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March 29, 2018 –  Important first steps but still not enough

The 2018 Ontario Budget proposes a number of important changes to social assistance, but Peterborough Public Health notes that for local residents on Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program, the proposed basic needs and maximum shelter rates increase of 3% per year for the next three years, though welcomed, is still not enough to be able to afford housing and healthy food.

Peterborough Public Health’s 2017 Limited Incomes report based on income scenarios that compared the cost of a Nutritious Food Basket and local housing costs with local incomes clearly demonstrates that social assistance rates are not high enough.

“Low income residents are forced to choose between housing, a healthy diet and other basic needs.  This has a profound impact on health because income influences living conditions and affects our overall quality of life and general well-being” states Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health.  “Our recent Low Income and its Impact on Health Report shows that individuals living on low incomes have higher rates of chronic disease and are more likely to die earlier that individuals who are better off financially.  It would have been preferable if yesterday’s budget incorporated the higher three-year rate increases outlined in the 2017 Income Security: A Roadmap for Change report.”

One in six of all households in Peterborough struggles with not having enough money to pay the rent and afford food.  The situation is even more serious for local low-income households and households with children under 18 years of age.

Analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey responses shows that locally, 38% of low income households report being food insecure.

“One in three households raising children in Peterborough is challenged to pay the rent and buy healthy food that is essential for the healthy growth and development of children,” said Carolyn Doris, Registered Dietitian at Peterborough Public Health.

The analysis also shows that severe food insecurity – missing meals, reducing food intake and at the most extreme, going without food for a day or more – is a local concern.  “Rates of extreme food insecurity are higher here in comparison to Ontario rates,” said Ms. Doris.  She noted that 20% of low income households report experiencing severe food insecurity, as compared to 9% of Ontario low income households.  “This clearly shows how closely tied income and food insecurity are as local families are forced to go without or use cheap and less nutritious foods to fill bellies.  It takes more than food to solve hunger.”

Food insecurity is more than a food problem; it is caused by a lack of income. The Peterborough Food Action Network (PFAN) encourages all local residents to learn more about why “No Money for Food is…Cent$less” by visiting www.odph.ca/centsless.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

March 28, 2018 – Testing well water 3-4 times per year keeps you and your family safe

Peterborough Public Health and the Municipality of Trent Lakes are partnering again this year to provide free water sample drop-offs for county residents starting Tuesday, April 3, 2018.

County residents who draw drinking water from a well can conveniently pick up water sample testing kits and submit them at the Municipality of Trent Lakes administrative office.  Water samples from there are picked up Tuesdays and Thursdays before 10 a.m. and brought to the Peterborough Public Health Lab at 99 Hospital Drive for testing.

“We are delighted to resume this service for county residents to make it easier for them to monitor their water quality at home or at the cottage,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs at Peterborough Public Health. “Water quality changes over time, that’s why we recommend testing private wells three to four times a year to prevent health risks. We hope by making this testing service more accessible that residents will test their well water more regularly.”

Water sample kits are free and available at the Municipality of Trent Lakes administrative office located at 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main entrance lobby. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to read the instructions included with each kit carefully. Completed samples should be placed in the water sample fridge located beside the Building & Planning reception desk.

Water samples can also be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office at 1 Ottawa St., Havelock from Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Township of North Kawartha, 280 Burleigh St., Apsley on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Peterborough Public Health, 185 King St., Peterborough, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays.
  • Public Health Ontario Laboratory at 99 Hospital Drive between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in Trent Lakes through a program with Peterborough Public Health.

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

Residents will receive water quality results by mail or you can call Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Voice Response at 1-877-723-3426. If you have questions about water quality test results, you can call the Peterborough Public Health’s Safe Water Program at 705-743-1000, ext. 232, for a free consultation.

To find out how to test for contaminants other than total coliforms and E. coli, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 or visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

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For further information, please contact:

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

 

 March 27, 2018 – Testing well water 3-4 times per year keeps you and your family safe

Peterborough Public Health and the Township of North Kawartha are partnering again this year to provide free water sample drop-offs for county residents starting Tuesday, April 3.  County residents who draw drinking water from a well can conveniently pick up water sample testing kits and submit them at the Municipal Office located at 280 Burleigh Street, Apsley, ON.

Water samples from there are picked up Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and brought to the Peterborough Public Health Lab at 99 Hospital Drive for testing. In 2017, 173 samples were received and tested as part of this new service.

“We are delighted to resume this service for county residents to make it easier for them to monitor their water quality at home or at the cottage,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs at Peterborough Public Health. “Water quality changes over time, that’s why we recommend testing private wells three to four times a year to prevent health risks. We hope by making this testing service more accessible that residents will test their well water more regularly.”

Water sample kits are free and available at the Township of North Kawartha Administrative office located in Apsley. Samples are time sensitive, so residents are encouraged to read the instructions included with each kit carefully. Completed samples should be handed to Reception to be placed in the water sample fridge located in the office.

Water samples can also be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Havelock-Belmont-Methuen Township Office at 1 Ottawa St., Havelock from Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Municipality of Trent Lakes Administrative Office, 760 Peterborough County Road 36 in the upper floor main entrance lobby on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Peterborough Public Health, 185 King St., Peterborough, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Fridays.
  • Public Health Ontario Laboratory at 99 Hospital Drive between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The well water testing service is available at no charge to all residents and cottagers in the Township of North Kawartha through a program with Peterborough Public Health.                                                                                                           

Well water samples are tested for two types of bacterial contamination: total coliforms and E. coli. The presence of E. coli indicates the water has been contaminated with fecal material, which can contain disease-causing microbes. These organisms can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Anyone can become ill if they consume contaminated water, but the young, elderly, and immuno-compromised are at a higher risk.

Residents will receive water quality results by mail or you can call Public Health Ontario’s Interactive Voice Response at 1-877-723-3426. If you have questions about water quality test results, you can call the Peterborough Public Health’s Safe Water Program at 705-743-1000, ext. 232, for a free consultation.

To find out how to test for contaminants other than total coliforms and E. coli, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 232 or visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.

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For further information, please contact:

 

Brittany Cadence, Communications Manager                                             Kelly Picken, Receptionist

Peterborough Public Health                                                                          Township of North Kawartha

705-743-1000, ext. 391                                                                                  705-656-4445 ext. 0

 

March 23, 2017 – Peterborough Public Health

In compliance with the Ontario Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act, a listing of Peterborough Public Health’s salaries and benefits exceeding $100,000 for 2017 has been posted on Public Health’s website and is available from the link below:

2017-Public-Sector-Salary-Disclosure

 

The Case for Smoke-Free Movies

Peer Leaders Logan Kelly and Meagan Lecompte gave a presentation about the importance of smoke-free movies. This refers to an initiative to remove on-screen tobacco use in movies rated for children (G, PG, PG-13, and 14A), and preventing youth from smoking by prohibiting unnecessary social exposure to tobacco use in movies. It also involves a tobacco prevention campaign aiming to inform parents about the risks of children seeing tobacco in film. Movies are one of the last bastions where the tobacco industry can attempt to normalize smoking and tobacco consumption. In 2014, research showed that 86% of all movies geared to youth included smoking. The Board of Health asked staff to help draft a motion to advance the advocacy of smoke-free movies to the province and the Ontario Film Review Board.

Presentation: Inaakonigewin Andaadad Aki: Michi Saagiig Treaties

The Board of Health watched the documentary film which looks at the various treaties the Michi Saagiig (Mississauga) participated in between 1781 and 1923. There are 46 treaties that cover the lands of Ontario, 18 of which include the Michi Saagiig. Interpreted by the People of Curve Lake First Nation, the film explores the early history of initial agreements made between the Crown (and later Canada) and the Michi Saagiig. The film highlights the residual impacts of these treaties, including the controversial Williams Treaties which covers approximately 13 million acres of present day Ontario, the effects of which are still being felt today. In many ways these treaties compromised long-term health outcomes by limiting Michi Saagiig access to traditional hunting and fishing grounds as important food sources. This was intensified with the flooding of many islands and wild rice harvesting areas throughout Central Ontario caused by the creation of the Trent Severn Waterway. This film provides crucial historical context to current public health issues affecting many Indigenous communities in Ontario, including Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations. Chief Phyllis Williams noted that the video is available for sale at the Curve Lake Cultural Centre, or by calling the Curve Lake First Nation Administration Office at 705-657-8045.

Update: Community Dental Health Centre Move to Jackson Square

Patti Fitzgerald, Manager presented an overview of progress to date on the upcoming move of the Community Dental Health Clinic from Peterborough Square to Jackson Square. A project manager has been hired, initial architectural plans are drafted, and Peterborough Public Health has submitted an application for a building permit in the hopes that demolition can start in April. The plan is to commence construction in April/May, and open the new clinic in June 2018 without minimal disruption in service to clients.

Assessing Attitudes for Developing Smoke-Free Policies on Post-Secondary Campuses

The Smoke-Free Ontario Act presently does not include post-secondary campuses in the legislation. Recent research indicates that up to 20% of smokers report having their first cigarette after the age of 18, after entering university or college. Although most begin to smoke during high school, they are usually considered occasional smokers at that time. It is during young adulthood that youth become regular or daily users. Smoking among young adults between the ages of 25 and 29 still remains higher than any other age group at 22.8%, and the smoking rate of 17.3% among 20 to 24 year olds is also concerning despite success in reducing smoking rates in general. In November 2017, 286 surveys were administered and preliminary survey results indicate that there is an appetite to explore smoke-free policies at Trent University. Peterborough Public Health intends to partner with staff and students at both Fleming College and Trent University to collect additional data assessing readiness for policy development.

Repeal of Section 43 of the Criminal Code Re: Corporal Punishment of Children

The Board of Health endorsed a motion passed by the Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Board of Health seeking that Section 43 of the Criminal Code be repealed. This change is also requested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in one of their 94 Calls to Action. Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada allows teachers and parents to use corporal punishment to discipline children, and reads as follows: “Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.” This position is consistent with previous Board of Health motions stating that public awareness strategies be developed and implemented to communicate the risks associated with physical punishment of children; and a clear message be given to all parents and caregivers that hurting children and youth is not an acceptable or effective method of managing their behaviour.

Next meeting:

The next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Township of Cavan Monaghan Municipal Office, located at 988 County Road 10, Millbrook, ON.

March 13, 2018 – Location: J.K. Edwards Board Room, Peterborough Public Health,

Jackson Square, 185 King St., Third Floor

Media and the community are advised that the next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

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

http://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/about-us/about-us-2/board-of-health/meeting-agendas

This meeting is open to the community and members of the media.  Guests are asked to use the buzzer located on the wall to the right of the main front doors to alert Peterborough Public Health staff when they arrive.  The board room is located on the third floor of Jackson Square, 185 King St. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. on the street or across the road at the King St. Parkade.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence

Communications Manager

705-743-1000, ext. 391

February 28, 2018 – Public Health Sector Serves Key Role in Advancing Health Equity

All Ontarians should have the opportunity to be as healthy as possible, says Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

In his new annual report, Improving the Odds: Championing Health Equity in Ontario, Dr. Williams calls on all sectors to work collectively on community development in order to address the social, economic and environmental barriers to good health.

e notes that well-designed community initiatives supporting social cohesion are key to improving health outcomes. The public health sector is well-positioned to lead these efforts locally.

In the report, Dr. Williams further endorses:

  • Urgent action to identify “outbreaks” of health inequities, and plan effective and sustainable interventions through community development
  • Working system-wide and government-wide to tackle complex health equity issues
  • Providing data to understand health inequities and inform community development efforts.

Strategic investments in health equity research, partnerships and data will help improve the odds for good health throughout Ontario, the report says. These investments will be repaid through better individual health outcomes, healthier communities and lower health care and social costs.

QUOTES

“Public health units have the expertise, interconnectivity and experience to lead community development, which can reduce inequities through its mitigating effects on poor health outcomes.  My report calls for system-wide and cross-government action to advance health equity in our province.”

— Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health

“The Peterborough area is a great example of how communities can mobilize in creative ways to address health inequities like income and food insecurity.  Dr. Williams’ report clearly shows how these local initiatives must connect to broader system-wide changes to sustainably improve public health. Only then can we effectively narrow the gap in health outcomes.”

— Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health, Peterborough Public Health

QUICK FACTS

 

  • Health is influenced by many factors, including genetics, lifestyle choices and social determinants of health, such as income, education, access to health services, and the social and physical environments.
  • People who experience high rates of health inequities and poorer health outcomes are more likely to become high users of health services. The top five per cent of service users account for 55 per cent of health care spending.

 

LEARN MORE

 

 

For public inquiries call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 (Toll-free in Ontario only)

Media Contact:

David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

416-314-6197

ontario.ca/health-news

Disponible en français

 

March 26, 2018 –

Three dates to choose from:
Monday, February 12 – with Steph Benn and Micky Renders
Wednesday, March 21 – with Julie Brown
Thursday, April 5 – with Steph Benn and Micky Renders 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Peterborough Public Health Anstruther, Buckhorn and Chemong Lake Rooms 2 nd Floor, 185 King Street, Peterborough Light refreshments provided.

This experiential workshop provides an introduction for teachers to mindfulness; what it is and how it might help you develop strategies to stay resilient in these challenging times. It is proven that how we take care of ourselves through times of stress accurately depicts how well we can respond to our students. Teacher well-being is vital to a compassionate, thriving school environment. Come find out more! To register for these FREE workshops or for more information, contact Ann at 705-743-1000, ext. 330 or email abawtinheimer@peterboroughpublichealth.ca

February 16,  2018 – To view the meeting summary from the February Board of Health Meeting click the image below:

180214 BOH meeting summary

February 9, 2017 – Media and the community are advised that the next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

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

http://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/about-us/about-us-2/board-of-health/meeting-agendas