October 2022 Board of Health Meeting - Minutes

Meeting Document Type

Board Members Present:

Gary McNamara, Joe Bachetti, Tracey Bailey, Rino Bortolin, Aldo DiCarlo, Gary Kaschak, Judy Lund, Robert Maich

Board Member Regrets:

Fabio Costante, Ed Sleiman

Administration Present:

Dr. Ken Blanchette, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Lorie Gregg, Kristy McBeth, Eric Nadalin, Dan Sibley, Lee Anne Damphouse


Marc Frey, WECHU Manager, Planning and Strategic Initiatives

QUORUM: Confirmed


  1. Call to Order

    Board Chair, G. McNamara, called the Regular meeting to order at 4:01 p.m. The Chair welcomed new WECHU CEO, Dr. Ken Blanchette, to the team and the Board wished him well in his new role.

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

    Dr. Nesathurai respectfully addressed the Board noting that COVID cases are increasing in our region.  Approximately 40% of our Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) are in outbreak and hospitals are saturated with capacity rates over 100%.   Our Ambulatory services have experienced Code Black status, and influenza and respiratory diseases are on the rise.  Care of the overall community is a priority for public health and public health messaging around masking, staying home when you are sick and ensuring that vaccinations are up to date continues.  Flu shots are available at most pharmacies and primary care givers, and those who are eligible should ensure that they are protected.  COVID-19 and influenza vaccines can also be co-administered.

    G. McNamara noted that Code Black status in ambulatory services have increased 300% since September 2022, and there needs to be a solution to reduce the impacts on our emergency system. Offloading EMS patients and over capacity at hospitals is contributing to the situation.  The Ministry is aware of the issue and it is not unique to Windsor-Essex, but has become a problem across the province.  There are any individuals with multi-symptom diseases who may not have access to primary care physicians and are seeking treatment at emergency rooms.

    Part of the messaging to the community is to self-protect and communication is timely around instilling various public health measures.  Dr. Nesathurai noted the lack of ambulatory services as catastrophic and asked that all Board members speak publically to this.

    Motion: That the information be received.

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  September 15, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-Laws and Policies (Second Reading) (L. Gregg)
      The By-laws presented to the Board of Health today are for second reading.  A question arose at the September 15, 2022 Board of Health meeting on implementing a Policy Governance Committee.  It was suggested by K. Blanchette that a Recommendation for a policy committee be brought forward after the municipal elections.
      Motion: That the information be received.

      1. Public Attendance and Delegations at Board of Health Meetings
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval. 

      2. Delegation of Duties
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      3. Performance of Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      4. By-Law No. 1 – Governance
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      5. By-Law No. 2 – Finance
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      6. By-Law No. 3 – Human Resources
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      7. By-Law No. 4 – Management of Real Property
        To be brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
        Motion: That the information be received. 
  7. Consent Agenda
      1. ISPA Enforcement (K. McBeth)
        K. McBeth advised that the suspension deadline for immunization has expired and the number of students on the suspension list is under 50.  Many are on this list because they were difficult to contact, and there are less than 15 students who are non-compliant. G. McNamara asked how we fair in comparison to other jurisdictions, and K. McBeth noted that Public Health Ontario is working on an updated report and once statistics are up to date we will bring this back to the Board in the form of an information report.  This report will be brought to the Board for information.

      2. Nutritious Food Basked (E. Nadalin)
        E. Nadalin said that the estimated costs of healthy eating is in the range of $241.66 per week.  When looking at most vulnerable populations, this most certainly impacts overall income.  Additional helpful information to healthy eating tips is posted on our WECHU website under Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex.  This report will be brought to the Board for information.

      3. Q3 Renewal Priority Reporting (K. McBeth)
        More information was provided in the form of a presentation by Marc Frey, WECHU Manager, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, in agenda item 9.4.  This report will be brought to the Board for information.

      4. Communications Report (September 2022) (E. Nadalin)
        This report will be brought to the Board for information.
        Motion: That the information be received.  
  8. Resolutions/Recommendation Reports
    1. CEO Transition (D. Sibley)
      D. Sibley advised that WECHU CEO, Dr. Ken Blanchette, has started in his new role effective Monday, October 17, 2022, as opposed to November 28, 2022.  G. McNamara thanked the hiring committee for their work on the CEO recruitment process. 

      Motion: That the information be received.

    2. Healthy Smiles Ontario Program and Translation Supports (E. Nadalin)
      The Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program is a publically-funded dental care program for children and youth (17 years old and under) which provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services to those who can not otherwise afford it. The Healthy Smiles Ontario Schedule of Dental Services and Fees for Dentist Providers (HSO Fee Guide) is an administrative tool distributed to dentists, so that they can provide services to clients in the HSO program and bill for these services. 

      Although limited English language skills have been identified as a key barrier to preventive dental health care utilization, language interpretation and translation services are not included in the HSO Fee Guide. Almost a quarter (22%) of Windsor and Essex County’s population is comprised of immigrants or refugees (‘newcomers”) (Statistics Canada, 2016), with 14% of residents most often speaking a language outside of English at home (Statistics Canada, 2021).  

      Motion: That the WECHU Board of Health recommend the province of Ontario include billing options for translation and interpretation services in the Health Smiles Ontario Fee Guide, and remote interpretation services, accessible 24/7 from a phone, mobile device, or computer should be considered as a useful and affordable option. 

    3. Risk Registry Update and Presentation (K. McBeth/M. Frey)
      K. McBeth introduced M. Frey who provided a Risk Management Reporting Summary presentation to the Board noting highest risks, the potential impacts and our mitigation approaches.  The Ministry requires that we report our highest risks in Q3 Reporting.  Currently we have seven areas of risk, many of them impacted by COVID-19 response. 

      Reported risks are as follows: 
      •    Staff Engagement – risk of disengagement in work function
      •    Work Disruption – operations may be at risk during extended work stoppage or absenteeism
      •    Succession Planning – that the organization is unable to attract, retain proper human resources for succession planning 
      •    Information – risk due to incomplete or inadequate information to make evidence-based decisions or plan programs and services
      •    System Outages – risk of system outages impacting productivity or business continuity
      •    Work – staff risk as their health and safety (physical and mental) may be compromised when working in the community
      •    Privacy Requirements – risk or non-compliance to privacy requirements

      We continue to update and monitor these risks, act on mitigation strategies and will develop key risk indicators to keep our approaches on track. 

      Motion: That the information be accepted as presented.

  9. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report – July to September 2022 (K. Blanchette)
      K. Blanchette advised that former Interim CEO, Eleanor Groh, has signed off on the CEO Quarterly Report from July to September 2022, and has nothing further to add.

      Motion: That the information be received

    2. Board of Health Meeting Locations (L. Gregg)
      We are planning to hold our Board of Health meetings in-person commencing January 2023, on the third Thursday of each month.  Arrangements have been made to hold our Board of Health meetings at the University of Windsor at Alumni Hall in the McPherson Lounge, with the exception of Thursday, June 15, 2023 and Thursday, June 19, 2023, as our meeting have been scheduled at the Essex Civic Centre. Once municipal elections are held and our Board compliment is complete, calendar invites with appropriate details will be sent to Board of Health members. 

      With municipal elections taking place on Monday, October 24, it was suggested that our November Board of Health meeting be rescheduled to one week earlier on Thursday, November 10, 2022 to ensure we obtain quorum. T. Bailey noted that there is an ERCA Board meeting that same evening and it was suggested that the November 10 meeting commence to 3:30 pm to avoid any scheduling conflicts.  A Doodle Poll will be sent after today’s Board meeting requesting Board availability on November 10, 2022.  

      Delegation of Authority was briefly discussed.  K. Blanchette will bring forward more information at the November Joint Board Extension Committee Meeting.

      Motion: That the dates and locations of 2023 Board of Health meetings presented be accepted by the Board. 

    3. Board of Health Education/Engagement 
      More information will be forthcoming after the municipal election on the Board education and orientation piece.  The WECHU Leadership Team will focus on key elements the Board requires and enhance this piece throughout the 2023 year.

      Motion: That the information be received.

    4. Q3 Renewal Priority Reporting – Presentation (K. McBeth/M. Frey)
      M. Frey walked through a presentation and provided WECHU’s Short-Term Renewal Priorities. Plans have been implemented to the end of 2022, as well as fulsome planning for 2023 and beyond.  We identified the need to put in place a short-term plan with a focus on renewal from the impacts of COVID-19.  We have identified the following key areas of focus: 
      •    Health Assessment and Surveillance
      •    Addressing Backlog of Services
      •    Mental Health and Substance Use
      •    Healthy Growth and Development
      •    Capacity Building
      •    COVID 19

      M. Frey provided a very high level overview of progress to date, and will bring forward more information when it is available. 

      Motion: That the plan be accepted as presented. 

    5. November and December 2022 Board Meetings
      Board of Health meetings were discussed above in item 9.3.

  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 5:08 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:30 pm
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, Thursday, November 10, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment
    Motion:  That the meeting be adjourned.   

    The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.


SUBMITTED BY: K. Blanchette

APPROVED BY: WECHU Board of Health, November 10, 2022