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outside of the brant county health unit


​Brant County Board of Health

Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 9:30 a.m., Boardroom


  • Mr. Greg Anderson, Chair
  • Ms. Helen Mulligan, Vice-Chair
  • Councillor Willem Bouma
  • Councillor Robert Chambers
  • Ms. Janice Mills
  • Councillor John Sless
  • Dr. M. Lock
  • Dr. J. Tober
  • Ms. L. Johnson (recorder)


  • Councillor Larry Kings
  • Councillor David Neumann
  • Ms. Ruby Toor (LOA)

Also Present:

  • Ms. Karen Boughner
  • Ms. Ruth Gratton, Manager, Infectious Diseases

1. Call to Order

Chair Anderson called the meeting to order at 9:30 am.

2. Conflict of Interest

Board members were reminded to declare a conflict of interest, if one so arises, at the time the item is discussed.

3. In-Camera Meeting

Moved by: Ms. Mills
Seconded by: Councillor Bouma
“That the meeting move to In-Camera at 9:30 am regarding personal and financial matters.” The regular Board of Health meeting resumed at 10:12 am.

4. Additions to Agenda


5. Approval of Minutes

5.1 Brant County Board of Health Minutes, February 21, 2018

Moved by: Councillor Chambers
Seconded by: Ms. Mills
“That the Brant County Board of Health Minutes, dated February 21, 2018, be approved as presented.” Carried.

6. Financial Report

No report.

7. Business Arising from Previous Minutes

7.1 Report from the Chair

Chair Anderson reported that he and Vice-Chair Mulligan attended the March 9 Management Team training session on Change, as well as the March 12 All-Staff Meeting for the introduction of the new organizational structure and Change training for staff.

7.2 Report from the Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Lock presented the Medical Officer of Health’s Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed with the agenda. The report highlighted local outbreaks, Canadian influenza statistics to week 8 of 2018, and yellow fever update in Brazil and impact on international travel. A Public Health Ontario draft paper on marijuana is out for peer review. The full report can be shared once it has been finalized and released.

Ms. Gratton joined the meeting at 10:18 am and Ms. Boughner joined the meeting at 10:22 am.

7.3 Report from the Executive Director

Dr. Tober presented the Executive Director’s Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed in the package. In addition to the items contained in the report, Dr. Tober reported that the Ministry of Health released 7 more protocols and guidelines to support the new Ontario Public Health Standards:

  • Child Visual Health and Vision Screening Protocol

  • Institutional/Facility Outbreak Management Protocol

  • Oral Health Protocol

  • Health Equity Guideline

  • Healthy Environments and Climate Change Guideline

  • Mental Health Promotion Guideline

  • Operational Approaches for Food Safety Guideline

Eleven remain outstanding. The Visual Health Protocol states that vision screening for senior kindergarten students will be provided or ensured in schools and involve follow-up. Details are not included in the Protocol; there is no indication of whether a form completed by an optometrist would be acceptable or whether screening by volunteer service organizations would be satisfactory.

Dr. Tober advised that the 2016 Chief Medical Officer of Health Report: Improving the Odds—Championing Health Equity in Ontario was released. The report focuses on transformation, the new Health Equity Standard and Guideline, and the data source and analytical approaches Public Health needs to be using. Dr. Peter Donnelly, President and CEO of Public Health Ontario will be coming to the Brant County Health Unit on April 25. Dr. Donnelly is touring health units in this area. This is a general interest visit to see Public Health in this community.

7.4 Food Safety Disclosure Report

No report.

7.5 Ministry of Health Audit of Brant County Health Unit Update

Dr. Tober reported that the Ministry of Health auditors continue on-site 3 to 4 days per week. They are still collecting and testing financial and human resources records, and have not commenced with the governance component yet. A meeting is scheduled for today with the lead auditors to receive an update on timelines and progress.

Moved by: Councillor Bouma
Seconded by: Councillor Sless
“That the Board of Health accepted Reports 7.1 through 7.5 as presented.” Carried.

8. New Business

8.1 Sexual Health Program Report

Ms. Gratton presented the Sexual Health Program Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed with the agenda. The report highlighted 2017 activities: 1,555 booked client visits and 541 secondary school student visits. The three main appointment types were for sexually transmitted infections, birth control, and follow up on laboratory results. As of January 1, 2018, birth control products will be free for all women aged 24 years and below, under the OHIP+ program. It is expected that client visits to the Health Unit will decrease as a result. As part of Harm Reduction, the Needle Exchange program operates out of the Brantford Clinic and two St. Leonard’s Community Services sites. The Health Unit provides financial and programming support. In 2017, there were 4,184 visits recorded and an estimated 272,801 new needles distributed. There were 172 Naloxone kits given out along with associated training. Thirty-five educational sessions were conducted. The Health Unit worked closely with Six Nations Public Health to assist with Naloxone kit distribution and awareness in their community.

Ms. Gratton responded to questions: St. Leonard’s provides many addiction services; when they dispense Naloxone kits, users/families can be linked with services at that time. In training, there is reinforcement that 911 should be called for a suspected overdose, so that the client receives appropriate medical care and is given opportunity to access treatment services. Harm Reduction Program Enhancement, funded late in 2017, expanded the sites carrying Naloxone to include shelters, crisis locations, etc., so they can also offer access to treatment services. A Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Addictions Task Force has just formed to explore the LHIN role, St. Leonard’s work, Rapid Action Additions Medicine (RAAM) clinics, and funding going forward. Ms. Gratton stated that the opioid overdose numbers reported to the Health Unit appear to be stable at this time.

8.2 Tuberculosis Prevention and Control Program Report

Ms. Gratton presented the Tuberculosis (TB) Prevention and Control Program Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed with the agenda. The report highlighted 2017 activities: 1 new active case of TB, 8 contacts identified and managed, and 20 newly-diagnosed Latent Tuberculosis Infections cases identified through tuberculin skin tests or blood tests. The Health Unit followed 12 new immigrants in 2017. A social media campaign will roll out on World TB Day on March 24 to increase the awareness of TB in the community.

8.3 Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Report

Ms. Gratton presented the Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Program Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed with the agenda. Ms. Gratton reported the most-common reportable diseases are chlamydia, influenza, hepatitis C and gonorrhea. In 2017, all 17 long-term care and retirement home facilities had environmental audits, 12 infection control sessions were presented, and 38 communicable disease outbreaks were investigated. Inspections were conducted at daycare facilities, retirement homes, long-term care facilities and personal service settings. A new and growing activity is the investigation of infection prevention and control (IPAC) complaints in clinical settings. One medical and 3 dental clinics were investigated; while no lapses were found, these visits offered opportunities to recommend improved IPAC practices.

8.4 Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Program Report

Ms. Karen Boughner presented the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Program Report, dated March 21, 2018, as distributed with the package. Ms. Boughner reported that student immunization coverage rates in the high 90-precent range have been consistent over the past years. The number of influenza clinics was reduced, as the majority of recipients now obtain flu shots from their healthcare providers or pharmacists. Changes to in-house clinics, including using the skill sets of RPNs for clinical activities, is leading to staffing and cost efficiencies. In conjunction with Panorama, the provincial software to hold and assess immunization records, ICON has been launched by the Ministry of Health. ICON allows individuals to input their own (or their children’s) immunization records into Panorama. This will be rolled out to the public during the second quarter of 2018, and is expected to reduce the number of incomplete student records and annual suspension notices to elementary and secondary school students. Nine letters were sent to healthcare providers who experienced cold chain failures which resulted in $25,000+ of vaccine wastage. The Ministry closely monitors this cost in each health unit jurisdiction.

Ms. Gratton and Ms. Boughner left the meeting at 10:49 am.

8.5 alPHa Annual Conference—Call for Resolutions

Dr. Tober advised that the Association of Local Public Health Agencies’ (alPHa) Annual Conference will be held in Toronto from June 10-12, 2018. At this time, alPHa is calling for resolutions and nominations for the Distinguished Service Award. There are also nominations for the alPHa Board of Directors; however, no directorship terms are open for the Central-West Region this year.

Moved by: Councillor Sless
Seconded by: Councillor Bouma
“That the Board of Health accept Reports 8.1 through 8.5 as presented.” Carried.

9. Correspondence (Board members may request a copy of items that are not attached from Board of Health Secretary)

9.1 Correspondence received from Grey Bruce Health Unit, dated February 15, 2018, re food insecurity.

9.2 Correspondence received from Grey Bruce Health Unit, dated February 15, 2018, re smoke-free modernization.

9.3 Correspondence received from Grey Bruce Health Unit, dated February 15, 2018, re alcohol retail sales.

9.4 Correspondence received from Grey Bruce Health Unit, dated February 15, 2018, re vaccine recommendations for childcare workers.

9.5 Correspondence received from Public Health Sudbury & Districts, dated February 27, 2018, re tobacco and smoke-free campuses.

9.6 Correspondence received from Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, dated March 13, 2018, re Annual Service Plan and Budget 2018.

Moved by: Ms. Mills
Seconded by: Ms. Mulligan
“That the correspondence be received as presented.” Carried.

10. Questions/Announcement

Councillor Bouma inquired about an email from a member of the public regarding access to the submitted 2018 Annual Service Plan and Budget. Chair Anderson has responded to the sender, and Dr. Tober will also do so.

11. Future Agenda Items

12. Next Meeting Date

Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 9:30 am.

Board of Health Finance & Audit Committee Meeting on April 18, 2018, at 8:30 am.

14. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 10:51 am.