Board of Health Highlights for June 2019

June 12, 2019

Public Health is governed by a Board of Health consisting of provincially appointed local municipal councillors, mayors and community members and is mandated to support the well-being of individuals and communities. See the members of the Board of Health.

Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health, updated the Board on:

Increasing immunization rates

Public Health maintains the immunization records of students attending school and children in registered daycares. Students not in compliance are suspended till up-to-date. Parents with children in daycare receive a letter only. This is resulting in more students and children being immunized which is key to protecting the community from diseases. Each school and licensed childcare is linked with a Public Health Nurse allowing them to provide education about vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases to parents, students, school boards and school staff.

Wee Talk

This unique program ensures that children start school with the communication skills needed for personal, social and academic success. Wee Talk is a partnership between WDG Public Health, St Joseph’s Health Centre and Groves Memorial Hospital/North Wellington Health Care. Public Health speech language pathologists assess referred children to determine if they are meeting their developmental milestones or if further monitoring or referral for direct therapy is required. There are 1,709 children currently in the Wee Talk Program. Parental involvement is critical for a child’s success so Wee Talk is launching an online orientation for parents who can now receive the information they need from the convenience of their homes.

Opioid National Challenge

WDG Public Health will find out on June 25 if they won $50,000 from the MaRS Discovery District. MaRS and the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a national challenge to use data to better respond to the opioid crisis. Public Health is already a finalist and was awarded $10,000 to duplicate their Opioid Alert Platform in other Canadian communities. The alert system has been implemented in Parry Sound and Nipissing and will be used in Brant County. WDG Public Health staff met with officials in Whitehorse, Yukon to implement the system there.  Most opioid harms are due to tainted drugs (fentanyl). The alert system monitors opioid data daily from community partners including police and hospitals. When an unusual pattern of overdoses is detected community partners and drug users are warned tainted drugs are in the community so they can take necessary precautions.