Board of Health Meeting Summary – June 22, 2017
The annual audit was presented to the Board of Health by 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 Board has approved controls to mitigate the risk.
- Budgeting on a PSAB basis – This will be done in 2018.
- Continuing the development of a long-term financial plan – The current plan for physical assets will be expanded to include planning for salaries and benefits given no provincial grant increases.
- 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.
For 2017, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has identified a reduced number of Accountability Agreement Indicators for all Health Units. There are currently two for Smoke Free Ontario implementation, one for high risk food premise inspections, one for class A pools inspections, two for infectious diseases, and ten for the immunization program. The Health Unit will be notified later in the fall of the new set of Indicators that are being developed for 2018 to reflect the new Ontario Public Health Programs and Services.
The Board and members of the Management Team have been sent a survey to complete as part of the Ontario Auditor General’s Value for Money Audit of the Public Health Portfolio that includes the Public Health Branch, Public Health Ontario, and all 36 Health Units. The report from the audit is expected in September and it will include recommendations for all Health Units.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided additional base funding of $150,000 to support local opioid response initiatives including naloxone distribution to community organizations, and work on early warning and surveillance of opioid overdoses. This funding will allow the Health Unit to expand current work underway in these two areas.
The Leeds and Grenville Healthy Kids Community Challenge has completed two of their child health topics (physical activity, healthy eating to fuel recreation) and is now moving on to their third child health topic – encouraging kids to make vegetables and fruit a part of every meal and snack. Thirteen community organizations and municipalities have received up to $5,000 in funding for a variety of projects to support this theme. The Veggie Roundup Roadshow will visit a total of 16 events over the spring/summer/fall.
The loss in April 2018 of the eight Health Promotion Resource Centres currently funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) will have a major impact on public health programming in Ontario. These Resource Centres provide education, training, resource development, and support collaborative work across all Health Units and other community organizations. The Board of Health will write a letter to Minister Hoskins expressing concern about the closing of the Health Promotion Resource Centres, and ask that this decision be reversed.