Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit Barrie Office
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Board of Health Orientation

So, you're on the Board of Health.

Please accept a warm welcome from everyone at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

You probably have some questions, and we're here to help you answer them, with further reading available at your convenience. We hope the resources in the expanding boxes below will help answer your questions and increase your understanding of public health, the Board of Health, your role as a board member, and how public health impacts the health of our communities.

Public Health: A Return on Investment  

2018 Orientation for Boards of Health 

The Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa) represents Ontario’s public health units and their boards of health. alPHa is committed to helping those who sit on provincial boards of health better understand their roles and responsibilities as public health officials and keeping them updated on the latest public health initiatives. 

Health Protection and Promotion Act

The purpose of this Act is to provide for the organization and delivery of public health programs and services, the prevention of the spread of disease and the promotion and protection of the health of the people of Ontario. (Full Act)

Ontario Public Health Standards

The Ontario Public Health Standards and Protocols establish the minimum requirements for fundamental public health programs and services to be delivered by Ontario's 36 boards of health, which include assessment and surveillance, health promotion and policy development, disease and injury prevention, and health protection.

Patients First Act (Bill 41)

On December 7, 2016 the Ontario Legislature passed The Patients First Act (Bill 41), which will introduce significant changes to the delivery of all facets of health service in the province. Related to public health, the Act will “formally connect Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and local Boards of Health to leverage their community expertise and to ensure local public health units are involved in community health planning.”.


Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy: An Action Plan for Our Communities

The Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy is a large partnership formed to address the growing crisis of opioid use and overdose in our region. The group has released an action plan whose aim is “dramatically reducing the harms of opioids in our communities.” The report, An Action Plan for Our Communities, is a technical document and contains some history of the use of opioids, action plans, along with charts for executing the plans.

Climate Change

Everyone will feel the effects of climate change. But the effects will be greater for vulnerable populations. Factors like age, gender, health status and access to resources play a role in how much impact our changing climate will have on our health.  A Changing Climate: Assessing health impacts & vulnerabilities due to climate change within Simcoe Muskoka identifies health impacts of climate change in Simcoe Muskoka. Our presentation offers a short overview.

Social Determinants of Health

Many of the causes of poor health and health inequities relate to the social, physical and environmental conditions around us. These are the social determinants of health and they include things like income, education, employment, food and housing. These determinants influence our health and the opportunities we have to be healthy. The health unit is one of many partners in the community taking action to address the social determinants of health to reduce health inequities.

Baby Friendly Initiative

The Baby Friendly Initiative is a global program created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in response to low rates of breastfeeding and infant mortality. This program encourages and recognizes facilities that offer an optimal level of care for mothers and infants.


Improving the Odds: Championing Health Equity in Ontario
This report is the 2016 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. It recommends urgent action across different sectors and all levels of government to give all Ontarians a fair chance to be as healthy as possible.


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