Summit County News Releases
Summit County Environmental Health encourages winter Radon testing
Test kits available at the Health Department
Park City, Utah (Jan. 13, 2016) — With winter in full swing, the Summit County Environmental Health team is encouraging Summit County residents to test for Radon in their homes. Test kits can be purchased at the Coalville and Round Valley Summit County Health Departments for $10 each.
“Testing for radon gas in the home is a quick, inexpensive and simple procedure,” Environmental Health Scientist, Rebecka Hullinger, said. “A test kit is a small investment to protect your family from what could be a very detrimental health condition.”
An odorless, tasteless and invisible gas, Radon is a radioactive byproduct of radium and uranium. It is naturally occurring in nature and, when outdoors, the concentration is very small. When it enters the home, the concentration builds to what may be an unsafe level, especially during the winter months when windows are closed and air exchange is minimal.
Radon particles are the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Radon can seep into homes in a variety of ways: through floor joints, cracks, gaps around pipes, potentially through the water supply and more. High levels of Radon can be found in all types and ages of buildings in every state and country throughout the world.
Testing is easy and only takes a couple of days to complete by following the simple instructions on each test kit. Depending on results, homeowners may need to contact a professional mitigator who can work with them reduce the levels of Radon in their home.
For more information, please visit http://www.summitcountyhealth.org/podcasts/schc006/.
Longtime Summit County resident Shelley Worley promoted from Health Educator
Park City, Utah (Dec. 19, 2016) — Effective January 3, Shelley Worley has been hired as the next Health Promotion Director for the Summit County Health Department.
“Shelley brings a wealth of experience as health educator and has a great vision for Health Promotion,” Health Department Director, Rich Bullough said. “Shelley’s knowledge and passion for health education makes her a perfect fit to grow the variety of programs the health department offers to the community.”
Worley is a longtime resident of Summit County and graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Health Promotion and Education. She is also a Certified Heath Education Specialist. After becoming a Personal Trainer, Worley worked for several years as a nutrition and exercise consultant, helping clients with personal health and fitness goals.
Before accepting the position of Health Promotion Director, Worley worked as Health Educator for Summit County Health Department promoting employee wellness, farmer’s markets, physical activity and nutrition training within schools and partnering with child care facilities to prevent early childhood obesity.
“We have an amazing health promotions program in our county,” Worley said. “I feel fortunate to have an existing staff in place that is already doing incredible work within the community. I’m looking forward to building upon what’s already been established to make Summit County healthier.”
As Health Promotion Director, Worley inherits a number of health programs and initiatives for Summit County employees and residents. Worley’s goal is to continue to build upon the strong foundation Geri Essen, the previous director of 25 years built. These programs include mental health promotion, physical activity school trainings, Injury Prevention, Tobacco Education, Employee Wellness, Seatbelt Education, Diabetes Prevention, Suicide Prevention and more.
“In addition to continuing our current programs, I’m also looking at new ways to promote and facilitate healthy living and active lifestyles in our communities, schools, and businesses,” Worley said.
Summit County Health Department completes two year water study
Findings to be released in December
Park City, Utah (Nov. 17, 2016) — After two years of study, Summit County Environmental Health is preparing to release the findings from its wastewater systems assessment of water quality and soil suitability.
“These studies represent a new direction for addressing wastewater in Summit County,” Health Department Director Rich Bullough said. “We believe these data will allow us to be more proactive in our decision making, more collaborative, and will help us protect the quality of our water as our population grows and demands for water resources increase.”
Results from the study identified areas across Summit County sensitive to ground water. Using this information, Environmental Health staff can ensure septic systems are appropriately suited to the area where they are installed, ultimately increasing the life of the system and its ability to protect the environment. The end goal is to prevent future septic system failure due to growth and protect overall water quality throughout the county.
“This study creates a framework that integrates science, technology, and regulation for use in evaluating wastewater systems in Summit County,” Phil Bondurant, Director of Environmental Health said. “It provides Environmental Health with the most accurate information available and gives us the tools to make decisions that will protect the natural resources of Summit County through responsible permitting and regulation.”
Sampling was done in both Snyderville Basin and parts of Eastern Summit County to determine sensitive areas optimal for sewer or septic upgrades. Water samples were taken during peak runoff (spring) and baseflow conditions (summer) to test for Escherichia coli (E. coli), nitrates, general bacteria and human associated bacteria.
Once released, the full study will be available at summitcountyhealth.org.
Summit County Council seeks public input on mental health survey findings
Engagement from county residents needed to take next steps
Park City, Utah (Nov. 4, 2016) — Summit County leadership seeks public input during County Council on November 9 to address the findings from the county-wide Mental Health System and Needs Assessment conducted earlier this year. This meeting will adopt a mental health resolution and discuss an implementation plan based on the survey’s findings. All county residents are encouraged to participate.
“This has been a community-driven process since its beginning almost two years again,” said Health Department Director Rich Bullough. “I want to thank all of the survey participants and encourage the public to participate as we move forward. Mental health is an issue we need to recognize throughout the county and it will take full community engagement to make this plan a success.”
More than 1,000 residents across the county participated in the survey, including proportionate representation from the Hispanic community. The full report, entitled “Mental Health Survey Findings and Community-Based Strategic Planning Directives for Summit County” will be available at summitcountyhealth.org immediately following the November 9th County Council meeting.
- Who: Summit County Residents
- What: Public engagement meeting to discuss mental health survey findings.
- Where: Sheldon Richins Building (bottom floor): 1885 W Ute Blvd, Park City.
- When: Wednesday, November 9 at 4:20 p.m.
- Why: Mental illness is a physical disease that affects the brain. The best way to eliminate the stigma is through public discussion and community outreach.
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in individuals who have never smoked and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall. Radon cannot be seen, smelt or tasted and can be found in any type or age of home. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have elevated radon levels. In wintertime, Radon levels increase, due to decreased air circulation within homes. This week, Rebecka Hullinger, a Summit County Environmental Health Scientist talks with us about the importance of testing for Radon gas in your home.
SaRene Brooks is a Health Educator at the Summit County Health Department with a passion for nutrition and Diabetes Awareness — two of hers sons have Type 1 Diabetes. She is a registered dietician and working on her Diabetes Educator certification. SaRene has worked at the Health Department for over a year and a half. One of the biggest health challenges she sees Summit County facing in the next ten years is chronic disease.
Some things we talked about
We welcomed in the New Year with a new Health Promotions Director! Shelley Worley moved to Utah over 29 years ago and recently visited every National Park in the state with her family. She began working at the Health Department as an intern and then a Health Educator over a year ago and worked in personal training and nutrition before that. January 3, 2017, was her official start date as the new Health Promotions Director, a position she was promoted to when previous director, Geri Essen, retired after 25 years.
Some things we discussed
In today’s episode, Carolyn Rose, Summit County Health’s Nursing Director, joined us to discuss the Nursing Program. Carolyn has worked at the Health Department for over 16 years, which includes experiences during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Carolyn grew up in Pennsylvania and worked in numerous nursing positions before moving to Utah. Carolyn also gave an overview of the variety of services the Nursing Department offers, the improvements she’s seen in the county’s health since she began working here and potential issues she sees arising in the future. Carolyn also talked about her involvement went UTNEDS and briefly touched on health insurance under the new presidential administration in 2017.
Things we discussed
This week we kicked off interviews with Environmental Health Director Phil Bondurant. Phil enjoys spending time outdoors and with his young family. He graduated from UNLV and worked at the Las Vegas Health Department for ten years before moving to the Central Utah Health Department in 2012. In February 2014, Phil joined the Summit County Health Department.
Some things we discussed
We kept things short and sweet on the inaugural episode of the Summit County Healthcast. Derek Siddoway, the host of the show and Public Information Officer for Summit County Health introduced himself and gave a preview of things to come on the podcast. Some things we covered: