frontline Staff in the Medical Clinics!  From "check in" to "check out”, staff continue to be calm, efficient and courteous in spite of the challenges faced during this transition. Your hard work and compassion are appreciated!
Krista Burnette
Kudos to Krista Burnette! Krista provided excellent customer service to a family with a child who needed blood drawn.  She was patient, understanding and compassionate with the child who was frightened and anxious. When she did complete the procedure, the patient exclaimed that it "wasn't that bad". Way to go Krista!
Dominika Gazdzinska
Kudos to Dominika Gazdzinska and Trisha Tant!   Dominika and Trisha have both worked very hard to streamline the Vital Records duties and enhance the speed at which documents are processed. In the last three months they have successfully decreased the amount of time it takes to process a death certificate by almost 20% and they have achieved a 99%+ on-time rate for processing birth certificates, making our customers and the State happy. They have both shown to be customer centered and efficient in their Vital Records duties. Thank you for your hard work!
Latitia Chavious
Kudos to Latitia Chavious!   Latitia went above and beyond to make a first time patient at SHSC’s blood draw go smoothly.  She was nervous about the blood draw but stated that everything went very well from start to finish.
Trisha Tant
Kudos to Dominika Gazdzinska and Trisha Tant!   Dominika and Trisha have both worked very hard to streamline the Vital Records duties and enhance the speed at which documents are processed. In the last three months they have successfully decreased the amount of time it takes to process a death certificate by almost 20% and they have achieved a 99%+ on-time rate for processing birth certificates, making our customers and the State happy. They have both shown to be customer centered and efficient in their Vital Records duties. Thank you for your hard work!

Margaret Campbell

Employee of the Quarter

Margaret Campbell is the 3rd Quarter Employee of the Quarter! This award is to recognize employees for an assortment of exceptional, professional achievements and contributions to the Orange County Health Department. Primarily, this award honors employees who display one or more of the following:

Professional educational development or certifications received that are directly related to and beneficial for the OCHD mission.
  • Demonstrate dedication in achieving the mission of OCHD.
  • Development of procedures that will enhance the efficiency of the Department in the execution of our Mission Statement.
  • Creation of cost-saving methods or revenue-generating strategies that is easily quantifiable.
  • Execute outstanding reliability and cooperation toward departmental goals and objectives.
Welcome New Staff
Janis Barney
Welcome to Janis Barney as our new  Certified Medical Assistant! Her supervisor is Meghann Johnson.
Thomas Privott
Welcome to Thomas Privott our new Soil Scientist I! His supervisor is Phil Vilaro.

Meet the Staff
Antonia Cortes Sanchez

Antonia Cortes Sanchez

Title, Division and Supervisor:
Zone 4 Navigator in Personal Health, Supervisor is Dana Crews

Started Working with OCHD: July 2019
Favorite Part about Working at OCHD: I LOVE working with the community I grew up in and assisting them so they can reach their potential.

Did You Know? I was born in Guanajuato Mexico! My native Language is Spanish and what helped me learned English was reading Harry Potter and watching the show Friends. In my free time I like to host get together events at my house and play board games with my family. I like to keep a good balance of my Native culture and my new culture in my life so that I keep passing down my traditions onto my children while enjoying the new ones we have acquired throughout the years. I believe that no matter the age you should always keep learning and seek things that put you out of your comfort zone. I believe it will make you wiser and build great character. 

racial equity commission logo

From the Desk of the Racial Equity Commission (REC)

Health Equity for Immigrants & Refugees  
This month, we want to highlight efforts within OCHD and among our community partners to support people in immigrant and refugee communities.  As we’re sure you are aware, there have been increased ICE detentions, new restrictions to existing immigration and refugee policies, and even violent shootings directed at immigrants. This climate is difficult and scary to navigate for all of us and can pose physical and mental health challenges and trauma, particularly for those directly affected by these issues. The article What the Fear Campaign Against Immigrants Is Doing from CityLab outlines some of these harmful health and well-being effects.  Note that the article, written a month ago, doesn’t include more recent events and policy changes such as the public charge rule, the ICE raids in MS or the deadly shooting in EL Paso.

One helpful new resource created by OCHD staff members, Erika Cervantes Muñoz, and Antonia Cortes Sanchez, features a video role play looking at how to support a family experiencing an immigration crisis. The video, in both English and Spanish, was created as a part of a recent Immigrant and Refugee Health Coalition presentation Rumors, Reality and Resources: Supporting Clients and Families in the Era of ICE. See below for more information on being a part of this coalition. We hope you’ll watch the video and use the handouts linked below in your work with clients and community. In these distressing times, we want to especially encourage us to treat each other with kindness and compassion, and be mindful of the trauma that many folks are experiencing right now. We’re in this together!

OCHD Resources: Below is information on three Orange County groups who meet to discuss immigration and refugee health and well-being.  These groups are coordinated by Susan Clifford, Immigrant and Refugee Health Manager. Contact Susan if you are interested in being a part of any or all of these efforts:
  1. Immigrant and Refugee Health (IRH) Team: This team of OCHD staff meets quarterly to communicate and collaborate on services and resources for clients at OCHD who are immigrants and/or refugees.
  2. Temporary OCHD Immigration Task Force: Reformation of an OCHD Immigration Task Force (TF), this time with front line staff, and staff who are personally affected.  The TF is working to identify ways to support employees and clients, and propose equity actions we can take as public health professionals.  It is temporary and voluntary, and meets during work/admin time. Plans are to pair or align identified priorities with the IRH Team and possibly REC.
  3. Immigrant and Refugee Health Coalition: This Orange County interagency coalition meets at least quarterly to bring together community partners working with immigrants and refugees. Recent meeting topics include “Trauma & Resilience: Ethical Approaches when Supporting Refugees and Latinx Immigrants,” the previously-mentioned “Rumors, Reality and Resources: Supporting Clients and Families in the Era of ICE,” and “Walking the Talk” Equity Webinars + Discussion. Between meetings, “IRH” email updates go out on a regular basis featuring information on upcoming events, new services or resources, articles and learning opportunities, and job postings.   
Community Resources: Our community is rich with resources to support immigrants and refugees from direct services like basic needs and mental health, to advocacy and policy work. See the Orange County Latino Health Resource Guide and Orange County Refugee Resource Guide for more information. You can also reach out to Susan for more multilingual copies of Know Your Rights information, including the “yellow” and “red” cards.
REC Members
The Racial Equity Commission members are here to answer questions you may have about REC, equity work, resources, or why our health department is directly involved in racial and health equity work. We encourage each division to involve their REC representative in monthly staff meetings for REC updates and for answering other equity related questions.
Beverly Scurry – Co-chair
Steven Campbell – Co-chair – FAS Representative
Susan Clifford-­At large representative
Anissa McCall- At large representative
Meredith McMonigle-At large representative
Ashley Rawlinson – HPES Representative
Rebecca Crawford – Leadership Team Representative
Stephanie George – Dental Representative
Roberto Diaz – Environmental Health Representative LaTosha Scott – Personal Health Representative
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
  • Burlington, NC – Thursday, September 12th, 6 pm – 9  pm – To register click here.
Racial Equity Institute Phase l
  • Durham, NC – Thursday & Friday, September 5th & 6th – To register click here.
  • Durham, NC – Monday & Tuesday, September 23 & 24th – To register click here.
  • Greensboro, NC – Monday & Tuesday, September 9th & 10th – To register click here.
  • Rolesville, NC – Thursday, & Friday, September 19th & 20th – To register click here.
  • Greensboro, NC – Saturday & Sunday, September 21st & 22nd – To register click here.
  • Greensboro, NC – Monday & Tuesday, October 7th & 8th – To register click here.
  • Cary, NC – Wednesday & Thursday, October 9th & 10th – To register click here.  
  • Siler City, NC—Thursday & Friday, October 10th & 11th—To register click here.
  • Durham, NC – Saturday & Sunday, October 19th & 20th – To register click here.  
  • Hillsborough, NC – Friday & Saturday, October 25th & 26th – To register click here.
Interesting ReadsWebinars, Conferences, Workshops, Lectures
  • Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration hosted by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and the Institute of African American Research, September 9 – 11th in Durham. Click here to register.
  • Sulzberger Distinguised lecture featuring Rhonda Sharpe “The Real Superwomen: Grandmothers as Caregivers”. September 23rd, 3-4:30PM, Duke Sanford School. Register here.
  •  Color of Education 2019: Saturday, October 26th.. Second annual summit focused on race, equity and education in North Carolina sponsored by the Public School Forum of North Carolina, Duke Policy Bridge at the Sanford School of Public Policy and the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. The award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates will headline “Color of Education 2019”.
Community Events
  • Just Another Lynching | An American Horror Story: Monday, September 9th from 6-8pm at the Chapel Hill library. More information can be found here. The Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition invites you to join them for a puppet performance by Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkin. This production confronts the deep-rooted institution of racism and injustice that has plagued this nation from its foundation. The show begins at 6 pm and is followed by an open discussion between the cast and the audience. The event is free and open to the public and is suitable for ages 10 and up. Click here to learn more about this group.
  • Pride Parade 2019: September 28th--1304 Campus Drive, East Campus., Duke University, Durham.
  • An evening with Nikole Hannah-Jones, nationally recognized author and recipient of a MacArthur Genius grant. Ms. Hannah-Jones covers racial injustice for the The New York Times Magazine and has spent years chronicling the way official policy has created - and maintains - racial segregation in housing and schools. Her deeply personal reports on the black experience in America offer a compelling case for greater equity. Oct 10th in Winston Salem. Click here to register.

Let's Picnic

Come together as a community on October 4th. RSVP to the calendar invite from La Toya Strange.

food prep class

Are you too busy to plan healthy meals? This class is for you!

Wednesday, September 25th from 8:30am to 9:30am at the Whitted Building, 3rd floor classroom.


September 27th from 1:00pmto 2:00pm at Southern Human Services Center, Room D

Registration is required! Please email or or call 919-245-2380.

Safety First

Safety First by Carla Julian

Are you tired all the time?
How much quality sleep do you get every night?
Sleep is a vital factor in overall health. Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, but 30% report averaging less than six hours. Chronic sleep-deprivation causes depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses
Nearly everyone has experienced tiredness and an inability to function at an optimal level. But you may not realize just how much fatigue puts you and those around you at risk.
“Fatigue” and “sleepiness” often are used synonymously, but they are not the same. Sleepiness is the physiological desire to sleep. Fatigue describes a physical, mental or social impairment that includes tiredness, sleepiness, reduced energy and increased effort needed to perform tasks at a desired level. People most at risk for fatigue and fatigue-related incidents include:

  • Shift workers, especially those working night shift, rotating shifts, long hours or with early morning start times
  • Workers who perform a task for extended periods or repeatedly perform a tedious task
  • Individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep a night
  • Individuals with untreated sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Parents and caregivers of young children
  • People taking certain medications that interfere with sleep


  • The reality is, more than 1 in 3 people are not getting enough sleep. To avoid fatigue, make sure to:
  • Get enough sleep and provide for adequate rest between physically or cognitively demanding activities
  • Talk to your doctor about getting screened for sleeping disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea
  • Instead of tossing and turning, give this sleep habits assessment tool a try and find out what’s keeping you awake; your answer is likely to differ greatly from your colleagues
  • See this slideshow for some tips for improving sleep:

Health, Safety, Wellness Resource Fair

When: Saturday September 14th 10am -2pm
Where: 113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough, NC

The Health Resource Fair is a FREE event that will feature Vendors, Caricature Artist, Sports Physicals,  Safety Demos, Immunizations, Family Fun and More!.

Resource Fair

Courier Service

Completing Interoffice Envelopes

We are having trouble with our mail not getting to its intended recipient. Finance is requesting our assistance to help alleviate any problems with the mail being delivered in an efficient manner.

  • Please fill out the courier envelopes clearly by including complete first and last names along with the department name both on the To and From sections of the envelope; please no initials.
  • Please review the USPS mail that is delivered to your departments and make any corrections with your vendors as needed with more precise information. This would be helpful as sometime personnel transfer within Orange County to other departments; OE Enterprises, Inc. will try to deliver to the individual noted.
Please use the following information for each division to get the envelope to the correct location.
Personal Health
  •  Use Health-Whitted for Hillsborough
  •  Use Health-Southern for Chapel Hill
  •  Note: Please do not use abbreviations – spell it out
Health Promotions – Use Health-Whitted

Dental – Using Dental is working fine

FAS (Financial Administrative Services)
  • Don’t write “Finance” or “FAS” as it will frequently go to the Finance department in the Link Building.
  • Use Health-Whitted
Environmental Health – use Environ Health-WCOB or Environ Health-West Campus

Community Health Assesment

2019 Community Health Assessment

THANK YOU!!! Thank you to all of those who helped us reach our goal for door-to-door surveying.  We made it!  Without the help of staff from Environmental Health, Health Promotion & Education Services, Personal Health Services, Family Home Visiting, Finance and Administration Services, and Family Success Alliance, we would not have gotten 197 completed surveys.  Staff volunteered their time (on weeknights and weekends), went out into the heat, and visited the homes of our residents to get their input on the quality of life and health in Orange County. 

We are now gearing up to conduct focus groups, host community sessions, and prioritize all of the data to determine the three priority areas for 2020-2024 that will determine future programs for the OCHD, Healthy Carolinians of Orange County (HCOC), the Board of Health (BOH) and other county agencies and organizations.
If you live in Orange County we encourage you to take the survey and provide your thoughts and opinions at the below links.  If you’re interested in helping with the community sessions, contact Ashley Rawlinson (x2440 or
Press Release.
Suicide Prevention Walk

Healthy Carolinians of Orange County invites you to the 3rd Annual
“Be the Light”
Suicide Prevention Walk

Featuring Jodi Flick, LCSW and Joanna Bowen
Friday, September 20, 2019
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Carrboro Town Commons
301 W Main St. at Carrboro Town Hall
66 pairs of shoes will be on display to remember the 66 Orange
County residents who lost their lives to suicide from 2013 to 2017.
To donate shoes email

Public Charge

Changes to the Public Charge

The government is changing how it makes public charge decisions. Immigration officials will look more closely at factors like health, income, skills (including English language skills), and use of public programs including:


  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Federal Public Housing and Section 8 assistance
  • Medicaid(except for emergency services, children under 21, pregnant women, and new mothers)
  • Cash assistance programs
Find out more with the following resources:

Public Charge Fact Sheet:

Getting the Help You Need:
Let’s Talk About Public Charge::

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This golden soup soothes and comforts after a busy day. Many grocery stores now sell the squash already peeled and cubed, so preparation is even easier.
  • 2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
  • 2 medium shallots (chopped)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons minced, peeled gingerroot
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper ((coarsely ground preferred))
  • 1/3 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

    1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker on sauté. Cook the shallots for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring frequently. Turn off the pressure cooker.
    2. Stir in the squash, broth, gingerroot, salt, and pepper. Secure the lid. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure. Turn off the pressure cooker. Remove the pressure cooker lid.
    3. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender (vent the blender lid) and puree until smooth. (Use caution as the soup and steam are hot and vent the blender lid away from you.) Return the soup to the pressure cooker.
    4. Stir in the half-and-half. Cook on the sauté setting for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through, stirring frequently. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.
    Cooking Tip: Top this soup with other garnishes, such as toasted pumpkin seeds or peeled, diced apple.
Nutrition Info


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orange county health department logo

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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