Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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Board Meeting Notes - Sept. 16, 2015

Sep 24, 2015
Building breastfeeding friendly environments Provincial grant to health unit offers no increase

Building breastfeeding friendly environments

The health unit unveiled a new campaign promoting breastfeeding at last week’s meeting of the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health. The campaign will encourage communities to become breastfeeding friendly places. Each municipal office in Simcoe and Muskoka will receive a step-by-step guide on developing policies to make parents of infants feel more welcome wherever and whenever they need to breastfeed their child. The message will be emphasized with the use of life-sized photographic cutouts of local women breastfeeding their children, to be placed at locations across the region. Board members were hopeful that the new campaign would help communities accept that women must breastfeed whenever their young ones are hungry. The campaign coincides with National Breastfeeding Week, which runs October 1–7.

Provincial grant to health unit offers no increase

The annual grant from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has left the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit scrambling to meet a funding shortfall. The grant for 2015, announced last week, came with no increase over the 2014 grant, putting the health unit’s projected spending more than $400,000 beyond what the funds will cover. Presenting the news to the board of health, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner explained that the freeze is the result of general fiscal restraint as well as a new funding formula brought in by the ministry. The new formula is based on broad factors such as language barriers, geography, poverty, the aboriginal population and preventable mortality rates. Across the province, 28 health units have had their core funding from the ministry frozen. Dr. Gardner warned that from the province’s communications, it is likely that the funding freeze will continue into future years. An ongoing budget freeze will have impacts on the delivery of public health programs and services, he told the board of health. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit had requested a 2 per cent increase in its funding for 2015.


Next Meeting

The next meeting of the board of health takes place October 21 at 9:15 a.m.
in the Orillia office, 169 Front Street South.

News releases are stored here dating back to spring 2005. Earlier news releases are maintained in an archive and can be retrieved by calling the health unit during business hours.

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