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Meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit

Held on March 22 2019, Timmins Office, Board Room

Present:

  • Sue Perras
  • Drago Stefanic
  • Mickey Auger
  • Pat Britton
  • Cleo Charlebois
  • Denis Clement
  • Kristin Murray
  • Rock Whissell

Staff:

  • Dr. Lianne Catton
  • Don West
  • Maria Cook
  • Lynn Leggett
  • Joëlle Aubin
  • Anna Gauthier
  • Sue Lajoie
  • Chantal Riopel

Recorder:  Maria Cook

1) Call to Order

Sue Perras, Chair, 5:00 p.m.

2) Approval of Agenda

MOVED BY: Rock Whissell
SECONDED BY: Drago Stefanic

THAT the agenda for this meeting be approved as circulated.

Carried

3) Adoption of Minutes of Meeting

MOVED BY: Pat Britton
SECONDED BY: Cleo Charlebois

THAT the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit held January 24, 2019 be approved.

Carried

4) Business Arising from Minutes

None.

5) Correspondence

Dr. Lianne Catton spoke to the following correspondence:

Re:  Regulatory Framework for Cannabis Storefronts in Ontario 

Southwestern Public Health; and Grey Bruce Public Health

  • Copies of letters, dated January 10th and 18th, to Renu Kulendran, Executive Director, Legalization of Cannabis Secretariat, supporting correspondence from Peterborough Public Health, regarding limiting retail hours; establishing minimum training requirements for staff; setting minimum distances from youth-serving facilities and vulnerable populations; regulating cannabis retail densities; prohibiting co-location of cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco retail; strengthening municipal influence over store locations and density; and clarifying ‘public interest’ for written submission.

Grey Bruce Public Health

  • Copy of letter, dated January 22nd, to Minister Caroline Mulroney, Attorney General & Minister of Francophone Affairs, endorsing Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health’s correspondence/resolution, regarding physical accessibility of cannabis and minimum distance requirements between cannabis retail locations and schools.

Re:  Cannabis Use in Public Places

The Regional Municipality of Durham

  • Copy of letter, dated January 31st, to Premier Doug Ford, urging the Government of Ontario to amend the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, such that the smoking or holding of lighted cannabis is prohibited in all public places.

Re:  Provincial Legislation for Cannabis and the amended Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 

Grey Bruce Public Health; and Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

  • Copies of letters, dated January 22nd and February 11th, to Minister Caroline Mulroney, supporting Peterborough Public Health’s Call to Action and shared concern regarding funding associated with cannabis legislation and the introduction of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017.

Re:  Strengthening the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, to address the promotion of vaping

Renfrew County and District Health Unit

  • Copy of letter, dated March 4th, to Minister Christine Elliott, advising of their Board’s Resolution, supporting correspondence from Peterborough Health Unit, urging the Province to strengthen the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, and prohibit the promotion of vaping products.

Re:  Sustainable Infrastructure and Financial Supports for Local Drug Strategies

Grey Bruce Health Unit

  • Copy of letter, dated January 18th, to Minister Christine Elliott, supporting correspondence from Peterborough Public Health, regarding opioid-related overdoses and ensuring that local drug strategies are integrated into future planning for provincial mental health and addiction programs.

Re:  Expanding Opioid Substitution Treatment with Managed Opioid Programs

Toronto Public Health

  • Copy of Report for Action, dated February 12th, and Board resolution, dated February 25th, urging the MOHLTC to immediately target operational and capital funding to support rapid scaled up implementation of managed opioid programs (MOP); take immediate action to ensure required concentrations of managed opioid medications are accessible to treat people with opioid use disorder; seek authority from Health Canada to import diacetylmorphine for use as a managed opioid program medication; work with Health Canada and other necessary federal bodies to address barriers to procuring, storing, and transporting diacetylmorphine and/or mitigate their effects to facilitate the use of this MOP medication; and ensure that managed opioid medications are universally accessible to all Ontarians who could benefit from these kinds of programs, and that cost is not a barrier.

Re:  Regional Level III Residential Withdrawal Management Services Facility

Algoma Public Health

  • Copy of letter, dated March 4th, to Minister Christine Elliott, requesting approval of funding for a regional level III residential withdrawal management services facility, in Sault Ste. Marie.

Re:  Support for Provincial Oral Health Program for Low Income Adults and Seniors

Grey Bruce Health Unit; Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit; Peterborough Public Health; Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District; and Renfrew County and District Health Unit 

  • Copies of letters, dated January 22nd, February 6th, 14th, 27th and March 4th, to Premier Doug Ford, expressing support for a provincial oral health program for low income adults and seniors.

Re:  Ontario’s Basic Income Pilot

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit; and North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit

  • Copies of letters, dated February 11th and 27th, to Premier Doug Ford, and Ministers Christine Elliott and Lisa MacLeod, urging the Province to maintain the continuation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot and the scheduled increases of Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program.

Re:  Mandatory Food Literacy Curricula in Ontario Schools

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

  • Copy of letter, dated February 11th, to Ministers Christine Elliot and Lisa Thompson, supporting Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Board of Health’s call to examine the current school curricula concerning food literacy and the introduction of food literacy and food skills as a mandatory component of school curricula.

Re:  Funding for the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children (HBHC) program

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit

  • Copy of letter, dated February 11th, to Minister Lisa MacLeod, supporting Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s shared concerns regarding funding, advocating that the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services fully funds the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program, including all staffing, operating and administrative costs.

Re:  Public and Environmental Health Implications of Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2018

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

  • Copy of letter, dated February 20th, to Premier Doug Ford, expressing their concern regarding the Ontario Government’s decision to enact Bill 66, requesting that they consider the impacts on the public health and safety of residents of Ontario, prior to Bill 66 proceeding through the legislative process.

Re:  HIV Case Management

Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH)

Copy of Resolution # 2019-02-21, sent to Board of Health Chairs on March 5th, endorsing the message that an undetectable HIV viral load poses effectively no risk of HIV transmission within a compressive public health approach to sexual health; and acknowledging the importance of communicating the U=U message as part of a comprehensive public health approach to sexual health.

6)  Medical Officer of Health and Program Manager Reports

Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health, provided an update/report with regard to the following:

Recent Opioid Crisis – Alert/Emergency Response

Dr. Catton discussed the recent local opioid concerns that the Board of Health (BOH) was informed about via email. The Timmins and Area Drug Strategy (TADS) Opioid Surveillance and Early Warning Response Task Force identified that an increase in suspected opioid overdoses with tragic outcomes and initiated a coordinated response. The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) and Timmins Police Service (TPS) issued media releases and held a joint media scrum. An emergency Early Warning Response Task Force meeting was held on February 28th, at the PHU, to confirm the surge as an Emergency Response Level 3 – Red state, and further delineated roles to ensure information, support, and naloxone were widely accessible throughout the PHU region.

An emergency communication strategy was implemented to ensure all Timmins and Area Drug Strategy (TADS) partners, hospitals, health care providers, school boards, pharmacies and the general PHU population was aware of the risks. All area hospitals were contacted to ensure no similar surges were noted. Although this surge was identified in Timmins, the alerts were distributed in all PHU communities.    

An alert was issued regarding the increase in overdoses, suspected presence of purple heroin/fentanyl, as well as overdose prevention and where to access naloxone kits to save lives. These alerts and naloxone posters were also posted on every PHU front door, in French and English. The PHU advocated for increased naloxone distribution partners, and increased outreach over the weekend, and in evenings, to ensure access to naloxone.

The PHU continues to work with the TADS Opioid Surveillance and Early Warning Response Task Force and partners to enhance monitoring of opioid related surges. The status level has been down graded to Enhanced Surveillance – Level 2 - Yellow. The PHU will continue to notify partners of any updates or changes in status. An online secure portal for opioid surveillance has been developed for data entry by task force members to input information collected on a weekly basis. The PHU continues to coordinate monitoring related events and response at the local level.

PHU Reorganization

Dr. Catton reviewed an organizational change for the PHU that has been thoughtfully planned to increase accountability for the Foundational Standards. The Foundations team consists of current positions including, Communications, Epidemiology, Health Equity, Evaluation and Effective Public Health Practice; as well as a new Program Planning Specialist position.

This team will work to improve capacity and efficiencies by ensuring a consistent approach to planning, evaluation and reporting of public health initiatives that address the standards as well as PHU Strategic Plan priorities within the local context.

With this change, the Healthy Growth and Development team will join the Chronic Diseases and Injury Prevention team to plan comprehensive health promotion initiatives across the lifespan. There will be some physical movement of staff in Timmins to facilitate new teams, as well as other efficiencies and improved collaboration between teams.

Annual Service Plan (ASP)

The 2019 ASP and Budget Submission was completed this week and will be submitted to the Ministry. This is the second year for this new template which requires extensive work from the PHU team. It includes details regarding PHU population health needs, priority populations as well as the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS).

Emergency Planning - Evacuations

The PHU Environmental Health team is working with the Ministry and local partners to prepare for the evacuations of community members from coastal communities due to flooding. The team works closely with the local host community and those evacuated to support safe food premises, infection prevention, and other public health needs.

PROGRAM MANAGER REPORTS
      
The Program Managers provided brief verbal reports with respect to their Program areas.

7) Program Committee Report

Harm Reduction Program Presentation

Mickey Auger thanked Lynn Leggett, Manager of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Services, for providing an informative presentation regarding the Porcupine Health Unit’s Harm Reduction Program.

8) Resource Committee Report

2019 Budget and Per Capita Rate

MOVED BY: Pat Britton
SECONDED BY: Denis Clement

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit establish its net budget for the year 2019 at $14,983,043. This budget covers both cost shared and 100% funded programs.

Carried

MOVED BY: Pat Britton
SECONDED BY: Denis Clement

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit establish its 2019 per capita rate at $39.97, based on a population of 61,472 for the purposes of assessing its obligated municipalities for the year 2019.

Carried

9) New Business

a) alPHa Winter Symposium

Sue Perras provided an update of items discussed at the alPHa Winter Symposium which was held on February 21st.

b) Board Meeting Dates

MOVED BY: Mickey Auger
SECONDED BY: Drago Stefanic

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit approve the 2019 schedule of Board meeting dates, as amended.

Carried

10)  Receipt of Minutes for Information

Program Committee Meeting

MOVED BY: Drago Stefanic
SECONDED BY: Cleo Charlebois

THAT the minutes of the Program Committee meeting held September 14, 2018 be received for information.

Carried

Resource Committee Meeting

MOVED BY: Rock Whissell
SECONDED BY: Denis Clement

THAT the minutes of the Resource Committee meetings held September 14 and November 2, 2018 be received for information.

Carried

Management Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Drago Stefanic
SECONDED BY: Pat Britton

THAT the minutes of the Management Committee meeting held January 10, 2019, be received for information.

Carried

11)  Date of Next Meeting and Adjournment

MOVED BY: Cleo Charlebois
SECONDED BY: Rock Whissell

THAT the next meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit be held on April 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm and that this meeting adjourn.    

Carried