Board of Health Meeting Summary – November 15, 2018
The Board of Health approved our new 2019–2022 Strategic Plans – one for Population Health and one for Organizational Excellence. They are available on our website. A companion document is “Information on the Health of the Population in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark“. We are looking forward to working with our partners to realize our vision “Everyone has opportunities to be healthy”.
The Board of Health approved a 2% increase in the overall levy among obligated municipalities at the Board meeting on November 15, 2018. This is the first increase in the municipal levy since 2016. The increase in municipal funding will decrease the significant budget shortfall which has necessitated the reduction of programs and services with associated employee layoffs. The budget shortfall has accumulated because of the increase in negotiated salaries and benefits without an associated increase in provincial and municipal funding.
The Management Team used the Program Budgeting and Marginal Analysis (PBMA) process to balance the 2019 Public Health Budget and to optimize how public health resources are allocated to programs and services. PBMA is a priority setting and resource allocation approach used to assist decision makers in making choices with limited resources. It uses a risk assessment and criteria to identify changes in programs and services that will have the least impact on the health of the community.
All municipalities have now agreed to use the Statistics Canada Census Population Data to apportion the levy among obligated municipalities.
The Board of Health also approved the Land Control budget with a 3% increase in each of the fees as of July 1, 2019.
Public health nurses have given nine high school presentations, in collaboration with the UCDSB and CSBEO boards, to 145 parent/adult allies on how to talk with your teen about cannabis. The Health Unit also organized a live Facebook event with the Medical Officer of Health, Kim Marshall our public health nurse leading the work on cannabis, the Brockville police chief, Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Addictions and Mental Health and representatives from both school boards where we have had about 4000 views to date.
The Medical Officer of Health also participated in a community event organized by the Town of Gananoque that was well attended. We are now working on an information package for municipalities on cannabis from a public health perspective as they decide whether to opt in to have cannabis retail stores, develop by-laws to reduce exposure to cannabis, and consider other programs to decrease youth access to and use of cannabis.
The 2018 Ontario Public Health Standards included a new requirement for Health Units to investigate complaints of infection control lapses in clinical settings, for example dentist, nurse practitioner or doctor offices. The Communicable Disease Team has received specialized training to do the investigations and have already investigated some complaints. Any lapses in infection control are posted on our website.
The Steering Committee for Lanark County Planet Youth have organized two community information gatherings – in Perth (7 p.m. on November 29) and Carleton Place (7 p.m. on November 28) – to hear from Alfgeir Kristjansson from the original Iceland Planet Youth team about the successes, challenges and significant impacts experienced in Iceland, as a result of their Planet Youth initiative. Planet Youth is an international community-led initiative to support adolescents to be healthy and make healthy choices about the use of substances. It includes, for example, recreation opportunities, parenting support, role models and mentorship, development of knowledge and skills, youth led activities, mental health and other services as needed.