Board of Health Meeting Summary – June 21, 2018
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care grant for base funding for the mandatory public health program was increased by $205,200 (2%) for 2018. The additional funding will be used to respond to our budget shortfall for salaries and benefits of current staff, and also to respond to the increase in benefits for 2018/19. The Health Unit also received some of our one time funding requests – adding buttons for internal doors for accessibility, Triple P training for youth, infection control training, needle exchange program, a vaccine fridge and a Public Health Inspector practicum.
The annual audit was presented to the Board of Health by Serena Fortin, Allan and Partners LLP. No new deficiencies were determined during the course of the annual audit. The Management Letter updated the status of previously identified issues:
- Payroll cycle completed by one individual – The Business Manager now reviews the payroll after it is approved and work is underway to further separate the development and the approval of the payroll cycle.
- Budgeting on a PSAB basis – This will be done in 2019.
- Continuing the development of a long-term financial plan – This is underway.
- Records retention policy for electronic records – The Health Unit is implementing Filehold, an electronic system for file storage being used by many other public sector organizations.
Board of Health Evaluation
Board members will participate in an electronic survey to identify what is working and what could be improved. Based on the results, the Governance and Quality Assurance Committee will make recommendations to the Board on actions to enhance Board functioning.
Work continues on the development of the 2019–2021 Strategic Plan. A “Think Tank” with staff, management and Board members reviewed the current mission and vision and recommended changes.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) – Schedule 3 to Bill 174 comes into force on July 1, 2018, the SFOA, 2017 will repeal the existing Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) and Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2015 (ECA) and replace them with a single legislative framework. The SFOA, 2017 will regulate the sale, supply, use, display, and promotion of tobacco and vapour products (e.g., e-cigarettes), and the smoking of medical cannabis. A key addition is the prohibition of the smoking of tobacco, the use of an e-cigarette to vape any substance and the smoking of medical cannabis in all enclosed public spaces and enclosed workplaces. The Health Unit is currently exploring the implications of the new legislation on our work.
The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit, in partnership with active school travel stakeholders in Brockville, Smiths Falls & Almonte, was successful in receiving $100,000 over 2 years, through an Ontario Active School Travel Fund grant to pilot the “Walking The Rural Way” Project. This grant is a program of Green Communities Canada with funding from the Government of Ontario (Ministry of Education). Our funded project will operationalize “community tailored” Walking School Bus (WSB) models for LGL elementary students (Grades K–8) using paid and volunteer supervisors to walk with elementary school children, on established routes to and from school.