Board of Health Meeting Summary – January 21, 2016
Chair and Vice Chair
Anne Warren, Councillor for the Town of Gananoque, was re-elected Chair of the Board of Health for 2016 and Robin Jones, Mayor for the Village of Westport, was elected Vice-Chair. Aubrey Churchill, Reeve of Drummond-North Elmsley was thanked for his contributions as Vice-Chair for 2015.
Finance, Property and Risk Management Committee
The Board approved the 2016 General Public Health Programs balanced budget of $11,589,636. A Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis (PBMA) exercise undertaken by the management team identified efficiencies, reductions in operational costs, increased revenue, better staff alignment with 100% provincially funded programs, and some service reductions to respond to the projected budget shortfall. The service reductions include: discontinuing fall community influenza clinics due to decrease in demand with pharmacies providing influenza vaccine throughout the region – people can still come to the clinics at Health Unit sites; and closing the offices in Brockville and Smiths Falls at lunch hour due to low request for service – the phone system allows for the redirection of calls by voice recognition. A communication plan is being prepared to inform the community of the service changes.
The Board passed the 2016 Land Control budget with a conservative estimate of service requests for septic permits, severances, file searches, and other services provided by the program on behalf of municipalities. The increase in permit fees and the number of permit types in 2015 resulted in a small surplus which will be put in the Land Control Reserve which is designed to be used for budget shortfalls and for staff severances if the program is discontinued.
Medical Officer of Health Annual Report
Dr. Stewart reported on the progress made in 2015 on the four health goals – Healthy Infant/Child/Youth Growth and Development, Healthy Living for all Residents, Health Equity, and Healthy Environments. She also reported on the organizational goals of effective leadership, planning, processes, client service, partnerships, and staff development and support. The report will be available on the Health Unit website under the Board of Health.
In 2016, three provincial initiatives will have a significant impact on the Health Unit. First, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care report “Patients First” has stated that all public health units in Ontario will now receive their provincial funding through the LHIN and will report their provincial accountability indicators to the LHIN. There will also be closer ties between primary care and the Health Unit. The Board of Health will continue to oversee programs and the health unit budget. Second, the Ontario Public Health Standards that guide programs and services are being reviewed, and third, the food premises regulations are being reviewed. The Board will receive regular updates on these initiatives during the year.
Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville has received funds from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to implement the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) in Leeds and Grenville. The purpose is to unite communities with a common goal of promoting children’s health through physical activity and healthy eating (target age 0–12 years). The following activities are being undertaken:
- Community Needs Assessment Data Collection
- HKCC Community Project Fund
- Community Project Launch Events
- School-Wide Physical Activity Challenge
- Awareness Raising
More information is available at www.healthykidslg.ca.