KANAWHA-CHARLESTON BOARD OF HEALTH MEMBERS
THAT HAVE SERVED TWENTY YEARS OR MORE
John Connolly 1953 -1990 (Died in office)
J. William Martin 1959 -1995
Dr. Peter A. Haley 1961 -1982
James H. Davis III 1965 -1994
David C. Johnson 1965 -1997 (Present member)
Dr. Edward Jackson 1971 -1993 (Died in office)
PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIVITIES IN KANAWHA VALLEY
The first reference to the Charleston Health Department is found in a Sanitary Survey Report of Charleston prepared by Mayo Tolman of the West Virginia State Health Department, in which he speaks of the efforts of the new Health Commissioner, Dr. Richard T. Davis.
The budget for 1917 was $9,210.00. It listed a health commissioner, a chemist, 3 sanitary officers, 2 crematory hands, 2 garbage haulers and a pound master as staff.
The Woman's Hospital Association, which was organized in 1906, employed a nurse to visit the sick in their homes.
Dr. R.A. Ireland was appointed City Health Commissioner. During Dr. Ireland's tenure as Health Commissioner, many basic health services were instituted.
Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association was organized and its activities were closely coordinated with the City Health Department. This drew national attention as it was one of the first instances of an official and a voluntary health agency worki ng together.
The Hillcrest Sanitarium was constructed on a high ridge overlooking Charleston. It was built for treating children with tuberculosis because no other care facility was available. In 1921, it was reported that 240 patients had received care, 200 of whom were restored to health. After discharge from the sanitarium, the patients were visited in their homes by visiting nurses from the Nursing Association.
The Charleston Health Department conducted a health survey in sections of the City where diseases and insanitary conditions were most prevalent. The indirect results were the laying of new sewers and sanitary improvements of rental properties.
Dr. Ireland began requiring milk dairies to have their cattle tested for tuberculosis. The City chemist reported the test results in the local newspaper each month.
The Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association was headquartered in the Red Cross Building on Kanawha Street. A total of 3,445 visits were made in 1921. The staff of nurses were on call ror any Charleston resident. Their work covered the care of expectant mothers and children from the time of birth up to the age of six years. It was hoped that their work would be extended throughout the entire county, if additional funding was secured.
Dr. Henshaw, State Health Commissioner, criticized the county health work as being haphazard, unorganized, and with wasting thousands of dollars. "The County has several agencies doing the work that could be carried on more thoroughly and at less expense by one. What Kanawha County needs is a full-time health organization, including a health officer to devote all his time to the County's health work."
The Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association made an appeal for funds to purchase automobiles for the Association.
Miss Mildred Shaw, of Washington, D.C., became the public health nurse in the Cabin Creek District. The expenses of this nurse were paid by a citizen of Charleston, whose identity was not revealed.
The new City Building was officially dedicated. The Health Department was assigned space on the 4th floor, which had been designated as a health center.
Dr. J.B. Lohan succeeded Dr. Ireland as Health Commissioner. Dr. Lohan's goals were to develop a practical plan for the coordination and prevention of unnecessary, overlapping and duplication of services among the many volunteer health agencies in the City.
Kanawha County and City of Charleston food handlers were required to carry a certificate to show they were free of contagious diseases. It was suggested that a food handlers' class be established.
Dr. Lohan issued an order for stricter enforcement of the health laws and "put it up to his assistants to obtain results." A drive was made ag;lillst open garbage cans and sidewalk food displays. OrliL'rs were issued to all local doctors to report all births, deaths, and communicable disease cases promptly.
Representatives of 12 4-H clubs appeared before the County Court petitioning for a full time health unit for Kanawha County for the prevention of disease. In the past, the County had retained only a part-time health officer who was, at the same time, a practicing physician. The budget that was laid before the Court would pay a health officer $5,000 a year, and provide employment for two public health nurses at a compensation of not less than $1,800 a year.
Dr. F.M. Kearns, Director of Sanitation, State Department of Education, advised that compulsory medical examination should be required of all school children on the first day of the school term.
A new City health ordinance that called for the examination of all persons engaged in handling and serving foodstuffs in the City went into effect. All proprietors of such establishments were required under the law to make formal applications for permits to conduct a food operation.
A health ordinance was proposed to bring dairies under closer inspection, and banished all cows kept in the City limits for dairy purposes. The main provisions of this bill were that all milk furnished to the citizens would have to be sold in bottles approved by the Health Department. Two grades of milk were specified: Grade A -whose milk came from herds that conformed to the national regulations, and Grade B whose milk came from herds meeting Health Department health standards. The milk grades, A and B, were based upon the health of the herd, the quality of the milk, and the sanitation level of the farms. Pasteurization was not required.
Free garbage collection started in Charleston, when the furnaces of the old incinerator were rebuilt to accommodate the debris.
Regulations for care of meat on sale in Charleston were issued by the City Health Department.
Three food merchants were arrested for street display of goods. At several stores, it was said that dressed poultry was being hung out and exposed to dust and contaminating elements.
This year marked a large scale expansion of clinic activities. In January, more patients were cared for than any other month in the history of the Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association. The Junior League started furnishing volunteer services according to Miss Marguerite J. Claney, supervisor of the Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association.
Dr. Lohan reported that prevention was the aim of the Health Department. His recommendations to Mayor Wertz were the following:
- Pass an ordinance regulating the sale and the production of milk.
- Establish a Bureau of Food and Sanitation.
- Coordinate the work of the Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association with the City staff of nurses.
- Establish a food handlers' clinic, a venereal disease clinic and a baby and prenatal clinic.
The new milk laws went into effect. The City Council adopted an ordinance standardizing the milk supply and standards for dairies. This ordinance allowed the family cow to remain within the City limits, but it would have to be kept in a sanitary stable, which met standards of the Health Department. The cow could not be turned loose to graze.
The City Health Department and the Bureau of Food and Sanitation declared that the ranks of the rats must be reduced by the thousands, in order to save the good name of the City.
A man with an advanced case of smallpox was running at large in the City with police and health officers on his trail. A total of 36 cases of smallpox in 21 homes in the Crescent Road section was reported.
Two cases of smallpox, one of whom was a teacher in Elk School, were quarantined at the order of Dr. J.B. Lohan.
Mayor Wertz ordered all public gatherings, including church services, to be suspended in portions of West Charleston, because of the smallpox outbreak in that section of the City.
Mayor Wertz advised that if health conditions and sanitary food handling were to continue on a larger scale, then the people of Kanawha County must participate in the work.
Later in 1924, the Health Department advised that the smallpox danger was believed to be over, and the epidemic was under control. Dr. Lohan commended the Nursing Association for their aid and cooperation in stamping out the smallpox epidemic.
Over 6,000 children in the schools of the State were treated with iodine treatment for the prevention of goiters. Charleston schools were among those adopting the treatment.
Dr. Lohan issued a warning concerning typhoid because in 1923, there were 63 cases with 17 deaths. Bathing in polluted water was particularly dangerous. Testing showed that all waters near Charleston were polluted.
A sanitary survey of several buildings used for dwelling purposes in various sections of the City was initiated by the City Health Department.
The City Health Department asked the Police Department to cooperate in the suppression of the dog menace by reporting or capturing every stray dog. This request was made after the death of a 77-year-old man on Gardener Street, who died of hydrophobia (rabies) contracted from the bite of a dog.
Dr. A.E. Hardy, Director of the Bureau of Food and Sanitation of the City Health Department opposed the use of saccharin in soft drinks. The use of saccharin was considered to be an adulterant by the City Ordinance.
The need of either a state or a county institution to take care of advanced cases of tuberculosis was stressed. Deaths from tuberculosis had increased substantially. The plea went unheeded.
The fame of the Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association was spreading to such an extent that other cities were taking note of its activities and were sending representatives or writing to inquire how the work was being accomplished.
Typhoid fever cost Charleston and Kanawha County $129, ISO in 1925. Twenty-one people died of this disease.
As a result of the new milk ordinance, over $150,000 had been spent on improvements of dairy farms, milk houses, and two pasteurization plants. Since milk sanitation had improved, the City Health Department turned its attention to the uncontrolled selling of unwholesome food. Every animal that was sold for food in the City was inspected and stamped with the Health Department's approval. If the food was found to be unhealthy, coal oil was poured on it at once, and it was ordered to be disposed of at the incinerator.
Kanawha Public Health Nursing Association, in its annual report, stated that Charleston was one of the few cities in the United States that was successful in combining a governmental agt:J)cy with a private one. Charleston was the only city at this time that had a full-time tuberculosis nurse.
The Kanawha Health Nursing Association announced that a maternity service was being organized.
The Kanawha County Health Department was organized.
Dr. John Thames, United States Public Health Service Field Agent, was selected to head the County Health Department.
Dr. Hugh Robins became City Health Commissioner. During the 10 years of Dr. Robins' tenure, health services were improved and stabilized.
Generalized public health programs, including Kanawha County School supervision, were begun.
The County Health Department began doing nursing visits, and the Kanawha Nursing Association began to confine its activities strictly to the corporate limits of the City of Charleston.
Dr. John Thames, Director of the County Health Department, reported that during his administration, there had been a 30% reduction in deaths from tuberculosis.
Dr. Thames urged the combination of County and City Health Departments where the population was less than 100,000.
The Charleston Public Health Association was started. The object of this organization was to assist the physician in the care of the sick at home, and to instruct the mother in the care of the family. The services were extended to all persons needing the service of a nurse in their homes, regardless of their financial condition.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND RECOVERY YEARS
The Great Depression of 1929 brought an economic slowdown affecting the budgets of Charleston and Kanawha County, resulting in cuts in spending for public health.
The Charleston Case Conference was formed with the Public Health Nursing Association as a member. The Conference's objectives were to eliminate duplication of efforts and to help the community focus on the problems caused by gaps or overlaps in programs. The Conference was the forerunner of the Community Council of Kanawha Valley.
The Federal Government created a number of agencies. One, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) allocated $1 million to public health services for use in rural areas. The State of West Virginia and Kanawha Valley became a recipient of some federal funding to build privies and to expand nursing services.
The Social Security Act of 1935 marked the entrance of the Federal Government into the area of social concerns. This act provided millions of dollars for maternal and child care, and for public health services in general.
As a result of these Federal activities, public health services throughout the Kanawha Valley continued to expand. In Charleston, for example, the following health services were developed:
- A maternity hygiene program for the poor was begun, which included a clinical study before delivery for possible complications.
- The adoption of state regulations for ice cream manufacturers.
- A special health committee was appointed by the Charleston Chamber of Commerce to promote studies in public health.
- Public sewer lines began to be extended to unserviced areas, particularly in Charleston. This resulted in many outside toilets and cesspools being eliminated.
- Food standards and basic sanitation continued to Improve.
The Nursing Association continued to expand and increase their services.
Red placards on outside doors indicating the presence of diphtheria or scarlet fever were still common. Occasional outbreaks of smallpox, typhoid, and other disorders served as reminders of the need for diligence in applying preventive measures.
THE WAR YEARS AND THE CREATION OF THE KANAWHA-CHARLESTON HEALTH DEPARTMENT
World War II gave the Federal Public Health Services a major role in American health affairs. The Armed Forces' recruitment of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals intensified the shortage of trained personnel at home, forcing health agencies to turn to volunteers.
As resources became available, Charleston and Kanawha County continued to expand public health services. For instance, Charleston was ranked 14th in the nation in a survey of public health conditions made by the National Chamber of Commerce, indicating the stability of the health services.
Dr. T.E. Cato became Health Officer for Kanawha County Health Department until 1941.
Dr. H.B. Wise was appointed City Health Commissioner.
Dr. C.E. Waller was assigned by the U.S. Public Health Service to serve as coordinator for consolidating the two local health departments. The merger failed, and he left after two months.
Dr. FB. Carlson replaced Dr. Wise as City Health Commissioner.
In December, 1942, Dr. J.E. Robins was appointed as a part-time City Health Commissioner, and served until October, 1947.
The Charleston Public Health Nursing Association's name was changed to the Visiting Nursing Association.
During the years of 1941 through 1947, several health officers were appointed by the County Commission. Among them were Dr. A.M. Price, Dr. Owen Grove, Dr. T.D. Romine, Dr. Max Raine, and Dr. Max Goldman, who was part-time director from 1945 through 1947.
The City Council voted to consolidate the City Health Department and the Visiting Nursing Association Services under the Public Health Commission.
CHARLESTON AND KANAWHA COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENTS MERGED
In February, 1947, House Bill #52 was passed and on October 1, 1947, acting upon recommendations of Dr.
Lang and a Citizens Committec, the County and City officials entered into an agreelllcnt that the two Health Departments combine to create the KanawhaCharleston Health Department. At th is ti me, County health unit personnel, equipment and records were moved to the the City Health Department on the 4th floor of the City Building. A budget of $37,500 was approved for Public Health. Shortly thereafter, the Visiting Nursing Association moved to affiliate with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and to coordinate the nursing programs under a single director, Dr. L.A. Dickerson.
Dr. L.A. Dickerson was born near Gauley Bridge. He graduated from Hampden-Sidney College, West Virginia University and the Medical College in Virginia. He practiced about a year in Glen Ferris, and was the Fayette County Health Officer for two years.
Under Dr. Dickerson's direction, significant advancements were made by eliminating overlapping services, and establishing new programs.
conferences. Attendance at the general medical clinic increased by 25 percent.
Inspection programs for food handling establishments began, including "rim count" surveys of restaurant sanitation in Charleston by the U.S. Public Health Service. Rim counts were made by taking a swipe from glasses, dinnerware and silverware. This was to determine the bacterial level that indicated if the utensils were being properly sanitized. Classes in restaurant sanitation were started for food handlers.
The 10 leading causes of death in Kanawha County were:
1. Heart Disease
3. Cerebral Hemorrhage
5. Accident, Except Automobile
7. Tu bercul osis
8. Premature Death
9. Automobile Accidents
10. Diarrhea and Enteritis
Dr. Dickerson was re-elected President of the State Public Health Association.
January -A comprehensive program of enforcement of all sanitary laws in restaurants was undertaken. This program also included rim tests of all glasses for bacterial counts.
February -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, in cooperation with the State Health Department, opened a new nursery and clinic for premature babies at Thomas Memorial Hospital. In West Virginia, at this time, one out of every 29 newborns was premature, and two out of every five premature infants died shortly after birth.
March -Esther McFinly, R.N., became Director of the Public Health Nursing Program.
May -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department made its second inspection of restaurants and other eating places. The results were revealing and disappointing. Efforts were made to have the Department make a list of violators public after the third inadequate inspection.
June -South Charleston became a cooperating unit with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the City guaranteed financial cooperation of $3,600 per year.
Edward B. Carroll became the Chief Sanitarian. He graduated from Fairmont State College, and did postgraduate work at West Virginia University. Before taking this position, he was in charge of the training of sanitarians for the West Virginia State Health Department.
July -Dr. Dickerson warned that all Kanawha County streams were polluted with germ infestation. Swimming in them presented a serious health hazard.
August -Dr. Dickerson issued an alert to all parents of children entering school for the first time, that children must be immunized against smallpox and diphtheria.
September -Eight more cases of polio were reported during the week of September 5, 1948, increasing the number of cases to 23.
A clinic for cerebral palsy children was opened in the offices of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department on the fourth floor of the City Building.
Air pollution became one of the major public health issues in the Kanawha Valley.
The Charleston and South Charleston areas were chosen by the U.S. Public Health Service as one of five centers in the U.S. for a five-year Fly Control Program.
November -A block-by-block sanitary survey of Charleston and South Charleston was started to obtain data on general environmental conditions.
December -Harry C. Callahan was appointed Director of the Charleston's Smoke Abatement Program.
The U.S. Public Health Division's DDT spray and sanitation campaign estimated the population of flies to be over 300,000,000. This was considered comparatively high for a town the size of Charleston.
February -The Mountain State Restaurant in South Charleston received the first approved food service permit to operate in Kanawha County.
March -The Kanawha-Charleston Visiting Nursing Association received high praise from a member of the National Association. This county organization was "far in advance of similar health agencies in the United States."
April -A landfill method of garbage disposal was instituted in Charleston.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department planned to establish inoculation centers for rabies throughout the County.
A spray machine that sprayed a 5 percent mixture of DDT and diesel oil was employed for the first time to kill flies.
May -A Fly Control Program was started in the Charleston and South Charleston areas. Five health service trucks were to blanket the area with a five percent DDT and diesel oil solution. Fly traps were placed in different areas of the County. Flies would be collected and examined for polio virus. The study was to determine whether flies were responsible for the spread of polio. June -The Charleston City Council was called into special session to consider plans for a community sewage disposal system. The Kanawha River was considered to be the most polluted waterway in West Virginia. Fly spray trucks with clouds of insect killer set off approximately two dozen false fire alarms after the Fly Control Program began.
July -With the sudden rise in infantile paralysis in the community, the City of Dunbar joined Charleston and South Charleston in the Fly Spray Program.
A new Charleston ordinance was passed to regulate trash collection and private haulers.
August -Fifty fly traps were located throughout the County. A new chemical insecticide was being used. The new spray utilized DDT, plus a new insecticide called Chlordane.
Between January and November of this year, the State Hygienic Laboratory had examined the heads of 162 animals in Kanawha County, 80 of which tested positive for rabies.
November -Carbon monoxide testing devices were made available to the public by the KanawhaCharleston Health Department.
December -A playground was constructed in the Bigley Avenue area of Charleston. The three and onehalf acre site was formerly the first sanitary landfill built in West Virginia. This landfill was developed to relieve the overloading of the City Incinerator that was placed in operation in 1937.
January -Dr. L.A. Dickerson issued a four-month rabies quarantine. Under the quarantine, all dogs had to be confined. All loose dogs were to be impounded for 3 days after which they were put to death humanely. Free rabies vaccinations were given to hundreds of dogs.
Miss Annunciata Lepore, R.N., was appointed Acting Director of the Visiting Nursing Association. She was a graduate of the School of Nursing, Hahnemann Hospital, Scranton, Pennsylvania, and earned a certificate in public health nursing and a B.S. degree in nursing education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She also was a graduate of the Maternity Center Association school for Nurse-Midwives in New York. Prior to coming to West Virginia, she was employed for 18 years by the Visiting Nurses Association of Scranton, as a staff nurse, and then as county supervisor. In 1948, she came to the KanawhaCharleston Visiting Nursing Association, as a supervisor.
The City of St. Albans instituted a municipal garbage collection and disposal plan.
February -A report on the progress of food service establishments advised the public that in 1948 only 1.9% of the County's public eating establishments were following standard sanitary practices. Two years later, 68.5% were very satisfactory.
A dental health study of school children showed that 96% of public school pupils had defects of the teeth that could be corrected.
April -A food handlers' training course was initiated by the Vocational Department of Kanawha County Public School System. This consisted of an eight-hour training school.
May -The Chelyan Health Center was formally opened.
June -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department urged Kanawha County cities and the County Court to raise $30,000 to pay for emergency hospital care for families whose income level made it impossible to bear the cost themselves. Dr. Dickerson proposed a 10-cents per person assessment to raise the $30,000.
July -A ten-year-old boy in Riverlawn Acres, St. Albans, died of human rabies.
January -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department commended the efforts of more than 330 Charleston food service establishments for the reduction of harmful bacteria.
March -The Charleston City Council was asked by the City Health Council to support a program to treat this area's water supply with sodium fluoride.
May -L. Newton Thomas was appointed to the Board of Health. This filled the vacancy left by Donald Shonk. Two other members, Herbert W. Bryan, and Albert C. Daugherty were reappointed.
July -State polio cases hit a ten-year high. At this time, thirteen cases were reported in Kanawha County.
January -Clinical services of the KanawhaCharleston Health Department were transferred from the Municipal Building to the Charleston Memorial Hospital located on South Ruffner Road. The services included: chest X-ray, tuberculosis diagnosis, and clinics for venereal disease, immunizations, gynecology, pediatrics, cardiac and mental hygiene evaluations.
April -Annunciata Lepore was appointed Director of Nursing.
May -At the 28th State Public Health Conference, the Conference awarded the first certificate of outstanding service to Dr. N.H. Dyer, State Health Commissioner, and Gov. Patterson for their SUppOit of public health. "I wish you'd let the press and West Virginia public know I've taken politics out of at least one thing during my administration," said Gov. Patterson. ("Taken politics out of Health," in the appointment of a nonpartisan Board of Health.)
February -St. Albans clinic was opened on the second floor of the Hawley Building on Main Street.
March -Kanawha County went under a 120-day rabies quarantine as protection to the citizens against stray dogs. Stray dogs were to be killed. Twenty-eight cases of rabies among stray and well animals had been reported since January.
August -The second annual ragweed pollen survey took place under the supervision of KanawhaCharleston Health Department and Dr. Merle S. Scherr, a Charleston allergist.
February -Dr. Dickerson reported that all dairies serving greater Charleston had maintained a Grade "A" rating for the last six months. KanawhaCharleston Health Department supervised 650 dairy farms located in eight West Virginia counties and four Ohio counties.
April -Charleston and its immediate areas became the 27th City in West Virginia to begin fluoridation of its water supply.
The first trial vaccination of the Salk Serum was administered to all second grade children in Kanawha County Schools.
August -Dr. Dickerson advised the Kanawha County Court about construction of a county dog pound.
April -Salk anti-polio vaccine was administered to 5,000 children of the first four grades in Kanawha County. Measles outbreak reached the epidemic stage at Oakwood School in South Hills.
April -A 200-bed field hospital was made available to West Virginia by the Federal Government for disaster purposes at the State Health Department property in South Charleston.
July -There was a fish kill in the Kanawha River at Dunbar as a result of water pollution. Thousands of dead and decayed fish created terrible odor problems for Dunbar residents.
August -Asian influenza vaccinations were administered throughout the county.
December -Dr. L.A. Dickerson resigned to become Director of Disease Control of the State Health Department.
Dr. R.A. Ireland became the Interim Director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department at 73 years of age. Dr. Ireland, a practicing physician in Charleston for 45 years, was Charleston's Commissioner of Health in 1919.
February -Dr. Page H. Seekford, a native of Virginia, became the new Health Director of the KanawhaCharleston Health Department. He attended William and Mary College, and the University of Chicago. He completed his medical work at the Northwestern University Medical School in Public Health Service. He also attended Harvard University School of Public Health and the U.S. Public Health Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
He came to West Virginia to practice at Nellis, Boone County. Since the coal mines in that community closed, he moved his practice to Seth and Prenter.
Fourteen merchants were arrested for the use of an illegal and poisonous meat preservative, sodium sulfite.
May -Open dumping of trash throughout the County became an issue.
August -A flood resulted in the administering of typhoid vaccine to over 2,000 residents in the Kanawha Two-Mile area.
September -A new "Dollar Clinic" to fight polio was instituted. Eight hospitals joined in the fight against polio by establishing this Clinic. This Clinic allowed adults who were financially unable to pay the standard $4.00 per shot to get the Salk vaccine at a reduced rate of $l.00 per shot.
November -Charles V. Guthrie was appointed as the meat inspector by Mayor Copenhaver. Mayor Copenhaver declared that "meat sold to Charlestonians was not fit for a hound dog."
Three cases of trichinosis were reported in Kanawha County. These were the first cases reported in West Virginia since 1952, when cases occurred in Cabell County.
December -Six poisonous voodoo doll swizzle sticks sold in Charleston set in motion a frantic search and a warning from Dr. Seekford. These sticks contained a poisonous agent called Cardol which could cause a potentially fatal acute allergic reaction.
January -A case of polio was reported in Kanawha County, involving a young expectant mother who had not taken the Salk vaccine.
The Health Department renewed a crackdown on some Charleston restaurants, aimed at eliminating filth.
March -Twenty-five samples of meat were collected. No traces of the use of an illegal preservative were found. The public was informed that they could purchase meat with confidence in Kanawha County.
June -Four independent grocery store owners pleaded guilty to selling ground beef containing sodium sulfi te preservative.
August -An upward surge of polio cases in Kanawha County pushed the 1959 total to 77 cases. Dr. Seekford re-emphasized the need for getting Salk vaccine.
October -Kanawha County added another 15 cases of
polio, bringing the total near the worst polio year since ] 953, when there were 120 victims.
ELEVEN YEAR TABULATION FOR POLIO CASES
1947 -48 Cases
1950 -60 Cases
1951 -34 Cases
1952 -72 Cases
1953 -120 Cases
1954 -58 Cases
1955 -26 Cases
1956 -6 Cases
1957 -10 Cases
1958 -32 Cases
1959 -92 Cases
January -Dr. Seekford reported "marked improvement" in all Kanawha County's 800 eating establishments.
February -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department started providing free vitamins for children of needy families.
June -On the 15th, milk tank trucks replaced the last can-hauling trucks.
July -A foul odor coming from P.E. Holz and Sons Slaughterhouse on Rt. 14 at Davis Creek Road became a public health nuisance. A committee headed by Dr. Seekford was organized to find a solution to the problem. Two actions were taken: (1) to find a catalyst to absorb the odor and (2) to study and recommend the establishment of a public service district which would install a public sewer system.
August -Upon evaluating the five-City-County recreational area fly control program, a U.S. Public Health Service regional representative said the program's efficiency was being destroyed by the carelessness of commercial establishments in disposing of their accumulated waste.
September -The County's milk supply passed radioactive tests. Laboratory tests disclosed that it contained nine microcuries of strontium, well below the danger level.
November -A "Well Oldsters Clinic" was added to the services provided by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. This clinic was for persons 65 years or older. Free examinations for detection of early diabetes, heart disease and glaucoma were given.
February -An outbreak of rabies among foxes in the Poca and Elk Districts of Kanawha County prompted Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to offer rabies clinics for dogs.
March -A rabies quarantine was put in place in the Aaron's Fork area.
Mayor Shanklin suggested that citizens band together as "Cleanup Vigilantes" and report all offenses of the litterbug law. He also declared an all-out war against dogs running at large in the City.
April -Hepatitis was at epidemic proportions in West Virginia with 751 cases reported. Seventy-seven cases were from Kanawha County, mostly in the Clendenin area.
Dr. Seekford announced that three "misting machines" would replace "foggers" in spraying fly-killing chemicals throughout the valley's residential areas.
May -The Kanawha County Court approved a program that County employees would go under the West Virginia Employees Retirement System, effective July 1.
No new cases of polio were reported for the first five months of this year, the longest period the County had gone in recent years.
June -The first reported polio case of the year was a 5-year-old Charleston boy.
July -A flash-flood occurred creating Charleston's greatest natural disaster. Twenty-one (21) residents were killed, with an estimated $5,000,000 in loss of property. Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, under Dr. Seekford's direction, set up a chain of typhoid, tetanus and first-aid clinics, and gave 36,000 injections by mid-August. All homes, eating establishments, and grocery stores that were affected were evaluated for the safety of the water and the food supplies by Health Department sanitarians.
A 16-year-old Kanawha County boy was taken into custody after he refused anti-rabies treatment when bitten by a rabid dog.
August -A rare case of Leptospirosis struck down a Charleston man in the wake of the City's disastrous flood of July 19.
September -The first house condemned by Charleston's new housing commission was a twostory structure housing 12 families, located at 709-1112 Court Street.
October -As a result of Russian nuclear testing, samples of milk were tested weekly for radioactivity.
February -Dr. W.P. Black of Charleston resigned from the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health. The Kanawha County Court appointed Dr. Peter A. Haley.
March -On March 17th the largest community health campaign ever attempted was carried out in Kanawha County. It was known as S.O.S. (Sabin Oral Sunday.) The County-wide focus was to wipe out polio with the Sabin Oral vaccine. On this day, an unparalleled expression of community cooperation was shown as 184,118 persons visited the 50 clinics which offered the Sabin vaccine. Dr. Seekford and Dr. Haley cochaired the S.O.S. program. More than 100 doctors participated in supervising the administration of the vaccine at the clinics. They were assisted by a similar number of registered nurses, pharmacists, and volunteers.
April -Dr. Seekford, commenting on the future of air pollution control needs in the Kanawha Valley, stated that since we live in a typically dirty industrial area, automobile exhaust control devices should be mandatory.
The State Health Department reported that rabies among animals had increased 11 percent over the same period last year.
On the 21st, 195,650 residents received a second dose of Type III Sabin Oral Vaccine against polio.
June -On the 2nd, Type II Sabin Oral Vaccine was distributed at the same 50 clinics to 182,730 patients.
Make-up clinics were held one week after each S.O.S. More than 200,000 Kanawha County residents received the Sabin Oral Vaccine.
June -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department planned to start family planning clinics in the "war against poverty." Strong support was given by community leaders, physicians and local government leaders. The first birth control clinic was held at Chelyan. In December, the second birth control clinic was held in South Charleston.
February -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department moved all of its operational offices from the 4th floor of the City Building to 1426 Kanawha Boulevard, East. The move came as a result of the need for additional office space for the Charleston Planning Commission. All of the clinical services continued to be held at the satellite clinics throughout Charleston and Kanawha Valley.
April -A Well-Child Clinic was opened for the Triangle District at the Kennedy Center at 201 Donnally Street.
May -Fifteen persons became ill from a canned ham at a holiday gathering of families and friends. They were treated at Charleston Memorial Hospital.
March -William Ernest Perrow became Chief of the Environmental Health Division. Employed since 1950, he was engaged in supervisory work for the Department in restaurant inspections, and responsible for training new sanitarians.
June -An outbreak of syphilis was reported. In three months, 142 cases occurred. The Kanawha Valley and Ohio Valley had two of the highest rates of syphilis in the country.
September -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department requested that the Kanawha County Prosecutor, Charles Walker, take court action to halt oil well drilling in Roane County that was blamed for polluting Pocatalico Creek. Brine discharged by the drillers had gotten into the stream, causing problems for the water treatment plant operated by the Sissonville Public Service District.
January -In the Big Chimney area, three people were bitten by a rabid dog. They had to receive rabies vaccine treatment. As a result of this, sanitarians began a door-to-door search to make sure no other person had been bitten by the rabid dog.
June -Five years ago, more than 200,000 Kanawha County residents congregated in school buildings to take their last dose of the Sabin vaccine, developed to combat poliomyelitis. The S.O.S. program (Sabin Oral Sunday) spread across West Virginia with an estimated 85% of the Mountain State's population immunized. Statistically, this was a success as no new polio cases were reported after 1962 in Kanawha County.
July -A FMC warehouse explosion and fire released deadly chlorine fumes that poured out into the atmosphere and formed a heavy cloud affecting North and South Charleston. At least 220 residents became ill or were injured, and 15,000 persons were forced to leave their homes.
August -A State Charter was granted for a Community Mental Health Center for Kanawha, Putnam and Boone Counties.
A Charleston city-wide long-range eradication program for rats was started.
September -The WV Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance went into effect on September 1. It prohibited the sale of raw milk. Only pasteurized milk could be sold to the final consumer.
December -Dr. Seekford proposed the construction of a new medical school in southern West Virginia. He suggested that it be built in Teays Valley, half-way between the state's two major centers of population, Charleston and Huntington.
March -Kanawha County and 13 other West Virginia counties participated in a national nutrition survey, as requested by Congress.
An issue arose concerning coal operators negotiating with out-of-state municipalities to transport garbage and rubbish into the State, allowing them to use abandoned strip mines as landfills.
June -A public service district for West Dunbar was approved by the Kanawha County Court. The Court would serve as the administrative agency for the sewer construction program.
Dr. Seekford said that the use of DDT for fly control had been stopped two years ago. There was a worldwide rebellion in progress against insecticides and DDT was a prime target.
July -A tent city in the Triangle District, with more than 20 tents, was erected on the site of the proposed water filtration plant. The campers, mostly Triangle residents, were protesting the loss of their homes to the interstate and urban renewal construction. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department was involved in providing portable toilets, and instructing people on safe food preparation.
William Perrow, Chief Sanitarian, died.
September -Two Kanawha Dental Health Council school-based dental clinics for students remained open in the summer for the first time. This allowed eligible children to have dental work completed before school started.
Charles R. Saber was appointed Chief Sanitarian of the Environmental Health Section. Mr. Saber, 32 years of age, had been employed as a sanitarian since graduating with a B.S. from West Virginia Institute of Technology at Montgomery.
An outbreak of infectious hepatitis occurred in the 40th Street area of Nitro. Twelve cases were reported.
October -The Community Council of Kanawha Valley examined drug use in Kanawha County.
November -A Rat Patrol was activated in South Charleston and St. Albans.
In 1969, one of the major issues was the building of the new West Virginia Water Plant in the Triangle District, and the anticipation of new increases in water rates.
January -Emergency measures were taken to get clean water into the Crown Hill community, after 100 families had been without water for several days. This water crisis was due to Pratt Water Works' pumphouse being frozen.
March -A 23-year-old Roosevelt Junior High school teacher was found dead in her apartment from spinal meningitis. This caused quite a stir among the parents of students that attended Roosevelt.
June -The Bonanza Sirloin Pit in Kanawha City was closed as a result of health code violations.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department's Vector Control Program moved from its South Charleston location to quarters at 1800 Washington Street, West.
July -New State regulations went into effect that required a permit for installation of approved sewer systems.
Dr. Seekford said that "as a result of an on-going study of sewage problems in the county, the old privy behind the house would be preferable to modern plumbing indoors to solve immediate health problems in Kanawha County."
Five cases of infectious hepatitis were reported on Pacific Street, Charleston.
A clean bill of health was given to all but two Kanawha County jail prisoners tested for tuberculosis. These tests were made as the result of one prisoner's advanced case of tuberculosis.
August -The U.S. Public Health Service reported that of 30 water systems surveyed and measured in Kanawha County, three were found potentially hazardous, and thirteen others were rated as inferior.
A county-wide organization for developing water and sewer systems was being endorsed by KanawhaCharleston Health Department and the Kanawha County Planning Commission. This Agency would have replaced the 15 existing Public Service Districts that were operating in the County.
October -The New China Restaurant on Quarrier Street was ordered to close due to failure to comply with food codes. The operator of the restaurant refused to close, as ordered, and so KanawhaCharleston Health Department proceeded to obtain an injunction to force the closure. A public hearing was held at a later date to discuss compliance requirements.
November -A man and his wife filed a damage suit in Kanawha Circuit Court against 227 residents of Chemical City, west of St. Albans, for negligently disposing of untreated sewage.
Rondal Kincaid, age 44 of Ansted, a sanitarian with Kanawha-Charleston Health Department for 14 years, was killed in a head-on collision on Route 60, near Montgomery.
April -The Board of Directors of Sunrise Inc. came to the aid of Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. Sunrise agreed to return $5,000 allocated to them by the County Court so it could be reallocated to the Health Department. The County Court had cut the Health Department budget by $70,000. Sunrise explained this action by saying that "they felt that basic health care for our needy citizens is more important. "
May -An investigation by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department uncovered 18 Kanawha Boulevard businesses and residences dumping raw sewage into the Kanawha River.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department placed the Kanawha County Commission on notice to cease the discharge of raw sewage from the Kanawha County Courthouse into Kanawha River.
June -Insanitary conditions at the Kanawha Airport Restaurant caused its closing by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
July -A flash flood hit the Sissonville area.
August -The Daniel Boone Hotel kitchen facilities were closed because of failure to comply with food codes. The operator of a Sissonville Road trailer park was fined $200.00 for installing a sewage system without a permit.
October -Perry's Nursing Home, located on East Washington Street, was closed due to critical insanitary conditions at the facility.
November -Smith Creek Dump, operating in South Charleston, was ordered to cease and desist operation.
January -A substantial number (3,761) of influenza cases were reported during the week of January 29th.
March -Construction workers completed final work connecting the Courthouse sewer line into Charleston's sewer interceptor system.
May Miss Annunciata Lepore, R.N., was awarded a bronze plaque in appreciation of her services to Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and in the field of public health in West Virginia from 1948 to 1972, by the West Virginia Public Health Association.
June -A St. Albans trailer court owner, who twice before was indicted by Kanawha County grand juries on charges of unlawful sewage discharge, was again charged by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department with violating sewage regulations.
July -Three children died in the early morning hours when a cloudburst flooded Kanawha City. About 100 homes were damaged by water and mud in the neighboring areas of Lower DonnaJly Road, Chappell Road and low-lying sections of Kanawha City.
Dr. Seekford termed conditions at Boys' Camp at Camp Virgil Tate as "unhealthy and unhygienic."
Dr. Seekford announced that, "Nationally, one out of every five high school students will get venereal disease (VD) before she or he graduates." In Kanawha County in 1971, 42% of all reported VD cases fell in the 15 to 19 age group.
August -An outbreak of diarrhea and vomiting affected a large percentage of the residents of Chelyan and adjoining communities. The water supply at Chelyan was suspected of transmitting a virus.
Miss Annunciata Lepore retired as Nursing Director.
Lillian Evelyn Wallace, R.N., became Director of Nursing. She graduated from Baptist Missionary Training School, Chicago, Illinois and received a certificate in P.H.N. from Vanderbilt University, Public Health School, Nashville, Tennessee.
January -An all-out attempt to test every black adult in Kanawha County for sickle cell anemia was launched with the establishment of 16 testing centers.
June -Lillian Evelyn Wallace, R.N., resigned as Director of Nursing.
Edwina W. Vertner, R.N., became the new Nursing Director. She attended West Virginia Weslyan College and Salem College. She graduated from St. Joseph's School of Nursing, Parkersburg, West Virginia.
August -The Health Department ordered Camp Cliffside at Alum Creek to discontinue occupancy of the land for recreational homes, because of insufficient sanitary facilities.
December-Kanawha-Charleston Health Department opened a clinic at the new North Charleston Community Center. The Health Department was part
of the concept of a shopping center for different social services at the new center. June -The YMCA swimming pool was closed because of insanitary conditions.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began to use new tactics, warrants on top of warrants, to get a sewage treatment plant installed at the Elkview Trailer Park.
August -Raw sewage had replaced industrial waste as the #1 pollution menace in Kanawha River, according to Dr. Seekford. More than 25 towns and communities in Kanawha County had inadequate sewage treatment, or none at all, and were dumping raw sewage into Kanawha River.
November -Steve MOlTis, a sanitarian with KanawhaCharleston Health Department, and Mr. Holtsclaw were successful in their attempts to resuscitate Mr. Eugene Carper, when he collapsed while getting into his car on Virginia Street. The Heart Association said that these two men were the first lay persons to become eligible for the Phoenix Award.
January -The Attorney General, Chauncey H. Browning, Jr., ruled that publication of restaurant reports was legal. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, in an agreement with the Charleston Gazette and Charleston Daily Mail, began to release restaurant scores for publication on February 1, 1975.
February -A bill was introduced into the State Legislature that would prevent the publication of restaurants' scores. This bill did not pass. The publication of sanitation inspection scores for restaurants in Kanawha County led to a "significant improvement" in restaurant cleanliness.
March -A gastro-intestinal disorder of undetermined origin affected 44 of Riverside Nursing Home's 98 patients.
Charleston City Council approved a contribution of $200,000 toward construction of the 2.3 million dollar health clinic. This contribution was later withdrawn by Mayor Hutchinson, however, as the site for the health center was changed from Clendenin and Court Street, to the Lee Street location.
Dr. Seekford sent notices to the medical institutions informing them that their food sanitation reports would be made public along with those of other eating establishments.
April -A survey report of sewage pollution existing in Morecott and Pinewood Subdivisions in the Sissonville area was presented to the Kanawha County Commission. At this time, it was estimated that about 85,000 of Kanawha's 230,000 citizens were affected by inadequate sewage systems.
June -Kanawha County Commission President, John Catalano, ordered the County's two landfills located at Cross Lanes and Dry Branch closed. This action was taken after Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and State Health Officials determined they were insanitary.
Edna Smith, R.N., became the new Director of Nursing. She graduated from Morris Harvey School of Nursing. She received her M.P.H. degree from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Edwina Vertner, R.N., became Assistant Director.
July -The location of the new Kanawha-Charleston Health Center, that was slated to be built on property located at Clendenin and Court Street, was changed to a tract of land located on Lee and Clendenin Streets. The land encompassed 58,000 square feet and was purchased at a cost of $315,510.
September -Fourteen suspected cases of encephalitis were reported. The cases were spread throughout the County. Later it was revealed that only two were confirmed.
A public hearing was held in Circuit Court for a permanent injunction to shut down three Kanawha County massage parlors.
October -Dr. Seekford publicly reported that he would close Laidley Field if immediate steps were not taken to correct conditions described as "abominable." Sometime later, improvements were made to the facilities.
March -A building contractor was fined $300.00 after refusing to stop construction on a septic system without a permit from Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
June -The firm of E.L. Harris and Sons, Inc., submitted the low bid of $1,653,123 to construct the Kanawha-Charleston Health Center. The building was designed by Henry Elden and Uncer Gokcen of Henry Elden and Associates. The building's design won a honorable mention by an architectural panel.
October -Two mass immunization programs were held, on October 31st and November 7th, to inoculate about 65,000 residents against the Swine Flu.
November -Kanawha County topped the State and the Nation in flu inoculations. Approximately 35% of eligible Kanawha residents received inoculations against the Swine Flu, compared to an estimated 10% elsewhere in West Virginia and 20% in other parts of the nation.
December -After two years of publishing restaurants' scores, Kanawha's restaurateurs, in a survey, unanimously favored publication.
The National Swine Flu program was stopped temporarily to determine if there was a connection between the vaccine and more than 100 cases of paralysis (Guillian Barre disease.) This included seven reported cases in West Virginia.
January -After several days of subzero weather, frozen water lines became the norm throughout the County. West Virginia Water Company distributed over 10,000 jugs of water to area residents.
A record breaking snow storm forced the cancellation of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Center's dedication that was scheduled for the 21 st and it was rescheduled for February 4th.
February -The Dewey E.S. Kuhn Health Center was dedicated. Speeches were made by former Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., Senator Jennings Randolph, Mayor John Hutchinson, Kanawha-Charleston Health Director Dr. Page Seekford and others.
September -A number of diving accidents at a swimming hole on Blue Creek led to a plea from medical authorities for the construction of recreational facilities in the area.
October -Members of the Kanawha County Commission voted to establish the County's first Ambulance Authority. 1. K-emp McLaughlin was appointed Executive Director of the new Authority.
September -Hundreds, possibly thousands, of West Virginia school children were vaccinated for diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus, with what appeared to have been a defective batch of vaccine. The recipients of the combination shot experienced lumps on the arms, unusual swelling and redness, pain, temperatures and discomfort that lasted for days. Dr. George Pickett, State Health Director, contacted the Communicable Disease Center about the vaccine and he said it was up to the CDC to determine what was wrong with the batch. The vaccine was recalled.
January -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department applied for federal funding to establish a hospice program that would afford terminally ill patients the opportunity to die with dignity and without pain at home with their loved ones. The funding was not approved for the project.
May -An anti-smoking campaign, sponsored by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, West Virginia Lung Association, and the American Cancer Society, was presented to students in Kanawha County Elementary Schools, and was designed to show smoking as the unmitigated disaster it is.
August -Sylvia Pearl Kelly, R.N., became Director of Nursing at Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. She received a M.P.H. from the University of Oklahoma, School of Public Health. Before coming to Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, she had been employed as a Nurse Consultant with the Bureau
of Public Health Nursing, West Virginia Department of Health.
January -A sickle cell anemia screening clinic for black students in Kanawha County School athletic programs was initiated. This screening was the result of the sudden death of a Beckley High School football player, who had undiagnosed sickle cell.
Parents of Point Harmony Elementary students became concerned with their children's health after the death of a first grade student during Christmas vacation. The cause of the death of the child was never determined. It was blamed on a flu-like illness that was quite prevalent at that time.
July -The adoption of new food service sanitation regulations changed the restaurant rating system from demerits to a percentage score.
The Worthy Hotel owner decided to close the 80 room facility after Kanawha-Charleston Health Department placed the hotel on a 10-day notice to repair its communal toilets.
January -Dr. Seekford reported that 2,652 cases of flu-like illness were reported in the County.
Dr. Luther Hansbarger replaced Dr. George Pickett as State Health Director.
June -A mysterious substance started oozing from the ground at an old dump located on Lock Street and Main Avenue in Nitro. The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) , and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted investigations. The problem was resolved by covering the area with asphalt and fencing the entire area off.
May -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began testing for formaldehyde in homes, following complaints of illness resulting from vapors emitted from building materials.
September -Gov. Jay Rockefeller announced that he was making $750,000 available under the Small Cities Block Grant to help fund a $1.6 million dollar water project in the Cabin Creek area.
October -A Cyanide contamination in "extra-strength Tylenol" that caused five deaths in the Chicago area had West Virginians searching their medicine cabinets.
Weberwood Elementary School was closed after more than two dozen children and teachers complained of nausea, headaches and diarrhea. A reduced chlorine level in drinking water was blamed for the illness, though tests for bacteria in the drinking water were negative.
April -Dr. Seekford issued a report describing the environmental health conditions in the community of Amandaville. The report detailed the results of a survey performed by the environmental staff. One sanitarian reported that it was "a normal occurrence to see children's footprints in sewage-saturated mud, or see their dolls and plastic toys floating in raw sewage."
September -The Fike Chemical Site, located in Nitro, was placed on the National Priorities List as a Superfund Site.
April -A moratorium on new septic tank systems in the Elk-Pinch area was issued by the State Health Department and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. More than 30 treatment plants serving housing developments and schools were allowed to fail, because it was expected that a $22.5 million dollar sewer project would replace them.
September -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department offered free flu vaccine to the elderly. The vaccines for the 1984-85 season consisted of Chile, Philippine and USSR strains of flu virus.
Dr. Leon A. Dickerson, Dr. Page H. Seekford, Edward
B. Carroll, R.S., and Annunciata Lepore, R.N., were inducted into the West Virginia Public Health Hall of Fame. A large Public Health Hall of Fame bronze plaque was placed in the north court yard, at the State Archives Culture Center. A plate honoring each inductee was secured to the bronze plaque.
March -The National Institute for Chemical Studies (NICS) was formed as a bridging organization between community groups and industry. In addition, it was to identify and reduce the health and safety risks posed by chemical manufacturing in the Valley, while minimizing impact on economic activity.
October -State Department of Health officials reported that only 12 cases of AIDS had been reported in West Virginia. Eight of the 12 people died.
June -The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health decided to cease the annual summer insect spraying program because of liability insurance being unavailable. This action, along with other environmental factors, ended the spray program by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
The environmental staff conducted a sewage survey of the Lock 7 community located north of Amandaville. Out of 100 homes surveyed, 70 were discharging raw sewage.
July -Dr. Donald M. Rosenberg was appointed Medical Director, replacing Dr. Page Seekford. He received a B.S. in pharmacy from Columbia University in New York and a medical degree from the Uni versity of Lausanne, Switzerland. While in the Army, he earned a master's degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
He served for 20 years in the Army in Preventive Medicine, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He moved to Charleston, West Virginia from San Antonio, Texas, where he was the preventive medicine consultant and public health official for the United States Army Services Command, located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
September -Haemophilus influenza Type B (HIB) vaccine immunizations were initiated at KanawhaCharleston Health Department clinics. HIB can cause severe diseases in children under 5 years old.
November -Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH) conducted a survey of Kanawha County's residents on their health concerns. The most critical health problems identified were alcohol abuse, air and water pollution from industrial facilities, drug abuse, cancer and heart disease.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began to offer new evening clinics, and began a free testing program for individuals that may have been exposed to the AIDS virus.
The incidence of measles was increasing and the new cases were being found in preschool-age children. These children had not been vaccinated before they were 15 months old.
December -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department announced the availability of the A-Taiwan flu vaccine for high-risk people.
March -The PATCH survey revealed that the lack of physical activity of Kanawha County residents may be the root of some of their health problems. Also, chewing tobacco or snuff placed Kanawha residents at a higher risk of having oral health problems.
April -A drinking water survey of wells in the Frame area of Kanawha County found that the water contained about 3 times the recOl:nmended level of sodium.
May -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department offered its first Food Service Manager's Certification class at West Virginia State College, the first such course offered in West Virginia.
On an outing to a skating rink, thirteen Kanawha County elementary students became ill after drinking sodas that had ice contaminated with traces of copper.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department reported that immune serum globulin (for protection of persons exposed to Hepati tis A, also known as infectious hepatitis), was available at the clinics.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, in cooperation with the National Center for Disease Control in Colorado, began mosquito trapping to determine if the aedes albopictus or aedes agegypti mosquito had moved this far east. None were found in Kanawha County.
July -People Concerned About MIC sponsored a health survey of the Institute area. The group formed after the Bhopal disaster raised concerns about Union Carbide's Institute Chemical Plant.
September -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began giving free flu vaccine to all persons 65 years of age and older, and those having chronic illnesses. This vaccine consisted of AlTai wan, A/Leningrad and B/Ann Arbor strains of flu virus.
The Kanawha County Commission and the West Virginia -American Water Company joined forces to extend public water lines to 82 families that lived in Cabin Creek (from Eskdale to Red Warrior). Kanawha-Charleston Health Department had conducted a drinking water survey in this area and concluded that ground water pollution from mining operations had affected individual wells. The contamination had rendered the household use of the water highly undesirable and unsafe to drink.
November -With more than 500 forest Â·fires in the State, air pollution became a major health problem.
February -A drinking water survey was conducted by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in the Mammoth area of Kelly's Creek. During prolonged dry weather, there was an inadequate supply of water for normal household use.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department was forced to cope with economic realities. The Board of Health directed that the Department charge fees for environmental permits and other services.
June -Mayor Chuck Gardner, of Charleston, presented 14 child safety seats to three community health groups -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, Women's Health Center and West Virginia Health Right. This was to help the agencies educate the public about a law requiring young children to ride in safety seats.
The Artel Chemical Corporation abandoned the site at Nitro, and as a result, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources asked the EPA to assume responsibility for the site. EPA began remedial plans to remove all of the chemicals from the site.
October -The first "pigeon hearing" was held by Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. In attendance were Dr. Rosenberg; Charleston City Manager; Kanawha-Charleston Humane Society; and local bird club members. This hearing centered on a pigeon problem that existed on the West side of Charleston causing respiratory problems for a neighbor. An 80year-old widow refused to stop feeding a flock of pigeons in her yard. After some friendly persuasion, the lady agreed to comply with Dr. Rosenberg's order.
February -Illnesses at Andrew Jackson Junior High School caused health concerns for parents and teachers. Extensive testing for pesticides and poisonous gases was conducted by various agencies, such as Kanawha-Charleston Health Department; Department of Agriculture; and an industrial hygienist from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The school was cleaned of pesticides, and a new ventilation system was installed at a cost of over $750,000.
January -A flu epidemic hit the United States. The Communicable Disease Center (CDC) reported that deaths from flu was at its highest level in at least 8 years. Kanawha County was experiencing a higher than normal rate of tlu-like illness.
June -More than 200 people at 12 county schools were tested for tuberculosis, because of exposure to one infected person. All those tested were negative.
August -A task force was formed by several County and State agencies to assess a "trashy area" in St. Albans, commonly referred to as the "Badlands."
December -The National Institute for Chemical Studies launched a study of the risk involved in the transportation of chemicals through the Kanawha Valley.
April -Beverly Crowder Keener, R.N., resigned as Director of Clinics, and accepted a position with the Bureau for Public Health, West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources, as Cancer Surveillance Coordinator for the West Virginia Cancer Registry.
May -Lowell D. White, R.N., became Director of Clinic Services. He received a B.S. degree from the University of Oregon Health Science School, and a
M.P.H. degree from Tulane School of Public Health, New Orleans, Louisiana. Prior to this, he was Chief Community Health Nurse at the U.S. Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground.
September -Dr. Rosenberg negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for removal of a poisonous and smelly mercaptan sludge from the former Artel Chemical Company site in Nitro.
October -National warnings about lead poisoning in children became an issue among a number of local physicians. The CDC lowered the acceptable level for lead, and called for widespread testing of all children under the age of 6. The Environmental Protection Agency said that more than 100 models of water coolers have been shown to have unhealthy levels of lead and many of these were in schools. All water coolers were tested. Those with high levels were replaced.
January -State residents continued to fall victim to the "flu bug" which even curbed visitation at three local hospitals.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department relocated its Public Health Unit branch from Memorial Division, CAMC, to the second floor of the office building across the street at 3101 MacCorkle Avenue, SE, Charleston, West Virginia.
March -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department identified more people with the AIDS virus in January and February 1992 ~han in all the prior year.
Dr. Page H. Seekford, former Medical Director, died on March 22.
June -Dr. Rosenberg opposed the changes in federal limits on the amount of lethal chemicals that companies could release into the air without reporting it.
August -Dr. Rosenberg informed residents of Carroll Terrace that they need not be overly alarmed after one of the residents was reported to have tuberculosis.
December -Two hundred residents of the former coal mining community of Winifrede Hollow complained of the frequent boil water order that was placed on their drinking water supply, and that at times there was no water at all.
April -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department prevented a bear, named Terrible Ted, from wrestling at the Nitro Moose Lodge.
A woman and her adult son were found sharing their Chelyan home with more than 25 dogs.
May -Dr. Edward Jackson, President of the KanawhaCharleston Board of Health, died on May 22. He had been a member of the Board for over 21 years. He retired from his family medical practice in St. Albans after 39 years of service. He also served as Interim Medical Director, prior to the appointment of Dr. Rosenberg.
August -Twenty-four cases of enterovirus encephalitis were reported in eastern Kanawha County. The cases were mostly from the Cabin Creek area.
September -A dozen East Bank Junior High School students became ill with viral encephalitis. Most of the students were football players, and drinking water was suspected because of the way the water was being dispensed during football practice sessions.
February -Nationally, health officials, meat packing companies and restaurant operators became aware of the bacterial hazard of E-Coli 0157 :H7 after four children died and hundreds of others became ill from eating undercooked hamburgers at the Jack In the Box Restaurant. Responding to these concerns, KanawhaCharleston Health Department collected samples of hamburger from retail stores and restaurants throughout the County looking for E-Coli 0157:H7. All samples were negative. No major outbreaks occurred in Kanawha County.
April -More than 60 parents, educators and health officials gathered at the Cabin Creek Health Center to discuss the growing spread of aseptic meningitis. Fifty Cabin Creek residents, most of them children, were treated for the illness. During the summer and fall of 1993, health officials suspected that the virus was spread through human fecal matter being deposited in Cabin Creek. Septic tanks from homes and businesses overflowed and untreated wastewater emptied into the creek.
The Environmental staff conducted a wastewater survey of all homes and businesses in the Lens Creek and Hernshaw communities. The report revealed that 87% of the septic tank systems had improper discharge of untreated wastewater.
May -Dr. Rosenberg met with students and parents to discuss their health concerns after a 13-year-old Cedar Grove student died of meningitis.
August -Rhonda Kennedy, R.N., became Director of Preventive and Health Promotion Services at
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. She replaced Lowell White, R.N. She received her B.S. at Alderson-Broaddus College, and did post-graduate studies at Ohio State University. She came to Kanawha-Charleston Health Department from Barbour County Health Department, where she served as Administrator for five years.
The new Sissonville Health Center Clinic was opened. The clinic offered Family Planning services, a Well Child clinic and Immunization clinic. Breast and cervical screening, as well as early periodic screening and development testing (EPSDT), were being planned.
A large drainage culvert was installed at SharonDawes Elementary School in Miami. The culvert was 30 inches in diameter and 175 yards long. It replaced an open ditch running from Dawes Hollow to Cabin Creek, bordering the school playground. This was a community effort, with the school, the Health Department and the coal company participating.
October -The Slate was getting more than its share of LaCross Encephalitis disease which is transmitted to humans from the "treehole mosquito" (Aedes triseriatus). The Counties that were most affected were in southern and central West Virginia.
Representatives from local hospitals 111 Kanawha County met with other local organizations. They discussed working together to make better use of existing resources to ensure that residents' health care needs were being met. As a result, the Kanawha Coalition for Community Health Improvement was formed. The Coalition's mission is to identify and evaluate health risks and coordinate resources in order to improve the health of the people of Kanawha County.
The Coalition conducted a public opinion study and compiled health statistics, in which the residents rated smoking, followed by heart disease and the lack of physical activity, as the top health concerns in the County.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department worked with the resource centers of the Community Council of Kanawha Valley to provide immunizations to children in their neighborhood. The two sites were the Glenwood Family Resource Center and the Elk Elementary Center.
February -A public meeting was held so that citizens could comment on the Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health proposal to limit smoking in public places. More than 100 people attended the meeting. Thirty-six people in attendance supported the Clean Indoor Air Regulations, and 39 opposed the proposal.
March -The Kanawha-Charleston Board of Health passed the Clean Indoor Air Regulations that limited smoking in public places. The Board passed the Regulation 4-0, with two members abstaining.
u.s. Food and Drug Administration approved the long-awaited Varivax vaccine for chickenpox.
August -Upon the retirement of Sylvia Kelly, R.N., as Director of Home Health, Rhonda Kennedy, R.N., was appointed the Director of Nursing of Clinics and Home Health Services.
December -After a few years of decline, the incidence of gonorrhea was surging in West Virginia. KanawhaCharleston Health Department reported 15 cases of gonorrhea for the month. Chlamydia, another sexually transmitted disease, was also on the increase in both sexes.
Hand, Foot and Mouth disease occurred in a number of day care centers and elementary schools during the last summer and fall. This resulted in several day care centers and one elementary school closing.
October -Kanawha County Schools and KanawhaCharleston Health Department offered the Hepatitis B vaccine to all seventh grade students in Kanawha County at no cost.
March -Heavy rains caused flooding throughout West Virginia. In Kanawha County, the Sissonville and Clendenin areas were the hardest hit by flood waters. A number of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. Kanawha-Charleston Health Department gave over 1,900 tetanus shots at emergency shelters. Nurses rode with ambulances to provide tetanus vaccine to affected residents that were unable to come to the emergency shelters. Sanitarians made visits to all of the homes and affected business places to evaluate their drinking water supplies, and gave advice on clean-up procedures and safety methods to follow during the clean-up process.
Kanawha County Schools and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department offered a voluntary second dose of measles-mumps-rubelJa vaccine, at no cost, to all sixth grade students.
May -The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Home Health Program received accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Only one other home health agency in the County had received such accreditation at this time.
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
June -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department began to offer free diabetes screening. A new nationwide guideline recommended that everyone above the age of 45 have a fasting blood sugar test in order to screen for undetected diabetes.
August -Kanawha-Charleston Health Department participated in a study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to determine how far LaCrosse encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) has spread within West Virginia. This disease caused by a virus is transmitted only from the bite of the "treehole mosquito" (Aedes triseriatus). Kanawha County has been experiencing in the last few years an average of seven cases a year. Mosquito monitoring traps are being set lip in different locations in the County, and collections sent to CDC for testing.
September -On the 27th, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department held an open house at the Health Center, in celebration of its 50 years since the combining of Charleston and Kanawha County Health Departments. The general public, federal and local government leaders, and community leaders were iIlvited to participate in this special event.