July 4,

2014 Annual Report Released: The Video

June 30, 2015 – Innovative Format Designed to Foster Community Conversation about Public Health

Today the Peterborough County-City Health Unit launched its 2014 Annual Report – this time as a three-minute video designed to make it easier for residents to understand the importance of public health and its progress last year on the local front.

“We wanted to create an Screen Shot 06-30-15 at 09.41 AMinnovative and accessible annual report that both promoted our many accomplishments in 2014 and showcased the way public health affects our daily lives,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health.  “I’m proud to introduce this video as a way to engageour community in our work.”

Dr. Pellizzari explained that the Health Unit will share the video widely as a way to encourage a community conversation about public health.  The Health Unit welcomes invitations from local organizations to present the video and discuss how its programs and services protect the public health of the community while promoting healthier lifestyles and addressing local priorities, such as poverty reduction.

The Health Unit’s 2014 Annual Report video is available at www.pcchu.ca where you will also find financial statements and remarks from the Medical Officer of Health and 2014 Board of Health Chair.

Health Unit highlights from 2014 include:

  • Establishing Peterborough’s first smoke-free condominium complex
  • Successfully earning the Baby-Friendly Initiative re-designation to support breastfeeding
  • Screening 4,144 elementary students for preventive dental health
  • Achieving 81% staff influenza immunization rate at local long-termcare facilities
  • Launching the fentanyl patch return program to prevent overdoses and the illegal use of painkillers
  • Conducting 1,839 food premises inspections to reduce the spread of foodborne illness

Public health is shaped by our social, economic and physical environments, as well as by our personal choices. Through community programs and by developing better health policies, the Peterborough County-City Health Unit works to improve the living conditions of those in need for the benefit of all. We serve residents throughout the City and County of Peterborough, and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations, offering a wide range of public health programs and services. These include healthy eating workshops, poverty reduction initiatives, family home visits, oral health clinics, controlling infectious disease outbreaks, water safety and sexual health clinic services.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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Sweet News: Proposed Nutrition Labels Make it Easier to Know What You’re Eating

June 29, 2015 –  Changes to Food Product Labels Make Nutrition and Sugar Information Clearer

New nutrition facts tables are coming to food packages, which aim to make it easier for Canadians to make more informed choices for themselves and their families.  Earlier this month, the federal Minister of Health unveiled the newest set of proposed changes to food labels.  Planned improvements include:

  • Updated nutrient recommendations,
  • Consistent serving sizes for similar foods,
  • An easier to read ingredient list that groups together added sugars,
  • A consistent placement of allergy information, and
  • Listed amounts of vitamins and minerals (rather than only the % Daily Value).

For the first time, there will be a % Daily Value for sugar, based on 100g of total sugar a day. The % DV value for sugars will help Canadians determine whether a food has a little or a lot of sugars. These labelling changes are a positive but incomplete step towards the World Health Organization’s recommendations that individuals limit their intake of “free sugars” to “less than 10% of calories” (50 grams of free sugars based on a 2000 calorie diet) and as low as 5% of calories (25 grams) to enjoy additional health benefits. This total includes naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, nuts and milk products, as well as those added to food. Also in the list of ingredients, sugars will be grouped. This will further help consumers see how much added sugars are included as compared to other ingredients.

“The amounts of naturally occurring sugars are not the concern in our diet,” says Luisa Magalhaes, Registered Dietitian at the Peterborough County-City Health Unit. “Rather, it’s the sugars added to our food to make them sweeter that we need to watch out for. These include glucose, fructose, table sugar, honey, syrups, and fruit juices, and many more. To reduce your sugar intake, follow Canada’s Food Guide, and limit sugar sweetened beverages such as pop, fruit drinks and cocktails, energy drinks and sports drinks. These give us calories, and not much else.  Quench your thirst with water.”

The rule that tells us how to use percent daily value, “5% Daily Value is a little, 15% is a lot” will now appear at the bottom of the table.  We should aim for “a lot” of nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals, and “a little” of fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.

Health Canada is inviting Canadians to share their thoughts on the proposed label, via mail, fax or email until August 27, 2015.  Visit www.hc-sc.gc.ca to learn more.

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For further information, please contact:
Luisa Magalhaes, MHSc, RD
Public Health Nutritionist
705-743-1000, ext. 233

Sample Nutrition Label:

 

 

Screen Shot 06-29-15 at 09.31 AMMore graphics are available from:

http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-system-systeme-sante/consultations/food-label-etiquette-des-aliments/process-processus-eng.php?_ga=1.214551455.964677668.1434380208#s3

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Health Unit Confirms Move to 185 King Street

June 23, 2015 –  November 2015 Occupancy of  Planned for Building’s First Three Floors, Centralizing All Public Health Services Under One Roof

Today the Peterborough County-City Health Unit announced that it will be moving into the first three floors of 185 King Street in November 2015.

“This is an exciting milestone that represents years of hard work from our staff, the Board of Health, MPP Jeff Leal, and our many municipal partners,” said Dr. Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health.  “We look forward to joining the downtown community and bringing all public health programs together under one roof to make it easy for residents to access our services.”

Efforts are already underway at the Health Unit to plan for the November move. Staff will be relocating from two of its present sites at 10 Hospital Drive and 150 O’Carroll Drive to the new location at 185 King St.  The Community Dental Health Centre will remain in its current location at the Peterborough Square.  Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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Blue-Green Algae: Know the Risks and How to Protect Yourself

June 23, 2015 – The Peterborough County-City Health Unit is advising local residents to protect themselves from blue-green algae which may bloom on area lakes.

Blue Green AlgaeThe Health Unit with the assistance of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change is monitoring lakes in Peterborough County and City area. To date, no reports have been received of the presence or confirmation of blue-green algae this season.

“Residents should visit the Health Unit’s website or call us for information about what to look for before swimming or consuming water if they suspect a bloom in their area,” said Atul Jain, Manager of Inspection Services Programs at the Health Unit. “Just as we’ve all learned how to avoid poison ivy and sunburns, it’s important to know how to protect ourselves from blue-green algae so everyone can still safely enjoy the outdoors.”

Blue-green algae are a type of bacteria, called cyanobacteria that are known for rapidly reproducing and collecting to form large, highly visible blooms throughout the water column, on the surface of water as a scum, or on the lake bottom as a mat.  These blooms are not only unsightly and smelly: some species of cyanobacteria can also release poisons, called cyanobacterial toxins, when the cells that make up the bloom rupture or die. To report a blue-green algae bloom, residents are advised to contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change at 1-800-268-6060.

The risk to humans is primarily from drinking water that has been contaminated with toxins from a dense algae bloom.  Fortunately, there have been no human deaths attributed to drinking water containing cyanobacterial toxins, but the toxins may cause headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or diarrhea. Long-term consumption of water containing high levels of cyanobacterial toxins may cause neurological or liver problems.  If allowed, farm animals and pets may consume large quantities of heavily contaminated water, resulting in sickness or death.

Some individuals are sensitive to blue-green algae, and may develop a mild skin rash or eye irritation even if there is no toxin produced by the bloom.  Some individuals will have no reaction.

For more information on blue-green algae, and precautions to be taken before swimming in or consuming water where there has been an algae bloom, go to www.pcchu.ca, click on “My Home & Environment” and visit the webpage dedicated to blue-green algae.

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For further information, please contact:
Brittany Cadence
Communications Supervisor
705-743-1000, ext. 391

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Board of Health June 10 Meeting Summary

June 18, 2015 – To view the Board of Health June 10 Meeting Summary please click the image below

Screen Shot 06-18-15 at 03.34 PM

 

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