May 10 Board of Health Summary
Written by Communications, May 10, 2018
Early Development Instrument – Presentation
Caren Thayer, Data Analysis Coordinator with the Social Services division of the City of Peterborough presented on the Early Development Instrument (EDI) as a tool to assess the early childhood environment in our communities. The EDI is a teacher-completed survey that measures students’ readiness to learn in school in five domains: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, and communication skills and general knowledge. It is not a diagnostic tool to evaluate individual students’ performance; it is instead a tool to help inform planning, inspire small changes for large numbers of children, and create better population-wide outcomes. The EDI is an internationally-recognized tool completed across Ontario every three years by the Ministry of Education and other partners. The first six years of children’s lives are very important in preparing them for future success. Research shows that vulnerability in the early years can lead to academic failure, poverty, mental health issues, behavioural problems, criminality, obesity, and a multitude of other poor health outcomes. The latest report (September 2017) represents 1,200 kindergarten students from the County and City of Peterborough. Results on the EDI are mapped out according to the child’s address. The report found that 35.3% of Peterborough children start school vulnerable in one or more areas that are critical to their healthy development, and that local vulnerability is increasing over time. The Ministry of Education is conducting an “Early Years Experiences” survey for Kindergarten students in both boards of education to help understand the root causes of these vulnerabilities. Ms. Thayer noted that getting children outdoors helps improve every single domain. Please see pages 6-24 of the May 9, 2018 Board of Health meeting package for more information about this report.
Ontario Public Health Standards – New Healthy Growth & Development and School Health Standards
Program Managers Hallie Atter and Patti Fitzgerald provided an overview of these two modernized standards introduced by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) on January 1, 2018. There are new requirements in these standards, such as vision screening and numerous topic areas for consideration based on community need like concussion prevention, mental health promotion, etc. In addition to these new areas, work will continue in the domains of reproductive health, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, sexual health, and oral health. Planning is underway to strategically develop public health interventions that strive to achieve enhanced and equitable health outcomes. Each program will be based on evidence, carefully monitored and delivered using best practices by various teams.
2018 Budget Update
Larry Stinson, Director of Operations reported to the Board that MOHLTC approval was received on May 8 for the 2018 budget. The approval included a 2% increase in the cost-shared portion of the budget, amounting to an increased provincial contribution of $115,900. The Board gave direction to staff to seek the local share from the City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation. With the local contribution, the total increase over the 2017 budget will be $154,420. The Board was also informed about 100% MOHLTC one-time funding totalling $98,300 for four projects.
The Board approved the recommendation from the Stewardship Committee that the Board direct staff to approach local funding partners with planned increases in funding for the 2019-2021 fiscal years. This increase is required to shift the local/provincial cost-funding formula from 25%/75% to 30%/70% respectively as one component of a three-prong strategy to achieve sustainable funding and service levels if provincial funding continues to fall short of the actual projected requirements. The other two components of the strategy include a focus on ensuring that annual provincial grants for both cost-shared and 100% provincially-funded programs continue to keep pace with the true costs and the judicious use of existing reserves to offset shortfalls.
Board of Health 130th Anniversary Planning
The Board discussed how honouring its 130th anniversary could support broader strategic planning efforts and raise the profile of local public health’s role in protecting the health of the community. On February 18, 1889 the Town of Peterborough passed a by-law creating the Board of Health for the community. There are records of Board of Health meetings taking place in the City of Peterborough dating back to 1891. Next year, February 18, 2019 will mark the 130th anniversary. Celebrating the 130th anniversary of the Board of Health will provide an opportunity to raise the profile of the Board and showcase its history of service to local communities and the contributions of the various public health disciplines. It could be used as a theme during the year, emphasizing the longevity and local flavour of public health practice. Finally, it could help strengthen the Board’s argument for increased and sustainable provincial and municipal funding for local public health. This was approved by the Board.
Board of Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Week
Board member Kerri Davies provided fellow members with a green ribbon in honour of Mental Health Week. The goal of this campaign is to create a thriving and inclusive community, free from stigma by protecting, celebrating and promoting mental health.
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Curve Lake Health Centre / Oshkiigmong MnoBmaadziwin Gamiing, located at 38 Whetung Street East, Curve Lake First Nation.