October 2019 – Strategic Priorities: Narrative Report

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The Public Health Sudbury & Districts 2018-2022 Strategic Plan includes four Strategic Priorities that represent key areas of focus. The Strategic Priorities build on past successes and direct future actions to create optimal conditions for health for all. The Strategic Priorities: Narrative Report highlights stories from Public Health Sudbury & Districts programs and services to paint a picture of our priorities in action. These Narrative Reports are provided to the Board of Health two times per year – in the spring and fall – as a component of the 2018-2022 Accountability Monitoring Plan.

It is important to note that narratives do not necessarily reflect a specific reporting timeline. Rather, they represent an ongoing monitoring component of our 2018–2022 Strategic Plan.

Strategic Priorities

Equitable Opportunities

We strive for health equity by championing equal opportunities for health.

Meaningful Relationships

We establish meaningful relationships that lead to successful partnerships, collaborations, and engagement.

Practice Excellence

We strive for ongoing excellence in public health practice including, program and service development and delivery.

Organizational Commitment

We advance organization-wide commitment and ensure that we are well positioned to support the work of public health.

Priority 1: Equitable Opportunities

Baby Café breastfeeding support group: Our community likes it a-latté!

Through our partnership with EarlyON centres and local school boards in Sudbury, Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ Baby Café breastfeeding support group aims to promote the normalization of breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public. Since November 2012, this program continues to offer mothers a chance to talk to each other about their experiences, regardless of their financial or social status. Breastfeeding or pregnant mothers attend the Café to socialize and share tips, ask questions, and receive information from public health staff. One of the fundamental features of the group is that it provides a supportive, safe, and non-judgmental environment. Positive mental health is promoted by creating a sense of belonging, lessening the feelings of isolation that often accompany motherhood and elevating the understanding of other mothers’ breastfeeding journeys.

The frequency of the Baby Café recently increased from a bi-weekly to weekly basis, as it has been so well received by our community.

For more information, please visit our website at www.phsd.ca.

Priority 2: Meaningful Relationships

Fostering relationships to improve access to oral health care

A Community Dental Advisory committee was established in 2019 to address local inequities in oral health. The committee is led by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, and members include representation from the Sudbury & District Dental Society, Cambrian College’s dental hygiene program, and the Sudbury District Nurse Practitioner Clinics.

The committee held its first meeting in the spring of 2019 to discuss issues impacting equitable access to dental treatment and barriers to care for low-income adults. At this meeting, members reviewed local data that identified populations who face the greatest barriers in accessing dental treatment. Committee members also learned about the roles of each partner agency at the table. The committee agreed to focus efforts on increasing access to dental treatment for low-income adults and committed to leveraging current infrastructure to improve access to oral health care.

To date, the committee has served in an advisory capacity for the creation of a dental clinic at the new Sudbury Nurse Practitioner Clinics. The committee has also been a resource for Public Health Sudbury & Districts in the development of our strategy to provide dental care to low-income seniors. Next steps for the committee include identifying opportunities to obtain grants and finding other funding sources to support the provision of dental treatment for low-income adults in our communities.

Priority 3: Practice Excellence

Best practices with bathing beach water testing

In early 2019, the Environmental Health division, in collaboration with the Knowledge and Strategic Services division, analyzed five years of bathing beach water testing data for all Public Health Sudbury & Districts inventoried beaches. A continuous quality improvement approach was used to find efficiencies in the delivery of the water testing program, while meeting ministry regulations and ensuring recreational water safety. Historically, water samples from 34 beaches were inspected on a weekly basis. The water sampling schedule was reduced to once a month for 20 beaches located in Chapleau, Gogama, Sable-Spanish, Manitoulin Island, Killarney, and Sudbury following the review of past test results and assessing potential future risk.

Based on the review, inclusive of risk assessment to the health and safety of the public, and through consultation with public beach owners, two beaches were removed from the inventory and one new public beach was added for monitoring. Along with beach water testing, our agency conducts annual preseason beach assessments on all public beaches to determine the safety of the bathing area before the swimming season begins. Mitigation strategies are ready for implementation in the event of an adverse water sample result, if hazardous conditions are found on the beach, or if there is a blue-green algal bloom sighting.

Priority 4: Organizational Commitment

First Aid Emergency & Opioid Overdose Response Policy

As part of Public Health Sudbury & Districts commitment to opioid overdose prevention, recognition and response, we recently updated our First Aid Emergency Response Policy to expand the definition of a first aid emergency to include emergency response for an opioid overdose. This policy outlines the training and supply requirements for the 17 designated first aid responders who work in offices across the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.

In addition to emergency first aid certification, these staff are being trained in the administration of naloxone and their skills and competencies will be continually updated through annual refreshers.

This revised policy direction demonstrates Public Health Sudbury & Districts commitment to strengthen our accountability and build a skilled, diverse and responsive workforce for our clients and communities.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts Accountability Monitoring Framework

Public Health Sudbury & Districts Accountability Monitoring Framework

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This item was last modified on February 11, 2020