Hello, Hamilton County

  E-News for Hamilton County Citizens and Employees

July 23, 2001

  Quote of the Week:  "Nothing endures but change."  - Heraclitus

County Helps Respond to Flooding

Above: Gov. Taft speaks with Fairfax residents.

Below:  Building Inspection Director Tonia Edwards offers assistance.

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 18, extremely heavy rains resulted in flash flooding in several areas of Hamilton County.  Tragically, three Hamilton County residents lost their lives as a result of the flooding.  In response to the flooding, the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency, which puts in motion a process for getting State and Federal help to individuals, businesses, and communities affected by the flooding.


Following the Counties declaration, Ohio Governor Bob Taft issued a declaration of emergency for Hamilton, Butler and Clermont counties on Thursday and applied for federal Small business administration (SBA) assistance.  On Friday, Governor Taft along with Congressman Rob Portman, and Congressman Steve Chabot visited the Village of Fairfax to see first hand the damage caused by the flooding.  


"My thoughts are with the families of the three Ohioans whose lives were taken by the flooding," stated Governor Taft.  Governor Taft praised the work performed by local governments and state agency staff working together in the recovery effort.  


Through the coordination of the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency, the County has been offering assistance in many ways to the residents and in  support of other local governments.  Departments of particular note are Public Works, Building Inspections, County Engineer, the Board of Health, and the Metropolitan Sewer District.  


First Steel Put in place at Great American Ball Park

On Monday, July 23, Crews began installing the first piece of more than 10,100 tons of structural steel. To mark the event, Lynn Cameron of Cold Springs, Ky. signed the first column before it became a permanent part of the structure of Great American Ball Park. Mr. Cameron also was presented with a commemorative plaque marking this historic step in the construction process. Mr. Cameron won the opportunity to take part in this event through a ball park trivia contest facilitated by B-105, WUBE-FM.  

Mr. Cameron is a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and brought along his "little brother", Joe, to help sign the first piece of steel placed in Great American Ball Park. Above:  County Administrator Dave Krings presents a plague to Lynn Cameron the winner of the "First Steel" contest.  Note the Left field seating behind.  

Below:  Lynn Cameron signs the first piece of steel put in place at Great American Ball Park.


Steel installation will continue through February of 2002 and will dramatically change the view from Cinergy Field. Until now, only the fans in the upper decks of the stadium have had a clear view of construction, but by the end of this baseball season the steel skeleton of Great American Ball Park will rise above the left field wall. At that point, progress on the project will be clearly visible to fans in every section.

bulletFun Fact: The 10,100 tons of structural steel used to construct Great American Ball Park is enough to build the Statue of Liberty 81 times.


Board of Health Reminds Public of the Importance of Hand Washing

In the July 12th, 2001 issue of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the front page story discussed Shigellosis. This is a highly contagious disease that can be prevented with the practice of proper hygiene. One of the best ways to prevent getting or spreading this disease is by simply washing your hands regularly.  This is the simple but important massage the Hamilton County General Health District is working to communicate.
The Hamilton County General Health District would like to help you promote hand washing to your employees and any visitors that may come through your doors. They have free hand washing posters for you to post in your restrooms. To access click on one of the posters to the left of a pdf file to print out a poster or go to the Health District web site (www.hamilton-co.org/boh). If you can not print the poster(s), the Health District will send them to you! Just call 946-7808.
The Board of Health is making posters available to promote hand washing.


Hamilton County wins Four Awards from National Association of Counties

At last week's annual conference of the National Association of Counties (NACo), Hamilton County received four Achievement Awards.   The award winners are:
bulletArchitects' Guide to Recycled Material - Department of Environmental Services
bulletCommunity Outreach - Board of Elections (featured in the July 11th edition of Hello, Hamilton County)
bulletMobile Presentations - Recorders' Office
bulletPay for Performance - Department of Job and Family Services

Award winners will be recognized at a future Board of County Commissioners meeting and each award winner will be featured in Hello, Hamilton County.  Congrats to the award winners!  Keep up the good work.


Computer Recycling Event a Huge Success

Over 49 tons of computer equipment was recycled and diverted from local landfills through the event.

The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services first ever Computer Recycling Event was a huge success! The event collected unwanted and unusable computer equipment from Hamilton County residents, businesses, and schools to be recycled by UNICOR. Over 49 tons of equipment was recycled and diverted from local landfills at this two day event, filling over 7 tractor-trailers with equipment. The recyclable parts of the computer equipment will be distributed throughout Ohio for re-use.

On Friday, June 29th, Hamilton County businesses and schools helped the environment by bringing their unwanted computer equipment to the Hamilton County Fairgrounds to be collected and recycled. Over 35 tons of equipment, filling 5 tractor-trailers, was diverted from local landfills. Everything from out-of-date and unusable PCs, monitors, scanners, printers, and cables were brought to be recycled. This saves business and schools the cost of disposing of their unusable equipment, and diverts it from landfills as well.

Hamilton County residents recycled their share of unwanted equipment and diverted over 14 tons of materials from our local landfills. Over 230 residents came out on Saturday, June 30th, bringing with them over 350 PCs, 135 printers, and many other pieces of equipment to be recycled.

All of the computer equipment collected at the event was sent to UNICOR to be recycled. UNICOR is a wholly owned government corporation whose mission is to train and employ inmates housed in Federal prisons. Because they receive no congressional appropriations, UNICOR sustains itself through the sale of goods and services to Federal agencies only. UNICOR accepts donations for recycling, and then may sell to another entity to be recycled. All of the income earned is retained to provide working capital for UNICOR’s operations.

The Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services would like to thank those who participated in this year’s event and helped make it a huge success. If you have a computer or computer equipment that you would like to recycle or donate for re-use, call the Recycling Hotline at 946-7741 and request a copy of Once Is Not Enough, a residents guide to reducing, re-using, and recycling, or you can download a copy from our web-site at www.hcdoes.org. Please visit our web-site for more results and pictures from the event!


C.H.I.P: Unit meeting the needs of our Children

CHIP technician Bonnie Smith recalls the urgency of the call from a nurse at a local hospital. The nurse asked Smith to quickly process a CHIP application from the parents of a premature baby. Mom and Dad mailed the application shortly before the birth of their child. Application approvals or denials normally take 14 to 31 days and the their application had not yet been assigned to a technician.

The hospital wouldn’t give the baby a $1,500 immunization until Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (HCJFS) processed the application. Smith recalls, "The baby’s immune system was very weak, without the immunization, the baby would be very prone to illness."

So she approved the application and the baby was immunized.  CHIP or Children's Health Insurance Program helps pay for health care for children from low income families.


"Each worker has a special case they would like to tell you about," says Tina Martini, the CHIP Unit supervisor. "We have done so many."

The unit’s nine specialists regularly assist the parents of children with psychiatric, surgical and medical needs. They help moms and dads of dozens of children suffering from asthma. They assist parents of children with leukemia who need radiation and dialysis… 

"It’s only Wednesday, and this week we’ve had 10 asthma, two cancer, four surgeries and radiation treatments and wheelchairs," Martini says.


CHIP staff helps needy kids obtain healthcare.

The unit was started in 1998 with Ms. Martini, former Technical Services Advisor Rosalie Bryant who retired May 18, as well as Connie Cunningham, Alba Hodges, Clo Bailey, Frances Livingston and Bonnie Smith. The unit technicians’ each perform a specialty task in addition to their general duties.

Martini says, "Our mission is to see if we can get as many children covered under the medical plan—working and non-working, including grandparents with children, foster parents with children in custody and foster children’s kids,"

Until July 1, 2001 the unit handled both Healthy Start and Expedited Medicaid applications at which time Medicaid was expanded to seven programs—each with their own eligibility requirements. Technicians continue to take all pregnancy-related Medicaid cases and have 48 hours to authorize Expedited Medicaid.

"In the past year, they’ve processed incredible numbers of applications, trying to help all of Hamilton County’s eligible children and families get health care," says Amy Story, Intake leader. "They have made a real difference in the lives of many."

The unit process applications from 97 outreach sites such as Wal-Mart served by Automated Health Services. It has processed more than 14,000 applications distributed to families by Automated since early 1999. The law requires unit technicians to enter data and get documentation such as employment verification within 30 days. "They have had their share of frustrations… pressure from the Community /health care advocates, new regulations, churning applications, etc.," Story says "This dedicated staff has worked really hard."

"My workers work their tails off," says supervisor Martini.

The parents and kids they help get treatment are glad they do.



Safety Committee is on the job

The Hamilton County Safety Committee met at Paul Brown Stadium on Friday, July 20th.  After the meeting the group was treated to a tour of the Stadium by Ellen Ritter, Special Events Coordinator.  The Safety Committee currently consists of members from the following County departments and agencies:
Members of the County Safety Committee at Paul Brown Stadium

§        Administrative Services            

§        Board of MRDD

§        Building Inspections

§        Clerk of Courts

§        Coroner

§        Engineer

§        Environmental Services


§        Facilities

§        Jobs and Family Services

§        Juvenile Court

§        Personnel

§        Public Works

§        River City

§        Sheriff


The Committee meets quarterly at various locations.  The Committee is responsible for implementing safety solutions toward the goal of employee accident prevention and reduction.  Membership includes all levels of employers and managers.  If your department/agency is interested in learning more about the Committee or would like to participate, please contact Michael Trabue, 587-7370, or Jill Seitz, 946-4703, Co-Chairs.


Don't forget to post Hello, Hamilton County so that everyone can see what's going on!


Have a Great Week!


Hello, Hamilton County is published twice each month.  It is placed on both the County's internal and external Web pages.  It is design to enlighten and inform both citizens and employees of Hamilton County.  If you have questions or suggestions for future editions, contact Sharon Booker (946-4428) or Eric Stuckey (946-4432) in the County Administrator's Office or e-mail to eric.stuckey@hamilton-co.org.