Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow 5-13-24

May 13, 2024

Bayou La Batre reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflow

MOBILE, Ala. — The Utilities Board of the City of Bayou La Batre has reported on a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) that occurred May 12. The cause was a pump failure at a master pump station.

The SSO occurred near 14395 Shell Belt Road. Less than 1,000 gallons were discharged. The SSO reached Bayou La Batre.

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Bayou La Batre for recreational purposes because of these overflows. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

‘Heat Risk’ feature added to MCHD’s smartphone app 05.13.24

May 13, 2024

‘Heat Risk’ feature added to MCHD’s smartphone app

MOBILE, Ala. — As the summer season approaches, those within our community must take steps to protect themselves from high heat exposure.

Heat-related illnesses can occur when the body is exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods. These conditions can range from mild to severe and life-threatening and can include heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

The highest temperature recorded in Mobile in 2023 was 106 °F which happened on August 26, and 2024 is predicted to reach the same level of record-setting heat. In the United States, the percentage of population living in areas exposed to dangerous heat is highest in the South.

The Mobile County Health Department’s smartphone app has recently been updated to include a new tool to track local “Heat Risk.” The tool is a health-based heat forecast developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It integrates health and temperature data to deliver a 7-day outlook for hot weather. “Heat Risk” uses a 5-level scale to indicate how risky the heat level is in a specific area. Each level uses a color to represent risks from heat exposure.

The new tool can be found on the MCHD smartphone app by navigating to the home page, clicking on the “MORE” Section and then selecting the newly added tab called “CDC Heat Risk Dashboard.”

Family Health, the primary care division of MCHD, hopes the “Heat Risk” tool will help the community navigate the heat this summer to prevent and protect against any heat related illnesses and dangerous exposure.

The app is available to download for free in the App Store and Google Play. Search “My MCHD Health Check” or use the following link to download the app — https://apps.myocv.com/share/a65536603. The app can be used in both English and Spanish.

Saraland reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflow 5-10-24

May 10, 2024

Saraland reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflow

MOBILE, Ala. — Saraland Water and Sewer Service has reported on a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) that occurred on May 10. The event was a result of the strong storms that crossed over Mobile County.

According to Saraland officials, there was a higher-than-normal flow rate because of holding final effluent until the second generator could be connected for ultraviolet disinfection. This came after the automatic emergency generator had a starter failure and was combined with elevated creek levels.

The SSO was comprised of fully treated effluent, having received primary and secondary biological treatment, as well as final disinfection. A range of 25,000 to 50,000 gallons overflowed at the corner of Bill Myles Drive and Station Street into a storm ditch that leads to Bayou Sara.

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Bayou Sara for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

Tover’s art selected for Capitol Showcase exhibition 05.10.24

May 10, 2024

Tover’s art selected for Capitol Showcase exhibition

MOBILE, Ala. — Throughout the month of May, the artistic works of individuals experiencing mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities will be on display at the Alabama State Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Library.

Now in its 19th year, the Capitol Showcase is part of the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s annual observance of Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a national event that highlights the need for greater awareness, understanding and acceptance of mental illness. The exhibit will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The 2024 showcase features more than 90 artists using a variety of media, including acrylics, pencil, mixed media, textiles, and photography. Though an overwhelming majority of the art on display is by adults, this year’s exhibit also features a work by a 10-year-old from Montgomery.

Ty Tover, a peer counselor for the Mobile County Health Department and a contemporary expressionist painter, had his painting titled “Away from here” selected for the exhibition.

The showcase underscores the therapeutic value of self-expression, with several of the featured artists sharing the importance of art in their lives: On his application form, Tover expressed why he did the painting.

“I have struggled with depression and sadness my entire life,” he wrote. “Even as a child, I always felt I experienced sadness differently than others. I hope that my opening up about my struggle with recurring depression helps others. I use art as an outlet to express my sadness but also when I am happy. I hope by looking at my art others can see that out of darkness, we can create light and out of sorrow, we can build happiness.”

A native of Mobile, Tover’s colorful paintings pay homage to his life experiences and his emotions. His distinctive personal style and use of color permeates throughout his works. Most of his works display his fondness for use of acrylic paints over black canvas.

Tover has led a life saturated in the arts: from lead dancer, to choreographer, to local painter. Tover left Mobile early on in his life to seek culture in other communities. He spent more than a decade in Los Angeles where he served on numerous artistic boards, including the Disney Anaheim Museum.

A May 23 reception will honor the artists and their supporters and spotlight the winner of the Best in Show Award, as determined by an online vote. The reception will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court Library. To vote for Best in Show, visit this link — https://tinyurl.com/yckd27dv.

To learn more about the Capitol Showcase, visit www.mh.alabama.gov.

Bayou La Batre reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow 5-9-24

May 9, 2024

Bayou La Batre reports on Sanitary Sewer Overflow

MOBILE, Ala. — The Utilities Board of the City of Bayou La Batre has reported on a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) that occurred May 8. The cause was a broken abandoned sewer lateral.

The SSO occurred at 13300 Rasmussen Street. Less than 1,000 gallons were discharged. The SSO reached Carls Creek.

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Carls Creek for recreational purposes because of these overflows. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by grease blockage 5-8-24

May 8, 2024

MAWSS reports Sanitary Sewer Overflow caused by grease blockage

MOBILE, Ala. — Mobile Area Water & Sewer System (MAWSS) responded to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) on May 7 at 110 Long Street (located behind One Ten Student Living apartments).

Approximately 240 gallons of wastewater overflowed into Twelve Mile Creek because of a grease blockage on the main line. MAWSS crews have cleared the blockage and are taking steps to prevent further overflows at this location.

Grease blockages occur when foods containing fats, oil or grease are put down the drain. MAWSS provides free containers for grease recycling. You can learn more about the program by visiting www.itseasytobeungreasy.com.

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County, advises area residents to take precautions when coming into contact with any standing water that may have accumulated as a result of this overflow. Those who have come into direct contact with untreated sewage are advised to wash their hands and clothing thoroughly.

Area residents should take precautions when using Twelve Mile Creek for recreational purposes because of this overflow. All seafood harvested in this general area should be thoroughly cooked before eating. People should wash their hands after cleaning seafood and before preparing food.

MCHD observes National Women’s Health Week 05.10.24

May 10, 2024

MCHD observes National Women’s Health Week

MOBILE, Ala. —Every May beginning on Mother’s Day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) leads National Women’s Health Week (NWHW).

This year, NWHW takes place from May 12 to 18. This observance highlights women’s health issues and priorities and encourages women of all ages to prioritize their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Join us on this journey as we dive into everything that makes women’s health so important.

This year’s theme — “Empowering Women, Cultivating Health: Celebrating Voices, Wellness, and Resilience” — focuses on empowering women to take charge of their health journey and shines a light on health issues unique to women.

Family Health, the primary care division of the Mobile County Health Department, would like to honor the strength and determination of women, throughout our community, who work to manage their health. Family Health seeks to create a supportive environment where all women feel empowered to express their health needs and concerns.

Now is the perfect time for women of all ages to focus on their health and wellness.

Family Health’s dedicated healthcare providers, support staff and administrative staff are committed to providing compassionate and wholistic patient care. Family Health services include primary care, behavioral health, HIV early intervention services, nutrition services, 340B pharmacy, social services, X-ray, dental, lab, interpretation, maternity, and family planning, just to name a few.

Family Health has been a longtime participant in the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (ABCCEDP). This program provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings for women who meet eligibility guidelines. Free services include a pelvic exam, pap smear, clinical breast exam, mammogram, and diagnostic services such as an ultrasound, colposcopy, or biopsy, if needed. To learn more visit https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/bandc.

To make an appointment with a Family Health provider, please call 251-690-8889. To learn more about services, please visit https://mchd.org/family-health.

Sentinel chickens moved into hen house 05.06.24

May 6, 2024

Sentinel chickens moved into hen house

MOBILE, Ala. — Since 1985, the Mobile County Health Department’s Vector Services has monitored sentinel chickens placed throughout the county to help detect the presence of viruses carried by mosquitoes. In April, MCHD received 95 newly hatched chicks that were placed in a cage heated by lamps located at Vector Services (a vector is any insect, rodent, or animal capable of harboring or transmitting diseases to humans).

The second step in the process took place today. The chickens were moved into the larger hen house located on Vector Services grounds. It takes several more months for the chicks to mature enough to be placed in the field.

Once mature, the chickens are vaccinated for fowl pox, and the initial blood draw is made to ensure they test negative for any diseases. At that point, the hens — roosters are not included in the study — are banded for identification and tracking purposes. The birds are dispersed to 13 coops located in various predetermined locations throughout Mobile County.

Blood samples are collected weekly from the wings of two hens at each location. MCHD processes the blood samples and sends them to a lab in Tampa, Fla. Test results are usually received within the submitted week and can reveal the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and St. Louis Encephalitis.

With the use of 13 coops, only 52 hens are used at one time. The rest are kept in reserve. If one tests positive for a disease, it is removed from the field and replaced with chicken from the reserve flock. If two birds from the coop test positive, all four birds are replaced.

MCHD began a project with the University of South Alabama in 2018 to test adult mosquito samples. This expanded disease detection to include Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya using high-throughput molecular methods.

The program continues into the fall, usually ending in November. At that point, the hens are given away to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. A new group of 100 chicks will start the program the following spring.

MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Double Tunnel Vision 5K 05.04.24

May 4, 2024

MCHD Activities Team serves as starters for Double Tunnel Vision 5K

MOBILE, Ala. — The Mobile County Health Department’s Activities Team used its cannon this very foggy morning to start the Double Tunnel Vision 5K race sponsored by the Lions Club of Mobile.

The course featured participants running from one end of the Bankhead Tunnel to the other entrance and then returning back. Members of the Activities Team also followed the runners in MCHD golf carts to carry a first aid kit. Proceeds from the Double Tunnel Vision 5K will benefit the sight programs of the Lions Club of Mobile. To learn more about this project, please visit www.lionsclubofmobile.org.

In 2016, an initiative called “MCHD Declares War on Physical Inactivity” began. Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, then serving as Health Officer for Mobile County, pointed out that Alabama has one of the highest obesity percentages in America.

In an effort to encourage residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising, Dr. Eichold arranged to borrow a Civil War re-enactment cannon to serve as the “starting gun” for the Azalea Trail Run that year. The response was so positive that Dr. Eichold acquired funds to purchase our own weapon to battle obesity, and the “Cannon Team” was formed.

MCHD has participated in a variety of outreach events over the years. Now, in a move to better describe its mission, the unit has changed its name to the “Activities Team.”

Dr. Kevin Philip Michaels, who assumed the position of Health Officer in 2022, has continued supporting the Activities Team’s mission. He participates in community events and encourages residents to go outside and enjoy our beautiful surroundings while exercising.

The Lyle Line-Throwing Cannon, which has a 2.5-inch-diameter barrel, was manufactured by Coston in the early 1900s. It is not a replica, reproduction, or toy. The cannon was designed to fire a projectile attached to a rope to a boat or a victim in distress. Now, it is used to inspire those seeking a healthier lifestyle and just getting outside to enjoy our wonderful surroundings.

Derrick Scott supervises a team of MCHD employees that has been trained to safely use the device. Taking part on Saturday were LaJoya Todd (who fired the cannon), Edward Franklin, Erika Goodwin, Tracey Hall, Eddie Jones, Gwen Jones, Roxanne Lee, and Patricia Suggs.

Any other groups interested in having the MCHD Activities Team attend their event should contact the Communications Office by calling 251-690-8823 or via email at mbryant@mchd.org.

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Thacker to discuss work on Office Hours session 05.03.24

May 3, 2024

Thacker to discuss work on Office Hours session

MOBILE, Ala. — David Thacker, a Clinical Software Support Analyst who oversees Health Informatics for the Mobile County Health Department, has been selected to be a guest speaker on the June 27th edition of “Office Hours.” This is a technical assistance opportunity sponsored by Data Integration, System & Quality (DISQ) that allows Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients and provider staff to talk with their peers in an informal setting about specific technical challenges and solutions.

The segment is titled “EHRs, TRAX, and the RSR: Not Just Alphabet Soup!” He will be joined from 11 a.m. to noon that Thursday by Karl Frantz from the Lawndale Christian Health Center in Chicago.

They will discuss their processes to collect, extract, and reformat electronic health record (EHR) data for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Services Report (RSR) reporting through the TRAX system.

“I am honored and humbled that the DISQ team has asked me to present during one of their national Office Hours meetings,” Thacker said. “It is a tremendous opportunity to share our agency’s knowledge and success with other Ryan White programs around the country. I hope my insight will help benefit other Ryan White programs, and their patients.”

According to DISQ, Thacker and Frantz will focus on how they added fields to their EHRs to better capture RSR-required values, continuously check data quality to avoid last minute surprises, and get the right clients, services, and lab values out of their EHRs and into the RSR. While the presenters both use the EHR system Athena, this “Office Hours” session will have lessons applicable to other EHR users.

Family Health, the Mobile County Health Department’s primary care division, began providing care to people living with HIV/AIDS in 1987. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Family Health strives to meet the needs of the underserved within the agency’s service area.

To learn more, call 251-690-8957 or visit https://mchd.org/familyhealth-services/#hiv-aids.

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