Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 32

membership Protecting Public Health in the Roughrider State by Nancy Maddox, MPH, writer Grasslands, croplands, badlands and buttes define the Northern Tier state of North Dakota—the fourth smallest US state by both population (about 755,000 residents) and population density (11.7 people/square mile). For those raised in this sublimely spare “roughrider” land, it is North Dakota’s Arcadian pleasures that make the state great. “It’s very rural out here,” said Christie Massen, PhD, MS, MLS, head of the North Dakota Department of Health, Division of Microbiology, “but there is a ton to do. It’s a quick trip to take the boat out on the Missouri river, go fishing on Lake Sakakawea or go bow-hunting for white-tail deer. North Dakota is a beautiful place.” Until about a decade ago, the state economy rested heavily on soybeans, wheat and corn, planted in neat rows across 16.5 million acres of open land. Then, after hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling came into use, the state experienced an economic boom, with billions of barrels of oil suddenly recoverable from underground reserves. “There was a huge influx of population,” said Massen. So much so, that North Dakota has added new homes at a faster rate than any other state since the 2010 Census and has enjoyed an enviable GDP growth rate of about 8.3%. Today, “the extreme growth has slowed substantially,” said Massen, whose professional interests lean more toward pathogens than petroleum. Given North Dakota’s sparse population, Massen explained that some infectious diseases that are prevalent in other states, like HIV, have a much smaller presence here. There are other size advantages as well: “Our small population allows us to be more innovative. We can move quickly to collaborate or make adjustments that allow us to work better and more efficiently.” 2005, this space was augmented with a 12,500-square-foot addition, which now houses the division’s seven BSL-3 suites. Co-located in the building are the chemistry laboratory (which will remain after the reorganization) and the health agency’s Division of Disease Control. Said Massen, “One of the biggest benefits we have is being close [to Disease Control]. The Environmental Laboratory Certification program manager is three doors down from my office. It’s a huge advantage to have them in the building with us.” Just last year, the Division of Microbiology began a tick surveillance program and documented the occurrence of deer ticks and the Lone Star tick within the state. “The general belief has been that the risk for contracting Lyme disease in North FF2r&V6W6RvR&RWG6FRFPW&WFW"vW&RFVW"F62&RfVB( Ч6B76V( ĆvWfW"FR7W'fV6P&w&6vVBW2FN( 2BFR66SvRFf7BfRFVW"F62FR7FFR( Ф#rǖRF6V6RfV7FVBBV7@Sb'FFF2FW"F&RV&Ɩ0VF77VW2&V6VBV'2fR&vV@g&WFF22F6VFRFf6b֖7&&w6&W066W2vFFR7FFR7&P&&F'7FFRVf&VFG&p6VFW"B7FFR&wVRWVF7BV"FR7FFR֖7&&wB6V֗7G'&&F&W2vW&R&F'Bb'FFF( 2Ff6`&&F'6W'f6W2F֖7FW&VB'FPFW'FVBbVFVf&VFVF6V7FvWfW"vfW&V@&V&v旦F2frFR6V֗7G'&&F'FFRWvǒ7&VFV@FW'FVBbVf&VFVƗG@FR֖7&&w&&F'( Fff6ǒFRFf6b֖7&&w( GFFPFW'FVBbVFVF66W'f6W06V7Ff6ƗGVFW"6V6Rv&2FR&7FW&w"FB3"EDU%27VW"#FRFf6b֖7&&wFW2W'@b3S7V&RfB'VFr6GVFV@FRV7FW&VFvRb&6&6'FFF( 26FB6V6B&vW7B6GgFW"f&vFR6&RbFR6vR7F'vFR'&6f6ƗG27V&RЦfB76R'VB&WBCV'2vF&V7F FVv76Vv2&&f'BBEB&V6FVBfWrFW2vFW ֖ƗF'f֖ǒ6R66FW'2W'6VbFfR'FFF( &Fג&VG0vW&R&&B&6VB&6&6( 6P6B( Ēw&GVFVBg&v66W&PB7VB7Bbג"V'2W&R&6&6( ФgFW"v6676VvVBFFPVfW'6Gb'FFFTBw&Bf&vW&RBW"FW.( 07VvvW7F6R&VB6Ɩ6&&F'66V6R( ĒVFVBWƖr@B( 6R6B( גFB266Bג2W'6RBbw&WpWFRVF6fVB( 76VfvV@FBFVw&VRvF7FW.( 26Ɩ6&&F'66V6RBBFV6pBV&rFVFrFfW'6VRGvזV"FVw&VRVF6&&F'FV66&w&6R6B( vV7F'FVBv&rאBv2'VrFRVF6&&F'FV66B&w&fW&wW2f2BFVVFVBW''rא&6&6FfRW6&Bvv2TB6WW"vRfVB&6F&6&6#"BvB"vFFP7FFR( FB"v22֖7&&v7BFR7FFR֖7&&w&&F'g&ЧFW&R76VfVB2FRVƗGV&Ɩ4VF'0&p