Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts takes decisive action to ensure strong, stable, and locally responsive public health capacityIssued: Thursday, November 16, 2023
At its meeting today, the Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts set its sights on the future of public health for the area and marked a clear path forward to ensure strong, stable, and locally responsive public health capacity.
As part of the province’s public health system, boards of health are required by law to deliver provincially mandated public health programs and services to promote and protect the health of individuals in their service areas. This public health system is expected to fundamentally change with the sweeping Strengthening Public Health plan announced by the Ministry of Health in August. The Ministry’s plan includes mergers of existing public health units and a review of local public health roles and responsibilities, both by 2025, and a new approach to funding by 2026.
“With these rapid paced and transformative changes, the Board of Health and our skilled staff need to have the capacity to fully engage in creating the future of Ontario’s public health system while ensuring we continue to be accountable, transparent, and responsive to local needs,” said René Lapierre, Chair of the Board of Health. “Today the Board approved the 2024–2028 Strategic Plan, the budget for 2024, and our first steps in exploring mergers with other local public health units. These decisions mean we will have the strategic direction, resources, and roadmap to see Public Health through 2024 and ensure we emerge as a strong and effective new local public health agency,” added Lapierre.
The 2024–2028 Strategic Plan builds on past successes and sets the direction for local public health. Our values of humility, trust, and respect will continue to underpin our four strategic priorities: equal opportunities for health, impactful relationships, excellence in public health practice, and healthy and resilient workforce.
The 2024 Board-approved cost-shared operating budget totals $30,073,079 and is an increase of $1,396,294 over 2023. The budget includes minimal costs associated with a significantly downsized COVID-19 program that now must be funded within the cost-shared base budget, and otherwise includes only fixed cost increases and incorporates operational reductions in addition to unfunded budget pressures.
“We have counted on our Public Health team to protect and promote our health—to be there for us—through difficult times, and I am reassured to know that our services will be maintained as we embark on this significant system change,” said Lapierre.
Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, there are currently 34 boards of health in Ontario, each with a responsibility to deliver programs and services set out in the Ontario Public Health Standards. These programs and services must consider local contexts and needs, with the goal of improving health for all and with a special focus on those at greater risk of poor health outcomes.