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Board meeting notes March 15,2017

Mar 23, 2017
Tobacco "end game" discussed; Health unit thanks three retiring from board

Tobacco “end game” discussed

It’s time to begin planning for the day when tobacco is no longer being used at all in the world. That’s the notion of the “end game” being discussed at local, provincial and national levels. Jennifer Loo, who served as a public health and preventive medicine resident with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit until February, presented information about the federal government’s proposals for a new national Tobacco Control Strategy, which is proposed to include a goal to reduce smoking to less than five per cent of the population by 2035. She said that in Canada smoking rates had dropped to 18 per cent of the population by 2014. Even with that, she said, tobacco remains the most significant preventable cause of death and illness in Canada. The Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health endorsed the 18-year strategy proposed by the federal government and by tobacco control experts at a summit in Queen’s University last September, and directed staff to draft a resolution to be presented to the Association of Local Public Health Agencies for endorsement at their annual conference in June. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said reaching that target will require many strategies, including ensuring that the tobacco industry does not have the tools to recruit new, young smokers.

Health unit thanks three retiring from board

With 46 years of service between them, three retiring members of the Simcoe Muskoka District Board of Health will take a lot of experience with them. The board said goodbye and offered thanks to Ben Rattelade, Fred Hamelink and Margaretta Papp-Belayneh as they stepped down from the board at this month’s meeting. All three were provincial appointees whose appointments are renewed at the decision of the provincial government. Board chair Scott Warnock recognized Papp-Belayneh’s work in advocating for seniors and people with disabilities, and her many other community volunteer roles. Warnock also noted Rattelade’s work with Rotary to improve communities as a good fit with the health unit’s mandate. He added that Hamelink, a retired police officer and former professor in the police foundations program at Georgian College, has been a strong representative of the health unit in the community and at provincial conferences.

Photo caption: Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner, far right, and Simcoe Muskoka Board of Health Chair Scott Warnock, second from right, congratulate Ben Rattelade, Fred Hamelink and Margaretta Papp-Belayneh for their years of service on the Board of Health. All three have completed their terms as provincial appointees to the board.

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