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Board Meeting Notes Feb. 20, 2013

Feb 26, 2013
Child screening orientation a great success Affordable housing needs continue to grow

Child screening orientation a great success

There has been strong support for the rollout of the Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit from local doctors and infant development services across the region.

The Enhanced 18-Month Well Baby Visit consists of a longer meeting with a doctor, allowing parents to discuss the development of their child at 18 months of age. It’s an age when, in general, developmental challenges are identifiable and can be addressed, Peggy Govers, manager of the child health team at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, told the board of health.

A process of visiting with primary care providers across Simcoe and Muskoka – some 256 visits initially followed by 248 follow-ups – showed that 94 per cent are now employing the screening visit. In addition, greater numbers are referring to local services using referral maps developed in partnership with Early Intervention Services. These partners have begun receiving additional referrals as a result of those visits. Parents are also being introduced to the screening through the use of the new Facebook page for parents of infants and toddlers, Play together—Grow together.

The project has demonstrated an effective way for public health to influence clinical care practice, Govers concluded.  

Affordable housing needs continue to grow

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has written to local MPs asking them to support a private member’s bill to address homelessness and inadequate housing. Bill C-400 would set the wheels in motion for a national housing strategy to deal with the estimated 400,000 people who are homeless and the 1.5 million households considered inadequate across Canada.

The health unit letter was sent with the signature of Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner. His letter received a hearty endorsement from the board of health this week, and with encouragement to continue in efforts to improve access for safe affordable housing for residents of Simcoe and Muskoka. Elected board members noted that there are new or revised affordable housing strategies in the works in several municipalities. Board chair Barry Ward, who is a Barrie City councillor, said that in spite of rapid growth, the number of affordable housing units in Barrie is roughly the same as it was 20 years ago.

Bill C-400 is scheduled to be brought before the House of Commons for a vote on second reading on Feb. 26.

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