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Meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit

Held on April 21, 2017, Timmins Office, Board Room

Present:

  • Gilles Chartrand
  • Michael Shea
  • Sue Perras
  • Laurier Duciaume
  • Veronica Farrell
  • Rick Lafleur
  • Drago Stefanic
  • Michel Brière
  • Claude Bourassa
  • Pat Bamford
  • Steve Black
  • Andrew Marks
  • André Rhéaume

Staff:

  • Dr. Lianne Catton
  • Don West
  • Chantal Riopel
  • Lynn Leggett
  • Bob Bell
  • Anna Gauthier  

Recorder: Maria Cook

1) Call to Order

Gilles Chartrand, Chair, 5:00 p.m.

2) Approval of Agenda

MOVED BY: Drago Stefanic
SECONDED BY: Pat Bamford

THAT the agenda for this meeting be approved, as circulated.

Carried

3) Adoption of Minutes of Meeting

MOVED BY: Sue Perras
SECONDED BY: Claude Bourassa

THAT the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit held March 17, 2017 be approved.

Carried

4) Business Arising from Minutes

None.

5) Correspondence

Don West spoke to the following correspondence:

Huron County

Re: Basic Income in Ontario

Copy of letter, dated March 9th, to Minister Jaczek, Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister Ballard, Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, conveying their Board’s support for Basic Income in Ontario and the recommendations in the Hugh Segal’s discussion paper, “Finding a Better Way:  A Basic Income Pilot Project for Ontario".

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Re: Tobacco Endgame

Copy of letter, dated March 15th, to Minister Philpott, advising of their Board’s resolution supporting her government’s proposal to commit to a target of less than 5% tobacco use by 2035, and recommending that her government’s approaches include those identified at the 2016 Summit, A tobacco Endgame for Canada.

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Re:  Expert Panel on Public Health and Healthy Menu Choices Act

Copy of letter, dated March 22nd, to Minister Hoskins, regarding their concerns about the two recent initiatives of the MOHLTC; the Expert Panel and Public Health and Healthy Menu Choices Act, requesting that all recommendations from the Expert Panel be made public, and that a formal consultation process be undertaken with all public health units before any decisions are made.

Sylvia Jones, MPP – Dufferin-Caledon

Re:  The Greater Access to Hepatitis C Treatment Act, 2016

Copy of letter, dated March 22nd, to Gilles Chartrand, Board Chair, advising of an exciting development regarding her private member’s bill, The Greater Access to Hepatitis C Treatment Act, 2016, noting that on February 21st, the Ontario government announced the conclusion of negation through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), and as a result of the pCPA agreement, Ontario expanded access to three already-funded hepatitis C treatments and added four new drugs to the ODB formulary.

Middlesex-London Health Unit

Re:  Support for Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition’s Ottawa Principles and Further Action on Sugary Drinks

Copy of letter, dated March 28th, to Ontario Boards of Health, advising of their Board’s endorsement of the Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition’s (Stop M2K) Ottawa Principles, noting that restricting marketing to children and youth is one part of a comprehensive strategy to improve children’s nutrition and long-term health outcomes.

Thank You Cards

Thank you card, from Claire Rosevear, Public Health Nurse, Hearst office, thanking the Board and Staff for their well wishes and retirement gift, noting that she greatly enjoyed her many years working with the Porcupine Health Unit.

Thank you card from Betty Ann Horbul, dated March 31st, thanking the Board of Health for their dedication and support of the work of management and staff for the health of their communities, and for the lovely retirement gift.

6) Medical Officer of Health and Program Manager Reports

Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health (A), provided an update on the following items:

Ontario Public Health Standards

In March, management participated in a Regional Consultation with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) in Sudbury, to review operational concerns and provide feedback with respect to the new standards.

Dr. Catton advised that a letter was sent to the MOHLTC, providing feedback on the Consultation Document dated February 18, 2017, with the new Standards for Public Health Programs and Services. In addition to this, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) feedback letter to the MOHLTC was circulated, along with a resolution to consider for endorsement by the Board of Health.

Indigenous Engagement

Dr. Catton is involved in several initiatives at the local, regional and Provincial level looking at improving engagement with Indigenous communities and community members. The proposal for the Public Health Ontario’s Locally Delivered Collaborative Project (LDCP) was approved and work has begun with several health units, researchers and Indigenous community partners.

Dental Resolutions

The Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit Dental Resolution, endorsed in March, petitioning the MOHLTC to implement an expanded dental program for low income adults and seniors, before their proposed 2025 timeline, has received support from other health units. This led to the development of a similar resolution for the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit to present at the 2017 alPHa Annual General Meeting and Resolutions session in June.

New Porcupine Health Unit Building

Dr. Catton advised that we have been working on a draft floor plan with J.L. Richards. Management and staff has been consulted along the way, especially with respect to clinic design and function. A full staff consultation session will take place at our next scheduled Grand Rounds, Thursday, April 27th, with J.L. Richards presenting draft plans. Staff will have the opportunity to further review the plans, ask questions and provide feedback over two days with representatives available. As feedback is incorporated into the plans and a more comprehensive draft is prepared, it will be brought to the Board of Health for review.

Reproductive and Child Health - Breastfeeding

Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program – Chantal Riopel, Manager of Family Health/Chief Nursing Officer

Chantal Riopel, Program Manager, spoke to her written report, noting that the Porcupine Health Unit has implemented strategies to increase the breastfeeding initiation rates in our region. These rates are improving. In 2008, the rate at hospital discharge was 67% and has increased to almost 80% in 2014. In February 2014, the Porcupine Health Unit was evaluated by assessors from the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada and achieved Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) designation on March 5, 2014. This designation is valid for 5 years. The Porcupine Health Unit continues to ensure that the requirements for designation are being met. Chantal also reviewed the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) designation requirements.

Infectious Disease and Clinical Services - Northern Exchange Program (NEP)

Lynn Leggett, Program Manager

Lynn Leggett spoke to her written report regarding the Northern Exchange Program, noting that the Porcupine Health Unit has been offering a comprehensive Harm Reduction Program since 1999. Harm reduction is a public health approach that aims to reduce the drug-related harm experienced by individuals without necessarily reducing their consumption of drugs. These strategies meet drug users “where they’re at”. Harm reduction includes providing clients with injection and inhalation supplies as well as other important services such as counselling, testing, education and referrals to health and community organizations. The Porcupine Health Unit offers clinics in each of our health unit offices and two off-site clinics.

The distribution of syringes over the last nine years has grown significantly. We have seen a forty fold increase over that time period. 60% of this increase has occurred in the last 2 years indicating recent rise in demand for the service. In 2016, we saw the highest distribution at over 165,000 syringes across the district. Based on current distribution numbers this year, we expect 2017 to match or surpass 2016.

Over the years we have seen return rates increase and stabilize. In 2013, we had the highest return rate at 74% with the average return since then being anywhere from 50% to 65%. The return of syringes is estimated visually by the nurse, they are not physically counted.

Total annual visits have increased steadily from 149 in 2008 to 2,408 in 2016. 

7) Program Committee Report

a)  Dental Program – Anna Gauthier, Program Manager

Laurier Duciaume thanked Anna for providing an informative presentation on the Porcupine Health Unit’s Dental Program.

b) New Public Health Standards – alPHa Response

MOVED BY: Michael Shea
SECONDED BY: Rick Lafleur

WHEREAS, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit appreciates the work of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in the development of the Modernized Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS); and

WHEREAS, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit appreciates the opportunity for Porcupine Health Unit staff to provide feedback at the regional consultation in Sudbury on March 27, 2017; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit recognizes the strengths in the increased flexibility to address local priorities, address health equity and further engage with indigenous partners; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit is concerned about the potential for increased equity gaps and significant strain on staff resources to ensure local needs are met in communities where there may be a lack of partners to collaborate with; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit is concerned about capacity with limited funds under the current funding formula;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit endorses the letter provided by the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) dated March 17, 2017 regarding Public Health Programs and Services Consultation; and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Ontario Boards of Health, and Gilles Bisson, MPP, Timmins - James Bay.

Carried

c) Low –Income Dental Program for Adults and Seniors

MOVED BY: Veronica Farrell
SECONDED BY: Drago Stefanic

WHEREAS the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit recognizes the importance of oral health in the overall health and well-being of the population; and

WHEREAS the lack of access to dental care leads to increased use of acute health care services and negatively impacts individual patients. Pain, low self-esteem, potentially unnecessary antibiotic treatment with side effect risks; and infections that may be serious and progress rapidly are all complications of a lack of dental care; and

WHEREAS the need to access acute health care services is extremely costly to the Ontario health care system. Over 60,000 visits to emergency departments across Ontario in 2015 were due to oral health concerns (Ontario Oral Health Alliance, 2017); and

WHEREAS the majority of these acute dental complications are avoidable with timely and appropriate dental care; and

WHEREAS financial barriers prevent many marginalized and low-income adults from accessing preventive and acute dental care; and

WHEREAS the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) has promised to expand the oral health program to include low-income adults in 2025;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) request the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) to address this important public health issue and urgently implement an expanded public dental program for low income adults and seniors, before the proposed 2025 timeline; and

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT, a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Carried

8) Resource Committee Report

a) Staff Changes

MOVED BY: Pat Bamford
SECONDED BY: Steve Black

THAT the report of staff changes be received for information.

Carried

b) 2016 Audited Financial Statements

MOVED BY: Claude Bourassa
SECONDED BY: Pat Bamford

THAT the audited financial statements for the Porcupine Health Unit for the year ended December 31, 2016 be approved.

Carried

MOVED BY: Steve Black
SECONDED BY: Claude Bourassa

THAT the audited financial statements for the Porcupine Health Unit Building Trust for the year ended December 31, 2016 be approved.

Carried

MOVED BY: Pat Bamford
SECONDED BY: Michael Shea

THAT the audited financial statements for the Porcupine Health Unit Foundation for the year ended December 31, 2016 be approved.

Carried

c) Revenues & Expenditures – Year Ended December 31, 2016

MOVED BY: Steve Black
SECONDED BY: Pat Bamford 

THAT the report of revenues and expenditures for the Porcupine Health Unit for the nine months ended December 31, 2016 be approved.

Carried

d) ONA Memorandum of Settlement

MOVED BY: Steve Black
SECONDED BY: Pat Bamford

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit approve the Memorandum of Settlement between the Porcupine Health Unit and the Ontario Nurses’ Association dated April 10, 2017, as circulated.

Carried

9) New Business

None.

10) Receipt of Minutes for Information

a) Management Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Veronica Farrell
SECONDED BY: Rick Lafleur

THAT the minutes of the Management Committee meetings held March 9 and 22, 2017 be received for information.

Carried

b) Program Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Veronica Farrell
SECONDED BY: Drago Stefanic

THAT the minutes of the Program Committee meeting held October 21, 2016 be received for information.

Carried

c) Resource Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: André Rhéaume
SECONDED BY: Claude Bourassa

THAT the minutes of the Resource Committee meeting held October 21, 2016 be received for information.

Carried

11)  Date of Next Meeting and Adjournment

MOVED BY: Rick Lafleur
SECONDED BY: Laurier Duciaume

THAT the next meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit be held on May 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm and that this meeting adjourn.

Carried