Google Translate Disclaimer

Translation on this website is provided by Google Translate, a third-party automated translator tool. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of translations performed by Google Translate, or for any issues or damages resulting from its use.

simcoe and muskoka regions with health unit locations
print header

Accountability and Performance Management

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is accountable to its provincial and municipal funders, as well as to the public, for the work it does to protect and promote public health and to prevent disease and injury.

The health unit monitors its performance using a number of tools, including:

  • Accountability Agreements – These agreements, drawn up by the Province of Ontario, specify performance expectations for boards of health and require public health units to demonstrate compliance with the Ontario Public Health Standards.
  • Balanced Scorecard – The health unit uses its scorecard to measure progress as it works toward the goals in its strategic plan.
  • Financial Reports – Audited financial statements are made available to the public, as required by the Ontario Public Health Standards.

In 2017 we made excellent progress on almost all our Balanced Scorecard strategic directions as well as achieving targets in 13 of 14 Accountability Agreement indicators.

Performance management

Performance management is one approach we use to achieve excellence in public health service. We set priority standards, build tools to measure our success, and report the results. Ultimately, these methods help to build a process of continuous quality improvement.   

The graphic below presents the four critical components of our performance management cycle:

Performance Standards diagram

SMDHU's report Performance Management Framework – From Inquiry to Improvement presents a framework that encompasses the entire cycle of performance management at SMDHU.

The first provincial Accountability Agreement came into effect January, 2011. The intent of the Accountability Agreement is to move all boards of health toward improved performance in key areas of health protection and health promotion. The Agreement includes performance indicators based on the Ontario Public Health Standards.

Given the current state of transformation within the public health sector, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s (MOHLTC) suite of indicators for the 2017 Public Health Funding and Accountability Agreement has been reduced to an essential set of monitoring indicators. But to augment these measures, the SMDHU has chosen to report on the 2016 MOHLTC Performance Indicators as part of its 2017 performance report to the Board of Health and the public.

2017 Year-end Accountability Agreement Results*


*subset of all indicators – only includes those requiring year-end reporting. 


The MOHLTC sets targets for achievement which all Ontario health units are expected to achieve.  If targets are not achieved, health units may be required to submit a performance report, outlining the cause of the issue and the steps that the Board of Health plan to undertake in order to improve performance.
The health unit introduced the balanced scorecard (BSC) in 2008, coinciding with our first Strategic Plan.

The BSC is divided into quadrants that balance internally and externally driven strategies and outcomes:
  • Health Status. Health status indicators—the markers that gauge the overall health of the population—tend to change slowly over time and therefore it is not realistic to expect to see change within one year. Where there are positive changes in health status, it is hard to attribute the improvements to public health action, as other influencing factors must first be ruled out.

  • Community Engagement. Outreach and advocacy have resulted in positive change as a result of our efforts to raise awareness of important public health issues (community water fluoridation, infection prevention and control, and determinants of health) and to work with community partners to address these issues.

  • Integration and Responsiveness. In 2014 the health unit completed its Business Continuity Plan and incorporated the Health Equity Impact Assessment into many of our programs. This has resulted in stronger external partnerships, and has enhanced our capacity to respond quickly to changing needs and emerging issues.

  • Resources and Services. We have made progress on strategic priorities where we have focused energies and resources. Having staff specifically assigned to move initiatives forward contributes significantly to our success in meeting identified outcomes. However, resource limitations are expected to increase over the next few years, making it progressively more challenging to recruit and respond to rising demands for service.
Each quadrant contains key performance indicators that are reported annually for the duration of the strategic plan. Teams use these indicators to create a balanced scorecard for each of the current strategic directions or activities they are leading.


The following table describes the colour coding used to show progress on each indicator.

2015 Balanced Scorecard Results

strat plan blanced scorecard 2012-2015
​The agency’s BSC for the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan reflects an aggregate of the measures for each strategic direction.

Strategic Plan graph

In accordance with S. 59(2) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit annually produces financial statements and as required by the Ontario Public Health Standards, these annual reports must be made available to the general public.

Current and past financial statements include:

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2017 (pdf)

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2016 (pdf)

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2015 (pdf)

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2014  (pdf)

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2013 (pdf)

Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2012 (pdf)

Did you find what you were looking for today?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...