Citizen Response Task Force Forms Health Subcommittee

August 12, 2020

The Citizen Response Task Force has identified members for a third sub-group to help address specific issues related to the safe re-opening of Portsmouth. The Health Subcommittee is part of Citizen Response Task Force selected by the Mayor and City Council in June, charged in part with “…addressing the needs of re-opening (Portsmouth establishments), within the confines of health care advisories.” The Subcommittee, the CRTF’s third in addition to the Downtown Streets and Bridge Street Subcommittees, makes recommendations to the City Council based on their professional assessment of emerging scientific and clinical information as citizens with education, expertise and experience in medicine, pharmacy, nursing and engineering. Portsmouth’s City Health Officer is an advisor to the Subcommittee.

The members of the Subcommittee, all Portsmouth residents, include:

Ann Birner, Pharm D (Chair) – served as clinical pharmacist at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center where she specialized in the care of immunocompromised patients, sterile product prep and infection control. Her prior work in the pharmaceutical industry included the design and implementation of clinical trials and the interpretation and publication of results and their applications.

Kathryn Lynch, DNSc, RN [retired], CCRN [alumnus] – practiced critical care nursing for 40 years and taught nursing in undergraduate and graduate programs for 25 years. She also taught advanced prehospital emergency care to EMTs and paramedics.  

Bianca Monteiro, MD, FCCP – a Pulmonary/Critical Care doctor, is the Medical Director for the Intensive Care Unit at York Hospital. In that role, she assisted York Hospital in the creation of their COVID-19 response for inpatient care and for the reopening of outpatient care. She also served as a consultant to CrossFit Portsmouth to implement protocols for their safe reopening.

Mary Morin, APRN – is a pediatric nurse practitioner for a private practice in Portsmouth with children who attended Portsmouth Public Schools.

James Petersen, P.E., Citizen Response Task Force Co-ChairIs a licensed professional engineer, is founder/owner of Petersen Engineering in Portsmouth, and has 34 years of experience design heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems for buildings.  

Since their first meeting on July 9, the Health Subcommittee has provided advisories to the CRTF for presentation to the City Council including:

  • A memorandum on mask-wearing recommendations
  • FAQs on COVID-19 to correct public misinformation and misunderstandings
  • A weekly COVID-19 Dashboard of current coronavirus data from Portsmouth and surrounding areas
  • Draft follow-up letters to local town managers and Boards of Selectmen, as suggested by the City Council, to support the City Council’s letter to Governor Sununu asking him to mandate mask-wearing

The CRTF Health Subcommittee meets weekly, via Zoom and reports to the full CRTF at its weekly, Wednesday meetings, and to the City Council at their meetings, all also on Zoom. For more information including notes from past Health Subcommittee meetings, click here.