May 2022 Board of Health Meeting - Minutes

Meeting Document Type

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin, Fabio Costante, Gary Kaschak, Judy Lund, Robert Maich, Mark Ferrari

Board Member Regrets:

Ed Sleiman, Aldo DiCarlo

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

    The Chair, G. McNamara called the Regular meeting to order at 4:01 pm.

  2. Welcome – Provincial Appointee to the Board of Health
    Board Chair Gary McNamara advised the Board that the province has appointed a new Provincial Appointee, Mr. Mark Ferrari, to the WECHU Board of Health for a two year term, effective April 14, 2022. 
  3. Agenda Approval
    Motion: That the agenda be approved.

  4. Announcement of Conflict of interest – None
  5. Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
    1. COVID-19 Update

      Dr. Nesathurai said we seem to be in a better state with the COVID-19 virus, but still need to be cautious. We are seeing an increase in influenza cases, but this is likely due to the relaxation of public health measures. 

      Some individuals who have contracted COVID-19 have persistent symptoms and a longer period of recovery, resulting in what is called long COVID.  There are over 200 symptoms of post-COVID phenomenon, such as fatigue, shortness of breath, as well as anxiety related to contracting the disease again. Some individuals have experienced cognitive dysfunction, causing long term impairment and are not functioning as they did before they contracted COVID-19.  Dr. Nesathurai said that those who are vaccinated are less likely to experience severe symptoms or hospitalization, and it may help mitigate the symptoms of long COVID.

      Motion: That the information be received.

  6. Approval of Minutes

    1. Regular Board Meeting: April 21, 2022

      Motion: That the minutes be approved.

  7. Business Arising
    1. alPHa AGM June 14 (virtually) and the alPHa Fitness Challenge (N. Dupuis)
      Nicole Dupuis and Board Member Mark Ferrari will attend the annual alPHa AGM in June, and noted the alPHa fitness challenge as a friendly reminder.  There are 3 Resolutions that N. Dupuis and M. Ferrari will be able to vote upon at the AGM and these Resolutions are:
      - Race-Based inequities in Health
      - Public Health Modernization and COVID-19
      - Provincial Cooling Tower Registry for the Public Health Management of Legionella Outbreaks


      It was noted that Board Chair G. McNamara will also be available to attend the AGM.

    2. Board of Health By-laws (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)

      1. By-Law #2 – Finance
        N. Dupuis noted that we are in the process of revising the Board By-Laws as discussed. They will be brought back for formal approval and adoption once all of the By-Laws have been revised.

        L. Gregg noted some of the highlights in the Finance By-Law.  There is also a Procurement Policy which will be brought back to the board for review every 3 years.

      2. By-Law #3 – Management of Real Property 
        L. Gregg noted this proposed By-Law outlines the CEOs responsibility as it relates to the care and maintenance of all properties, ensure properties are in accordance with applicable lease agreements, that properties comply with applicable laws, and adopting policies with respect to the acquisition, sale and disposition of properties.

        Motion: That the information be received.

  8. Consent Agenda


      1. Renewal and Transformation:  A Short-term Vision for Public Health Priorities and Planning in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      2. Vector-Borne Surveillance Program (K. McBeth)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      3. Case and Contact Management / Q1 2022 Updates (F. Lawal)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      4. 2022 Board Self-Assessment Survey (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      5. COVID-19 Surveillance and Epidemiology (N. Dupuis)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

      6. Communications Update (March – April 2022)
        The Report is attached and presented to the Board for information.

        Motion: That the information be received.


      1. 2022/23 Budget for Programs Funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (L. Gregg)
        L. Gregg noted this budget includes the Healthy Baby Health Children Program and the Pre-Natal and Post-Natal Nurse Practitioner program. Total budget expenditures for the Programs for the period April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 is $2,894,941.

        Motion: That the Board approve the operating budget as presented by Administration for the period April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 in the amount of $2,894,941.

  9. New Business

    1. 2022 Budget Approvals (N. Dupuis/L. Gregg)

      N. Dupuis said we received 2022 budget approvals from the Ministry on May 2, 2022.  L. Gregg highlighted the Mandatory Programs approved budget, the MOH/AMOH Compensation Initiative and the Ontario Senior Dental Care Program.

      L. Gregg highlighted and noted the details of the 2022 One-Time Funds, consisting of:
      - Cost-Sharing Mitigation
      - Needle-Exchange Program
      - Public Health Inspector Practicum Program
      - Vaccine Program
      - School-focused Nurse Initiative
      - Temporary Retention Incentive for Nurses
      - Vector-Borne Diseases
      - Capital (All locations)
      - Recovery (All)
      - CTS Operating Costs

      G. McNamara inquired about the status of the $1.4M funding for the additional 19 nurses for the School-focused Nurse Initiative and what is the risk in 2023-24 should that funding cease.  N. Dupuis advised that we had posted 19 permanent positions in 2020, and through various leaves and attrition throughout the pandemic we should balance out with staffing.  This initiative has been extended to the end of this year. 

      L. Gregg noted that we have updated the ministry about the WECHU Capital Project and its requirements and the need for capital funding for this project.  The WECHU proposes that it retain the 2022 mitigation funding to support costs to be incurred on account of the Windsor Office Redevelopment Project.  By doing so, the WECHU will reduce the burden of the cost of leasehold improvements on future operating budgets.  The WECHU’s approved mitigation funding is $1,260,800.

      The WECHU has expressed the need to access capital funding through the Ministry of Health, more specifically the Community Health Capital Program through the Health Capital Investment Branch of the MOH, however no funds are available at this time.

      MOTION: That the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve that the 2022 mitigation funding of $1,260,800 be retained by the WECHU to fund capital costs on account of the Windsor Office Redevelopment Project

    2. Whistle-Blowing Policy (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis brought forward this policy which was initiated in 2017.  Minor changes were made to titles of roles and no other changes were made.  This policy was originally drafted by our legal representatives and will be updated annually.

      MOTION: That the Board accept the Whistle Blowing Policy as presented.

    3. Renewal and Transformation:  A Short-term Vision for Public Health Priorities and Planning in Windsor-Essex (N. Dupuis)

      N. Dupuis said that we recognize that we are still in a pandemic but there are services that we need to resurrect.  Our goal is to renew public health services to address immediate local public health needs and address service backlogs as the COVID-19 pandemic stabilizes, and to develop a foundation for sustained long-term support for public health transformation based on local priorities.

      N. Dupuis identified and highlighted some priorities in our post COVID Renewal Plan Outline:
      - Health Assessment and surveillance
      - Addressing the Backlog of Services
      - Priority Areas – Mental Health and Substance Use and Healthy Growth and Development, specifically HBHC
      - Capacity Building within WECHU staff 

      Priorities for 2023 and beyond:
      - Implementation of a 3-year Strategic Plan
      - Preparation for WECHU move – Q4 2023
      - Refining Organizational Processes
      - Using assessment information to inform of future priorities
      - Creating plans to address post-COVID local public health priorities

    4. 2022 Board Self-Assessment (N. Dupuis)
      N. Dupuis reminded the Board of the yearly requirement of the Board Self-Assessment survey.  As a follow up to this meeting, Board members will be provided a link to complete the Board of Health Self-Assessment Survey.  The survey will be reviewed and a report will be presented to Board of Health members in summer 2022. 

    5. Vaccine Surge Planning (K. McBeth)
      K. McBeth shared a presentation with the Board around Surge Capacity Planning for vaccinations. Surge capacity planning is about supply and demand and ensuring we are ready to pivot based on the increase in demand. The past 18 months has required an overwhelming use of resources, and health units played a big part of vaccine delivery along with Health Care Providers and Pharmacies.  We are assuming additional vaccine eligibility for boosters and increased eligibility to other age groups is expected throughout 2022.

      WECHU has includes all possible vaccination strategies utilized/coordinated at the health unit level including mobile/pop-up clinics and mass immunization clinics. Four planning scenarios were developed based on the vaccine administration numbers for first, second and third doses. 

      Going forward, the WECHU will plan for the support of 2 community sites, one in the City of Windsor and one in the County of Essex.  Both sites would over COVID and Influenza vaccines with co-administration supported for individuals 12 years and older.

      Motion: That the reports be received as presented.    

  10. Correspondence

    1. Grey-Bruce Public Health – Letter to Hon. Christine Elliott and Hon. Mike Tibollo – Mental Health and Addictions – for information only
    2. Greater Essex County District School Board – Letter to Hon. Stephen Lecce and Dr. Kieran Moore, CMOH – Reinstatement of Public Health Measures for Schools – for information only
  11. Committee of the Whole (CLOSED SESSION, in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act)

    The Board moved into Committee of the Whole at 4:57 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:04 pm

  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or June 16, 2022 – Via Video

  13. Adjournment
    Motion: That the meeting be adjourned.
    The meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.



APPROVED BY: The Board of Health - June 16, 2022