Community Picture: Health Status of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Public Health has a vital and enduring role in our community

Message from the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Nicola Mercer
This report is the first health status report from the newly created Health Analytics team. It was produced in partnership with the Healthy Communities Partnership
Initiative. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health is committed to gathering, collecting, and analyzing community data to help inform program planning, service delivery, and policy development.  As a result, I am pleased to present and share with our community partners the 2012 Community Picture: Health Status of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph report. This document will serve as a local snapshot of current health status trends in the areas of sociodemographics; physical activity, sport and recreation; injury prevention; healthy eating; tobacco use and exposure; substance, and alcohol misuse; and mental health.
Collaboration and continuous commitment to building lasting partnerships is a pillar of the WDG Public Health Strategic Plan (2011–2016). We know that the health of our communities cannot be attained without strong partnerships and a collaborative effort. In 2010, our healthy communities’ partnership initiative hosted community consultations with organizations and political leadership throughout Wellington, Dufferin, and Guelph. A common theme throughout the consultations was the need for relevant, good quality local data to inform decision making across a broad spectrum of agencies, partners, and political bodies. This report is the first in a series to be released by WDG Public Health which will help us work with community partners to identify local priorities and assess our collective progress in meeting and addressing these priorities.
Public Health has a vital and enduring role in the health of our community. WDG Public Health strives to be a leader in data collection, analysis, surveillance, and
evidence-informed practice. The information contained within this report identifies the starting point for the health of Wellington County, Dufferin County, and
the City of Guelph. As a Public Health agency, we will continue to work with all sectors to create a community where every individual has the opportunity to reach
their highest level of health. As Dr. Arlene King, the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario stated in her 2010 Annual Report, “it is time to shift our focus from health care to prevention. Public health is, quite simply, about prevention. It is about fewer people getting sick. It is about fewer people getting injured. It is about more people living long and healthy lives.”