Home » News
Home » News

Looking out for Utah

Published July 24, 2008 1:12 pm

From emergency plans to sidewalk project, Garrison, Boren care for state's well-being
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ron Garrison credits his work for the LDS Church with inspiring his plan to inoculate all of Davis County against a pandemic flu in a matter of hours.

Working in human resources for the church, Garrison helped herd 800,000 people through the Bountiful LDS Temple before its dedication and with five hours' notice, found 400 people to compile food kits to send to Kosovo¬.

He learned about how to manage crowds and how to find volunteers - two necessities in the event a deadly flu spreads to the United States. If, or when, that happens, forget orderly lines at community health clinics now seen for seasonal flu shots.

Assuming there is enough vaccine to go around, Garrison said there aren't enough clinics or nurses to inject it.

Instead, Garrison's plan calls for training thousands of volunteers to give their neighbors and friends shots at their local churches. The county's 300,000 residents could be vaccinated in one day and expect waits of 10 minutes, said Garrison, who was recently named a Utah Public Health Hero by the Utah Public Health Association.

"We don't want to repeat what happened in New Orleans with Katrina. Everyone learned a great deal about what can happen if you're not prepared," said Garrison, who is on the Davis County Board of Health and lives in Kaysville.

The plan, which can be implemented for other outbreaks and is being copied by other counties, would set up vaccination clinics at local churches. People who don't want to go to a church would go to county facilities.

The county's 64 emergency vaccination centers would each have 188 volunteers with 36 people giving shots at one time. Once the county got word that it was getting the vaccine, the call would go out for volunteers, who would then be trained by the Davis Applied Technology Center, Garrison said.

He has no doubt that enough volunteers will step up.

"We're very well known for volunteerism and wanting to help our neighbors with no regard to their religious affiliation," he said.

Jeri Boren was also named a public health "hero" for her work obtaining $250,000 to build a sidewalk on the south side of Gordon Avenue in Layton. Five pedestrians in five years have been hit crossing the five-lane street to get to E.G. King Elementary.

The road is considered one of the busiest in Layton and the school says students cannot avoid traveling on it to get to school. That's why few children, about 15 percent, walk or bike to class. And about half of the parents who drive their children to school say they do it because Gordon Avenue is too dangerous.

According to the Health Department, the goal is to increase the number of children who walk or bike to school to combat childhood obesity. The grant was awarded by the Utah Department of Transportation. Boren is a community health educator with the Davis County Health Department.


About the Utah Public Health Association The Utah Public Health Association (UPHA) was organized and held its first annual meeting May 1916 in Salt Lake City. Since the inception, the roots of UPHA have always had the focus, mission and dedication to promoting quality public health programming, advocating for sound public health policy and collaborating with community partners to protect the health of the citizens and the environment.

UPHA continues to strive for the achievement of our goals in five areas of focus:

* 1. Promoting a healthy environment;

* 2. Providing proactive advocacy of public health policy;

* 3. Promoting services that address personal health needs;

* 4. Keeping the community well informed about issues of public health;

* 5. Supporting a committed, educated and effective public health professional work force.

Source: http://www.upha.org/aboutupha.htm




Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus