Board of Health Meeting Summary – September 22, 2016
Champlain and South-East LHIN’s
Each LHIN in Ontario must identify LHIN Sub-Regions as part of the planned Patients First Act by September 30, 2016. “The Sub-Regions will focus on population health needs and address health equity, enhance coordination of services – improve access, system navigation and smooth transitions of care, and better leverage of local community resources and knowledge.”
The South-East LHIN has proposed the creation of one Sub-Region in their jurisdiction with the Lanark (Perth, Montague, Drummond North Elmsley, Smiths Falls), and Leeds, Grenville (all but North Grenville) towns and townships in their LHIN boundaries. This would work well as it lines up with municipal boundaries and with the services provided to Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.
The Champlain LHIN has proposed including North Grenville, Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, Beckwith and Lanark Highlands in the Ottawa West and Area Sub-Region. This area is very heterogeneous with most of the population in an urban setting, and includes Kanata, Stittsville and Bayshore – only 49,000 (14%) are in our area. Feedback has been given to the Champlain LHIN to reconsider this proposal and develop a new one that would make it easier for their Lanark, and North Grenville areas to collaborate with those in the South East LHIN.
In 2015, the Health Unit met 23 of its 27 targets for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Accountability Agreement Indicators, and the other four were very close to the target. The Indicators include ones in health protection ( e.g. inspections of food premises, class A pools, public spas, personal service settings), immunizations (e.g. vaccine wastage, school aged children immunization), follow-up of communicable diseases, tobacco vendors in compliance with the Smoke Free Ontario Act, and child health programs (e.g. dental assessment in schools, nutritional assessment, and Baby Friendly Initiative).
We are pleased to welcome Jackie Empey to the position of Business Manager for the Health Unit as of September 12, 2016. She is a Certified Public Accountant with many years in the public sector. Shani Gates, Director of Quality, Information, and Standards, has assumed responsibility for the Health Unit finance and property functions along with the associated staff, and Jackie will report to her. This consolidates all the central services within one department, and will improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
The Health Unit oral health program includes doing dental assessment and education for children in school. From July 2015 to June 2016, 4945 students were assessed, 68% were caries free, and 312 children had urgent dental needs identified. All but six children who had urgent dental needs received treatment. A referral was made to Family and Children’s Services for follow-up for those for whom the dental team could not make contact with the parents.
Water Does Wonders is the next phase of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge sponsored by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. The purpose of the Water Does Wonders theme is to motivate kids to drink water when they are thirsty. Water is the natural choice for our kids to stay healthy and hydrated. The Community Water Bottle Filling Station Initiative will allow non-profit organizations/groups to apply for funding to purchase a Water Bottle Filling Station. Other planned activities include school and community education programs, a photo contest, and a healthy beverage policy workshop.
The Health Unit continues to work closely with law enforcement, first responders, local hospitals and community agencies to prevent overdoses from opioids, like Dilaudid, Fentanyl and bootleg Fentanyl. The development of a monitoring and surveillance system is nearing completion. According to the regional coroner, from 2010–2014, an estimated 41 people in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville died due to drug toxicity or drug toxicity and alcohol overdoses. A variety of drugs were involved from cocaine to opioids.
The Health Unit Safe Water program is focussed on encouraging residents to test their well water on a regular basis. This was particularly important during the dry period we experienced this summer.
The provincial government is now funding Herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine for adults age 65–70 years, and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine for boys in grade 7.