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Meeting Document Type: 
Minutes

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin (via phone until 5:20 pm), Fabio Costante, Dr. Debbie Kane, Judy Lund, John Scott, Ed Sleiman, Larry Snively

Board Member Regrets:

Gary Kaschak

Administration Present:

Theresa Marentette, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Lorie Gregg, Nicole Dupuis, Kristy McBeth, Dan Sibley, Lee Anne Damphouse 


QUORUM:  Confirmed

  1. Call to Order
    Board Chair, Gary McNamara, called the meeting to order at 4:09 p.m.
  2. Agenda Approval
    Moved by: John Scott
    Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
    That the agenda be approved.
    CARRIED
  3. Announcement of Conflicts of Interest – None
  4. Board Elections
    Nominations for Chair
    G. McNamara relinquished the Chair to T. Marentette, Board Secretary, to begin the election process. T. Marentette opened the floor for nominations for the position of Chair noting that Administration had received two (2) written nominations for Gary McNamara. T. Marentette asked for further nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Chair were closed. G. McNamara, having accepted the nomination, was appointed Chair by acclamation.

     

    Nominations for Vice-Chair
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for the position of Vice-Chair noting that Administration had received three (3) written nominations for John Scott and one (1) nomination for Tracey Bailey. The Chair asked for further nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Vice-Chair were closed. The Chair asked John Scott if he accepted the nomination – John Scott accepted. The Chair asked Tracey Bailey if she accepted the nomination – Tracy Bailey declined. John Scott, having accepted the nomination, was elected Vice-Chair by acclamation.

    Nominations for Treasurer
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for the position of Treasurer noting that Administration had received two (2) written nominations for Tracey Bailey. The Chair asked for nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for the position of Treasurer were closed. Tracey Bailey, having accepted the nomination, was appointed Treasurer by acclamation.

    Nominations for Audit Committee Member
    The Chair opened the floor for nominations for a Member of the Audit Committee, noting that Administration had received one (1) written nomination for Rino Bortolin. The Chair asked for nominations from the floor (three times). Given that there were no further nominations, nominations for an Audit Committee Member were closed. Rino Bortolin was appointed as a Member of the Audit Committee by acclamation.

  5. Presentations (W. Ahmed)
    1. Syphilis in Windsor-Essex
      Dr. Ahmed provided information to the Board on the increase of cases of Syphilis in Windsor-Essex. Syphilis is a systemic disease caused by T. pallidum bacteria that is transmitted during sex. Rates of Syphilis in Ontario are going up, in 2010 there were 32 cases and in 2019 there were 81. The age distribution and who’s most affected by it has also changed as the average age has changed from 44-64 years to 20-44. Various risk factors for the disease are:
      • Unsafe sex without a condom
      • Sex with same sex partners
      • Numerous sexual partners
      If left untreated, tertiary syphilis (serious damage to other organs including the brain) may result in Neurosyphilis. In 2015 we had 1 case, and in 2019 we had 8. Those with high risk are taking medication to avoid contracting HIV.
      WECHU’s role from public health perspective is to 1) follow up on all lab confirmed cases of syphilis through the provision of direct clinical services and/or by working with local health care providers; 2) facilitate contact tracing and confidential partner notification, and 3) facilitate local data collection to explore clients’ baseline knowledge, risk factors and perceived barriers to engage in safer sex practices in relation to syphilis. The WECHU follows every case, and the WECHU works to engage healthcare providers.
    2. Coronavirus Update
      Dr. Wajid Ahmed provided the Board with an update of a new Novel Coronavirus, first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. When compared to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), this is the largest outbreak of Novel Coronavirus in the world with over 75,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths. The numbers are changing daily, with most cases (98%) in China.
      The virus has spread to 28 countries, with 8 confirmed cases in Canada, 3 in Ontario. So far, there have been no confirmed cases in the Windsor Essex region, with 10 people testing negative. Of these 10, 5 individuals had influenza and 2 had rhinovirus. Today, coronavirus is not in our community, and people should still pay attention to local cases of Influenza.
      The novel coronavirus is a family of viruses which, over time, tends to mutate and create something different. This is what happened with SARS and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), they are not necessarily new, but mutate and change and detect different types of proteins. It is unlikely that this virus existed before and most people recover. Those that are most at risk are the elderly (over 65 years) and individuals whose immune systems have already been compromised.
      For local response, all suspected cases are reportable to the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Wajid Ahmed. We have developed a local response plan in collaboration with our hospitals, EMS and primary care providers, along with our health unit Infectious Disease, Epidemiology and Environmental Health departments, and we have informative and credible information on our WECHU website.
      We currently have 117 cases of Influenza and WECHU produces a weekly flu report on line. We have noticed a spike in cases in the last month and also need to be concerned and take precautions such as hand washing and using hand sanitizers. Anyone visiting the ER who wishes to be tested for the coronavirus must meet case definition, or they will not be tested.
      There have been two Canadians infected with dengue fever (mosquitos) while travelling to the Caribbean and WECHU will consider including the Government of Canada’s link on their website in regard to precautions while travelling outside of Canada.
  6. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: January 16, 2020
      Moved by: Joe Bachetti
      Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
      That the minutes be approved.
      CARRIED
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      The following information reports were presented to the Board.
      1. Syphilis in Windsor and Essex County (W. Ahmed)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      2. The WECHU Taking Action on Climate Change (K. McBeth)
        Brought to the Board for information.
      3. Media Recap
        Brought to the Board for information.

      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the Information Reports be received.
      CARRIED

    2. RECOMMENDATION/RESOLUTION REPORTS
      1. Seasonal Housing Compliance Inspections – Fee for Service Program
        K. McBeth brought forward a cost recovery program, for annual inspections, for Seasonal Housing Compliance Inspections for Board approval. This program is managed by our Environment Health department and dramatically increased over the last few years. This Resolution outlines, in addition with the work, significant coordination with municipalities. The workload has increased and our WECHU Leamington clerk is spending 60% of her time on seasonal housing coordination, along with water safety, and other environmental health programs. Not all health units have implemented a fee, but some health units do charge a fee of approximately $80-$100. Our cost recovery program would be used to cover the increase in clerical support.
        The nature of inspections include worker accommodations, i.e. air space, and number of individuals that can stay in a bunkhouse. The WECHU works together with municipal building departments on building codes. Inspections have increased 2-3 times per year, with additional inspections required when workers move from one bunkhouse to another. This increase in inspections has been imposed by Service Canada. The owners are greenhouse growers, and food processing, and we will likely see substantial increases in a continually growing industry.
        Moved by: Fabio Costante
        Seconded by: Larry Snively
        That the Recommendation/Resolution Report be supported.
        CARRIED
  8. Business Arising – None
  9. Board Correspondence – Circulated
  10. New Business
    1. Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Report (W. Ahmed)
      Dr. W. Ahmed referenced the Climate Change and Health Vulnerability Report and the Local Response to Climate Change Resolution, passed by the Board of Health in November 2019, supporting ongoing advocacy efforts and public health interventions to support climate change action locally. This report provides data on impacts of climate change, adaptation actions already in place, and policies to respond to climate change. The WECHU, City of Windsor, County of Essex, Essex Regional Conservation Authority (ERCA) as well as all of the local municipalities are working together to reduce the environmental impacts of climate change, with ERCA taking the lead. G. McNamara noted that agriculture (the food industry) is a $3B industry and this report identifies that this is not a Windsor Essex issue, but a global one.
      Moved by: Debbie Kane
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the above information be received.
      CARRIED
    2. Public Health Modernization Consultation (T. Marentette)
      T. Marentette noted that our Public Health Modernization Consultation (Public Health, Municipalities, EMS) with the Ministry of Health originally scheduled for February 19, 2020, was moved to March 30, 2020. The consultation will still take place at the WFCU Centre. T. Marentette will send Board members our completed responses to public health modernization compiled over the last couple of months. Board Chair, G. McNamara, encouraged all Board members to attend, as this is our opportunity to have our say on how important public health is to our communities and to put our best foot forward. He noted that Jim Pine, CAO of Hastings County and AMO member, will be the facilitator.
      Moved by: Debbie Kane
      Seconded by: Larry Snively
      That the above information be received.
      CARRIED
  11. Other Board of Health Resolutions/Letters – For Support
    1. Peterborough Public Health – Letter to Hon. Caroline Mulroney and Hon. Christine Elliott – Off Road Vehicles and Bills 107 and 132
    2. Letter from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ministry of Health, to Nicole Dupuis, WECHU – The Children Count Pilot Study Program – For Information
      G. McNamara took the opportunity to congratulate N. Dupuis and her team.
      Moved by: John Scott
      Seconded by: Tracey Bailey
      That the above correspondence be supported as noted.
      CARRIED
  12. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)
    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 5:14 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:35 pm
  13. Addition to Agenda – Various Costs
    The Ministry provided the template for one-time funding requests, i.e. vaccine fridges and extraordinary costs. We proposed four extraordinary costs that we would like to include in our Annual Service Plan:
    • Coronavirus – more resources will continue to be required – extra costs for this month – $18k
    • Public Health Inspection Students (3) for Vector-Borne Program – to cover wages, mileage and additional awareness campaign – $77k
    • Migrant Farms – Communicable Diseases – utilizing staff for skin testing, etc. – $4k
    • Public Health Practicum Students – to build capacity for future Environmental Health Inspectors – asking for 2 students – $10k
    • What we do not receive in funding we will have to absorb.
    Moved by: Tracey Bailey
    Seconded by: Ed Sleiman
    That the above be received.
    CARRIED
  14. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or March 19, 2020 in Essex, Ontario
  15. Adjournment
    Moved by: Joe Bachetti
    Seconded by: Debbie Kane
    That the meeting be adjourned.
    CARRIED
    The meeting adjourned at 5:41 pm.

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