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Bed Bugs: A Municipal Case Study and Beyond

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Bed Bugs: A Municipal Case Study and Beyond Phil Alexakos, MPH, REHS Chief of Environmental Health & Emergency Response Manchester Health Department – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bed Bugs: A Municipal Case Study and Beyond


1
Bed Bugs A Municipal Case Study and Beyond
  • Phil Alexakos, MPH, REHS
  • Chief of Environmental Health Emergency
    Response
  • Manchester Health Department

2
Bed Bug History in Manchester
  • First Calls 2002
  • Langdon Mill Building
  • 20 Units
  • Multiple Languages
  • Older Construction
  • Multiple Complaints

3
Health Department Role
  • Not in the business of housing code enforcement
  • Some in the audience may be wearing both hats
  • Educational role
  • Connections and access to resources in the
    Community

4
More History
  • Collaborative Efforts
  • 2005
  • Mailings to all Laundromats, used furniture
    providers (that we knew of), furniture rental
    businesses
  • Development of educational materials for the
    public
  • Awareness and Treatment Guidelines
  • English, Spanish, Russian, Bosnian
  • Posted on Web

5
Langdon Mill 2005
  • October 2005
  • Identification of a major bedbug and cockroach
    infestation
  • Coordination with Housing Code to ensure proper
    enforcement
  • Coordination with Pest Control Company to assure
    that residents were instructed on treatment
    preparation

6
Langdon Mill 2005
  • Major issues encountered
  • Language Barriers
  • Functional Needs Barriers
  • Cooperation Barriers
  • Laundering
  • Site Prep
  • Financial Barriers (for tenants and owner)
  • Where it all fell short..LONG TERM
    SUSTAINABILITY

7
Landon Mill 2009
  • March 2009
  • Reports of children and infants were being eaten
    alive by bed bugs in this building
  • Community advocacy groups began to act on behalf
    of these residents on their behalf
  • Meetings of stakeholders were organized

8
Langdon Mill 2009
  • Organizers
  • Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP)
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Utilized their resources to bring all parties to
    the table
  • Ensured that meetings were well organized and
    people/ agencies were accountable to effort

9
Langdon Mill 2009
  • Property Ownership
  • Engaged from DAY 1!!
  • Committed to a solution
  • Ensures that resources invested are effective
  • Integral in the success of any effort

10
Langdon Mill Part 2009
  • City Government
  • Health Department
  • Hosted meetings
  • Provided access to educational materials
  • Functioned as the primary linkage to all City
    services
  • Provided technical expertise and training to
    volunteers and participants
  • Public Works
  • Provided free access to the City Transfer Station
    for disposal

11
Langdon Mill 2009- Community Organizations
  • Multiple Faith-Based groups and most importantly
    volunteers were energized and trained to continue
    engaging the residents
  • Remember, one of the shortcomings of the previous
    initiatives was sustainability!
  • Social Service Agencies
  • These groups are likely to encounter people
    affected by bedbug issues
  • Training these workers also protects them from
    unknowingly putting themselves at risk

12
Langdon Mill 2009- Community Organizations
  • Cultural Organizations
  • Assist with translation and training efforts
  • Increased buy-in
  • Enhanced understanding of issues and challenges
    for planners and volunteers
  • Allowed effort to penetrate deeper into the
    community

13
Langdon Mill 2009
  • School Department
  • Social workers, nurses and teachers are likely to
    encounter the issue
  • They can help identify problems before they
    become severe
  • Provided two great Case Workers during the
    effort which increased trust and continuity
    during the relocation

14
Langdon Mill 2009
  • Colleges
  • Provided an opportunity for service learning in
    the community.
  • Provide an unlimited supply of volunteers over
    time.
  • Access to grants and research opportunities

15
Langdon Mill 2009
  • Businesses
  • Provided needed monetary support and resources
    needed to properly enact the effort
  • Increase awareness and reduce the stigma
    associated with bed bugs
  • Local Pest Control Company lent its expert to the
    effort

16
Langdon Mill 2009- Timeline
  • April/May Community Planning
  • May/June Tenant Education
  • June Media and Community Awareness
  • June/ July Furniture and Household Items
  • July/August Tenant Relocation
  • August Treatment of Building and
    Maintenance
  • August Re-Housing
  • ONGOING Education and Prevention

17
Langdon Mill 2009- Logistics
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Volunteer Coordination
  • Donation Coordination
  • Food
  • Case Workers
  • ????

18
Everyone is BackNow What?
  • Ongoing involvement
  • Owner has designated an apartment as a volunteer
    office
  • Local college remains a strong presence in the
    building with student volunteers
  • Tenants are engaged to ensure safe practices
  • New tenants are educated upon arrival
  • Units are surveyed for any signs of activity
  • Action is taken immediately at the first sign of
    an issue

19
Next Steps
  • Keeping the Momentum Going

20
This Isnt the Only Problem in Town, Let Alone
the State
  • Bed Bug Task Force, Policy Group, Coalition
    was formed
  • Knowing this continues to be an issue the members
    of the Langdon Mill Project were determined to
    energize others to advocate for bed bug awareness
    and infestation prevention

21
New Partners
  • NH Department of Agriculture, Pesticides
  • New Hampshire Legal Assistance
  • The Way Home
  • NH Cooperative Extension and UNH Manchester
  • Medical Providers
  • Many Community-Based Agencies

22
Subcommittees
  • Public Education
  • Policy
  • Funding

23
Public Education
  • Who needs information
  • Tenants
  • Property owners
  • Policy makers
  • Businesses
  • Where to go for information
  • UNH Cooperative Extension
  • NH 211
  • Websites

24
Public Information
  • Needs
  • Pamphlets
  • Magnets
  • Stickers
  • Considerations
  • Ease of reading and understanding
  • Culturally appropriate
  • Consistency
  • Funding
  • Grants and Partnerships

25
Policy
  • Assessment and Ownership of the Problem
  • Data collection
  • Target areas for interventions
  • Municipal Policy Maker Resolution
  • Evidence Based Best Practices
  • What are other places doing?
  • Minimizing Risk
  • Enforcement, trash collection, regulation of used
    furniture place
  • Consistency
  • Linkage to Resources

26
Funding
  • Increase public and civic awareness
  • The more people and businesses know
  • This is a REAL problem
  • Less stigma
  • More apt to want to commit resources to
    prevention and treatment
  • Opportunities to collaborate
  • Healthy Homes

27
Future
  • Bed Bug Task Force will continue to expand and
    meet
  • Hope to organize a statewide conference
  • Formalize a centralized location for bed bug
    information
  • Engage state policy makers
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