Pandemic Influenza Plan Approved
On May 31, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) approved a plan to respond to pandemic influenza. The plan was developed by the Mecklenburg County Health Department, with the help of community response partners. NC DHHS requires all counties to develop response guidelines to address the specific threat of pandemic influenza.
In a worst-case scenario, a pandemic influenza could result in a vast number of residents in Mecklenburg County becoming sick, needing hospitalization, and/or succumbing to the affliction. In addition to the human crisis, such an event would greatly impact the health care delivery system of Mecklenburg County, requiring much more attention and preparation than previous threats.
The goal of the Mecklenburg County Health Department pandemic influenza response plan is to minimize morbidity, mortality, and social and economic disruption associated with a pandemic. The strategy is to prevent people from becoming ill, containing the transmission of the influenza virus, and treating those who become ill.
To meet our goals, the Health Department will focus and/or enhance influenza-associated operations related to:
- Influenza surveillance activities
- Disease Investigation
- Mass care of the ill
- Mass vaccinations
- Mass fatality
- Isolation and Quarantine
- Command and control
Communication will be vital to a successful pandemic response, not only within the Health Department, but with response partners and the public. In coordination with the state and federal governments, the Health Department will assume a leadership role to ensure all are kept informed of the latest information related to volume, rates, risk factors, and geographic dispersion related to the pandemic.
While these guidelines are appropriate and satisfy the requirements of the State of North Carolina, they are only the beginning of a process that will involve continuous review and improvement of response methodologies. With the input of our Health Department staff and collaboration with our response partners, we believe these guidelines will provide further protection from infectious pandemic threats.
Business Satisfaction Study
On June 1, the County Manager's Office hired Lawrimore Communications, Inc., to assist the County in developing and implementing a business stakeholder satisfaction study in partnership with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce. This study is one of many action steps called for in the County's Diversity Management Plan, and is intended to identify the level of satisfaction businesses have with opportunities to contract with Mecklenburg County for goods and services.
The data gathered from this study will be used to help Mecklenburg County reach its goals for customer and stakeholder satisfaction on the Community and Corporate Scorecard. Specifically, businesses will be asked about their experiences regarding awareness of and access to contracting opportunities with the County, and the level of satisfaction they have with our contracting processes.
We believe the study will provide quantifiable information to measure the County's performance in providing fair and equitable opportunities for all companies interested in doing business with the County. This study also will allow us to identify areas where we can make improvements in MWSBE services and other processes we use to purchase goods and services.
The study will also provide information the Charlotte Chamber may use in enhancing its BusinessFIRST initiative. This Chamber program works to strengthen existing businesses in Charlotte-Mecklenburg through proactive business retention strategies.
The major elements of the study will include focus groups of MWSBE and non-MWSBE companies, as well as a survey of local businesses and other business stakeholders.
The study will culminate this fall with results and recommendations provided to staff. For more information, contact Clayton Voignier, Assistant to the County Manager, at (704) 432-4274 or
Public Policy Workshop on July 10
The next public policy workshop for the Board will take place on July 10 at 3 p.m. in Room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
This public policy workshop meeting was scheduled and approved by the Board at its last regular meeting in June to discuss the County Manager's FY 2008 Recommended Capital Budget and FY 2008-2017 Capital Improvement Plan.
At its regular meeting later that evening, the Board will be asked to approve the FY 2008 CIP and provide direction on potential bond referenda for November 2007.
NCACC Conference 2007
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) will hold its 100th Annual Conference on August 16-19 in Cumberland County. Registration must be received by August 3.
For more information on conference registration and events, contact the NCACC at (919) 715-2893 or on the web at http://www.ncacc.org/annualconf.htm. For assistance with arrangements to attend the conference, please contact Deputy Clerk to the Board Tonette Spears.
New Additions to Manager's Office
On June 20, Clayton Voignier was promoted to Assistant to the County Manager, a position previously held by Joel Riddle. As you know, Joel now serves as the business manager in the County's Human Resources Department.
Clayton has worked in the County Manager's Office as ICMA Fellow for the past two years. In his new role, Clayton's primary responsibilities will be to provide assistance to General Manager Janice Allen Jackson and work on special projects as needed.
Also, Janet Payne has been hired to fill the vacancy as ICMA Fellow. She will join the County on July 9. Janet recently completed her Master's Degree at The University of South Carolina and will work on numerous special projects as needed.
In addition, Shirley Cherry has been hired full-time as the front desk receptionist. Shirley has worked in a temporary capacity for more than one year. Each of these positions reports to Associate General Manager Michelle Lancaster.
--Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager