For more information, contact:
Wesley J. Vins, RS
Director of Wastewater
330.270.2855 ext 113
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mahoning County District Board of Health Honored for Excellence in Public Health
Public Health Program is One of 29 Nationwide to Receive “Model Practice Award”
A 1997 grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund provided start-up funds for an educational program for septic system maintenance that resulted in the creation of a database registry populated with all available information about household sewage
treatment systems (HSTS) in the health district. Pumping
reminder letters to homeowners are generated from this registry by a custom application
written for the District Board of Health by CHC Software, Inc.,
The HSTS owners’ name and addresses are merged with a formatted pumping reminder letter that advises the homeowner of the benefits of regular pumping and a list of registered tanks cleaners. This letter is also accompanied by an Ohio State University Fact Sheet on septic system maintenance. The reminders are mailed via regular mail and undeliverable notices or addresses are cross-referenced with the Mahoning County Auditor records and field verified by a sanitarian.
letters are mailed to eligible homes once each year with each of the 14
townships in the health district targeted for a mailing. During a designated
month of the year HDIS filters out the HSTS in the targeted townships for which
a pumping report has not been received from a registered tank cleaner (required
for each tank pumped) within the last 36 months, or that have been newly
installed during this time period. Advanced notices of these mailings are
provided to township officials and local media have successfully publicized the
reminder program through articles and public service announcements. The Board of Health mailed 41,308
reminder notices and received 15,559 pumping reports from registered tank
Statistical analysis of Mahoning County HSTS that were evaluated from 1/1/00 through 12/31/06 (home pre-sale evaluations) indicate that homes that have had their septic tanks pumped within the 3 years prior to the evaluation are four times more likely to be functioning properly.
“We are proud to receive NACCHO’s Model Practice Award. The award is evidence of our commitment to develop responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of local citizens,” said Mahoning County Health Commissioner Mathew Stefanak, MPH.
A committee of peers selected the Mahoning County District Board of Health from a group of 118 local health department applications. The Model Practice Awards program honors initiatives – including programs, resources, and tools – that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health concerns. Promoting Septic System Maintenance with a tank Pumping Tracking and Reminder Registry will become part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas ranging from immunization and maternal and child health to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness. The database will allow NACCHO to share information about what is working across the county in local public health.
“The Mahoning County District Board of Health joins a special group of health departments that exemplify the forward thinking, proactive attitude of our nation’s public health system,” said NACCHO President Bobby Pestronk. “NACCHO congratulates The Mahoning County District Board of Health on this important recognition.”
The District Board of Health is a public agency that
provides public health services to the 163,773 residents of the Mahoning County
General Health District. The Mahoning
health district comprises the townships and villages of
For more information about the NACCHO Model Practice Awards, go to www.naccho.org.