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LGL Health Unit Board of Health votes in favour of voluntary merger

March 28, 2024

Today, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Board of Health voted in support of the intent to merge with Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFL&APH) and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) to create the South East Health Unit.

In August 2023, the Ministry of Health announced plans to strengthen the public health sector by offering one-time funding, resources and supports to local public health agencies that voluntarily merged by January 1, 2025. In response to the announcement, the HPE, KFL&A, and LGL Boards of Health decided in December to move forward with the exploration of the impacts of a voluntary merger and engaged the consulting firm of Sense and Nous to prepare a feasibility study and a business case for a merger.

Today, in the public session of the Board meeting, Dr. Linna Li presented a Merger Feasibility Summary Report and Business Case Brief. This Merger Feasibility Summary Report outlines the results of the merger feasibility exercise for KFL&APH, LGLDHU and HPEPH, identifies the strategic opportunities and challenges associated with the proposed merger, and concludes that there are no significant barriers to a merger. The Business Case Brief summarizes the rationales and key proposals to be considered by the Ministry, including, in part, the name of the proposed new entity, governance model, geographic boundaries, opportunities to strengthen public health and the supports needed to merge.

The HPEPH and KFL&APH Boards of Health met yesterday where they reviewed the same presentations.

All three Boards approved moving forward with a voluntary merger and will submit a proposal to the Ministry of Health by April 2.

“The goal of a merger is to strengthen public health in our respective regions,” said Peter McKenna, Chair of the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit Board of Health. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration in this new agency.”

Mergers of public health units require provincial legislative change, and a merger will only occur if the province approves the Boards’ proposal and commits adequate funding for its success. Until a legal new organization is established, the health units will continue to operate independently.


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