Regular environmental staff maintains the readiness and certifications necessary to assume health agent responsibilities in any town that needs increased temporary assistance for any reason. The Department’s close and regular contact with local boards of health and their agents makes any such event seamless to the public requiring service. The Town of Orleans continues to contract with the Department for sanitarian services to supplement their staff.
Support staff faced particular challenges this year with the H1N1 influenza public health emergency. To support the need to staff, supply and organize clinics for schools and the general population, staff member Brian Baumgaertel designed and implemented a web-based vaccine registration program that was credited with maintaining calm and order at many vaccination sites. In addition, many staff members contributed to the coordination of fifty per-diem vaccinators that assisted in rapidly dispensing the H1N1 vaccine.
It has been routine through the years for the Department to employ three temporary (seasonal) health inspectors under the supervision of senior staff member Lynn Mulkeen Perry. These sanitarians assist local boards of health with the increased need for pool and restaurant inspections during Cape Cod’s busiest season, therefore relieving strain on local health agent resources. Over 1,100 restaurant/retail food establishment and swimming pool inspections were conducted under this program in fiscal year 2010 including complaint follow-up and repeat inspections. Additional services included public health inspections and monitoring at the Barnstable County Fair, providing education and communication to the public and local businesses during public health emergencies such as a boil water order and tobacco compliance monitoring. Other inspectional services include hazardous materials, septic systems, housing, retail and rental locations.