Annual Report 2016


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Message from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe

Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer

Aanii, Bonjour, Greetings. I am pleased to share the Sudbury & District Health Unit 2016 Annual Report, Connections. This year’s report shines a spotlight on the work of the Health Unit to understand important connections that help us support health in our service area.

The communities served by the Health Unit are rich in history and culture but they also are rapidly evolving and adapting to dynamic environments. The Health Unit works to monitor trends and shed light on the connections between health data, community characteristics, and partner actions to build effective and responsive public health services.

For example, through our community collaborations, partnerships, research, and collecting, analysing, and interpreting information about health measures, we identified connections that helped us better leverage opportunities for school health, breastfeeding, healthy kids, and traditional use of sacred tobacco, to name a few. This complex task is important because it serves as the roadmap to guide our population health planning efforts to improve health for all.

Health is dynamic and is affected by many factors. In public health, we persistently use our expertise and insights to work with others and evolve and adapt our own programs and services to support communities and all residents, ensuring equal opportunities for health for all.

Message from René Lapierre

Chair, Sudbury & District Board of Health

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all benefit from the Health Unit’s wide range of public health services. As the Chair of the Board of Health, I have the privilege with my colleague Board of Health members to lead an agency that helps connect the dots to create better health opportunities for all.

As a sector, public health is uniquely positioned to connect these dots. We are often the bridge between the larger health system and other sectors such as education, municipal, environment, workplaces, and others to fully leverage opportunities for health.

Locally, the Sudbury & District Health Unit is engaged in many activities to promote and protect health. Using various health indicators, we work to understand people’s health so that our programs and services can be best planned to support opportunities for health for all in our communities.

In partnership with the people and communities of the 18 municipalities we serve, the Sudbury & District Health Unit strives to address the conditions that affect our health where we live, where we work, and where we play. I am honoured to work with my dedicated Board of Health colleagues and proud of the staff who serve the people of Greater Sudbury and the districts of Sudbury and Manitoulin.

An academic detailer works together with a clinician

Academic Detailing Program

Primary care practitioners play a key role in promoting and protecting the health of our communities. Introduced in 2016, our Academic Detailing Program offers one-on-one personalized continuing professional development to primary care providers in Greater Sudbury to increase their knowledge and skills on a variety of public health issues encountered in practice. The first topic for the program was Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral, and 32 clinicians took part.

A public health inspector posts an advisory

Health Hazards

Our work in public health takes us beyond the walls of our offices—it takes place all around, keeping you and your family safe. We inspect restaurants, personal services settings (for example, salons, and tattoo and piercing studios), public pools and beaches, and ensure the water you drink is safe. We respond to threats of emerging diseases and enteric (stomach) outbreaks, investigate health hazards, mitigate health risks associated with climate change, and help support marginalized populations.

In 2016, we inspected 3608 food premises, responded to 413 health hazard complaints, investigated 37 enteric outbreaks, and laid 92 charges in relation to the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarette Act.

A smiling newborn baby

Baby-Friendly Designation

Being granted the “Baby-Friendly” designation by the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada is an accomplishment that will benefit our clients and improve health outcomes. This achievement affirms our commitment to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. With the goal of improving health outcomes for all mothers and their babies, we help mothers make informed decisions about feeding their infant and support them with whichever decision they make.

An independent older adult

Independent Older Adults

Each year, one in every three older adults (65+) experiences a fall: this is a shocking statistic. Falls are the main reason older adults lose their independence—but most falls can be predicted and prevented. Improving home safety and reducing hazards in the home is a critical part of preventing falls. To encourage home safety checks, we were supported by the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) to partner with the four other Northeastern public health units and other community agencies to deliver the Stay On Your Feet regional fall prevention strategy. Together, we are helping older adults stay active, stay independent, and stay on their feet.


Barrier-free Services

The principles of dignity, independence, integration, and equality of opportunity guide our work as we commit to move beyond the minimum legislated requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to make a difference for people in our communities. For example, this includes having manuals and forms in accessible formats; creating e-learning modules in multiple formats, such as visual, written, and audio; and developing processes to support applicants with varying abilities in the hiring process. Offering barrier-free public health services and providing an inclusive environment is our goal.

A young kid playing with a sports ball

Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Supporting the well-being of our children and helping create communities where it’s easy for children to lead healthier lives is the goal of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge. We have had the pleasure of partnering with and lending support to the community agencies who lead local initiatives for the Challenge, namely, the Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, and the City of Greater Sudbury. The Challenge encourages communities to rally around themes to develop programs, policies, and environmental supports. The themes include promoting physical activity, choosing water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, and increasing vegetable and fruit consumption.

An Indigenous woman

Sacred Tobacco

A very successful and positive collaboration with youth from the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre led to the development of a campaign to educate youth and the community about the traditional uses of sacred tobacco. The project gave First Nation and Métis youth the opportunity to develop, design, and implement the campaign, which they titled This Is My Tobacco. The campaign included a series of posters that featured local Indigenous youth proudly showing how sacred tobacco is important to their culture.

A young woman standing next to a needle disposal bin

Harm Reduction Supplies and Services Program (The Point)

In 2016 we became the administrative lead and expanded this free and confidential program that provides harm reduction supplies and services to people who use drugs. This program helps reduce the risks of getting or passing on infectious diseases, like HIV and hepatitis C, and reduces risks associated with using drugs. Working alongside our partner agencies, we are committed to offering respectful services without ever passing judgement. Our partners include the Sudbury Action Centre for Youth, Réseau ACCESS Network, and the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy.

A resilient student in a wheelchair

School Health

Youth need to have the resources to thrive in life—to be healthy and succeed in school. Our collaborations with local school boards recognize that a resilient school community embraces the philosophy that, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Our collective focus is on increasing students’ building blocks. Our School Team has worked with over 700 adult influencers (parents, teachers, school staff, and senior leaders) to improve the health and well-being of school communities: building supports in school environments by addressing bullying concerns, providing youth engagement opportunities, and addressing risk and protective factors for mental health.

A diagram depicting the approved budget of $27,184,469. 74.7% of the budget was allocated to cost-shared programs, 15.9% was used for 100% funded public health programs, and 9.4% was for operating occupancy of cost-shared.

2016 Approved Budget: $27,184,469

Public Health Is the Right Investment

At a fraction of the cost of treating disease, public health programs and services are an investment in our health and the health of our communities and our economy. Public health prevents disease and promotes health, reducing our need for treatment services and supporting our ability to contribute fully to our families, our workplaces, and our communities.

This item was last modified on September 21, 2023