October 30, 2015 – Public Health Doors to Open at 185 King St. on November 23

When Peterborough Public Health moves into Jackson Square in a few weeks, residents will enjoy greater access to public health information and some services geared to families.

“We look forward to raising the profile of our family health programs and public information services when we move downtown,” said Karen Chomniak, Manager of Family Screen Shot 10-30-15 at 10.56 AMHealth Programs.

Starting in January, Public Health will begin to offer Saturday prenatal classes in addition to weeknight prenatal classes and prenatal classes for young parents at its new location on 185 King Street.  The new office space will feature modern and comfortable meeting rooms with state of the art technology for multimedia presentations.  All classes are delivered by Public Health Nurses experienced in family-centred maternity and newborn care.  Parking across the road at the King Street Parkade is free in the evenings and on weekends.

A new public health information and resource centre will be available on the main floor of Public Health’s new downtown office location and open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. During business hours families are welcome to drop in to pick up free materials on a wide range of health topics, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, speech and language development, behaviour and discipline, nutrition, immunizations, and much more.  The new office space has also been designed with a dedicated breastfeeding room to support nursing mothers when visiting Public Health. The main reception desk will be located on the third floor where parents can speak with Public Health staff about immunization records.

In addition to on-site resources, parents can still call the Family Healthline at 705-743-1000 to speak with a Public Health Nurse during business hours.  Families are also encouraged to check out our website at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca or send their health questions via email to info@peterboroughpublichealth.ca and a nurse will respond.

The Public Health’s new location will serve as home base for a number of family health programs that reach out into the community.  Through the Infant and Toddler Development and Healthy Babies Healthy Children Programs, Infant Development Workers, Public Health Nurses, and Family Home Visitors work closely with families in the County and City who may need additional education, support, and referral to community agencies.

“We look forward to meeting our many community partners at our new location to continue the important work that we do together to advance healthy pregnancies, breastfeeding support, preschool speech and language, and the healthy growth and development of children and their families,” said Chomniak.

The Public Health has confirmed Monday, November 23 as the date it will start operating from its new location at 185 King St.  The move itself will take place during the weekend prior, with only essential public health services available until the doors reopen on Monday, November 23.


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


October 30, 2015 – 60+ Gather to Start a Shade Movement

More than 60 local community planners, environmentalists and health experts gathered today toScreen Shot 10-30-15 at 10.49 AM learn about the impressive public health benefits of shade.

“Increasing the amount of tree shade in our community contributes to better long term health in so many ways, not to mention helps the environment,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health with Peterborough Public Health.  “More trees gives us lower skin cancer rates, higher physical activity rates, better air quality and less extreme temperatures, while also lowering energy costs and greenhouse gases.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, yet it is largely preventable.  In Ontario, rates have increased since 1986 in both men and women; however, skin cancer rates in Peterborough were significantly higher by 24.4% and 21.5%, respectively.

“Shade protects humans from over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation, a known carcinogen, and the increased risk of skin cancer, types of eye melanoma, lip cancer, cataracts and premature skin aging and wrinkling,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “Research results show a tight relationship between per capita income and forest cover; however shade is a universal protection method that does not discriminate based on economic status.”

The goal of the forum, entitled “A Passion for Trees: Enhancing Shade in Municipal and School Settings” was to foster a “shade movement” and mobilize municipal decision-makers in to action around a common vision.

Participants also heard from other leading experts on the benefits of shade, as well as how to conduct shade audits and ways to increase shade in their community.  These other speakers included Dr. Karen Morrison, Professor at York University and Member of Eco-Health Ontario; Meredith Carter, Otonabee Regional Conservation Authority, Manager of Environmental and Technical Services; Paul Hambidge, City of Peterborough Urban Forestry Specialist; Stephanie Ellens-Clark, Planner at Region of Waterloo and Anita Record, Peterborough District Manager -Canadian Cancer Society.

For further information about shade and the burgeoning shade movement, please contact Cathy Therrien, Public Health Nurse, at Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 239.


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

October 26, 2015 – The Peterborough Public Health would like to announce that the Medical Officer of Health has changed her name from Dr. Rosana Salvaterra to Dr. Rosana Salvaterra. 
The reason for this name change is that she has simply decided to start using her married name.  The Public Health wants to help the community become familiar with her new name and reassure residents that the doctor who serves as their well-known Medical Officer of Health has not changed.

The Public Health has updated its website and official templates, and advised all necessary provincial and community partners about the change.

Her new email address will also change to rsalvaterra@peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

For further information, please contact:

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

October 24, 2015 – Event Highlights Importance of Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening for Local Residents

Today dozens of local women enjoyed a little pampering and fun while undergoing a day of breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening in a unique event designed to increase local cancer screening rates.

Entitled “The Cancer Screening Day: A Wellness Day for Women, By Women”, the event featured gift bags, refreshments and pink umbrella-sporting escorts to help patients move between screening locations. Building on the success of the pilot launched in 2012 by Peterborough Public Health, Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) and the Peterborough Clinic, the event this year has expanded to include The Medical Centre, Medical Arts Building and the Alexander Medical Building. Quality Improvement Project funding from the Central East Regional Cancer Program provided support for the day which was organized for patients rostered with Peterborough Networked Family Health Team.

“We know that local cancer screening rates are lower in Peterborough County and City than the provincial average, so we are thrilled to be a part of this creative way to raise awareness and make the screening process less daunting for those who will truly benefit,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “Early detection through cancer screening for those who do not have any symptoms yet is one of the most effective ways to improve survival rates.”

“PRHC’s Breast Assessment Centre brings together technologists, radiologists and diagnostic imaging services in the assessment and care for women’s breast health,” said Bobbi Martin-Haw, Manager of PRHC’s Women’s Health Care Centre and Breast Assessment Centre. “It’s important to remind women that they need to screen for life. Cancer screening sees what you can’t. One of the key roles of the Centre is our breast health navigator who provides patients with education to support and assists with a patient’s journey from diagnosis to treatment.”

“The Cancer Screening Day has been a very interesting initiative to be involved with,” said Anna Jamieson, Nurse Practitioner at the Peterborough Clinic who helped organize today’s event. “Providing a novel cancer screening model for women over 50 years has been enthusiastically received by our patients. All the partners involved have been supportive of this initiative. The Peterborough Clinic, specifically our physician partners and our staff have been invaluable in the planning process. The Peterborough Clinic and PRHC have provided the space and equipment needed to execute the day. The Family Health Team has also played a key role in providing staff for the day. My hope is that other groups adopt this model to make screening more accessible for busy women and to reach the under-screened populations.”

The goal of the event was to increase local participation rates for breast, cervical and colorectal screening by engaging residents who do not typically participate in cancer screening. Research shows that those who are “under/never screened” are more likely to experience barriers to cancer screening than those who undergo screening at recommended intervals. These barriers include income, language, immigrant background, mobility, and sexual orientation.

According to Cancer Care Ontario, the benefits to cancer screening are significant:

  • Breast: Regular breast cancer screening can find cancer when it is small. Finding cancer early means there is a better chance of treating it successfully.
  • Cervical: Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable with regular screening, appropriate and timely follow-up of abnormal Pap test results and, recently, HPV immunization.
  • Colorectal: When colorectal cancer is caught early through screening, a person with colorectal cancer has a 90% chance of being cured.

For more information about local cancer screening options and how you can reduce your risk, please visit http://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/my-life-health/adults/cancer-prevention-screening/.



For further information, please contact:


Mary Pat Fasken, RN                                            Michelene Ough                                                  Lynda Chilibeck

Cancer Prevention Program                              Communications Advisor                                    Director of Clinical Programs

Peterborough Public Health            Peterborough Regional Health Centre            Peterborough Networked FHT

705-743-1000, ext. 217                                     705-743-2121, ext. 4259                                   705-740-8020, ext. 308

October 16, 2015 – To view the Board of Health meeting summary for the October 14, 2015 meeting click the image below:

Screen Shot 11-03-15 at 11.08 AM

October 15, 2015 – Public Health Releases 2015 Report “Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger”

At the Board of Health meeting earlier this week, Peterborough Public Health released its annual Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger report based on the recent Nutritious Food Basket survey.  This year’s report shows once again, that people living on low incomes in our community cannot afford to eat a healthy diet.

The report is timely with October 16 marking the United Nations’ World Food Day and the challenge of Let’s Be the Zero Hunger Generation.   Hunger exists in our community with 11.5% of households reporting food insecurity.  This means that people worry about where their next meal will come from, do not have food or skip meals.  Food security is necessary for good health.

“It is distressing to see the health of thousands of local residents compromised because social assistance programs, and low wages, don’t provide enough income for them to afford nutritious foods,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “It’s well known that when people gain food security it not only improves their overall quality of life but reduces future strain on the health system. One in four households with children under 18 years of age experience food insecurity.  This is a public health crisis that requires urgent attention.  We need cooperation and action from all levels of government.”

While the Limited Incomes report notes local food prices have increased by 16.6% over the past two years, the main issue for residents is not the cost of food, but that their incomes are too low. For example, after paying for his shelter costs, a single man receiving Ontario Works benefits would experience a monthly deficit of $221 each month if he spent the $291 required for a nutritious diet, after paying his shelter costs, and without considering other basic necessities such as clothing, transportation and medical costs.  In this case, social assistance benefits are clearly inadequate to cover the cost of a healthy diet and also meet basic living expenses.

To access a copy of the 2015 Limited Incomes: A Recipe For Hunger report, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “About Us” and then “Plans and Reports”.


For further information, please contact:

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

October 14, 2015 – Average Vaccine Coverage Rates for Long Term Care Homes is 79%

Today Peterborough Public Health reported the rates of seasonal influenza vaccine uptake by health care workers (HCWs), including those who work in long-term care homes, retirement residences, the hospital, and at Public Health.

“I am concerned about the low staff immunization rates in many health care facilities because flu season is fast approaching and we know that it can be life-threatening for seniors, young children and other vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “With better HCW influenza immunization, not only would it increase the level of protection in the community, it would reduce health care costs and staff absenteeism as more cases of influenza are averted.”

To improve HCW immunization rates, Public Health recommends asking local health care facilities to require immunization for all new hires.  The Board of Health has required annual immunization against influenza for all Public Health employees since 2002.

Influenza vaccine for the 2014-15 season has arrived at Public Health and is being distributed to long-term care homes, retirement residences and Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

Influenza is ranked among the top 10 infectious diseases affecting the Canadian population and can result in widespread illness, including outbreaks and pandemics.  It is associated with complications such as bacterial pneumonia and death.  The most effective measure for reducing the impact of influenza is to immunize people at high risk every year. This includes HCWs and others who are capable of transmitting influenza to those at risk.

According to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), when influenza is spread between infected HCWs and their vulnerable patients it results in significant morbidity and death.  NACI considers the provision of influenza vaccination for HCWs who have direct patient contact to be an essential component of the standard of care for the protection of their patients.

The flu shot is also strongly recommended for friends and family members of those who reside in a long term care facility.

NACI also states that approximately 10-20% of the Canadian population become infected with influenza each year.  Rates of infection are highest in children aged five to nine years, but rates of serious illness and death are highest in children under two years of age, older persons (65 years of age and older), and people with underlying medical conditions.

Based on NACI’s statement that there are 3,500 deaths related to influenza each year in Canada, it is estimated that there would be an average of approximately 1,365 influenza-associated deaths per year in Ontario. The highest mortality rate typically occurs among adults 65 years of age and older.

2014-15 Influenza Immunization Rates for Peterborough Health Care Facilities

as of December 15, 2014


Facility Total Coverage Rate Long Term Care Home
% Staff* Immunized2013/2014 % Staff* Immunized 2014/2015 + Change ?5% but coverage ?80% Coverage ? 80% + Change ?5% and coverage ? 80%
Applewood (RR) 84 51
Canterbury Gardens (RR) 100 96 X
Centennial Place (NH) 83 85 X
Empress Gardens (RR) 91 94 X
Extendicare Lakefield (NH) 82 76
Extendicare Peterborough (NH) 85 79
Fairhaven Home for Seniors (HFA) 70 76 X
Jackson Creek (RR) 40 58 X
Mapleview (RR) 84 68
Mount St. Joseph (RR and NH) 80 80 X
Peterborough Manor (RR) 98 53
Pleasant Meadow Manor (NH) 94 85 X
Princess Gardens (RR) 92 96 X
Riverview Manor (NH) 94 80 X
Royal Gardens (RR) 91 91 X
Rubidge Hall (RR) 74 53
Springdale Country Manor (LTCH) 62 70 X
St. Joseph’s at Fleming (LTCH) 83 89 X X
Peterborough Regional Health Centre Interim Long Term Care Unit 80 71
Sherbrooke Heights **
Average reported rates 83 79  
Peterborough Regional Health Centre Hospital 50 76 X

NOTE:  Retirement Residence (RR); Nursing Home (NH); Home for the Aged (HFA)

*Staff data includes employees on payroll, licensed independent practitioners, adult student/trainees, volunteer staff and other contract staff.  Other retirement residences which did not provide immunization information are not included in this table.

** No data received.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Supervisor

705-743-1000, ext. 391


October 9, 2015 – Location: Peterborough City Hall, Council Chambers

The community is advised that the next meeting of the Board of Health will take place on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Peterborough City Hall, 500 George St. North.

To download the agenda and the online board package, please visit:


The meeting is open to the community and members of the media.


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


October 8, 2015 –Ensure Proper Food Handling to Prevent Illness

The Peterborough Public Health would like you to enjoy a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.

safe turkey cookingOne way to ensure this is through safe food handling methods.  In general, the most popular choice for a Thanksgiving dinner is turkey.  “Poultry can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Inspection Programs at Public Health.  “If not handled with care or cooked inadequately these bacteria can cause illness, but by following safe food handling guidelines, you can help ensure that you, your family, and your guests remain healthy.”

When shopping for poultry, check the temperature of the refrigerator in the grocery store to ensure that the product you are buying has been stored at the proper temperature.  All refrigeration units are required to have a working thermometer inside them.  The proper refrigeration temperature is 4°C (40°F) or colder and freezers should be maintained below -18°C (0°F).  Avoid buying damaged packages, frost covered packages, dry or discolored food, or packages that feel too warm.

Your home refrigerator should also be kept at these temperatures.  Monitor the temperature of your fridge or freezer using an appliance thermometer, available at most hardware or restaurant supply stores.

When you get home from the store, place your turkey in a pan or container which will keep meat juices from dripping or spilling.  Store your turkey on the lowest shelf of the fridge to prevent bacteria from contaminating other foods or surfaces.

The safest way to thaw poultry is in the refrigerator or under cold running water (allow one hour per pound).  In the case of a large turkey, allow several days in the fridge to thaw – five hours per pound is a good rule of thumb.

Prepare raw poultry on non-porous surfaces which are easier to clean and sanitize.  Thoroughly wash and sanitize any utensils, cutting boards or counter surfaces that raw meat touches.  Sanitize by using a solution of 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of household bleach with 1 litre (4 cups) of water.

Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food and after handling raw meats.

It takes thorough cooking to kill harmful bacteria and prevent food poisoning.  Cook the poultry to an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F).  Use a probe thermometer and check the temperature of the thickest part, usually the thigh or breast away from the bone.  A turkey will reach a safe internal cooking temperature faster if it is not stuffed.

Cook the stuffing in a separate dish, ensuring that the stuffing also reaches a temperature of 74°C (165°F).  If the turkey is to be stuffed, it should be done just prior to cooking, not the night before.

Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.  Carve the meat off of the bones before storing cooked poultry.  Refrigerate or freeze meat and stuffing separately and in small quantities so that they will cool quickly.

Reheat meat and stuffing rapidly to at least 74°C (165°F) and serve.  Do not reheat leftovers more than once.


For further information, please contact:

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

October 7, 2015 – October 28 Workshop to Help Employers Promote Civility and Respect at Work

Screen Shot 10-07-15 at 09.18 AMThe Peterborough Health at Work Committee in partnership with the Human Resources Professionals Association, Peterborough Chapter is co-hosting a half-day workshop on civility and respect in the workplace entitled “Trust Your Canary: Tackling the Incivility Challenge” on October 28, 2015 at the Lions Community Centre (347 Burnham St., Peterborough).

Just as canaries were used in coal mines to alert others to dangers in that work environment, Speaker Sharone Bar-David (right) believes we also possess an “inner canary” that tells us when workplace interactions are psychologically unsafe. Bar-David is the author of Trust Your Canary and a leading expert in the field of civility who will engage participants in an interactive, thought-provoking and practical session that will help workplace leaders to:

  • Connect the crucial dots between incivility and productivity, team culture, and service
  • Leave the session able to constructively address others’ incivility
  • Acquire strategies for personally stepping up to boost civility in your work environment

The Health at Work Committee and the Human Resources Professionals Association, Peterborough Chapter have partnered in recent years to organize training events for workplaces that address the many facets of psychological health and safety in the workplace.  This year, the focus is on civility and respect.  The organizers agree that this workshop will benefit every workplace, large and small, within our community.   “We are excited to have Ms. Bar-David in Peterborough to share her knowledge with managers, human resources specialists, health and safety specialists and other workplace wellness champions,” said Monique Beneteau, Chair of the Peterborough Health at Work Committee and one of the organizers of this event.

Sara Bragg, CHRL Professional Development Director for the Human Resources Professionals Association, Peterborough Chapter agreed, saying, “This is a great opportunity for workplaces to attend and gain the knowledge that Ms. Bar-David will be sharing and walking us through during this interactive workshop.  You don’t want to miss!”

For more details about the event and to register, please visit: www.healthatworkpeterborough.ca.

Human Resources Professionals Association Members are asked to register through their association by visiting: www.hrpa.ca/HRPAChapterSites/Peterborough/Pages/Events.aspx
Monique Beneteau, Health PromoterFor further information, please contact:   

705-743-1000, ext. 309