Healthcare and emergency response professionals from throughout the Basin met Wednesday morning at Ashley Regional Medical Center for a special training hosted by the Uintah Basin Healthcare Coalition. Gary Hall, from Global Preparedness, LLC, provided ISO-POD training. An ISO-POD is a portable vinyl enclosure that creates a negative airspace to transport patients with biologically infectious diseases. The unit is used to quarantine an infected person in cases like Ebola, Influenza, or other highly contagious diseases. It also allows first responders and medical staff to treat the patient without contaminating ambulances or areas passed within the hospital during transport.  Thankfully, the ISO-POD can also be decontaminated and reused. In attendance at the training were representatives from Jensen Fire, Gold Cross Ambulance, Ashley Regional Medical Center, Uintah Basin Healthcare, TriCounty Health Department, Bureau of Land Management, Uintah School District nurses and other area partners.

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GARY HALL, GLOBAL PREPAREDNESS, LLC, DISCUSSES THE ISO-POD IN TRAINING

It’s National Family Meal Month and local health educators are encouraging Basin residents to make family meal time a priority. Ashley Stegeman, USU Extension educator over the Food Sense program, has a list of reasons why Basin families should invest in family meal time and how to make it easier. Meals provide an opportunity to take time to connect as a family, explains Stegeman. To make it easier, plan meals ahead of time, research meal planning ideas, schedule a set meal time, involve family members in meal prep as well as meal cleanup. Another key to success is establishing family rules and setting all phones and devices aside during meal times. Your efforts can pay off quickly as studies show that children who participate in regular family mealtimes have an overall healthier diet, perform better academically, develop larger vocabularies, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. For more information on making the most of family meal time, visit www.tricountyhealth.com.

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September is Emergency Preparedness Month and while the TriCounty Health ‘Flu Shoot Out’ event has been postponed, Director Jordan Mathis didn’t miss the chance to present on public health preparedness at the Vernal Chamber luncheon this week. Using the Spanish Flu as an example, Mathis asked what would happen if there was a public health event now. He explained that among the impacts would be high absenteeism from work and school as well as shortages of supplies. TriCounty Health tracks all communicable diseases locally and continually trains and prepares for the possibility of a public health event. The annual ‘Flu Shoot Out’ is one example as they use it as an opportunity to practice a method of vaccinating large numbers of people. Citizens are urged to prepare their own families by practicing good health practices, getting all needed vaccinations including the flu shot, and having a family plan and supplies on hand in case of emergency. Households should have at least 72-hour portable kits that include water, food, medication, and other supplies. Families should establish a plan in the event of an emergency that includes setting up communication lines with family and friends, identifying a gathering place, and making arrangements for children and pets if caretakers are stuck at work during an emergency. Finally, it’s important for families to practice what they plan.

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