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Brown puts forth "superbug" legislation

If the idea of a “superbug” seems off-putting to you, you’re not alone, but the concept probably isn’t exactly what one might imagine.

Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers-Montpelier Med-Surg Nursing Director Hollie Hake explained what the term means.

“It’s a bacteria that has developed a resistance to the usual antibiotics,” she said. “It usually happens when people don’t finish taking their full course of antibiotics as prescribed. Also the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to this problem, being too frequently prescribed for things that don’t necessarily need it.”

When not killed completely, bacteria can retain and pass along resistances to antibiotics they’ve encountered, hence “superbugs.”

“That’s nobody’s fault really other than we all (medical professionals collectively) thought antibiotics were a magic potion and gave them out for every sneeze and sniffle,” said Vickie Shaffer, director of infection prevention at CHWC-Bryan. “And now we’ve found they can adapt and increasingly have become more and more resistant.”

Recently, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown put forth a bill that aims to increase funding of monitoring and prevention efforts nationwide in relation to “superbugs,” though hospitals everywhere are increasingly ahead of that game.

In light of an increase in prevalence and awareness of such bugs, hospitals like CHWC have taken to monitoring their own communities.

“There is a big push to be more mindful of how antibiotics are prescribed, to really limit their use to when they’re truly needed,” said Hake. “But a lot of it is on the individual to make sure to use their antibiotics as prescribed, finishing that full course.”

Hake cited MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, an infection causing evolution of staphylococcus aureus, as one superbug with which the general public may already be familiar.

That particular type of bacteria is just one example of why attention is being paid to the issue by all hospitals, including CHWC, both Bryan and Montpelier branches.

“I know that our organization is actively interested and is investing time and resources into an antibiotic stewardship program that looks at our use of antibiotics and if we’re using them appropriately,” said Hake, noting specific antibiotics prescription rates, as well as their continued efficacy trends in treating various bacteria-based ailments, have been monitored at the local level over the past few years.

Such programs work closely with pharmacists and infection preventionists, said Hake.

“It helps our providers to know what antibiotics they should be using and when they should be using it,” said Hake.

As Shaffer noted, much of the work of the committee that oversees the program centers around educating health professionals either employed by hospitals or contracting with them.

“With better antibiotic stewardship, you can actually see improvement,” said Shaffer.

And while some bacteria like MRSA are simply “everywhere” at this point, northwest Ohio, Williams County or any of its towns or hospitals are not in any worse shape than the rest of the country.

Typically, when encountered in a hospital setting, a patient who is found to be carrying a resistant pathogen is placed in isolation and undergoes more extensive treatment, due to increased difficulty of removing it. However, it takes time for bacteria cultures to indicate to medical professionals that a resistant strain is prevalent, potentially leading to further spread before identified. Resistant strains are most commonly seen in those who frequently visit hospitals and those in nursing homes.

Still, in addition to adhering totally to prescriptions and limiting their use in treating various ailments, there are things any individual can do to help alleviate the problem outside of just the medical realm.

“There’s things we do every day, everyday things, good hand-washing, making sure things are cleaned appropriately,” said Hake.

And with information more abundant than ever, even attracting the attention of Washington, D.C., politicians like Brown, the outlook is less than bleak.

“I hope people’s knowledge is increasing, that people are becoming more aware,” said Hake. “Because we now know what happens.”

In that vein, Brown’s bill, the Strategies to Address Antibiotic Resistance or (STAAR) Act, would “provide a multi-pronged strategy to help limit the growing impact of antibiotic resistance, improving the nation’s overall health and national security and lowering the costs associated with antimicrobial-resistance,” largely through bolstering research and data collection as well as prevention and control efforts at the national level.

“Superbugs” affect more than 2 million Americans each year – with an estimated 23,000 dying as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Antibiotics do a world of good for Ohioans fighting infections and illness, but now antibiotics are becoming less effective, putting people at risk from dangerous infections that can’t be cured,” said Brown. “We should address this growing crisis head on, both to stop the spread of deadly superbugs and to preserve antibiotics as a tool to fight disease.”

According to the CDC, it is estimated that the total economic cost of antibiotic resistance to the U.S. economy is more than $20 billion a year in excess health care costs, with additional costs to society for lost productivity as high as $35 billion a year.


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Frisbie to be honored at Stryker Heritage Day

Late Williams County Sheriff’s Deputy Mick Frisbie, who died earlier this year, will be honored this Saturday during Stryker’s Heritage Day festivities.

In fact, he will be honored in two different ways, the first will be through a 5K memorial run that will start off the festivities on Saturday.

Registration for the event will start at 7:30 a.m. with an 8:30 a.m. start time. It will be at Jagger Cone, 201 Ellis St.

“That’s new this year; It’s the first annual Mick Frisbie Memorial Run,” said Beth Rediger, Stryker village fiscal officer. “His daughter, Allie, is (organizing) the 5K.”

Frisbie will also posthumously receive the Good Neighbor Award from Mayor Joey Beck at noon at the American Legion.

Frisbie was a longtime Stryker resident.

“He had served on council; his kids graduated here,” Rediger said.

Nominations were collected for the Good Neighbor Award, she said, and Frisbie was selected.

According to the nomination, Frisbie “was a friend, a business owner, a council member and a devoted Stryker Panther.”

He knew no stranger, according to the nomination, and could often be found chatting with people at school events or pulling over his cruiser to say hi to a family friend walking their dog.

He owned a window washing business and would employ young men from the community and would “proudly share his trade with them and probably share lots of useless facts as he was famous for.”

“I have only briefly touched the many things Mick contributed to our village,” the nomination read. “Thanks, Mick, for being a Good Neighbor.”

The Stryker Heritage Day will also feature a game of bingo at the Stryker American Legion at 11 a.m.

“We’re going to have a continental-type breakfast — water, coffee, fruit and donuts and all that — at the Legion,” she said. “We have a lot of stuff on North Depot.”

This includes Port-a-Pit chicken starting at 2:30 p.m. hosted by the Stryker Rotary, sausage sandwiches sponsored by Stryker Parks and Recreation and a hot dog eating contest at Pizza Bob’s at 12:15 p.m.

Clubhouse Pizza will host face painting by “Sassy” the Clown, a kiddie train and ice cream from noon to 3 p.m.

Carnival games, a bounce house and sumo wrestling, a dunk tank, historic building tours and carriage rides will also all be available.

“Everything is geared 100 percent toward kids,” Mayor Beck told Stryker Village Council. “There is one section where we have a guy who moved into town, he’s called Trombone Guy. He has a wide variety of items he plays.”

In addition, the Hillsdale Choir — which Rediger said was a barbershop quartet— will be playing, as well as Lydia Hankins.

The music will start at 1 p.m. and go until 3.

“We’re hoping just to get some people downtown and check out what we got,” Rediger said, adding there will be a cornhole tournament.

The line-up for the parade will start at 4 p.m. at Jagger Cone. Registration is available at the Stryker village office but can also be done on Saturday.

The parade will go from Jagger Cone down Defiance Street through Stryker.

“It will cross the railroad tracks, which sometimes they have to stop in the middle at,” she said. “It is Stryker, we do have trains.”

Last year was the first time for the festival, Rediger said.

“It rained really bad in the morning, but it turned out to be pretty good, we had a good crowd,” she said. “We kind of followed the same path as last year and we’re hoping to have a nice day and have a big turnout.”


Local
Stryker going to AG's office for past-due taxes

The Village of Stryker will now be going through the Ohio Attorney General’s office for past-due income tax bills.

Emily Clemens, deputy clerk, suggested the action to council during this week’s meeting.

“I think this is a good way to go because with our current situation, now, the guy takes one-third of the balances we send them,” she said. “The attorney general’s office will charge 10 percent, but they will actually tack that onto the bills that we send them. So, if someone owes $100, they will have to pay $110. The attorney general’s office keeps $10, we get the full $100.”

The AG’s office will handle anything over $100.

This option is better, Clemens added, because they have a good way to get the money.

“They’ll actually withhold state refunds and send them right to us,” she said. “So, if someone owes us money and they get a state refund, they don’t get the refund. It comes right to us. So, I think it’s a good thing to at least try.”

Clemens heard about the option during a July training session. Other clerks throughout the state use this option and are having good results.

She suggested only using it for new delinquencies going forward, as the person they currently use has taken current collections to court and is getting payments.

The council voted to go with this option and have Village Administrator Alan Riegsecker sign the contract with a few council members.

In other business:

• Council set trick or treat for 5:30-7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26.

• Riegsecker told council a contractor is coming in to fix a water main leak village employees were unable to fix on Portland Street. The leak isn’t gushing, he said, but needs to be fixed.

“The worst case scenario, if (the contractor) had to replace everything in there, it would be $23,000,” he told council. “If he comes in there and sees it’s only one connection, one fitting, whatever it is, it would be minimal.”

• Riegsecker also said a road crew will be coming in for street repairs on West Street between North Depot and Lynn streets. He said the contractor will do the work for about half what they were expecting.

• Council member Vicki Cameron asked about possibly putting in a splash pad in the village. Beth Rediger, village fiscal officer, said they would want to get a NatureWorks grant for such a project, but there is currently no funding. Another obstacle they face is that a splash pad normally goes in a park, but Springfield Township owns the park.


Local
Students head back to school

Expressions ranged from beaming to downright dreary as the first wave of Williams County students entered the double doors at Bryan City Schools and St. Patrick Catholic School Wednesday, kicking off the 2019-2020 school year.

Students poured in from school buses, soccer vans and farm pickup trucks alike. Those at Bryan were greeted with high fives from Director of Secondary Education Mark Rairigh, some fresh off a morning sunrise service. It was a similar scene at St. Patrick Catholic School, where all students took part in a group prayer prior to getting going for the day.

Though enthusiasm levels for their returns varied from student to student, for Bryan seniors Brooks Brown and Kelly Miller, the leaders of this year’s student section, the day marked a milestone beyond just showing up.

“We’re the leaders of the student section, so that’s pretty fun. We’re excited for football,” said Brown.

“Knowing that this is our last year at the school with all our friends, it makes it a less tiring and upsetting experience this morning,” he added with a laugh.

2019-2020 is shaping up to be a year of relative continuity for BCS, now in the fourth year in its modernized facilities, and with no sweeping state testing overhauls to address.

“The most exciting part of the day is seeing the students, seeing their faces, all of the anticipation of the first day, the excitement, but also the anxiety,” Rairigh said. “We look forward to having a ton of fun with them and providing as many opportunities as we can for them throughout the school year. This is the kickoff to a lot of great things.”

One such opportunity comes in the form of the district’s new manufacturing skills class, which will allow students to work on machinery that resembles components of real area manufacturing facilities, and will lead to high school and certification credit for those who take part.

“We are always putting a focus on career pathways and options so we have a new manufacturing skills course that we’re excited to see take off and see how it takes hold,” said Rairigh.

Manufacturing was the furthest thing from CUBdergarten teacher Kacee Ledyard’s mind, now in her 15th year.

“I’m excited about my new little friends, just being here with the people I work with and seeing former students,” she said. “I was ready to be back the day after school got out.”

In one first lesson of the year, a St. Patrick Catholic School teacher gave her eighth grade students a crash course in etiquette on the morning, as they raised both Old Glory and Ohio’s iconic banner for the first time on the new year.

It will be a few weeks of staggered starts for the rest of the area, with Montpelier Exempted Village Schools getting going on Aug. 19; Edgerton Local Schools, St. Mary School and Millcreek-West Unity Schools starting on Aug. 20; Fountain City Christian School and Edon Northwest Local Schools welcoming in students on Aug. 21; North Central Local Schools on Aug. 22; and Central Local Schools on Aug. 27.