September Board of Health Summary

Written by Comms Team, September 20, 2022

Posted September 20, 2022

Ontario Senior Dental Care Program

Hallie Atter, Acting Director of Health Promotion, provided an update on Ontario Senior Dental Care Program. The program is designed to meet the needs of low-income seniors in the region. The program covers a variety of preventative medicine and treatment services, including dentures. Hallie shared that the clients who attend the Community Dental Health Clinic (CDHC) typically experience complex oral health issues due to delays in seeking treatment which are often associated with limited insurance availability. Despite being closed for most of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDHC has been able to support 772 seniors with dental care.

Opioid Harms Data Portal Update

Hallie Atter, Acting Director of Health Promotion provided a summary of the drug poisoning data found on the Peterborough Public Health webpage. In August, 46 individuals visited the Emergency Department due to drug poisonings and 7 lives were lost in the month of August due to suspected drug-poisonings. Within the last 12 months, on average, 1 resident in the Peterborough region dies every 9 days due to drug-poisonings. Despite seeing continued lives lost to the drug-poisoning crisis, Hallie mentioned that the Consumption and Treatment Service (CTS) has been very busy since the opening in June of this year. Relationships with clients built by CTS staff as well as existing relationships with other partner agencies has increased trust in the service. Even with the initial success, the CTS is unable to support inhalation services at this time. It is estimated that up to 2 out 3 people who use drugs are using inhalation methods and cannot consume at the CTS at this time.

Connecting the Dots – Substance Use Prevention and Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs)

Claire Townshend, Acting Manager of Family and Community Health shared a presentation on the connection between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and substance use later in life. ACEs are potentially traumatic experiences that occur in childhood and can lead to negative health and social outcomes. ACEs can include abuse, neglect, and other adverse experiences in childhood. Prevention of ACEs can lead to a reduction in risky behaviours, such as substance use, and increase healthy behaviours later in life. To help prevent ACEs in our community, PPH will be working with partners and families to educate them on ACEs and implementing other evidence-based programs, such as nurse home visiting programs, and advocating for systems change to ensure all families have their basic need met.

COVID-19 Update

Donna Churipuy, Director of Health Protection provided an update of COVID-19 transmission in our region. Transmission remains moderate and has been holding steady for the summer. Case rates and hospitalizations are increasing, but wastewater signals are trending down. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) began immunizing with the bivalent COVID-19 vaccine this week. PPH is administering the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine that protects against the original COVID-19 strain and the BA.1 variant. Residents are encouraged to review their eligibility for the vaccine online and receive their next dose when they become eligible. PPH continues to share information regarding prevention of COVID-19 transmission. Staff are advocating to local workplaces for paid sick days to cut lines of transmission and prevent COVID-19 spread in the workplace.

One-Time Special Projects to Stimulate Strategic Plan Implementation

Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health submitted a request to direct staff to allocate a total of up to $600,000 from PPH Reserves to spend on special one-time projects. This allocation will go towards three projects to allow PPH to start the implementation of the strategic plan. These projects include a digital information system transformation, population participatory data collection to inform equity in services, and investing in Our Team’s wellness and development. The board approved the report and requested updates on expenditures within each project envelope.