Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts votes in favour of merging with Algoma Public Health

Today the Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts met to consider and vote on a motion to merge with Algoma Public Health (APH). Following careful review and intense deliberations, Board members voted unanimously in favour of developing a joint business case to propose to the Ministry of Health a merger of the two public health agencies. Earlier in the day, however, the Board of Health for APH voted against a merger with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

“Today’s Public Health Sudbury & Districts deliberations were in response to the Ministry of Health’s August 2023 announcement encouraging voluntary mergers and providing merger support funding for public health units. On behalf of Board members, I would like to extend our gratitude for the thoughtful and extensive work by both boards of health, the Medical Officers of Health, and staff from both public health units over the last few months to gather the information necessary to make an informed decision,” said René Lapierre, Chair, Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

“Throughout the process, the Board has been committed to ensuring a responsive, local public health service so we can respond to the health issues of today and the unexpected surges in demand of tomorrow. While our respective boards have decided differently, the diversity of perspectives shared during this exploration has enriched our relationships and mutual understanding,” said Lapierre.

Proposing a potential merger to the Ministry of Health requires agreement from both boards of health. As the Board of Health for Public Health Sudbury & Districts voted to support the potential merger and the Board of Health for Algoma Public Health voted against, a merger proposal will not be submitted to the Ministry.

“Our health system is under considerable strain, and we know that it’s critical to invest in a strong public health system to keep us healthy—from kids to seniors and from oral health to safe drinking water. We have longstanding and excellent relationships with Algoma Public Health—from frontline staff to senior leadership—and I know that both agencies remain committed to acting in the best interests of local communities to achieve the health equity that our areas deserve,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer for Public Health Sudbury & Districts. “Today’s decisions mean that our existing relationships continue and we look forward to future collaborations in support of local public health,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.

Following direction from the Board of Health in November 2023, staff and Board members from Public Health Sudbury & Districts engaged with Algoma Public Health in a feasibility study funded by the Ministry of Health. The study gathered information and explored the merits and risks of a merger with Algoma Public Health. Today’s Public Health Sudbury & Districts Board of Health decision was informed by this comprehensive study and the Board’s assessment of the potential impact of a merger on the agency’s ability to deliver public health programs and services to area communities.

The Board of Health will continue to seek to build on the agency’s nearly 70 years of delivering public health programs and services, developing pivotal community connections, and working with partners to improve opportunities for health for all. Skilled public health professionals and stable leadership have been cornerstones to the agency’s effectiveness, and its commitment to evidence informed practice will remain a primary focus in the future.

Board of Health members are committed to improving opportunities for health and creating healthier communities for all. Proceedings (agendas, minutes, and motions) for the Board are available online. To learn more about local public health programs and services, please contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200) or visit

This item was last modified on February 20, 2024