Policy includes e-cigarettes

Apr. 04, 2014 @ 06:11 PM

OXFORD —The Vance-Granville District Board of Health discussed the need to amend the policy prohibiting smoking in public buildings and grounds in Granville and Vance counties to include electronic cigarettes.

Board member Dr. James Goodwin pointed out that e-cigarettes contain concentrated nicotine and propylene glycol, better known as automobile antifreeze. The board authorized health educator Jackie Sergent to amend the policy to include prohibitions against e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, such as snuff and chewing tobacco.

In other business, Granville-Vance Health Director Lisa Macon Harrison reported the department’s application for a certificate of need for hospice services was denied, but the department has filed an appeal.

Assistant Health Director Eva Brown submitted a draft 2014-2015 local budget calling for approximately $1.7 million, a reduction of $132,000 from this year’s budget.

“The budget looks pretty bleak,” Harrison said. “We’re working hard to advocate for public health.”

She said various sources provide only a fraction of the funds required.

“We have to make up the difference,” she said.

Harrison also distributed a report titled “North Carolina’s Medicaid Choice: Options and Implications,” by Adam Searing of the N.C. Justice Center.

In the report, Searing cites information from the N.C. Institute of Medicine that indicates “North Carolina is losing out on almost $5 million a day by not accepting federal Medicaid dollars.” The report also notes that the state’s Medicaid program has won national awards for high-quality and cost-effective care.

In other news, the Granville-Vance District Health Department has been awarded accreditation by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board.

A plaque and letter confirming the award were presented to Harrison by Joy Reed of the N.C. Division of Public Health and Dorothy Cilenti of the N.C. Institute for Public Health on Tuesday evening during the local health board’s quarterly meeting. Also accepting the award were board Chairman Eddie Wright and Vice-Chairman Ed Mims.

“This one is special to me because Oxford is my home,” Reed said.

In a letter of congratulations, Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, acting state health director, wrote, “The accomplishment of accreditation means your organization complies with the highest established standards for public health capacity in North Carolina.”

The accreditation process is a collaboration of the N.C. Division of Public Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the N.C. Institute for Public Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with input from the N.C. Association of Local Health Directors.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board will be held June 17.

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.