Board of Health Meeting Summary – February 18, 2016
Jack Butt, a board member with the South-East LHIN, presented a summary of the “Patients First – A Proposal to Strengthen Patient-Centred Health Care in Ontario” document prepared by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. This report outlines four components: more effective integration of services and greater equity with an expanded role for the Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN) across the province; timely access to primary care, and seamless links between primary care and other services; more consistent and accessible home and community care; and stronger links between population and public health and other health services. The Board of Directors expressed their frustration with the lack of community meetings in rural areas to give residents an opportunity to comment on the proposals. This will be communicated to each LHIN in our area. Further discussion about the implications for the Health Unit will take place at the April board meeting. A letter was written to Minister Hoskins requesting that funding be provided to rural communities to meaningfully engage with all residents to shape any provincial directed changes to the health system, and to ensure it reflects the realities of our communities.
The Board received a report on information management across the Health Unit. The Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards require that the Health Unit maintains information systems that support the organization’s mission and workforce by providing infrastructure for data collection/analysis, program management, administration, and communications.
Developing a comprehensive approach to risk management for all aspects of the Board and Health Unit functions will be a priority in 2016. In preparation for this work, the Health Unit is organizing a day long workshop on Risk Management on March 30, 2016 at the Gallipeau Centre in Smiths Falls. The workshop will be open to all six Health Units in Eastern Ontario and will be led by Corinne Berinstein, a Senior Auditor with the Ontario Treasury Board.
Business Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
Dr. Ariella Zbar, a public health physician currently doing her placement at the Health Unit is working with Teresa Clow, our lead in emergency preparedness, to support the development of a Business Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) for the Health Unit by the management team. This will complete the three requirements for our emergency preparedness plan. The other two are the assessment of our HIRA’s (Health Impact Risk Assessments), and our Emergency Response Plan with details about our Incident Management System.
The Sexual Health program is using the Rethink Your Drinking messages to run a Twitter contest for the duration of the month of February. Rethink Your Drinking recommends that youth delay their drinking, and if they choose to drink, that they follow safe drinking tips including: drinking under parental guidance, limiting their drinks, and planning ahead. Throughout the month, alcohol and sex related health messages for youth have been tweeted by the Health Unit staff. By following the Twitter page (@AreYouSafeLGL) and retweeting these messages, contestants had a chance to win one of two iPad Airs.
Triple P in Lanark is moving forward with many community partners on board with the help of a grant from Lanark Best Start. We will be starting a community working group for Lanark to do an inventory of who has training at each level, look at ways to maximize by sharing of resources, as well as work together to look at a strategy to ensure sustainability once the grant from Lanark Best Start runs out in October 2016. The grant has allowed us to support schools and other partners with programming for Triple P for families with children age 0–12 years.
The Vaccine Preventable Disease Program is working intensively to review the immunization records of age 7 and 17 year old students in our region after receiving information for the school boards on students in each school. Age seven is the age at which the initial set of immunizations and boosters should have been completed, and age seventeen is when the last booster before leaving school should have occurred. In 2017, for the first time, the immunization coverage in these two ages is included in the provincial accountability targets for the Health Unit.
Tanis Brown, one of our public health nurses working in child health has been awarded the President’s Award for Leadership in Clinical Nursing Practice. “This award is bestowed on those who have made outstanding contributions to the profession of nursing in Ontario by consistently demonstrating expertise and evidence-based practice in one or more areas of clinical practice in a staff nurse position.”