March 28, 2013 – In compliance with the Ontario Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, a listing of Peterborough Public Health’s salaries and benefits exceeding $100,000 for 2012 has been posted on Public Health’s website and is available at:



For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391

March 27, 2013 –  Who’s supporting families in Peterborough City/County? Find out at the:

Service Information Fair for Professionals
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 • 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
at the Evinrude Community Centre
911 Monaghan Road, Peterborough

12:15 Presentation: The Changing Face of Peterborough

Who does what | How to Access Services | Referral Procedures  | Waiting Lists

Who Should Attend?

Everyone who works with children, youth & families, including:

• School Board Staff
• Child Care Staff
• Child & Youth Workers
• Social Workers
• Health Practitioners
• Community Support Workers
• Developmental Service Workers
• Law EnforcementProfessionals
• Receptionists, Office Staff
• College & University Students
• Faith Leaders

For information, call 705-748-9144 or email servicefair@pfrc.ca

Free Take-Home Resources • Light Lunch & Refreshments

A not-for-profit event

For a copy of the event poster please click here


March 27, 2013 – The impact of marijuana and tobacco on lung health and cancer risk

Presentation held on March 26

Last night Dr. John Vlasschaert, Respirologist, gave a presentation to 40 people at the Peterborough Public Library about the different effects of marijuana and tobacco on lung health.

“It is well known that tobacco smoke has negative health impacts, including cardiovascular disease and cancers,” said Dr.Vlasschaert. “What isn’t as well known is the health impact of smoking marijuana. The pattern of lung function abnormalities among cannabis smokers is clearly different than those associated with tobacco. While smoking marijuana is more commonly associated with large airway inflammation and symptoms of bronchitis, more research is needed to identify the long term health effects.”

The event was sponsored by the Peterborough Drug Strategy (PDS), a collaboration of citizens, prevention, treatment, enforcement, and harm reduction agencies to reduce the negative impacts of substance use.

“Students in our tobacco cessation programs in the high schools are asking a lot of questions about the co-use of marijuana and tobacco. There’s a perception among youth that marijuana is less harmful than tobacco,” said Claire Townshend, Health Promoter at Peterborough Public Health, one of the PDS community partners. “It is important for youth and adults to understand the facts and to discuss marijuana and tobacco use at the same time.”

Highlights from the presentation included:

Cannabis is becoming one of our more frequently used drugs, particularly amongst youth:

  • 29% of students in Peterborough City & County high schools reported using cannabis at least once in the year before a study conducted with 1,376 youth in 2011[i].
  • 13.4% of Ontario adults reported using cannabis at least once in the 12 months prior to a telephone survey conducted in 2011[ii].  Amongst young adults (aged 18-29), 33.5% report this use.

Tobacco use remains a concern, especially amongst youth:

  • 9% of Peterborough high school students reported being a current smoker in a survey conducted in 2011. Overall 36% of students surveyed reported ever trying a cigarette.[iii]
  • Youth smoking rates are particularly concerning since research indicates that 85% of current smokers started smoking by age 19.[iv]

Research indicates that youth who are smoking cigarettes are also smoking marijuana:

  • 11.7% of Ontario high school students reported occasional or daily tobacco smoking in 2009[v](this does not include “trying” tobacco). Only 1.4% of these tobacco users did not also use cannabis[vi].
  • 12.2% of Canadian students (grade 6-12) reported daily or occasional smoking in a 2011 study. Of these, 81% of students (grade 7-9) and 85% (grade 10-12) reported also using cannabis in 2011. [vii]
  • 59% of Canadian youth in grade 7-12 who have “ever tried” smoking cigarettes have used cannabis in the last 12 months, compared to just 9% amongst students who have never tried smoking cigarettes[viii].
  • A study of over 3,500 young adults (aged 18-25) found that half of the smokers also used cannabis[ix].

[i] Peterborough Public Health (2011). Smoking Profile for a Sampling of Peterborough Area High Schools. Waterloo, ON: Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

[ii] Ialomiteanu, A.R., Adlaf, E.M., Hamilton, H. & Mann, R.E. (2012). CAMH Monitor eReport: Addiction and Mental Health Indicators Among Ontario Adults, 1977-2011 (CAMH Research Document Series No. 35). Toronto: Centre for Addiction and

Mental Health. www.camh.ca/en/research/news_and_publications/Pages/camh_monitor.aspx

[iii] Peterborough Public Health (2011). Smoking Profile for a Sampling of Peterborough Area High Schools. Waterloo, ON: Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

[iv] Health Canada. (2002). 2000-2002 Report on Tobacco Control-An Update. Retrieved March 2004, from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-


[v] Paglia?Boak, A., Mann, R.E., Adlaf, E.M., & Rehm, J. (2011). Drug use among Ontario Students,

1977?2011: Detailed OSDUHS findings. (CAMH Research Document Series No. 32). Toronto, ON: Centre

for Addiction and Mental Health. www.camh.net/Research/Areas_of_research/Population_Life_Course_Studies/OSDUS/2011OSDUHS_Detailed_DrugUseReport_2.pdf

[vi] Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (Sept. 27, 2011). Thirty Year Trends in Tobacco and Cannabis Use Among Ontario Youth.  http://otru.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/update_september2011.pdf

[vii] 2010-11 Youth Smoking Survey

[viii] Peterborough Public Health (2011). Smoking Profile for a Sampling of Peterborough Area High Schools. Waterloo, ON: Propel Centre for Population Health Impact.

[ix] Ramo, D. & Prochaska, J. (2012). “Prevalence and co-use of marijuana among young adult cigarette smokers: An anonymous online national survey.” Addiction Science and Clinical Practice 2012, 7, 5.




For more information contact:
Kerri Kightley 705 876-1122 Ext 292 or email info@peterboroughdrugstrategy.com




March 25, 2013 – ‘Without play, a child’s ability to develop and function effectively in the world is at best impaired and at worst as good as impossible’ (Hubbuck 2009, p. 127)


Upcoming Workshop:

The Roots of Literacy: Play and Language
Friday, May 10, 2013

8:00– 3:30

Registration 8:00 – 8:30

Peterborough, Ontario

$65 professional (early bird)
$35 parent/student

For more info click here for a copy of the brochure: The Roots of Literacy: Play and Language

March 21, 2013 – “Social Skills for Children and Youth with Special Needs”
Featuring Autism Experts at the Peterborough Public Library 

Peterborough Healthy Families invites parents and caregivers to a presentation entitled “Social Skills for Children and Youth with Special Needs” on Tuesday, April 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Peterborough Public Library.

This free presentation is geared towards families with children with many types of special needs, including Asperger Syndrome, and features Shelly Lamain and Michelle Montague, Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultants from Kinark Child and Family Services.  This event is being held on April 2 in honour of World Autism Day.

Skills, strategies and support for special needs children in social situations including bullying will be addressed.

“As parents, we need to help our children develop the social skills that are critical for them to become happy, successful people,” said Leisa Baker, Public Health Nurse with Peterborough Public Health, one of the event organizers. “These are skills that just can’t wait until later!”

Light refreshments will be provided and everyone is welcome to attend.  The event will take place in the Library’s Auditorium, located at 345 Aylmer St. N., Peterborough.

Peterborough Healthy Families is a multi-agency initiative made up of several local community partners, including Peterborough Public Health, Kinark Child and Family Services, Learning Disabilities Association-Peterborough, Peterborough Family Resource Centre, Peterborough Public Library, and the Asphodel Norwood Public Library.

For more information, please call 705-742-3803 or 1-800-386-6561 or visit www.peterboroughhealthyfamilies.ca.


For further information, please contact:
Leisa Baker                                                                          Sylvia Davies
Public Health Nurse                                            OR      Volunteer & Community Relations
Peterborough Public Health                  Kinark Child and Family Services
 705-743-1000, ext. 312                                              705-742-3803, ext. 343

March 19, 2013 – Food Handler Training Courses Offered Free of Charge at Public Health

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, commended the City of Peterborough for passing a by-law last night making it mandatory for local food premises to have at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity on site at all times.

“Educating staff that handle food in food premises has been shown to improve inspection results and reduce food borne illness,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “We have offered the Food Handler Training and Certification Course for free for over a dozen years now and still find some food premises that do not have certified food handlers on staff. This new by-law requires that at least one certified food handler working in a supervisory capacity be present at all times when food is being prepared.”

A certified food handler is someone who has completed the Food Handler Training and Certification Course offered by Public Health or an equivalent course.  The course covers:

  • proper food handling techniques with an emphasis on temperature control
  • legislation and the role of Public Health
  • chemical, physical and biological hazards in food
  • personal hygiene
  • cleaning and sanitizing

The new by-law takes effect for high-risk food premises on January 1, 2014 and for moderate-risk food premises on January 1, 2015.

High-risk and moderate-risk food premises include restaurants, take-outs, supermarkets, banquet facilities, nursing homes, retirement homes, daycares, chip trucks and hot dog carts. Premises which do not prepare food but simply store and sell food such as convenience stores would be exempt from the by-law.

Other jurisdictions which have passed similar by-laws include the County of Peterborough and cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Brantford and London, as well as Niagara Region and parts of Essex County.                                                                                                                                                       

The Peterborough Public Health remains one of only a few health units in Ontario that continues to offer Food Handler Training and Certification Courses to residents free of charge.  Close to 12,000 people have taken this course and received their certification from Public Health since 1997.  Individuals or businesses wishing to take the Food Handler Training and Certification Course should call Public Health at 705-743-1000.  Further information about the course is also available on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca in the “My Work” section under Food Services.

– 30 –

For further information contact:

Chris Eaton                         
Public Health Inspector
705-743-1000, ext. 225                                                                 

Atul Jain
Manager, Inspection Services
705_743-1000 ext 259



March 19, 2013 – New System to Increase Safety and Reduce Harm for People Who Use Illicit Drugs

Peterborough Drug Strategy partners introduced a Drug Early Warning System today designed to increase safety for people who use drugs in the local area.

The new system creates an easy way to rapidly inform agencies and users alike about tainted drugs, new drugs, drugs of particularly high strength that cause overdoses, outbreaks of illnesses possibly related to drug use, or other dangerous effects from drugs currently circulating in the local area. 

“Often service providers hear scattered concerns about new drugs or bad experiences with a drug – and they wonder if it’s an isolated reaction or a widespread concern,” said Suzanne Galloway, Health Promoter with Peterborough Public Health’s Substance Misuse Prevention Program.  “We’ve created a network amongst the Peterborough Drug Strategy partners to investigate this ‘smoke’ and see if there really is a fire to be concerned about.”

The public can contact Crime Stoppers 24/7 to report their concerns about ‘bad drugs’ by calling 1-800-222-TIPS or enter the details online at http://www.stopcrimehere.ca/.  All calls are completely anonymous and confidential.

Detective Constable John Stoeckle is pleased to have Crime Stoppers involved in this health initiative.  “You’d be surprised how many calls Crime Stoppers receives about issues related to drug use. It makes sense to pass along any health-related concerns to a group who can research further and then communicate with the broader community when appropriate.”

Agencies are advised to call a point person (scheduled quarterly at four agencies) if they hear about drugs causing significant harm in the community.

Unlike legal drugs, there is no regulation of the purity or potency of illicit drugs. This increases health risks for people who use illicit drugs.  People who use drugs often have compromised health due to impure drugs, harms associated with injections such as abscesses or infection; and the burdens of poverty, homelessness, and a lack of suitable health care. Individuals who use illicit drugs often do not access health care when sick due to a fear of judgment. This combination of higher health risks and reluctance to seek treatment can result in illness outbreaks that may escape detection for some time.

For further information, please see the attached backgrounder and poster.


For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Galloway
Substance Misuse Prevention Program
Peterborough Public Health
Tel:         705-743-1000, ext. 223

Detective Constable John Stoeckle
Crime Stoppers
Tel:         705-876-1122, ext. 8125 or 240
Cell:       705-872-8294

March 13, 2013 – Studies Show Certain Populations  At Higher Risk of Problem Gambling

At tonight’s Board of Health meeting, staff from Peterborough Public Health will present a report detailing the social and health effects of problem gambling to help inform the community as it debates whether a new casino should locate in Peterborough.

“The research is clear that problem gamblers are over-represented within certain populations including seniors, youth, First Nations people and people living on low incomes,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “Peterborough boasts a large older adult population and the risks to gambling for this population are exacerbated by the limited amount of time that an older problem gambler would have to recoup their losses.  In addition, older adults may already have chronic health issues that would be worsened by the stresses of problem gambling.”

The report, entitled The Potential Health Impacts of a Casino in Peterborough, noted that problem gamblers experience a myriad of health issues including stress, anxiety, depression, suicide, addiction, migraines, chronic bronchitis, fibromyalgia, intestinal disorders and sleep disorders.  Just over three-quarters of problem gamblers blame their gambling for their poor health.

Dr. Salvaterra emphasized that problem gambling doesn’t just affect the individual.  “Families, workplaces and the community suffer too.  Bankruptcy, neglect, poverty, marital breakdowns, and family conflicts are just a few of the issues facing the family of a problem gambler.” 

She noted that the effect is passed down to the next generation as well.  Children of problem gamblers are more likely to become problem gamblers too.  The prevalence rate for problem gambling among youth between the ages of 18 and 24 has been calculated to be as high as 6.9% which might represent up to 900 young adults dealing with moderate to severe gambling problems in the City and County of Peterborough.  They are also more likely to engage in other risk-taking behaviour including substance misuse and smoking and experience mental health issues which affect all aspects of their lives including their education.

For Peterborough, the prevalence rate of those at-risk for problem gambling was determined to be 4.1% (95% Confidence Intervals of 2.7 – 6.3%) based on the answers provided by local respondents to the 2007/8 Canadian Community Health Survey.  Due to a small sample size this estimate must be interpreted with caution. In addition, such a small sample prohibits differentiation between low-risk, moderate-risk and problem gamblers.

To receive a full copy of this report, please contact Monique Beneteau, Health Promoter, Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 309 or mbeneteau@peterboroughpublichealth.ca .


For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391


March 12, 2013 –  This Nutrition Month, Work with Your Local Registered Dietitians to Plan, Shop, Cook and Enjoy Healthy Food!

March 2013 is Nutrition Month and Peterborough Public Health (PCCHU) is encouraging residents to take full advantage of the nutrition services available in the community, starting with the Registered Dietitian. 

Registered dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts that have undergone extensive training in their field.  With a passion for providing evidence-based services, Registered Dietitians base their work on sound research, making them a trusted source for up-to-date nutrition advice.  Whether they are working to improve access to nutritious food in the community, helping develop nutrition policies, or providing one-on-one services, Registered Dietitians have the ultimate goal of helping people improve their overall health. 

For one-on-one nutrition counseling (at no cost) in Peterborough, contact your family health team.  Registered Dietitians are one of the many health professionals accessible through your Family Physician.  As an alternative to booking an appointment, or if you have a question you would like answered right away, you can always call EatRight Ontario at 1-(877)-510-5102 and talk to a Registered Dietitian for free!

 “I think it is really important that community members connect with the Registered Dietitians in their area.  A lot of the services they provide are free of charge and can make healthy eating easier because you know when you talk to an “RD” that the advice they’re providing has evidence to back it up” says Elizabeth Finlan, dietetic intern.

And, what is a more hands-on way to benefit from a Registered Dietitian’s skills then to get their advice where healthy eating starts– the grocery store?

Come join Erica Diamond, a Registered Dietitian with the PCCHU, on Friday, March 15, 2013 for a free supermarket tour at Morello’s Independent Grocer located at 400 Lansdowne East.  The event will run from 10:00-11:30 am and will involve an interactive discussion on how to read and compare product labels, choose healthy convenience foods, and purchase healthy foods on a budget.  In addition to finding the most delicious and nourishing foods in the grocery store, participants will have a chance to get an expert answer to any of their food and nutrition related questions.  All participants will automatically be entered into a draw for one of two prizes:

  • $50 President’s Choice gift card
  • Dietitian’s of Canada cookbook

Why is it a good event to attend?

Research conducted by Dietitians of Canada indicates that, “63% of Canadians struggle with making healthier food choices in their grocery store at least half the time they shop”. Registered Dietitians are committed to making healthy grocery shopping easier by providing consumers with the skills they need to make healthy, informed food choices.  They recognize that making healthy food choices in the grocery store helps create a healthy food environment at home. 

To register for the supermarket tour, please contact the Canadian Diabetes Association office at (705) 742-2733.

For photo opportunities or interviews: Please come to Morello’s Independent on Lansdowne East at 12:00 pm (noon) to speak with a Registered Dietitian.

For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
(705) 743-1000, ext. 391


March 11, 2013 – Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robin Williams, is advising Ontarians to be sure that their and their family’s vaccinations are up to date. This is even more important when families are travelling.

Read more here…