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January 19, 2023

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/4H0fxliV3RM

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Board of Health 2023 Executive Committee Elections
  5. Greetings from the Medical Officer of Health (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  6. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting: November 10, 2022
  7. Business Arising - None
  8. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. ISPA Catch-up and Enforcement in Elementary Schools and Grade 7 In-school Immunizations (K. McBeth)
      2. Communications Report (Nov-Dec 2022) (E. Nadalin)
    2. CORRESPONDENCE - None
  9. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report (K. Blanchette)
    2. Board of Health Assessment Survey (K. Blanchette)
    3. Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) Winter Virtual Symposium – Feb 24, 2023 (K. Blanchette) event page
    4. February 16, 2023 Board of Health Meeting Time (K. Blanchette)
    5. 2023 Annual Service Plan Presentation – Program and Community Needs Overview (K. McBeth/E. Nadalin)
    6. 2023 Budget Presentation (L. Gregg/K. Blanchette)

  10. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
    1. 2023 Budget (L. Gregg/K. Blanchette)
  11. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act) 
  12. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or February 16, 2023 – University of Windsor, Alumni Hall, McPherson Lounge
  13. Adjournment

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PREPARED BY:

Communications Department

DATE:

January 19, 2023

SUBJECT:

November 15 – December 14, 2022 Communications Update


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Provide regular marketing and communication updates to the Board of Health.

SOURCE Nov 15 – Dec 14 Oct 15 – Nov 14 DIFFERENCE

News Releases, Media Advisories and Statements, or Notices Issued

1

5

-4

Media Requests Received

15

29

-14

Wechu.org pageviews

127,885

123,940

+3,945

YouTube Channel Subscribers

1,729

1,733

-4

Email Subscribers

7,649

7,687

-38

Emails Distributed

6

9

-3

Facebook Fans

18,908

18,897

+11

Facebook Posts

60

63

-3

Twitter Followers

8,674

8,698

-24

Twitter Posts

45

60

-15

Instagram Followers

1,503

1,498

+5

Instagram Posts

31

28

+3

LinkedIn Followers

1,290

1,271

+19

LinkedIn Posts

19

25

-6

Media Exposure

91

94

-3

Data Notes can be provided upon request

Media Exposure Overview Graph

November 15 - December 14 2022 Media Exposure overview chart


Website Overview Graph

November 15 - December 14 2022 Website Overview

Social Media Overview Graph

November 15 - December 14 2022 Social Media Overview Graph

Note: Twitter experienced a large drop in users following Elon Musk’s purchase and take over of the platform at the end of October. User drop-off has been on-going, and is projected to continue throughout the upcoming year.


DISCUSSION

November 15 – December 14 Notable Project thumbnail

For six weeks, the Communications Department supported Environmental Health with the promotion of Foods Safety At Home. The campaign ran for a total of eight weeks and included Google Display ads and radio ads, as well as organic (unpaid) social media posts.

The focus of the campaign was to increase food safety knowledge among people who are preparing food at home – for themselves and others. Messages contained educational information and directed viewers to food safety webpages.

The Google Display ads logged a total of 51,353 impressions (e.g., the number of times the ads were on screen), and 590 link clicks. Our website metrics showed a total of 785 page views (696 unique page views) for the Food Safety At Home webpage.


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PREPARED BY:

Healthy Schools Department - Immunization

DATE:

January 19, 2023

SUBJECT:

Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) Catch up and Enforcement in Elementary Schools and Grade 7 In-School Immunizations


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

In Ontario, the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) R.S.O. 1990, requires children and adolescents attending primary or secondary school to be immunized against mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, meningococcal, varicella and polio, or have a valid Medical, Conscience or Religious Belief exemption on file at the Health Unit. As outlined in the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), health units in Ontario are required to have a complete immunization record, or a valid exemption on file, for every student attending school in their area.

DISCUSSION

ISPA Enforcement in Elementary Schools

The Windsor and Essex County School Board Liaison Committee and representatives from private schools were surveyed about their recent experience with the secondary student school ISPA enforcement process. The results of that survey, which indicated that additional communication resources at the school level, were embedded in the planning process for 2023 activities. A Communication Workgroup has been established with communications staff from the four local school boards and the WECHU. The working group has collaborated on a communication plan for the ISPA-based catch up and enforcement activities planned for elementary school students in the 2022-2023 school year. The plan includes new resources and messages catering to the specific needs of local elementary school communities.

The WECHU has reviewed immunization records for students attending elementary school in Windsor and Essex County, as mandated by the ISPA. As of December 12, 2022, there were more than 12,000 students in the birth cohort years between 2009 and 2018 who were either overdue for one or more of the ISPA-based vaccines or who had not submitted their updated records to the WECHU. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of these students received an immunization notice in December, informing them of their child’s missing vaccines along with information on how and where to receive any missing vaccinations and/or how to update the child’s records.

The WECHU is hosting catch-up immunization clinics for eligible students from December to March to service families with children born between 2009 and 2018. Parents/guardians can book an appointment for their child at either the WECHU’s Windsor or Leamington office by phone at 519-960-0231 or online at wechu.org/getimmunized. Over 30 immunization clinics were held in the WECHU offices in December. In January, the WECHU will continue to provide daily clinics in its 2 offices, with after school hour clinics at both sites. As of January 9, 2023 there are 9,069 elementary school students at risk of school suspension on March 20, 2023.

Families can also contact their health care provider to receive any missing vaccinations and are reminded to update their child’s immunization records online. The WECHU is working with local health care providers to provide them with the necessary vaccines and ensure their patients’ records are updated.

As part of the strategy to reach parents/guardians, the WECHU developed a detailed communications plan that included news releases, social media posts, a 211 email blast, and paid Facebook and Google ads. To reach Arabic speaking parents, an Arabic radio ad will be purchased on CINA 102.3 FM. Starting December 12th, organic Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram messages were posted on WECHU’s social media channels, ranging from general messaging about the benefits of vaccination, to where to find an immunization clinic and how to update a student’s immunization records. A video of a Public Health Nurse explaining how parents can report their child's immunization record online was created. A short form of this video was posted on the WECHU’s website, in order to meet the needs of families who may need additional support when uploading their child’s immunization records.

Grade 7 School Immunization Clinics

According to Ontario’s publicly funded immunization program, public health units offer vaccines for Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Meningococcal Disease to students in Grade 7 at no cost each year through the school-based immunization program. The Meningococcal vaccine is an ISPA-required vaccine to attend school in Ontario; Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines are not required, they are highly recommended.

School-based immunization clinics for Grade 7 students have returned to the regular pre-pandemic schedule for the 2022-2023 school year. The in-school clinics were offered to all Grade 7 classes in Windsor and Essex County and started on October 20. The WECHU team has provided 3,349 doses of meningococcal vaccine (i.e., Men C ACYW), 2,519 doses of Hepatitis B vaccine, and 2,728 doses of HPV vaccine so far this school year. The second round of clinics is scheduled for the spring.


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Please contact us if you require this presentation in an alternate format.

2023 Annual Service Plan Presentation - PDF (PDF)
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Please contact us if you require this presentation in an alternate format.

2023 Budget Presentation - PDF (PDF)
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November 10, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/34y5kioi6GY

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. Medical Officer of Health Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  October 20, 2022
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-Laws and Policies – For approval
      1. Public Attendance and Delegations at Board of Health Meeting
      2. Delegation of Duties
      3. Performance of MOH and CEO
      4. By-Law No. 1 – Governance
      5. By-Law No. 2 – Finance
      6. By-Law No. 3 – Human Resources
      7. By-Law No. 4 – Management of Real Property
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Q3 Report (L. Gregg)
      2. Windsor-Essex County Living Wage Program (E. Nadalin)
      3. Communications Report (October 2022) (E. Nadalin)
    2. CORRESPONDENCE - None
  8. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS - None
  9. New Business - None
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act) 
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, Via Video
  12. Adjournment

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PREPARED BY:

Epidemiology & Evaluation and Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention

DATE:

Novemeber 10, 2022

SUBJECT:

Windsor and Essex County Living Wage Program


BACKGROUND

Income inequality has been recognized as one of the most significant social determinants contributing to poor population health outcomes. As such, many communities across Ontario, nationally, and internationally have implemented living wage programs to raise awareness, encourage adoption, and advance healthy public policy. A living wage is the minimum amount a person must earn to afford to live and participate in a specific community. In a general sense, it uses a calculation for family living expenses, relative to income from employment or government sources, and deductions from things like Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP) premiums, and Federal/Provincial taxes. A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the lowest rate an employer can legally pay for work performed.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has led the Windsor and Essex County Living Wage program since 2017 and has since certified 35 living wage employers, which are employers that pay their direct staff (full-time and part-time) the living wage in a given year. Certified living wage employers maintain their status for a period of two years and must reapply to be re-certified for another two-year cycle. Certified living wage employers proudly display the “Certified Living Wage” window decal to encourage other businesses to follow suit and often use that as a selling point in recruiting and retaining staff. The overarching goal of this program is to raise awareness about the minimum salary a person would need to earn to have a greater chance of having a basic standard of living in Windsor and Essex County. The program encourages local employers to be a part of the solution and also works to advance policies, partnerships, and practices that promote health and well-being for the community.

For the first time, the Ontario Living Wage Network embarked on developing a first full coverage of the province in living wage rates in 2022. The resulting 10 wage rates reflect “Economic Regions” that can include multiple jurisdictions. Windsor and Essex County are part of the Southwest Economic Region, which includes the Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent regions. Local data is still sourced from individual communities to develop this shared calculation.

Each year the living wage calculation is updated and shared with the community. The living wage calculation report is intended to provide an overview of the Living Wage, how it is calculated, and the assumptions that are made in the calculations. The 2022 Living Wage calculated for the Southwest Economic Region is $18.15/hour for full and part-time employees. This represents a 9.3% per hour increase over the 2021 Living Wage. Table 1 highlights the local living wage rates compared to the minimum wage rates from 2018 to 2022. Historically, local living wage rates have been higher than the provincial minimum wage rate as the living wage takes into account the actual cost of living in a particular community by considering the cost of food, clothing, shelter, childcare, transportation, medical expenses, recreation, and expenses associated with breaks from work. Worth noting is that, the minimum wage often is too low to lift someone working full-time above the poverty line and the living wage aims to address this.

Table 1: Living Wage compared to Minimum Wage over time.
  2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Living Wage in WEC $14.81 $15.15 $15.52 $16.60 $18.15
Minimum Wage $14.00 $14.00 $14.25 $14.35 $15.50
Difference -$0.81 -$1.15 -$1.27 -$2.25 -$2.65

CURRENT INITATIVE

In order to reach more local employers, enhance promotional capacity, and provide consistency for employers who operate in multiple regions of the province, the WECHU has partnered with the Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN). In this partnership, the OLWN will be responsible for the certification of local living wage employers at a provincial level, while providing them consistent support in developing and promoting their living wage policies. The WECHU will continue to provide the annual local calculation to OLWN to ensure the local costs are reflected on an annual basis.

Beginning in 2023, the new process for certification will be as follows:

  1. Expression of Interest. Local employers will complete the initial contact form through the OLWN. The manager of the OLWN employer program will contact the employer to discuss certification details and answer questions. 
  2. Application Review and License Agreement. OLWN review the details of the application and contact the employer to address any questions and determine the level of recognition. The employer will then sign the license agreement and pay the employer certification fee.
  3. Certificate Presentation. Once a year, through the local Healthy Workplace Awards ceremony, certified living wage employers will be recognized and provided with their Living Wage certificate.
  4. Recognition. OLWN will publicly recognize the organization or business through social media, events, and publications. The business or organization will be listed in the OLWN employer directory and map.
  5. Periodic Review. Each year on the anniversary of the certification, the employers will be sent a renewal survey and invoice for the annual employer certification fee. When the living wage calculation is updated in our community, the OLWN will contact the employers to let them know the new rate. Employers have six months to make adjustments once the new rate has been announced.

 


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PREPARED BY:

Communications Department

DATE:

November 10, 2022

SUBJECT:

September 15 – October 14, 2022 Communications Update


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Provide regular marketing and communication updates to the Board of Health.

SOURCE Sep 15 – Oct 14 Aug 15 – Sep 14 DIFFERENCE
News Releases, Media Advisories and Statements, or Notices Issued 2 13 -11
Media Requests Received 20 40 -20
Wechu.org pageviews 148,144 169,974 -21,830
YouTube Channel Subscribers 1,737 1,735 +2
Email Subscribers 7,719 7,759 -40
Emails Distributed 11 16 -5
Facebook Fans 18,888 18,869 +19
Facebook Posts 73 89 -16
Twitter Followers 8,754 8,737 +17
Twitter Posts 68 84 -16
Instagram Followers 1,485 1,474 +11
Instagram Posts 32 45 -13
LinkedIn Followers 1,227 1,202 +25
LinkedIn Posts 35 34 +1
Media Exposure 144 313 -169

Data Notes can be provided upon request

Media Exposure Overview Graph

September 15 - October 14 2022 Media Exposure overview chart


Website Overview Graph

September 15 - October 14 2022 Website Overview

DISCUSSION

Sept 15 – Oct 14 Notable Project thumbnail - Legacy for Children Parenting Program

A series of ads was created to promote the Legacy for Children Parenting Program, administered by the Healthy Families Department.

The campaign ran for 13 days, and over this timeframe, the ad had a total reach of 5,068 people with 14,888 total impressions.


Sept 15 – Oct 14 Notable Project thumbnail - Strategic Plan

The Communications department also updated The WECHU’s Strategic Plan which involved redesigning the files, creating web images, and making it accessible via wechu.org.

The 2022-2025 Strategic Plan was approved at the September Board of Health meeting, and was available online on September 15, 2022.


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Board Members Present:

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

Board Member Regrets:

Fabio Costante, Robert Maich, Ed Sleiman

Administration Present:

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

Administration Regrets:              

Dr. Felicia Lawal, CNO


QUORUM: Confirmed

 

  1. Call to Order

    Board Chair, G. McNamara, called the Regular meeting to order at 3:34 p.m. 

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

    Cancer
    Dr. Nesathurai shared his thoughts on cancer, noting that every family and every community has been touched somehow by this disease.  In individuals in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, approximately 30% pass away from some sort of cancer, the most common being lung, colon, pancreatic and prostate.  There are approximately 1,200 deaths in Windsor-Essex each year, smoking being the leading cause of illness.  The WECHU has smoking cessation classes available with an average of 40-50 individuals in each class.  Currently, 1 in 5 people in Windsor-Essex smoke. 

    Cervical Cancer
    One tool that we have in medicine and at the health unit is vaccination.  We have been advocating the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for youth, which prevents certain types of cancer and can ultimately save lives.  Screening for cervical cancer is typically every 3 years.

    Breast Cancer
    The most important tool for early detection of Breast Cancer is screening, and our goal as public health leaders is to focus on prevention. 

    Lifestyle can also play a role in our health and we all have the responsibility to take care of ourselves through regular physical checkups, screening and vaccinations. 

    Motion: That the information be received.
    CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  October 20, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
      CARRIED

      K. Blanchette mentioned that commencing January 2023, Board of Health meetings will likely be held in-person. This is particularly important with new Board members.  

      Motion: That commencing January 2023, Board of Health meetings will be held in person. 
      CARRIED

  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-Laws and Policies (For Approval) (L. Gregg)
      The following Board of Health By-laws and Policies presented today to the Board of Health are for final approval. 

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

      2. Delegation of Duties
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      3. Performance of Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      4. By-Law No. 1 – Governance
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      5. By-Law No. 2 – Finance
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      6. By-Law No. 3 – Human Resources
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.
      7. By-Law No. 4 – Management of Real Property
        Brought to the November Board of Health meeting for final approval.

        J. Lund asked if these By-laws were prepared under the Ontario Non-Profit Corporations Act. L. Gregg will confirm with legal that these requirements were satisfied.

        L. Gregg noted that our previous By-laws contained various legislation and policies imbedded into them.  These policies were extracted and brought forward. We found our By-law to be somewhat onerous and modeled our updated By-laws after other Ontario health units, and feel they are much more succinct. 

        G. McNamara believes a yearly review of the By-laws is a good opportunity to keep up to date with current legislation and that these four By-laws should be part of our strategic outlook going forward.  L. Gregg noted we will be striking a Governance Committee as previously discussed. G. McNamara noted that this is particularly important with a new contingent of board members to understand the duties and role of Board of Health member and moves to add an Audit and By-Law Committee to the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health list of Board committees.  The Board of Health will revisit Board Committees in the new year. 

        Motion: That the By-laws and Policies 6.1.1 to 6.1.7 presented to the Board be approved, and that Board Committees be revisited in the new year.

        CARRIED

  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. Q3 Report (L. Gregg)
        L. Gregg advised that the Q3 Report was submitted to the Ministry on October 31, 2022, and provided a brief update on Mandatory Program Funding, COVID-19 General Funding and One-Time Funding requests.  This report has been brought to the Board for information.

      2. Windsor-Essex County Living Wage Program (E. Nadalin) 
        E. Nadalin said that the Living Wage Program aims to provide what a Living Wage is and encourages local employers to become Living Wage certified.  The health unit took over this program in 2017, and we have partnered with the Living Wage network to advance this program using provincial channels.  Living Wage in Windsor-Essex is $18.15, and the current Minimum Wage is $15.50. This report has been brought to the Board for information.

      3. Communications Report (October 2022) (E. Nadalin)
        E. Nadalin noted a recent joint media release with WECHU and a number of local partners encouraging people to stay up to date with vaccinations.  This is particularly important with hospitals operating over capacity.  This report has been brought to the Board for information.

        Motion: That the information be received.  
        CARRIED

    2. CORRESPONDENCE - None
  8. Resolutions/Recommendation Reports - None
  9. New Business - None

  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 4:31 pm
    The Board moved out of Committee of the Whole at 5:05 pm

  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair
  12. Adjournment

    Chair, G. McNamara, wanted to take the opportunity on behalf of the Board to thank Rino Bortolin and Aldo DiCarlo for their role on the Board of Health.  He thanked R. Bortolin for his support and his work with the Consumption and Treatment Services Site, and improvements to the downtown core was done with professionalism.  His work with the Board has been exemplary.  

    R. Bortolin reiterated the work he has been able to do with the health unit, and how COVID changed the face of public health in this region.  Prior to COVID, many members of the public did not know the role of public health in their communities.  Health unit staff lead us through the pandemic and made us proud to be a part of this organization.  

    Chair, G. McNamara, thanked Aldo DiCarlo for stepping in as a Board of Health member and thanked him for his support, advice and professionalism and becoming a part of the organization when it was needed. 

    A. DiCarlo mentioned the continued hard work by health unit staff, and how important public health is in the community.  It took a pandemic to demonstrate that.  A. DiCarlo said it has been a privilege to serve on the Board of Health.

    K. Blanchette thanked the Board for their work with public health over the last 4 years, and hopes to see many return for another term. 

    Motion:  That the meeting be adjourned. 
    CARRIED

    The meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.


RECORDING SECRETARY: L. Damphouse

SUBMITTED BY: K. Blanchette

APPROVED BY: WECHU Board of Health, January 19, 2023


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October 20, 2022

Meeting held via video: https://youtu.be/VE-wNwRmCM4

  1. Call to Order
  2. Agenda Approval
  3. Announcement of Conflict of Interest
  4. COVID-19 Update (Dr. S. Nesathurai)
  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  September 15, 2022
  6. Business Arising
    1. Board of Health By-Laws and Policies – 2nd Reading
      1. Public Attendance and Delegations at Board of Health Meeting
      2. Delegation of Duties

      3. Performance of MOH and CEO

      4. By-Law No. 1 – Governance

      5. By-Law No. 2 – Finance

      6. By-Law No. 3 – Human Resources
      7. By-Law No. 4 – Management of Real Property

    2. Clarification on Direction to Administration
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      1. ISPA Enforcement (K. McBeth)
      2. Nutritious Food Basket (E. Nadalin)

      3. Q3 Renewal Priority Reporting (K. McBeth)
      4. Communications Report (September 2022) (E. Nadalin)

    2. CORRESPONDENCE - None
  8. RESOLUTIONS/RECOMMENDATION REPORTS
    1. CEO Transition (G. McNamara/D. Sibley)
    2. Healthy Smiles Ontario Program and Translation Supports (E. Nadalin)
    3. Risk Management - Presentation (K. McBeth/M. Frey)
  9. New Business
    1. CEO Quarterly Report (July-September 2022)
    2. Board of Health Meeting Locations – 2023 (L. Gregg)
    3. Board of Health Education/Engagement
    4. Q3 Renewal Priority Reporting – Presentation (M. Frey)
    5. November and December 2022 Board Meetings
  10. Committee of the Whole (Closed Session in accordance with Section 239 of the Municipal Act) 
  11. Next Meeting: At the Call of the Chair, or November 17, 2022 – Via Video
  12. Adjournment


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PREPARED BY:

Healthy Schools Department – Immunization

DATE:

October 20, 2022

SUBJECT:

Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) Enforcement in Secondary Schools and Grade 7 In-School Immunizations


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

In Ontario, the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) R.S.O. 1990, requires children and adolescents attending primary or secondary school to be immunized against mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, meningococcal, varicella and polio, or have a valid Medical, Conscience or Religious Belief exemption on file at the Health Unit. As outlined in the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), health units in Ontario are required to have a complete immunization record, or a valid exemption on file, for every student attending school in their area.

DISCUSSION

ISPA Enforcement in Secondary Schools

Beginning in the spring, the WECHU reviewed immunization records for students attending secondary school in Windsor and Essex County, as mandated by the ISPA. In June 2022, 13,254 secondary school students had incomplete immunization records and were either overdue for one or more vaccines or had not submitted their updated records to the WECHU. These students received an immunization notice in June, informing them of their missing vaccines along with information on how and where to receive any missing vaccinations and/or how to update their records. A suspension order was then mailed in early August to any secondary student who had not yet submitted the required immunization information to the WECHU.

Throughout the summer, the WECHU hosted catch-up immunization clinics in all municipalities in Windsor and Essex County, to ensure that these students had the opportunity to complete their vaccine series prior to the 2022/2023 school year and to avoid suspension. The WECHU also worked with local health care providers to provide them with the necessary vaccines and ensure their patients’ records were updated.

In addition to the secondary school student immunization record review, an immunization record review was also conducted for children in kindergarten to grade 3 in early 2022. 8,687 immunization notices were sent to parents informing them of the student’s missing vaccines and encouraging them to get their child vaccinated. The enforcement process (i.e., issuing suspension notices and suspension) for elementary students will begin in 2023.

Prior to enforcing the ISPA through the suspension process, the WECHU worked with local school boards to host onsite immunization clinics in local secondary schools, in addition to the clinics in each municipality and WECHU offices. As part of the strategy to promote these clinics, the WECHU developed a detailed communications plan that included news releases, social media posts, paid Facebook and SnapChat ads, a 211 email blast, and radio ads. From June 1st to August 31st, 54 organic Facebook, Twitter, Instagram messages were posted ranging from general messaging about the benefits of vaccination, to where to find an immunization clinic and how to update a student’s immunization clinics.

In August, 7,554 secondary students still had incomplete immunization records and were mailed suspension orders. As of the suspension deadline on Monday, September 12th, there were 1,519 secondary students who had not provided updated records to the WECHU. These students were suspended on September 14th, 2022. The WECHU has continued to provide walk in clinics and updated records with information received by health care providers and online submissions through ICON.

In order for a student to return to school after being suspended, the student or parent/guardian must provide the WECHU with an updated immunization record. Clinics for students who were suspended have been operational at both WECHU locations with evening and weekend appointment availability to ensure every student has the opportunity to receive their vaccine. Additionally, WECHU nurses have been contacting every student on the suspension list and reviewing their immunization records with them to ensure they are complete. Once the student’s immunization record is up-to-date with the WECHU, the school principal is informed that the student can return to school. This process involves sending a daily up-dated suspension list to every secondary school in Windsor and Essex County. As of October 3rd, 49 students are still suspended for incomplete immunization records.

Grade 7 School Immunization Clinics

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption of regular public health and education services, the WECHU was unable to fully implement in-school immunization programs over the last two years, in particular to students in grades 7 for Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Meningococcal Disease. These vaccines were made available to local health care providers to administer free of charge to eligible patients. However, some families have not been able to visit their health care providers to update their child’s vaccinations due to the pandemic or other external factors.

School-based immunization clinics for Grade 7 students will return to the normal pre-pandemic schedule in the 2022-2023 school year. In-school clinics are being offered starting October 20th to all local schools. As of September 28th, there are 4,455 students eligible for the HPV vaccine, 3,941 students eligible for the Hep-B vaccine, and 4,308 students eligible for the Men-C-ACYW-135 vaccine. Given the student’s previous vaccination history, they may be eligible for one or more of these vaccines. These clinics will be offered this fall and a second round of clinics will be scheduled next spring. These publicly-funded vaccines are free of charge, to eligible Grade 7 students. Parents of Grade 7 students will receive a letter informing them of the date for their school’s clinic. Parents will complete an online consent for the vaccines they want their child to receive and will be informed that the meningococcal vaccine is a required vaccine under the ISPA.


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PREPARED BY:

Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention

DATE:

October 20, 2022

SUBJECT:

Nutritious Food Basket & Food Insecurity


BACKGROUND

Household food insecurity refers to the inadequate or insecure access to food due to financial constraints. When an individual or family struggles to put food on the table, it is a sign of overall deprivation due to inadequate or unstable incomes. In these cases, food is often sacrificed to pay for other costs of living. Food insecurity has severe negative impacts on physical health, mental health, the healthcare system, and overall social well-being1. For children, living in a food insecure household is associated with childhood mental health issues, like hyperactivity, inattention, and greater risks of disordered eating, depression and suicidal ideation in adolescence and early adulthood2.

Household food insecurity status is determined through a survey of eighteen questions, ranging from experiences of anxiety that food will run out before there is money to buy more, to modifying the amount of food consumed, to experiencing hunger, and in the extreme, going a whole day without eating2. In 2021, it was reported that 48% of food insecure households in Ontario have a household member who earns their main source of income through wages, salaries or self-employment. However, the jobs are often precarious and low-paying (minimum wage), requiring a person to have more than one job to make ends meet. The results of this survey highlights that food insecurity extends beyond people who receive social assistance. Income solutions preserve dignity, address the root case of the problem, and ensure the basic right to food2.

Since 1998, the Ontario Public Health Standards have mandated local health units to monitor food affordability through population health assessments and surveillance using the Nutritious Food Basket (NFB) tool. Food costing tools, such as the NFB3, measure the cost of basic healthy eating that represents current nutrition recommendations and average food purchasing patterns. The 2019 NFB cost was $211.20. However, The NFB tool was recently modified to capture Health Canada’s 2019 update of the National Nutritious Food Basket, the current market availability of many products, and the ability to find the price of foods through online grocery platforms - reflecting modern consumer purchasing behaviour. Due to this update, any NFB basket completed before 2020 cannot be compared to the 2022 NFB value.

CURRENT INITATIVES

Between May 16 and June 24, 2022, the WECHU and 27 other Public Health Units participated in a pilot to test the new NFB costing tool using a hybrid model of in-store and online data collection. Using the updated NFB costing tool, the average cost of the lowest price available for 61 different food items was calculated. Once the average basket price was determined for different age groups and genders based on the scenario, a 5% buffer was added to the final basket amount. This accounted for miscellaneous items not included in the calculation such as spices, hygiene products, and other household needs. Using these final numbers, a variety of income and family scenarios for our local community were calculated.

The 2022 cost of healthy eating for a family of four in our area is $241.66 per week. A sample of three income scenarios from the 2022 Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex report can be seen in below (Table 1). This table compares monthly income received to the cost of rent and the 2022 NFB.  As noted, a single male living on Ontario Works (a social assistance benefit program) could spend close to his entire income on the rent for a bachelor apartment, leaving a shortage of $291.61 after other expenses. This highlights how the inability to purchase food is less about food prices being too high and more about people with low incomes not having enough income to cover the costs of basic living, including purchasing nutritious food.

Table 1. Income scenarios adapted from the 2022 Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex report.
  Family of Four:
Ontario Works
One Person:
Ontario Works
One Person:
Old Age Security/GIS
Income
Total Monthly Income (Including benefits and credits) $2,760.00 $863.00 $1,885.00
Expenses
Estimated Monthly Rent $ 1,367.00 $ 775.00 $ 976.00
Healthy Food (NFB, 2022) $ 1,046.39 $ 379.61 $ 267.64
Monthly Income Remaining for All Other Expenses
  $346.61 $ -291.61 $641.36

The NFB data has been used as an essential local component in the calculation of the Windsor-Essex County Living Wage. This data can also be used as an advocacy tool toward ends which enhance priority groups’ ability to purchase healthy food by:

  • Setting a minimum wage rate that more closely aligns with costs of living in Ontario
  • Lowering the income tax rate for the lowest-income households
  • Developing a poverty reduction strategy that includes targets for reduction of food insecurity as well as policy interventions that improve the financial circumstances of very low-income households.
  • Commiting to ongoing analysis of disaggregated race-based food-insecurity data, including Indigenous Peoples and Black communities in Ontario 

The 2022 Real Cost of Eating Well in Windsor-Essex report will be disseminated to local social planners, anti-poverty advocates, Registered Dietitians, and other community partners who will benefit from using this data within their program planning and advocacy efforts. To view the full report, visit www.wechu.org/healthy-eating/nutritious-food-basket.


  1. Ontario Dietitians in Public Health, Food Insecurity Workgroup. Position Statement on Responses to Food Insecurity. https://www.odph.ca/upload/membership/document/2021-04/ps-eng-corrected-07april21_3.pdf. Published December 2020.
  2. Tarasuk V, Li T, Fafard St-Germain AA. (2022) Household food insecurity in Canada, 2021. Toronto: Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Retrieved from https://proof.utoronto.ca/  September 2, 2022.
  3. Ministry of Health Promotion. Nutritious Food Basket Guidance Document. https://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/pro/programs/publichealth/oph_standards/docs/mhp/NutritiousFoodBasket.pdf May 2010.

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PREPARED BY:

Planning and Strategic Initiatives Department

DATE:

October 20, 2022

SUBJECT:

Renewal Plan Q3 Reporting


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE

At the May 2022 Board of Health meeting, a Renewal and Transformation plan was presented to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) Board of Health, detailing the short-term priorities and planning expectations for the WECHU for 2022. This plan includes 5 priority renewal efforts in response to the stabilization of the COVID-19 Pandemic response requirements. Those 5 priorities are: Health Assessment and Surveillance, Addressing Backlog of Services, Mental Health and Substance Use, Healthy Growth and Development, and Capacity Building. Beyond these priorities, the plan outlines sustained COVID-19 response efforts as required, based on local needs and Ministry of Health requirements.

DISCUSSION

Since the release of the Renewal and Transformation Plan, departments have developed operational plans aligning with key areas. The progress made on these plans to date includes work spanning from May 2022 until the end of Q3 (September 30th). Overall, 39% of project objectives are complete, 46% of project objectives are in progress, and 15% or project objectives had no progress. Additional reporting on the progress related to the Renewal and Transformation plan will occur in January 2023 and outline the progress made in Q4 of 2022.


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PREPARED BY:

Communications Department

DATE:

October 20, 2022

SUBJECT:

August 15 – September 14, 2022 Communications Update


BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:

Provide regular marketing and communication updates to the Board of Health.

Data Notes can be provided upon request.

SOURCE August 15 – Sept 14 July 15 – August 14 DIFFERENCE
News Releases, Media Advisories and Statements, or Notices Issued 13 18 -5
Media Requests Received 40 27 +13
Wechu.org pageviews 169,974 193,890 -23,916
YouTube Channel Subscribers 1,735 1,738 -3
Email Subscribers 7,759 7,791 -32
Emails Distributed 16 18 -2
Facebook Fans 18,869 18,801 +68
Facebook Posts 89 73 +16
Twitter Followers 8,737 8,690 +47
Twitter Posts 84 69 +15
Instagram Followers 1,474 1,467 +7
Instagram Posts 45 32 +13
LinkedIn Followers 1,202 1,182 +20
LinkedIn Posts 34 36 -2
Media Exposure 313 331 -18

Data Notes can be provided upon request

Media Exposure Overview Graph

August 15 - September 14 2022 Media Exposure overview chart


Website Overview Graph

August 15 - September 14 2022 Website Overview

Note: This month’s website pageviews were pulled from Google Analytics instead of SiteImprove due to technical issues with the SiteImprove program. The trend lines in pageviews map directly upon the previous month with the recognition that the date of data pull differs slightly from month to month and shifts the overall trend line of the current month to the left.


DISCUSSION

May 15 – June 14 Notable Project thumbnail

A notable project that the Communication’s department worked on during this reporting timeframe was the promotion of student immunization catch-up clinics.

In keeping with the Immunization of School Pupils Act, a four-phase marketing campaign launched in the spring and wrapped up in the fall.

From September 6 - 12, a series of three Facebook posts were boosted to inform families to report vaccines to the WECHU leading up to the suspension reporting deadline of Monday, September 12 before 6 p.m.

In total, the three posts had a reach of 16,115 people, and generated 95 unique link clicks to immune.wechu.org (the online immunization reporting portal).


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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

Guests:              

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.
    CARRIED
  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.
    CARRIED

  5. Approval of Minutes
    1. Regular Board Meeting:  September 15, 2022
      Motion: That the minutes be approved. 
      CARRIED
  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.
      CARRIED

      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. 
        CARRIED
  7. Consent Agenda
    1. INFORMATION REPORTS
      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.  
        CARRIED
    2. CORRESPONDENCE - None
  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.
      CARRIED

    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. 
      CARRIED

    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.
      CARRIED

  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
      CARRIED

    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. 
      CARRIED

    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.
      CARRIED

    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. 
      CARRIED

    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.   
    CARRIED

    The meeting adjourned at 5:30 pm.

RECORDING SECRETARY: L. Damphouse

SUBMITTED BY: K. Blanchette

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


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PREPARED BY:

Planning and Strategic Initiatives Department

PERIOD:  

JULY 1, 2022 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 2022


  1. For the period covered by this CEO Quarterly Compliance Report:
    1. The undersigned has personal knowledge of the matters herein reported or has made due inquiry with respect to the same.
    2. Except as reported in any previous CEO Quarterly Compliance Report, the undersigned reports as follows:
      1. that the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all laws, regulations, orders, judgments or decrees applicable to it.  Without limiting the generality of the foregoing the Health Unit is current in respect of all tax and related withholding and remittances required by law;
      2. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with its By-laws;
      3. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all other Board resolutions;
      4. the Health Unit has been in material compliance with all contracts and commitments to which the Health Unit is a party including without limitation all funding and accountability agreements;
      5. the Health Unit is current with respect to the payment of all remuneration (including salary and benefits) to its employees;
      6. there are no material variances between what is contemplated by the Operational Plan and what in fact transpired or appears likely to transpire;
      7. more specifically, no material changes are required in respect of financial resource allocation plans to address shifts in need and capacity;
      8. no material adverse change has occurred in the operations of the Health Unit or its assets and liabilities taken as a whole;
      9. there have been no material breaches of the Ethics Code of Conduct by anyone who is subject to it;
      10. there were two unplanned termination. The first was a non-union employee who chose not to follow WECHU’s updated immunization policy and resigned. The employee has since filed a constructive dismissal claim based on the policy. The second was a non-union staff person with continued performance concerns.
      11. there have been no claims made pursuant to any insurance policies maintained by the Health unit, except as noted below, and,
      12. nothing has come to the attention of the undersigned which would materially adversely change any previous CEO Quarterly Compliance Report, except as detailed below:

      Items (vi), (vii), and (viii) have been revised due to the COVID -19 pandemic as follows:
      The WECHU continues through the Organizational Emergency Response. As such, operations are shifted, including redeployments to meet the needs of the organization. Operational plans and finances are shifted in accordance with current public health demands including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

      Item (x). In the period between July 2022 and September 30, 2022 there was an unplanned termination of one non-union position.


Date:   September 23, 2022

Nicole Dupuis,
Chief Executive Officer

I certify that there are no additions to the above compliance report between the period end September 23rd, 2022 and September 30th, 2022.

Date: September 30, 2022

Eleanor Groh
Interim Chief Executive Officer


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October 20, 2022

ISSUE/PURPOSE

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 (Mehra, Costanian, Khanna, et al, 2019), 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). 

The impact of language as a barrier to accessing dental care may be reduced by having access to language interpretation and translation services (Reza, Amin, Srgo et al., 2016). As community dentists are not required to accept HSO as a form of payment, this can already be a significant barrier to accessing services. In Windsor and Essex County, patients have been turned away due to an inability to access translation services. This is understandable, as a patient or guardian needs to be able to provide consent and understand what is involved in treatment. Changes to the funding for HSO, by covering the costs associated with remote interpretation services (i.e., interpretation services that are accessible from a phone, mobile device, or computer) would remove one more of the existing barriers to service.

BACKGROUND

Oral health is important to overall health and well-being for children and youth. Poor dental health can lead to negative health and social outcomes for young people, and is important to many aspects of a child’s development (Rowan-Legg, 2013). One significant oral health concern in children is early childhood caries (ECC) which is decay involving the primary teeth in children younger than 6 years of age. Ethnicity and newcomer status are considered risk factors for ECC with evidence demonstrating that children of recent immigrants and refugees have higher rates of caries and lower rates of preventative dental visits, compared to Canadian-born children (Reza, Amin, Srgo et al., 2016). Newcomer families may lack knowledge about publicly funded dental programs, lack dental health insurance, and have poor oral hygiene, which together can increase the risk and prevalence of oral health issues (Salami, Olukotun, Vastani, et al. 2022). Newcomers may also frequently face other social, cultural, economic, and language barriers to preventive dental health care utilization (Mehra, Costanian, Khanna, et al, 2019). Specifically, limited English skills have been associated with less use of dental care services, as well as challenges with communication with healthcare providers. Language issues may also interact with other known barriers to dental care for newcomers, such as household income and parental education (Reza, Amin, Srgo et al., 2016).

The impact of language, as a barrier to dental health care may be reduced by having access to language interpretation and translation services (Reza, Amin, Srgo et al., 2016). It has been suggested that both dental visits and other oral health promotion efforts for newcomer families would be more impactful if public health organizations and private dental offices, could have access to interpreting services (Amin, Elyasi, Schroth, et al., 2014).  Given the important role that parents and caregivers can play in a child’s oral health, any efforts to improve the oral health literacy of newcomer families, could be considered an important support for those seeking access to services through the HSO program. .

Expansion of public dental programs such as Healthy Smiles Ontario to priority populations has been identified as a key goal of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU). Given the growing urgent need and increase in dental decay among vulnerable children in Windsor-Essex (WECHU, 2018) and recognizing the existing barriers to access to care, the WECHU recommends that fees associated with language interpretation and translation services be included in publicly funded dental programs, such as the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, oral health is important to overall health and well-being.  Access to preventive and treatment-based dental care is recognized as a basic human right for children and youth; and

Whereas, in Ontario, while many groups of children continue to have elevated rates of early childhood caries, specific groups of children are disproportionately affected, including those that are newcomers; and

Whereas, the publically funded Healthy Smiles Ontario dental program is intended to reduce overall inequity in access to preventative and affordable dental care for all young people under the age of 18, who do not have access to dental insurance or any other government programs; and

Whereas, the Windsor Essex County Health Unit recognizes the diversity of its residents, in that newcomers make up almost a quarter of the population in its jurisdiction and the important role that the HSO program plays in helping vulnerable children access preventative and emergency dental care; and

Whereas, numerous studies and research reports have indicated the urgent need to transform the current oral care health system, including providing equitable access to newcomers by addressing language obstacles;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health recommends the province of Ontario include billing options for translation and interpretation services in the  Healthy Smiles Ontario Fee Guide; and

FURTHER THAT, while there is a variety of modalities of interpretation, it is remote interpretation services, accessible 24/7 from a phone, mobile device, or computer, that should be considered as a useful and affordable option; and

FURTHER THAT this resolution be shared with the Ontario Minister of Health, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Association of Public Health Agencies, Ontario Boards of Health, the Essex County Dental Society, the Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry, the Ontario Dental Association and local municipalities and stakeholders.

References

Amin, M., Elyasi, M., Schroth, R., Azarpazhooh, A., Compton, S., Keenan, L., et al. (2014). Improving the oral health of young children of newcomer families: a forum for community members, researchers, and policy-makers. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association. Retrieved from https://jcda.ca/article/e64

Mehra, V.M., Costanian, C., Khanna, S. & Tamin, H. (2019) .Dental care use by immigrant Canadians in Ontario: a cross-sectional analysis of the 2014 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). BMC Oral Health 19, 78. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0773-x

Reza, M., Amin, M. S., Sgro, A., Abdelaziz, A., Ito, D., Main, P., & Azarpazhooh, A. (2016). Oral health status of immigrant and refugee children in North America: A scoping review. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 82(g3), 1488-2159. Retrieved from https://jcda.ca/g3

Rowan-Legg, A. (2013, January 11). Oral health care for children - a call for action. Paediatric Child Health, 37-43.

Salami, B., Olukotun, M., Vastani, M., Amodu, O., Tetreault, B., Obegu, P. O., Plaquin, J., & Sanni, O. (2022). Immigrant child health in Canada: a scoping review. BMJ global health, 7(4), e008189. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-008189

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October 20, 2022

BACKGROUND

An enterprise risk management framework and corresponding risk registry are important foundational elements in managing risk from an organizational governance perspective. The Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) specifies that “the board of health shall have a formal risk management framework in place that identifies, assesses, and addresses risks”. The Ministry of Health (MOH) requires yearly reporting on the highest residual risks to the organization and the related operations. Residual risks are defined as the assessed risk level after consideration of associated mitigation strategies.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) maintains a corporate risk registry; this risk registry monitors 26 risks across 12 risk categories. Based on the categorization and reporting requirements by the MOH, 7 of these risks were identified as being high residual risks. The high residual risks to be reported to the MOH for 2022 are related to: People/Human Resources, Knowledge/Information, Technology, Security, and Privacy. Each identified high risk includes documentation of current and future mitigation approaches.

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, the Ontario Public Health Standards requires the identification, assessment, and mitigation of enterprise risks; and

Whereas, the Ministry of Health requires yearly reporting on the highest residual risks to the organization; and

Whereas, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit identifies and establishes risk mitigation approaches;

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health accepts the risk assessment outlined in the WECHU Risk Registry and the proposed mitigation approaches;

FURTHER THAT, risk mitigation approaches will be adopted and monitored by the organization and reported to the Board of Health on a yearly interval


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November, 2022

ISSUE

Nicole Dupuis has officially left her role as Chief Executive Officer of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit effective September 23, 2022. Eleanor Groh continues to be the interim Chief Executive Officer.

Upon Nicole Dupuis’s departure, and after a thorough recruitment process, Ken Blanchette will transition to the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective November 28, 2022. In this role, Ken Blanchette will have a direct reporting line to the Board of Health and have the ability to bind the Board of Health.

PROPOSED MOTION

Whereas, Ken Blanchette was the successful candidate of the Chief Executive Officer recruitment process for the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit,

Now therefore be it resolved that the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health approve the CEO Transition to Ken Blanchette, with a direct reporting line to, and ability to bind, the Windsor-Essex County Board of Health, to take place effective November 28, 2022 as presented by Administration.


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