NWHU saw a year of growth in 2012
2012 was a year of growth for the Health Unit. A lot of time was spent planning for how we can help our communities create the conditions that lead to good health. We also worked on improving the ways we report to the public, our funders, and partners.
To keep you informed, we sent out 42 media releases about our programs and services. We also started the HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org email address to hear back from the public. In 2013 we will continue to expand our efforts to listen to the community by creating a social media presence and launching our newly designed website.
During the summer, the head office made a move to bring us closer to the heart of downtown Kenora. We are eager to use the newly renovated building’s meeting spaces to support the work of community partners.
Our program teams continued to work to meet the requirements laid out in the Ontario Public Health Standards. In addition, our enforcement team completed an initial assessment of over 900 small drinking water systems in our region, and issued directives to operators to reduce the risk of water-borne illness. 2012 also saw our dental program pilot a prevention and treatment program with our Mobile Dental Office that included four First Nation communities in our area.
In June we released our Public Health Report Card for 2011, while at the same time planning for the future. During the process, we examined ways that we can help to improve population health. In November, we launched our new strategic plan for 2013-2016, which focuses on changing the factors that lead to our common causes of death (cancer and heart disease).
We hear and read about the burden of chronic diseases all the time, but what really contributes to people getting sick? We explored the idea of the social determinants of health in our 2012 video: Let’s Start a Conversation about Health. The video talks about health being more than health care – and the impact of things like the money, education, and work.
To ‘walk the talk’ of active living, we added walks to the agenda at every Board of Health meeting morning break, and approved a Healthy Meeting and Event policy to help make the healthy choice the easy choice for our staff. Moving into 2013 with our new strategic plan, we want to start ‘turning the curve’ – and see increases in healthy eating and active living.
Want to talk about public health? Email us at HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can watch our video and view our Public Health Report Card and Strategic Plan at HYPERLINK “http://www.nwhu.on.ca” www.nwhu.on.ca.