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Meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit

Held on May 23, 2019, Timmins Office, Board Room

Present:

  • Drago Stefanic
  • Cleo Charlebois
  • Marc Dupuis
  • Kristin Murray
  • Pat Britton
  • Denis Clement
  • Marc Ringuette
  • Rock Whissell

Staff:

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

Recorder:  Maria Cook


1. Call to Order

Drago Stefanic, Vice Chair, 5:00 p.m.

2. Approval of Agenda

Addition:  7) Program Committee Report
                    d) aLPHa Board of Directors' Nomination
                    e) Simcoe-Muskoka Letter of Support

MOVED BY: Denis Clement
SECONDED BY: Marc Ringuette

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

Carried

3. Adoption of Minutes of Meeting

MOVED BY: Cleo Charlebois
SECONDED BY: Marc Dupuis

THAT the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit held April 25, 2019 be approved.

Carried

4. Business Arising from Minutes

None.

5. Correspondence

Dr. Lianne Catton spoke to the following correspondence:

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Re:  2019 Ontario Budget

  • Copy of letter, dated April 23rd, to Ministers Christine Elliott and Steve Clark, regarding the provincial decision to change the provincial/municipal funding ratio for public health programs and the Regional Public Health Entity outlined in the 2019 Budget.

Halliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

Re:  2019 Ontario Budget, Protecting What Matters Most – Chapter 1, A Plan for the People:  Modernizing Ontario’s Public Health Units. 

  • Copy of letter, dated April 24th, to Premier Doug Ford, and Minister Christine Elliott, together with a memo dated April 18th, from Dr. Noseworthy, MOH for HKPRDHU which was provided to their Board of Health at their April 18th meeting, where the following motion was passed.

  • “THAT the Board of Health work with the entire public health system, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies and the Provincial Government to ensure that Ontario’s public health system continues to draw strength from dedicated local voices and effective partnerships and maintains the capacity to deliver essential front-line health protection and promotion services while working to meet the Government’s stated goals of broader municipal engagement, more efficient service delivery, better alignment with the health care system and more effective staff recruitment and retention.”

Renfrew County and District Health Unit

 Re:  Proposed Changes to Local Public Health

  • Copy of letter, dated April 29th, to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Christine Elliott, asking the provincial government to reconsider the funding reduction, as this will challenge their ability to continue to provide essential services within their community; requesting that the Province of Ontario maintain the health protection and health promotion mandate of Renfrew County and District Health Unit, and recognize the vast distance and lack of homogeneity in Ontario; ensure that distances are manageable and that public health units are not overwhelmed because they are providing service to areas that are too large and vast; and request that consultations on a common governance model begin immediately, appreciating the opportunity to participate in this process.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Re:  2019 Ontario Budget

  • Copy of letter, dated May 1st, to Premier Doug Ford and Minister Christine Elliott, expressing their concerns regarding the implications of the 2019 Provincial Budget, urging them to implement any changes in a manner that does not jeopardize the health and safety of our communities and is based on consultation with existing Boards of Health and the municipalities that they represent; and recommending that the province postpone any changes to the funding formula, to ensure that public health services are not put at risk.

Grey Bruce Health Unit

Re:  Support for alPHa report:  Improving and Maintaining the Health of the People

  • Copy of letter, dated May 6th, to Minister Christine Elliott, supporting correspondence from Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit supporting the alPHa report.

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

Re: Support for Bill 60, Establishing a Social Assistance Research Commission

  • Copy of letter, dated April 18th, to Premier Doug Ford, supporting the recommendations provided in North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s resolution (dated February 27th) and supports Bill 60, an Act to amend the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act to establish the Social Assistance Research Commission.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health

Re:  Endorsement of the Ontario Dietitians in Public Health letter on Bill 60

  • Copy of letter, dated April 25th, to Minister Lisa MacLeod, urging the Government of Ontario to support Bill 60 and create a Social Assistance Research Commission to recommend rates of provincial social assistance that is grounded in an analysis of the cost for basic and other necessities.

Grey Bruce Health Unit

Re:  Support for Bill 60

  • Copy of letter, dated May 6th, to Premier Doug Ford and Ministers Christine Elliott and Lisa MacLeod, supporting North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit’s resolution (dated February 27th) in regards to Reducing Health Inequities and Support for Bill 60 and also a copy of letter, dated May 6th, to Ministers Christine Elliott and Lisa MacLeod, supporting correspondence from Peterborough Public Health urging the passing of Bill 60.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health

Re: Minimizing harms associated with the announced expansion of the sale of beverage alcohol in Ontario

  • Copy of letter, dated April 25th, to Premier Doug Ford, urging the provincial government to ensure that any plan to address the safe and responsible sale and consumption of beverage alcohol include a wide range of evidence-based policies and that this plan be funded, and monitored for effectiveness; and asking the Government of Ontario to indicate how much alcohol consumption will increase with the proposed expansion over the next five years, how much this increased consumption will cost the justice, social and health care systems over the next five years, and the fiscal plan to pay for these anticipated costs.

Peterborough Public Health

Re:  Urgent provincial action needed to address the potential health and social harms from the ongoing modernization of alcohol retail sales in Ontario.

  • Copy of letter, dated May 1st, to Premier Doug Ford, calling on the Government of Ontario to develop a comprehensive, province-wide strategy to minimize alcohol-related harm and support safer consumption of alcohol in the province.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health

Re: Endorsement of the Children Count Task Force Recommendations

  • Copy of letter, dated April 25th, to Premier Doug Ford, endorsing the Children Count Task Force Recommendations and urging the Government of Ontario to act on these recommendations.

Peterborough Public Health

Re:  Urgent provincial action needed to expand opioid substitution treatment with Managed Opioid Programs (MOPs) to address the increased and immense number of opioid-related preventable deaths in Ontario

  • Copy of letter, dated May 3rd, to Minister Christine Elliott, urging the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to enhance the provincial response to the opioid poisoning crisis by immediately identifying operational and capital funding to support the implementation of managed opioid programs in communities where appropriate; take action to add medications that could be used in a managed program to the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary at appropriate concentrations to treat opioid use disorder, as well as ensure managed opioid medications are accessible to all Ontarians requiring treatment for opioid use disorder; include diacetylmorphine for potential use as a managed opioid program medication by obtaining authority from Health Canada; address barriers to procuring, storing, and transporting diacetylmorphine and/or mitigate its effects by collaborating with Health Canada and other necessary federal bodies to facilitate use of the managed opioid program medication; and ensure that the cost of managed opioid medications is not a barrier and that these medications are universally accessible to all Ontarians who could benefit from managed opioid programs.

6. Medical Officer of Health Report

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

Public Health Transformation Update

Dr. Catton emphasized points from her presentation at the Program Committee with respect to recent Ministry announcements. As reviewed, the regionalization into 10 regional entities proposes the Northeast region to include the four other health units we have been collaborating with (Timiskaming, Public Health Sudbury and Districts, Algoma, North Bay Parry Sound), which was not unexpected. However, it also included the addition of Muskoka District from Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, and a Northern portion of Renfrew. Concerns regarding the increased size and complexity of adding Muskoka District and splitting that Health Unit have been expressed by the health units in the Northeast, as well as Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit. The Porcupine Health Unit continues to work with the Northeast Transformation Project to develop recommendations and considerations for a regional process and model that values the current Porcupine Health Unit staff, reflects our distinct populations, and the unique context of the Northeast, while maintaining strong local connections and local representation.

Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Opioids Working Group

Dr. Catton will be one of the Medical Officer of Health representatives on the AMO Opioids Working Group, with more information to follow meeting.

Ontario Health Team

The Porcupine Health Unit contributed to and supported the local readiness assessment application for an Ontario Health Team.  This was led by the Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) with many partners including primary care, home care, long-term care, other area hospitals, addictions and mental health services across the region. The Porcupine Health Unit provided important population health data and perspective and is listed as a supporting partner. It has been a valuable process to review the services and supports for community members to achieve and maintain health. While much of the application concentrates on health care and treatment of patients, there are important opportunities for public health to collaborate to prevent poor health outcomes and prevent more patients in our communities.

French Language Services Committee

Ensuring appropriate services and communications for the Francophone population within the Porcupine Health Unit has always been important. The 2018-2023 Strategic Plan identified this as a priority and as such we continue to explore opportunities to strengthen and enhance Francophone capacity, initiatives, and translation of Porcupine Health Unit material. We continue to address challenges with recruitment of francophone staff, emergency translation services, and more recently, with online platforms for public health information, and programming. We are dedicated to ensuring information and initiatives are available for the Francophone population. An internal French Language Services Committee has been established to review internal policies and provide recommendations with respect to ensuring the Porcupine Health Unit is supporting francophone community members both as staff, and with respect to public health initiatives. We continue to endeavour to provide access to quality public health programming and services for the francophone community members throughout the Porcupine Health Unit.

Community Safety and Well-Being Plans

The Porcupine Health Unit has been working on the Hornepayne Community Safety and Well-Being plan and will be involved with the City of Timmins plan. Dr. Catton is working with Porcupine Health Unit team members to develop a framework/template to support this work across the region.

Drug Strategy Steering Committee

The Opioid Surveillance and Emergency Response Task Force has unfortunately had several opportunities to work through the plan, to enhanced surveillance, to emergency response, with recent increased in suspected opioid related incidents. The Porcupine Health Unit has developed an online reporting tool, as well as an emergency response email to collect regular data as well as urgent alerts from local emergency responders (including TPS, EMS, TADH Emergency Department, TFS, NAPS, OPP). Any alerts that have resulted have been communicated throughout the region, to all community partners, healthcare providers, educators, hospitals, and pharmacies. There will be continued expansion into all communities, and further formalization of the plan. Being able to monitor local trends, identify surges and respond accordingly presents tremendous opportunity to intervene, activate necessary steps to prevent further opioid related tragedies.

Porcupine Lake

Dr. Catton and Sue Lajoie, Manager Environmental Health, have been participating in the Porcupine Watershed Public Liaison Committee addressing community concerns for Porcupine Lake. The Environmental Health team has completed a thorough review of their beach assessment protocols and procedures and have proposed recommendations to enhance and strengthen the program, not only for Porcupine, but all Porcupine Health Unit beaches that are monitored. We are working on signage at the beaches, communications and remain committed to supporting the City of Timmins and other partners to ensure the safe use of Porcupine Lake.

7. Program Committee Report

a) alPHa Resolutions for Consideration – 2019 Annual Conference

MOVED BY: Kristin Murray
SECONDED BY: Cleo Charlebois         

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit direct its voting delegates at the 2019 alPHa Annual Conference as follows:  

Resolution Number

Title

Support (Y/N)

A19-1

Climate Change and Health in Ontario:  Adaptation and Mitigation

Y

A19-2

Affirming the Impact of Climate Change on Health

Y

A19-3

Public Health Approach to Drug Policy

Y

A19-4

Asbestos - Free Canada

Y

A19-5

Public Health Support for including Hepatitis A Vaccine in the School Immunization Program

Y

A19-6

No - Fault Compensation for Adverse Effects Following Immunization (AEFI)

Y

A19-7

Considering the Evidence for Recalling Long-Acting Hydromorphone

Y

A19-8

Preventing Mental Illness through Early Childhood Development Programming

Y

A19-9

Public Health Support for Accessible, Affordable, Quality Licensed Child Care

Y

A19-10

Children Count Task Force Recommendations

Y

A19-11

Public Health Funding for Local Project Managers to Support Healthy Weights and Prevention of Childhood Obesity

Y

b) Porcupine Health Unit Organizational Chart

MOVED BY: Kristin Murray
SECONDED BY: Cleo Charlebois

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit approve the Health Unit Organizational Chart, as circulated.

Carried

c) Public Health Transformation Update

Mickey Auger thanked Dr. Catton for providing a presentation/update with regard to Public Health Transformation.

d) alPHa Board of Directors’ Nomination

MOVED BY: Marc Dupuis
SECONDED BY: Marc Ringuette

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit nominate Drago Stefanic to stand as a candidate for election to the Association of Local Public Health Agencies Board of Directors.

Carried

e) Simcoe-Muskoka Letter of Support

MOVED BY: Cleo Charlebois
SECONDED BY: Kristin Murray

THAT the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit directs that a letter be drafted to support similar resolutions in the Northeast for Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit to remain whole, and not be included in the Northeastern Regional Public Health Entity.

Carried

8. Resource Committee Report

a) Staff Changes

MOVED BY: Denis Clement
SECONDED BY: Rock Whissell

THAT the report of staff changes be received for information.

Carried

b) Revenues & Expenditures – Three Months Ended March 31, 2019

MOVED BY: Marc Ringuette
SECONDED BY: Pat Britton

THAT the report of revenues and expenditures for the Porcupine Health Unit for the three months ended March 31, 2019 be approved.

Carried

9. New Business

None.

10. Receipt of Minutes for Information

a) Program Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Cleo Charlebois
SECONDED BY: Kristin Murray

THAT the minutes of the Program Committee meeting held March 22, 2019 be received for information.                 

Carried

b) Resource Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Marc Ringuette
SECONDED BY: Denis Clement        

THAT the minutes of the Resource Committee meeting held March 6, 2019 be received for information.                 

Carried

c) Management Committee Meeting Minutes

MOVED BY: Marc Dupuis
SECONDED BY: Kristin Murray

THAT the minutes of the Management Committee meeting held April 4, 2019 be received for information.

Carried

11. Date of Next Meeting and Adjournment

MOVED BY: Marc Ringuette           
SECONDED BY: Denis Clement

THAT the next meeting of the Board of Health for the Porcupine Health Unit be held on June 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm and that this meeting adjourn.

Carried