Board of Health June 13 Meeting Summary

Written by Communications, June 18, 2018

Traditional Healing at Curve Lake

Marcie Williams, Mental Health Support Worker, led a tour for the board members of the Curve Lake Health Centre.  She talked about the importance of the traditional healing practices she leads for the community.  These include full moon ceremonies for women, cedar tea gatherings in the teepee, sweat lodges, and traditional crafts such as birch bark canoe building, beading, paddle carving, and making shakers, moccasins and drums.

Launch of 2017 Annual Report

Peterborough Public Health (PPH) launched its online 2017 Annual Report at this meeting.  This report highlights the strides forward made in public health last year, using an online format designed to share the information in an easy to understand, interactive way.  The report will be shared with the media, community partners and other public health units across the province. It is available on in the “Reports & Data” section.

Cancer Care Ontario Report – Prevention System Quality Index: Health Equity

This report describes the distribution of cancer risk factors in the Ontario population, and how system-level policies and programs with the potential to reduce cancer risk factors can affect groups facing health inequities.  The main findings show that populations facing health inequities have a higher prevalence of certain cancer risk factors and fare worse on several indicators that measure policy and program effects.  A major focus of the report is First Nations, Inuit and Métis who face health inequities rooted in colonialism, racism and social exclusion.  First Nations, Inuit and Métis populations have a higher prevalence of several cancer risk factors, higher cancer mortality rates, rising rates of cancer incidence and poorer cancer survival than non-Aboriginal Ontarians.  This report highlights recommendations for Indigenous populations from Cancer Care Ontario’s Path to Prevention —Recommendations for Reducing Chronic Disease in First Nations, Inuit and Métis report published in 2016.  The Board asked Dr. Salvaterra to consider giving this presentation to all local municipal and First Nations councils as an effective way of educating councillors on risk factors that can lead to tobacco and alcohol use among certain populations.

Preparing for the Next Peterborough Public Health Strategic Plan

Boards of Health are mandated to have a strategic plan that sets out a three to five year vision for local priorities and strategic directions.  This plan determines the direction of PPH’s Annual Service Plan and Budget Submission process to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. PPH has applied for funding from “Innoweave” for its Impact and Strategic Clarity Module, to support the development of the new strategic plan.  “Innoweave” is an initiative of The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, in collaboration with thought leaders, academics, and partners from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.  Innoweave’s objective is to provide community sector leaders with new tools and processes to effect large-scale change.  The Impact and Strategic Clarity module helps community organizations clarify what they aim to achieve, how they will achieve it, and how they will measure their success.  Participating organizations conduct an in-depth analysis of their own program data and examine external evidence to clarify where to focus their efforts and how to measure success.

Modernized Ontario Public Health Standards: Safe Water

Atul Jain, Manager of Environmental Health Programs provided an overview of the Safe Water requirements of the new Ontario Public Health Standards.  The goal of the standards is to reduce illness and injuries related by drinking water and recreational water use.  This standard also sets out protocols for fluoride levels of municipal water systems.  PPH is responsible for monitoring safety reports for 11 municipal drinking water and five waste water systems and responding to adverse water quality events on a 24/7 basis. It also inspects 353 Small Drinking Water Systems (e.g. churches, trailer parks, etc.) and supports owners/operators to ensure they function safely.  PPH also inspects public beaches, public pools, wading pools and splash pads.  Results are posted online at  In partnership with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, PPH also responds to blue-green algae blooms as they arise.

Modernized Ontario Public Health Standards: Relationships with Indigenous Communities Guideline

Dr. Salvaterra presented the key elements of this new guideline released by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care on May 4, 2018.  It requires Boards of Health to foster and create meaningful relationships, starting with engagement through to collaborative partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations, as well as with First Nations and Indigenous communities striving to reconcile jurisdictional issues.  This guideline in grounded in the Web of Being framework of social determinants and Indigenous People’s health.

Update from the First Nations Committee

The First Nations Committee received approval to be renamed as the Indigenous Health Advisory Circle (IHAC).  This new name and pending terms of reference were requested to better reflect indigenous perspectives and decision-making practices.  Board of Health member and Hiawatha First Nation Councillor Kathryn Wilson is now serving as the new chair of IHAC.  Andy Dufrane, a Council member of the Métis Nation of Ontario, was also appointed to the Circle by the Board.

Next meeting:  The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. at Hiawatha First Nation in the Council Chambers, Lower Hall, Administration Building, 123 Paudash Street, Hiawatha First Nation.