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Meeting Document Type: 

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Fabio Costante, Aldo DiCarlo, Gary Kaschak, Judy Lund, Robert Maich, Ed Sleiman

Board Member Regrets:

Rino Bortolin

Administration Present:

Nicole Dupuis, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Lorie Gregg, Felicia Lawal, Kristy McBeth, Eric Nadalin, Dan Sibley, Lee Anne Damphouse

QUORUM: Confirmed


  1. Call to Order

    In the Chair’s absence, Board Treasurer, Tracey Bailey, called the Regular meeting to order at 4:15 pm.

  2. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.
  3. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  4. Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr. Nesathurai noted that we continue to see a rise in cases of COVID-19 in our region, including health care workers, putting a strain on our health care system.  We are averaging 2-4 COVID-19 deaths in our region a week.  We have surpassed 600 deaths locally, and the pandemic is not yet over.  Dr. Nesathurai shared a local map showing the deprivation in various areas of our region and where the number of deaths were concentrated.  Most of the deaths occurred in the urban core of Windsor and downtown Leamington.  In areas where there were little or no deprivation, no deaths have occurred.   Premature deaths means that people die before we expect them to, and it is our best estimate that approximately 50% of COVID related deaths are premature.

      4:22 pm – G. McNamara joined the meeting and assumed the role of Chair

      Motion: That the information be received.

  5. Approval of Minutes

    1. Regular Board Meeting: March 24, 2022

      Motion: That the minutes be approved.

  6. Business Arising - None
  7. Consent Agenda


      1. Oral Health Report and Oral Health Month (E. Nadalin)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.
      2. 2021 IPC Annual Statistical Reporting (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.
      3. COVID-19 Surveillance and Epidemiology (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      4. Communication Update (February – March, 2022)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.
        Motion:  That the information be received.   


  8. New Business

    1. Strategic Plan (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis advised that our previous Strategic Plan has expired at the end of 2021.  We will move forward with a Plan with a shorter 3-year term instead of 5 years, allowing us to go through the pandemic transition phase around renewal and recovery.  In 3 years time, will can look at our Strategic Plan and renew for a longer term.  N. Dupuis introduced Mr. Harold Schroeder from Schroeder and Schroeder, who has been retained as a Consultant to assist us with Strategic Planning and an Organizational Review. 

      Mr. Schroeder introduced himself and briefly talked about the components and framework of Strategic Planning. The process should involve the Board and Senior Executive Leadership when looking at the organization’s vision and roadmap.  The real benefits will be getting everyone on the same page throughout the process.

      Motion: That the information be received.

    2. Annual Report (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis noted that our WECHU Communications team supported the preparation of the 2021 Annual Report, and it is now live on our website. 

      There was a significant amount of work in 2021 regarding COVID Response with over 17,000 positive cases in Windsor-Essex and approximately 33,000 contacts for Case and Contact Management.  There were 351 deaths, 456 outbreaks and 1,112 cohorts dismissed due to COVID-19.  Our call centre responded to over 20,000 phone calls in 2021, and we collaborated with our hospital partners, primary care, pharmacies, EMS, and CRST to administer 792,385 vaccinations.

      With efforts mainly directed to COVID-19, we still managed to focus on other public health concerns, including mental health for example. Our Environmental Health department continued with inspections, food handler training and work continued in our Infectious Diseases Department.

      Opioid response is big part of our work, and site consultations for a Consumption & Treatment Services Site was completed.  There was continuation of the Naloxone Program, with 4 new agencies on-boarded for a total of 18 agencies now part of the program.  The Ontario Senior Dental Care Program was launched in 2020, and 2021 was the first full year that this program was in operation.  We hired two full time dentists, have expanded our dental clinic hours to 8:00 pm, and welcomed 870 seniors to our roster of clients.

      N. Dupuis said the Ministry has indicated to us that funding for COVID Vaccine and COVID Response will be extended for 2022 and we have included that in our budget.  Our Annual Service Plan submitted to the Ministry in March included a request for extraordinary costs, including COVID Vaccination.  The second quarter of 2022 will allow us to provide the Ministry with updated costs around COVID-19.   We have not received information around whether there will be funding for COVID-19 related costs for 2023, but that discussion will evolve over the next few months.

      E. Sleiman said that the WECHU has done a good job managing COVID-19 with limited resources.  He asked N. Dupuis if the organization has done an evaluation and if we would do anything different should we experience another pandemic. N. Dupuis said given the pace of the pandemic we have been in constant response mode and have not completed a fulsome evaluation.  Every Director consistently evaluates our strategies and we adjust and implement change when needed. We would certainly do a review/debrief at some point and move those learnings into a playbook for the future.   Keep in mind that guidance and directional changes came quite frequently from the Ministry.

    3. CEO Quarterly Report (January – March 2022) (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis reviewed the report and variances.

    4. alPHa Annual General Meeting (Virtual) June 14, 2022 (N. Dupuis)
      Registration is now open for the alPHa AGM and conference in June.  Any Board of Health members who would like to participate can contact L. Damphouse for registration.   We are encouraging any Board members who wish to attend to do so.

      1. alPHa Fitness Challenge
        The alPHa fitness challenge is designed to get people moving.  This year, the challenge is only 30 minutes of exercise in the month of May.  We will be following up with board members to promote during May

        Motion: That the information be received.

  9. Correspondence

    1. Simcoe-Muskoka Public Health – Letter to Hon. Christine Elliott – Response to the Opioid Crisis –    for support  
      Motion: That the WECHU Board of Health support the letter from Simcoe-Muskoka Public Health to the        
      Hon. Christine Elliott in response to the Opioid Crisis

  10. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)

    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:55 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:10 pm

  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or May 19, 2022 – Via Video

  12. Adjournment
    Motion: That the meeting be adjourned.
    The meeting adjourned at 5:15 pm.



APPROVED BY: The Board of Health - May 19, 2022