November 30, 2015

Are you aware of the dangers of sun exposure or extreme weather? Do you know what Lyme disease is? Do you have access to dental care professionals? Do you get the annual flu shot?

Statistics Canada will be conducting a survey on behalf of Peterborough Public Health between November 30 and December 4, 2015. Selected residents aged 18 years or over will be asked about their immunization and oral health practices, as well as their awareness of key issues such as Lyme disease, extreme weather and sun safety protection. Statistics Canada interviewers will call approximately 2,000 randomly selected households in the city of Peterborough to conduct this brief telephone interview.

The information collected from the survey will be used by Peterborough Public Health for future decision-making towards program planning and education. The survey will be conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which guarantees the confidentiality of all information collected. While participation in the survey is voluntary, it is important that all selected households take part to ensure the information accurately reflects the views of the residents in this community.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important survey

November 26, 2015 – Ontario Grown Food Helps Five Local Schools Raise Funds

Skids of Ontario root vegetables and apples are arriving at five local schools this week, thanks to the ‘Fresh from the Farm’ fundraiser.  This afternoon, Edmison Heights Public School’s parent and student volunteers helped pack the Ontario potatoes, onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and apples for families to pick up later today.

“Our students raised almost $2,500 for our school’s Breakfast Program,” says Sheila Bourgeois, one of the parent organizers. “Fundraising using healthy Ontario grown food makes sense.”

Rather than selling chocolate bars, cookie dough or fudge, schools have the option to raise money with nutritious Ontario produce.  “Vegetables and fruit are something we all use, and research shows us that almost 2/3 of us in Peterborough need to eat more,” explained Luisa Magalhaes, Registered Dietitian with Peterborough Public Health. “It’s a great way to show our children that we value their health.”

This fundraiser also aligns with both public and separate school boards’ Nutrition Policies.  “Selling good food reinforces the healthy eating messages our students are learning here at school,” said Glen Payne, Principal at Edmison Heights. “It shows a commitment to our students’ health and well-being.”

St. Alphonsus, St. Joseph, St. Teresa, and St. Paul (Lakefield) Catholic Elementary schools are also participating in the ’Fresh from the Farm’ fundraiser. Across Ontario, students sold almost 465,000 lbs of produce this fall.  Schools can take part in the ‘Fresh from the Farm’ fundraiser in 2016.  To register your school, or for more information, visit www.freshfromfarm.ca.

‘Fresh from the Farm’ is an initiative between the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Dietitians of Canada.


For further information, please contact:
Luisa Magalhaes, MHSc, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233




November 26, 2015 – Public Encouraged to Help Raise Remaining $73,000 to Build Unique Community Kitchen Designed to Reduce Food Insecurity

The Peterborough Public Health will soon be home to the area’s only public health kitchen thanks to a generous lead gift announced today by AON’s Smith family.

The Smith family made the donation in memory of their matriarch Myrtle Smith who recently passed away at 100 years old.  Mrs. Smith was known for her love of cooking and thScreen Shot 11-26-15 at 09.22 AMe Peterborough community.  This new commercial-quality kitchen will be named “Myrtle’s Kitchen”, and will be built on the second floor of Public Health’s new location at 185 King St.  It will support a wide range of community programs to create food security for vulnerable residents in partnership with Nourish Project and other local partners, as well as nutrition andsafe food handling programs.

This gift was made on behalf of Myrtle’s sons Hugh Smith, Braydon Smith and the late Ross Smith, as well as AON Inc.

“Myrtle would have been so proud to have her name on a kitchen where others can practice their cooking skills,” said Ruth Smith, Myrtle’s daughter-in-law. “Throughout her life Myrtle loved to cook for her family and friends. She is remembered by so many for her generosity and hospitality, both at her home and the family cottage on Chemong Lake. We are still trying to duplicate her Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and brownies!”

With this gift, together with other major donations that include gifts from Flying Colours, Community Food Centres Canada and a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, 64% of the campaign goal is raised allowing construction on the kitchen to begin in January 2016.  Today’s announcement launches the public phase of the $204,000 campaign to raise funds for Myrtle’s Kitchen.  Donors with an interest in poverty reduction and public health are encouraged to help raise the remaining $73,000 needed to complete this one-of-a-kind project.

“We are enormously grateful for the Smith family’s generous gift and for all our donors to date as the community kitchen is essential to Peterborough’s poverty reduction strategy, yet above and beyond what the government currently funds us for,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “The Public Health is one of the few public organizations that operates its own food literacy and access programming with a trained chef on staff.  Fundraising from this campaign will stretch well beyond Public Health too – it will benefit partners suchas the Nourish Project who needed accessible space for their own programs.”

The Greater Peterborough Vital Signs reports highlight the need for coordinated action around food security and the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough, which produces these reports, is investing $50,000 in Myrtle’s Kitchen. “This investment builds on the Community Foundation’s partnerships with local organizations such as Nourish and Food for Kids to promote a vital community where everyone has access to healthy food” said Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough Board Chair, Betty Morris.

The vision behind Myrtle’s Kitchen is to improve the quality of life of our community by establishing a regional, shared meeting place where all people can come together to access healthy food and learn valuable life skills, while advocating for enough food for everyone.  People can “buy a seat” with a donation of $1,000 or “buy a table” with a donation of $5,000.  All gifts are 100% tax deductible as Public Health is a registered charity.

“Good food can have a transformative impact on our community,” said Dr. Salvaterra.  “We know that 11.5% of our local households experience food insecurity which means that every day there are thousands of residents who cannot access healthy foods.”  She explained that by expanding the quality of food skills programs, and eliminating kitchen rental costs for community agencies who deliver these programs, Myrtle’s Kitchen will significantly benefit our most vulnerable populations.

“No gift is too small when it comes to creating a food secure community; everyone deserves to be food secure,” said Dr. Salvaterra.

To make a donation towards the building of Myrtle’s Kitchen at 185 King St., please call 705-743-1000, ext. 264 or donate online at www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca and click on “Make a Donation”.


For further information, please contact:

Alida Tanna
Executive Assistant, Medical Officer of Health
705-743-1000, ext. 264

November 23, 2015 – New Downtown Home a Boon for Public Health

Today Peterborough Public Health opened its doors for the first time at its new home at Jackson Square, 185 King Street in downtown Peterborough.

“This is a great day for the future of public health,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “Now with better, more accessible facilities, my staff and I are excited to launch into a new era of public health programming and services that will benefit the entire community.”

The first three floors of the Jackson Square building have been newly renovated to house the approximately 120 staff who relocated from Public Health’s two previous locations on Hospital Drive and O’Carroll Ave.  The Public Health’s Community Dental Health Centre remains nearby around the corner at Peterborough Square.

New, expanded clinic space is easy to find on the first floor for Public Health’s Routine Immunization, Travel and Sexual Health Clinics.  Also on the first floor is an information desk and resource area to help people find credible health information covering all ages and stages of life, as well as all topic areas ranging from chronic disease and injury prevention, parenting, breastfeeding, child health and development, quitting smoking, safe water, nutrition, immunization, etc.

For specific information about public health programs and services, visitors are encouraged to go to the third floor to the main client services desk.  Here they will find staff available to answer general questions, as well as obtain septic system permits, discuss vaccine records or to find out about smoking cessation supports. Visitors can also bring in ticks found on humans for identification and testing for Lyme disease if necessary.  Consultation rooms are located in close proximity to the main client services desk for visitors who need to speak one-on-one with a public health professional.

The second floor is home of Public Health’s future community kitchen, as well as a large multipurpose room for food handler courses, prenatal classes and other public health events.  The Public Health’s main board room is also located on the second floor, and will host its inaugural Board of Health meeting on December 9.  A Community Open House is being planned for the spring of 2016.



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

November 13, 2015 – To view the Board of Health meeting summary for the November 11, 2015 meeting click the image below:

Screen Shot 11-13-15 at 03.38 PM


November 13, 2015 – Improved Training Facilities for Food Programs and Other Services

With Peterborough Public Health’s pending relocation to Jackson Square on 185 King St., staff from the many Community Health programs are excited about the new opportunities afforded by the new location.

“We do a great deal of work with community partners, many of whom are downtown, so this new location is ideal for us,” said Hallie Atter, Manager of Community Health Programs.  “Not only will our new home strengthen public health partnerships, the new facilities will enhance our programming and make services more accessible for downtown clients.”

Fundraising is underway for a large, new Community Kitchen to be built on the second floor of Public Health at Jackson Square.  Once completed, staff look forward to expanding healthy eating workshops for parents and kids, and for childcare providers, including the Come Cook With Us program.  The Come Cook With Us and Collective Kitchen programs are routinely offered in various locations to build skills, knowledge and a sense of community around healthy eating, cost-effective shopping, and meal preparations. In fact, each year PCCHU staff deliver more than 130 Come Cook With Us series and 35 Collective Kitchens in the City and County of Peterborough.

“Just as kitchens are the heart of the home, I know this Community Kitchen will become the heart of public health here in Peterborough,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “It will integrate our programs in new ways, bringing together food safety, healthy eating, and poverty reduction in training sessions and community building workshops that reflect how interconnected public health is here in Peterborough.”

Community Health programs span a number of activities as mandated by the Ontario Public Health Standards, including injury prevention, physical activity promotion, substance misuse prevention, school health, food security programs, student nutrition programs, community gardens, workplace health, and poverty reduction.

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 at noon.  Parking across the road at the King Street Parkade is free in the evenings and on weekends. Wheelchair accessible parking is also available at no charge beside Jackson Square.


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


November 12, 2015 – Canada’s Most Common Sexually Transmitted Infection Accounts for 52% of All Local Reportable Disease Cases

According to the annual snapshot of reportable diseases released today by Peterborough Public Health, the number of chlamydia cases in 2014 increased by 17%, halting a thDr. Salvaterraree-year trend of decreasing incidence of this common sexually-transmitted infection.

“While 2014 did show an increase in the number of local chlamydia cases, this one year does not necessarily mean the downward trend is reversed,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “It does however serve as a strong reminder to every sexually active person to remain vigilant and use condoms consistently and correctly to prevent the spread of infections.”

Dr. Salvaterra noted that chlamydia primarily affects young adults, particularly women, and that people can be infected not show any symptoms so it’s important to get tested after unprotected sex.  “Our clients who come into the Sexual Health Clinic are always relieved to discover how easy it is to test for and treat chlamydia, and that it’s completely curable when caught early enough,” she explained.

In 2014 chlamydia made up 52% of all confirmed reportable disease cases in Peterborough City and County.   There were 375 cases in 2014 compared to 320 cases in 2013, and the average age of cases was 22 years old and two thirds (66%) were female.

Chlamydia is the most widespread bacterial STI in Canada.  Upwards of 70% of people who are infected may not experience symptoms – typified by a burning sensation when urinating or, in females, symptoms of a vaginal infection.  If left untreated, infections can lead to long-term complications such as infertility.  Sexually active individuals are encouraged to practice consistent condom use seek screening.

Other highlights from Public Health’s 2014 report include an increase in the number of influenza cases.  There were 103 cases in 2013 and 130 in 2014.  Influenza is the most commonly reported respiratory disease and represents 18% of all local reportable diseases.  Influenza is likely under-reported, however, since Public Health requires laboratory confirmation of an infection and most community cases are not brought to a healthcare providers’ attention.

“Getting the flu vaccine every year and getting it early is your best defense against the flu,” said Dr. Salvaterra. “The flu can be very serious for young children and seniors, so you may actually save a life by getting vaccinated, as well as lessen how sick you get if you do get the flu.”

There are more than 60 communicable diseases that all healthcare providers are required to report to Public Health.  The Public Health’s 2014 report organizes these diseases into four categories: food and waterborne diseases; sexually-transmitted and blood-borne infections; diseases spread by direct contact and respiratory routes; and ‘other’ which includes vaccine-preventable diseases, vector-borne diseases, and zoonotic diseases.

To see the full report, visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca, click on “About Us”, then “Plans & Reports”, then “Reportable Diseases in Peterborough (City & County) – 2014”.


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


November 12, 2015 – Family of Dr. Edwards Joins Closing Ceremony

In a moving tribute to the legacy of Canadian veteran and former Medical Officer of Health Dr. J.K. Edwards, the PetScreen Shot 11-12-15 at 09.23 AMerborough County-City Board of Health said goodbye today to the building at 185 King Street that was named in his honour and served as Public Health’s home for the past 38 years.

“Dr. Edwards played a significant role keeping our community healthy and safe, and represents Peterborough’s long and proud tradition of public health professionals who have served our residents with great expertise and dedication,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “He also served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 20 years so it is perfectly fitting that we honour his legacy on Remembrance Day during the final Board of Health meeting in the building that bears his name.”

Two of Dr. Edwards’ three children, Michael K. Edwards and Lynn Binns, joined the ceremony that paid tribute to their father.  Following his twenty-year military career, Dr. James K. Edwards moved his family from Petawawa to Peterborough to become the Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health on September 5, 1972.  He was the driving force behind the funding and construction of the 18,900 sq. ft. building at 185 King Street which began operations on November 22, 1976.  Tragically, Dr. Edwards and his wife Peggy were killed in a car accident on December 1, 1979, and so to memorialize his significant contributions to the community, the building was dedicated in his honour on June 20, 1980.

Dr. Salvaterra said when Public Health moves on November 23, 2015 to its new location at Jackson Square on 185 King Street, it will carry on Dr. Edwards’ legacy by naming the new board room in his honour.


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


November 9, 2015 –  Food Handler Course Students to Enjoy State-of-Art Classrooms

Public Health Inspectors at Peterborough Public Health are excited to offer food handling certification courses in modern, light-filled classrooms with state-of-the-art technology when they move to Jackson Square, located at 185 King St. in downtown Peterborough.

“We look forward to creating a comfortable, high-tech learning environment for our students when we start offering classes on the second floor of Jackson Square overlooking the downtown,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Inspection Services.  “Every year we teach more than 1800 people on how to safely store, prepare and cook food, and by improving the learning experience, it will positively impact thousands of residents for years to come.”  The Public Health’s first food handler course at the new location on December 9 is already full, however space is still available for the next one on December 14.

In addition to nicer classrooms, Public Health’s new offices will feature private consultation rooms on the third floor beside the main Client Services area for those seeking information about septic system permits and professional support interpreting well water quality results.  Water testing bottles for private wells can be picked up on the first floor of Jackson Square and submitted to the Public Health Ontario lab for testing at 99 Hospital Drive.

The new offices will also serve as home base for the dozen or so Public Health Inspectors who routinely go out into the community to conduct over 1600 food premises inspections annually, as well as local public drinking water systems, beaches, arenas, tattoo parlours, public pools and spas.  Inspectors at Jackson Square will also follow up on at least 250 animal bite reports received each year to prevent the spread of rabies.

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.  Parking across the road at the King Street Parkade is free in the evenings and on weekends. Wheelchair accessible parking is also available at no charge beside Jackson Square.


For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

November 6, 2015 – Location: Board Room, Peterborough Public Health, 185 King Street

Media and the community are advised that the final Board of Health meeting to take place in Peterborough Public Health’s present location at 185 King Street will occur on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 4:45 p.m.  In honour of Remembrance Day and the building’s namesake, former Medical Officer of Health Dr. J. K. Edwards, the meeting will begin with a ceremony celebrating his legacy and Public Health’s 38 years at this location.

What:              Closing Ceremony of 185 King Street

When:             Wednesday, November 11 at 4:45 p.m.

Who:               Michael K. Edwards and Lynn Binns, son and daughter of former MOH, Dr. J.K. Edwards

Board of Health members

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health

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 Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391