October 2020 – 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.
We strive for health equity by championing equal opportunities for health.
We establish meaningful relationships that lead to successful partnerships, collaborations, and engagement.
We strive for ongoing excellence in public health practice including, program and service development and delivery.
We advance organization-wide commitment and ensure that we are well positioned to support the work of public health.
Priority 1: Equitable Opportunities
Providing families with fresh fruit and vegetables amid COVID-19 pandemic
The Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program provides weekly servings of vegetables and fruit to all elementary students in publicly funded and First Nation schools. This program ceased to operate in March 2020 as schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts, along with our program partners, the Ministry of Health, and the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, quickly developed an alternative program that would provide food access opportunities for communities facing additional food insecurity due to the pandemic.
Weekly deliveries of fresh vegetables and fruit were sent to 13 First Nation communities throughout our district. Communities used the produce from the program and sought out other funding sources to purchase more healthy food options and together created many nutritious food baskets to distribute to families in need. Providing these baskets ensured families accessed healthy food while staying safe in their home community.
Priority 2: Meaningful Relationships
Working together to collectively respond to COVID-19 in our community
The health of our community relies on a coordinated approach to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Developing meaningful relationships while working together with community partners such as child care centres, schools, long-term care homes, retirement homes, municipalities, and business operators helps ensure a safe and collective response.
Daily collaboration with community agencies and stakeholders takes place to ensure:
- consistent messaging
- review and collaboration on COVID-safe operation plans
- role clarity
- appropriate sharing of responsibilities
Public Health has provided expert guidance by reviewing safe re-opening plans for child care centres and schools, providing clarity on legislation, and developing materials including various signage and draft policies for the mandatory use of face coverings. Public Health has also visited many premises to support COVID-safe business operations including guidance and support for physical distancing and infection prevention and control.
Planning with these key partners helps to support healthier communities for all by ensuring the needs of our community members are met during these challenging times. Early and ongoing efforts in our community have effectively helped to flatten the curve and to protect our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
Maintaining community partnerships through consistent coordinated communication will continue to support a strong response against COVID-19. We are in this together.
Priority 3: Practice Excellence
Assessing community context with themed surveys during COVID-19 pandemic
Public health programs and services are informed by evidence and responsive to needs and emerging issues. An important method of assessing the community situation during the COVID-19 pandemic has been through surveys. Surveys are a useful effective public health practice tool for informing decisions and supporting program planning. Public Health Sudbury & Districts conducted several themed surveys to gain an understanding of how the pandemic is impacting residents. Between April and August 2020, six separate surveys were administered to residents in our service area on COVID-19 topics related to knowledge, behaviours, impacts, mental health, substance use, injury prevention, and public health pandemic response. A total of 4,000 surveys were completed overall. Survey findings are being used to inform the development and delivery of public health programs and services during the pandemic and contribute to future planning and preparation efforts.
Priority 4: Organizational Commitment
Mental health in COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 prompted significant public health efforts to change our internal processes, structures, and programs. Early in the public health response, it was crucial to support staff mental health as they navigated their way through these unprecedented times. The organization identified resources, developed material, and identified unique ways to support staff mental health and build resiliency. Efforts to support staff included:
- weekly emails promoting local, provincial, and national resources
- tools for managers to support staff mental health
- partnership with Mindfulness on the Rocks to provide free mindfulness sessions to staff
- development and evaluation of peer-led debrief sessions
- expanded access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- leadership encouraging staff to utilize vacation time to unplug and recharge
Many of these efforts are ongoing and important to help foster a work environment that supports and sustains mental health and well-being as public health staff continue to respond to COVID-19. There is no health without mental health.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts Accountability Monitoring Framework
- Vision: Healthier communities for all.
- Mission: Working with communities to promote and protect health and prevent disease for everyone.
- Values: Humility, Trust, Respect
- Provincial Organizational Requirements
- Provincial and Local Program Requirements
- Board of Health Strategic Priorities
- Ministry Attestations (Compliance)
- Ministry Program Indicators
- Locally Determined Organizational Indicators
- Locally Developed Program Indicators
- Narrative Reports
This item was last modified on October 29, 2020