The Northwestern Health Unit has released its annual public health report card, which compares health behaviours and death-rates in the district to those across the province, as well as health equity, community engagement, and more.

When it comes to health behaviours, the health unit reports that northwestern Ontario has a higher percentage of cigarette smokers and heavy drinkers, compared to the provincial norm. Fruit and vegetable consumption is in-line with the rest of the province, and residents do more physical activity than average.

When looking at leading causes of death, cancer rates across the board are higher than the provincial average. Northwestern Ontario also has close to double the accidental-death rate for Ontario, and triple the intentional self-harm rate.

Dr. Kit Young-Hoon, the medical officer of health for northwestern Ontario, said that the most recent report card is focusing on two central themes: health equity and community engagement.

In the report, Young-Hoon says “It is estimated that about 50 per cent of health is determined by economic and social environments. Factors such as income, education, employment, housing, access to affordable healthy foods, social inclusion, gender and race have far reaching impacts on health.”

The balanced scorecard within the report looks at health unit progress on eight different issues including: improved awareness of programs and services; increasing priority population input into health unit planning; and, strengthening partnerships and collaboration.

“We need a game changer. Our exhausted health care system can only continue at this rate for so long. By helping those who are most disadvantaged we create a society that can be sustainable and healthy for all,” Young-Hoon added.

The report also features four pages of program highlights which draw attention to the number of interactions many of the health unit programs have with the general public in person, through presentations or through the use of social media.

Some of the highlights include:
- The Family Health team had 8,833 interactions with families including 1,737 home visits
- Facebook posts about tick ID cards reached 12,417 people
- Almost 900 children received infant hearing screens from the Speech, Hearing and Vision team 
- The Dental Program provided preventative services to 5,146 children 
- The Environmental Health team carried out over 1,100 food safety inspections 

For more information:
2017 Public Health Report Card

More Local News

New plans for Anchor Inn

The City of Kenora's working with the Grace Anne Cottage Club on a new development in Norman. It could see the construction of a new 35-lot resort on the location of the Anchor Inn. The former owner…

Merchants still worried downtown

Downtown merchants are still worried about crime. Bargain Shop manager Tina Desaulniers talks about her experience. "I'm catching people two-three times a day shoplifting, and it's not something big.…

Fire on Kendal Inlet

Firefighters from McKenzie-Clearwater found a cottage fully-engulfed on Lake of the Woods Monday afternoon. The fire marshall's office is working with police, as they investigate the cause of the…

Budget talks resume

Kenora Mayor Dan Reynard says they're still working on the operating estimates for 2019. "As we discussed the other day, the big concern I have is with the unknown with the government funding," he…

Services board budget set

The Kenora District Services Board will spend about $1 million more in 2019, compared to 2018 - representing a 1.99 per cent increase. Directors approved spending estimates worth about $57 million,…

Great day to drop a line...

Ella Kantola and her friends were among more than hundred anglers on Portage Bay yesterday in Keewatin yesterday. They were enjoying spring-like weather, as they sat in third place at the St. Louis…

Arts centre budget reduced

Supporters of the new arts centre in Kenora are sharpening their pencils, as they work with city council on a budget. "This is the first year of a new operation," said Lori Nelson, as part of her…

Petty thefts up

Kenora OPP are seeing an increase in property crime. By the end of December, officers had seen 475 cases of theft under $5,000, up 42 per cent from last year, when they saw 334. The detachment is…

Executive salaries should be lower, Rickford

Energy Minister Greg Rickford wants to cap the salary for the head of Hydro One. Last year, the CEO made $6.2 million, but the minister wants to limit the salary at $1.5 million. However, the board…

Bimose, Nipissing training new teachers

The Bimose Tribal council is working with Nipissing University on a two-year teacher education program. The new course includes 13 of the 21 graduates from their education assistant program.… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.