Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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News Release

Health unit gets high marks from accreditation review

Apr 06, 2011
The local public health unit has earned high grades from the Ontario Council on Community Health Accreditation.

The local public health unit has earned high grades from the Ontario Council on Community Health Accreditation.

The OCCHA accreditation report presented the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit with an unconditional, three-year award, which was announced to the board of health in March.

In her cover letter to the health unit, OCCHA board chair Penny Lavalley praised the health unit for “its commitment to accreditation and continuous quality improvement.”

Throughout the accreditation survey’s report, the provincial council noted uniformly satisfactory or high levels of compliance with the peer-set accreditation standards.

“I am quite proud of the exceptional standards the health unit’s staff has maintained,” said Simcoe Muskoka Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner. “And it is most rewarding to have that excellence recognized by the accreditation council.

“Those high standards of performance served the community well during the enormous challenges we have faced in the last two years, with the H1N1 flu virus and the G8/20 summit and the tornado that struck our region at the same time,” he added.

Three commendations were presented in the report, noting exceptional levels of achievement and innovation in professional development, internal communications and monitoring and evaluation programs.

Some suggestions and recommendations were made in a few areas where there was room for improvement. The health unit will need to improve the consistency of health and safety inspections at its seven offices. One other suggestion was for the board of health to complete the scheduled review of bylaws and policies and procedures.

In many ways the set of standards used for accreditation mirrors the new Ontario Organizational Standards in Public Health, due to be brought into place later this year.

“Given the high scores the health unit received, the accreditation process positions our agency well to implement the provincial organizational standards,” board of health chair Barry Ward said.

Descriptions of the health unit’s mandate and the legislation that guides it can be found on the health unit’s website at



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