Updates and Advisories
Health Notes, Spring 2016 (PDF 8 pages, 770 KB). This issue focuses on reportable diseases in Renfrew County and District in 2015.
Alcohol & Other Drugs
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse changes lives by bringing people and knowledge together to reduce the harm of alcohol and other drugs on society.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit is designated as a Baby Friendly Community Health Service under the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI).
BFI is a global campaign to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. Based on guidance from BFI, the Health Unit is committed to:
- Helping parents make informed decisions about feeding their baby
- Supporting all families with feeding their children in a safe and nurturing way
- Recommending breastmilk as the only food for babies until they are six months old
- Recommending that breastmilk be included in a child’s diet up to two years and beyond
- Protecting women’s rights to breastfeed anytime, anywhere
- Working with community organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding
For a centralized source of quality, evidence-informed resources that support the Baby-Friendly Initiative see Breastfeeding Resources Ontario.
Fall prevention online learning is a one-hour course for personal support workers, volunteers and informal caregivers of older adults
Falls are a serious health issue for older adults, their families and the health care system. The course is based on current research, the Canadian Fall Prevention Curriculum, and what has been shown in practice to prevent falls.
By the end of the modules, participant will be able to:
- Identify risk factors for falls
- Reinforce fall prevention messages with clients and families
- Incorporate fall prevention strategies at every client interaction
- Communicate with clients and the circle of care to reduce/minimize the risk of falls
- Be aware of local fall prevention services and resources.
To take the course:
- Set up an account to access online courses at Ottawa Public Health.
- See Steps to Accessing External eLearning (ulearn) for further instructions.
- Please complete the fluid survey at the end of the module to help us improve our service.
- For technical difficulties, contact HRServiceCentre@ottawa.ca
For in-person group sessions please contact Renfrew County and District Health Unit (613-735-8651 ext. 666 or 1-800-267-1097.)
The Personal Support Worker Fall Prevention Training module was developed collaboratively by Renfrew County and District Health Unit and the three other public health units in the Champlain LHIN region. Ottawa Public Health has adapted this as an online module.
Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Program
Healthy Babies Healthy Children is a voluntary, free home visiting program for women and their families in the prenatal period, and women with children from birth until their transition to school.
Healthy Babies Healthy Children offers support in the home for every child and parent identified with challenges. This includes assessment, teaching, referral and service coordination. Staff work with clients on achieving healthy pregnancy, good nutrition and feeding (including breastfeeding), healthy child development, safety, adjusting to parenthood, accessing community resources and more.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit’s home visiting team consists of Registered Nurses and Home Visitors.
To refer to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, send a completed Referral Form for Service Providers to Renfrew County and District Health Unit OR call 613-735-8651 extension 519
Renfrew County and District Health Unit offers immunization services to people of all ages living in Renfrew County and District.
Routine vaccines are publicly funded.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Ontario’s publicly funded immunization schedules
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Immunization requirements for school attendance: information for health care providers
To be exempted from immunization requirements for attending school and licensed daycare, one of the following must be provided to Renfrew County and District Health Unit:
For attending school:
- a statement of conscience or religious belief completed by a parent or guardian
- a statement of medical exemption completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner
For attending licensed child care:
- a statement of conscience or religious belief completed by a parent or guardian
- a statement of medical exemption completed by a medical doctor or nurse practitioner
Renfrew County and District Health Unit works with hospitals, long-term care homes, day nurseries and other community settings to ensure infection control programs are in place where required and that infection prevention practices are followed. Health Unit staff participate in the infection control committees of hospitals and long-term care homes in Renfrew County and District.
Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC)
Best Practice Documents This page includes links to the following documents:
- Best Practices for Prevention, Surveillance and Infection Control Management of Novel Respiratory Infections
- Infection Prevention and Control in Perinatology
- Cleaning, Disinfection and Sterilization of Medical Equipment/Devices
- Environmental Cleaning for Prevention and Control of Infections
- Infection Prevention and Control Programs in Ontario
- Best Practices for Hand Hygiene
- Infection Prevention and Control for Clinical Office Practice
- Routine Practices and Additional Precautions Annexes A, B and C
- Surveillance of Health Care Associated Infections
Hand Hygiene Fact Sheet for Health Care Settings (PDF 1 page, 470 KB)
Regional Infection Control Networks (Ontario)
Flu shots are available free for all Ontario residents over six months of age. They are available through local drug stores, health care providers, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit.
Local Influenza Activity
Many people with influenza-like illness do not seek medical care or have lab testing done. Therefore reporting of laboratory confirmed influenza cases to public health units significantly underestimates the burden of influenza in Ontario.
For information on the number of lab confirmed influenza cases in Renfrew County and District, see the Local Influenza Activity section of our Weekly Outbreak Status Reports.
The fall 2015 issue of Public Health Notes focuses on influenza prevention and control.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Universal Influenza Immunization Program
Canadian Public Health Association – Seasonal Influenza (the flu)
Government of Canada – For health professionals: Flu (influenza)
An influenza pandemic is declared when a new strain of flu virus emerges that has never been seen before and begins to spread quickly around the world. For example, in Spring 2009, a new strain of the influenza virus, the H1N1 virus, caused a pandemic. As it was a new strain and because humans had little to no natural immunity to this virus, it caused serious and widespread illness.
The frequency of pandemics is unpredictable, but experts agree that we need to be prepared for the next one. Renfrew County and District Health Unit’s Pandemic Influenza Plan provides direction on responding to an influenza pandemic in coordination with federal, provincial and local pandemic influenza plans
Under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act, outbreaks of respiratory and enteric infections in institutions are reportable to the local Medical Officer of Health on the same day as the outbreak is suspected or confirmed.
When an outbreak is reported to the Health Unit, a Public Health Nurse (respiratory outbreaks) or a Public Health Inspector (enteric outbreaks) offers to assist staff at the facility in their efforts to prevent the spread of the illness.
Ontario Respiratory Pathogen Bulletin Posted Fridays during influenza season (November to April) and alternate Fridays outside of influenza season.
Routine Practices and Additional Precautions in All Health Care Settings (PDF, 113 pages, 3 MB)
Resources for Enteric Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Homes
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Guidelines
Control of Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Homes: A Guide for Long-Term Care Homes and Public Health Unit Staff (PDF, 91 pages, 2.5 MB) is a key resource for institution and health unit staff who are involved in managing an enteric outbreak.
Health Unit Forms
Enteric Outbreak Line Listing Form (PDF, 1 page, 57 KB)
Ontario Hospital Association Protocol
Enteric Diseases Surveillance Protocol for Ontario Hospitals (PDF, 11 pages, 46 KB)
Resources for Respiratory Outbreaks in Hospitals, Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Residences
A Guide to the Control of Respiratory Infection Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Homes is a key resource for institution and health unit staff who are involved in managing a respiratory outbreak, from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Respiratory Outbreak Management Supporting Documents
Initial Respiratory Outbreak Notification form (PDF, 1 page, 130 KB)
Respiratory Outbreak Line Listing for Institutions RESIDENT form (PDF, 1 page, 200 KB)
Respiratory Outbreak Line Listing for Institutions STAFF form (PDF, 1 page, 200 KB)
Respiratory Outbreak Management Team Meeting Checklist form (PDF, 2 pages, 50 KB)
Hospitalizations, Complications and Deaths of Line Listed Cases form (PDF, 1 page, 29 KB)
Outbreak Transfer Notification form (PDF, 1 page, 60 KB)
Ontario Final Report of an Institutional Respiratory Infection Outbreak form (PDF, 4 pages, 2 MB)
“We are experiencing a respiratory outbreak” poster (PDF, 1 page, 38 KB)
Controlling respiratory outbreaks: What visitors need to know fact sheet (PDF, 2 pages, 77 KB)
Recommended steps for putting on and taking off personal protective equipment (PPE) (PDF, 2 pages, 554 KB)
Public Health Laboratories General Test Requisition (PDF, 2 pages, 1 MB)
Rabies Prevention and Control
The Health Unit works to prevent human cases of rabies through the following activities:
- monitoring the type, number and location of animals that have tested positive for rabies in Renfrew County and District and surrounding areas
- having a Rabies Contingency Plan and keeping it up to date
- investigating when people are exposed to animals suspected of having rabies
- having a supply of anti-rabies vaccine
- consulting with doctors in deciding when there is a need to give the vaccine to a person who has been exposed to an animal suspected of having rabies
Public Health Inspectors investigate animal bites and scratches that are reported to the Health Unit. The owner has to put the suspect animal into quarantine. This is necessary to ensure that the rabies virus was not present in the saliva of the animal when the person was bitten or scratched. The animal is checked at the end of the quarantine period to make sure it is free of rabies symptoms.
All animal bites and scratches involving humans must be reported to the Health Unit immediately using the Contact with Suspected Rabid Animal Report Form. If a person exposed requires rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, fill in the Request for Rabies Post Exposure Vaccine Form and report it to the Health Unit immediately.
Guidance Document for the Management of Suspected Rabies Exposures (PDF, 18 pages, 180 KB)
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources – Rabies in Humans
Supports for your patients to quit smoking are available through a variety of programs and services in Renfrew County and District.
The following resources are can assist health care providers to support patients with cutting back or quitting tobacco.
You Can Make It Happen – A resource for health care providers to assist their patients and clients to quit smoking.
TEACH – Training Enhancement in Applied Cessation Counselling and Health – A training program to ensure that practitioners who provide services to people who use tobacco have the knowledge and skills to deliver effective, evidence-based cessation interventions.
Tobacco Free RNAO – A resource for Registered Nurses in Ontario to integrate smoking cessation into daily nursing practice.
Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation – A program that systematically identifies, provides treatment, and offers follow-up to all smokers seen in clinical practice. The inpatient part of this program is implemented by hospitals in Renfrew County.
The Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act lists over 70 communicable diseases that must be reported to local health units. Physicians and other practitioners, administrators of hospitals, superintendents of institutions, and school principals are responsible for reporting to the local Health Unit. All reports are followed up by a Public Health Nurse or Public Health Inspector.
How to report reportable diseases
For diseases that need to be reported immediately – see the list of Reportable Communicable Diseases – call 613-735-8653 during office hours and 613-735-9926 during evenings, weekends and holidays.
For diseases which can be reported the next business day, complete the Communicable Disease Reporting Form and fax it to 613-735-3067.
Respiratory and gastroenteritis outbreaks in institutions should be reported immediately by telephone when an outbreak is suspected or confirmed. See Outbreak Management for forms and resources to use during an outbreak.
Reportable Diseases Reporting Forms
Communicable Disease Reporting Form (PDF, 1 page, 14 KB)
Positive Mantoux Skin Test Report Form (PDF, 2 pages, 43 KB).
Contact with Suspected Animal Report Form (PDF, 1 page, 22 KB)
Renfrew County and District Health Unit
Recommendations for Tuberculosis (TB) Screening in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes (PDF, 2 pages, 300 KB)
Public Health Ontario
Public Health Agency of Canada
Canadian Tuberculosis Standards 7th edition 2013
Tuberculosis Information for Health Care Providers, 5th edition (PDF, 34 pages, 1,240 KB)
What makes us healthy?
We all hold certain beliefs about what health is and what makes us healthy or sick. We often think of health in terms of whether we have medical care or make healthy choices. What does health mean to you?
Access to medical care and the choices we make are important to our health but our health is significantly affected by the choices available to us. Not all people living in Renfrew County and District have the same opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long and healthy life.
Consider a story about a boy named Jason…
Why is Jason in the hospital?
Because he has a bad infection in his leg.
But why does he have an infection?
Because he has a cut on his leg and it got infected.
But why does he have a cut on his leg?
Because he was playing in the junk yard next to his apartment building and there was some sharp, jagged steel there that he fell on.
But why was he playing in an junk yard?
Because his neighbourhood is kind of run down. A lot of kids play there and there is no one to supervise them.
But why does he live in that neighbourhood?
Because his parents can’t afford a nicer place to live.
But why can’t his parents afford a nicer place to live?
Because his Dad is unemployed and his Mom is sick.
But why is his Dad unemployed?
Because he doesn’t have much education and he can’t find a job.
Source: Public Health Agency of Canada
Residents in Renfrew County and District should have the opportunity to make healthy choices regardless of their income, education or culture. Canadian research shows that people with lower incomes, limited education, poor living/working conditions, and no meaningful connection with their community have poorer health.
Health starts in the communities of Renfrew County – where we live, learn, work, and play.
Source: Canadian Medical Association
What Determines Health? – Learn more about the determinants of health from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
What are the Social Determinants of Health? – A description of the social determinants of health and useful resources for public health practitioners and organizations.
Let’s Start a Conversation About Health…and Not Talk About Health Care at All (Video) – Learn more about the social determinants of health through a video created by Sudbury & District Health Unit.
Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts – A book by Dennis Raphael and Juha Mikkonen on the social determinants of health, why they are important, and what we can do to improve them.
Health Equity – Resources and reports on health equity from Public Health Ontario.
Reducing Health Inequalities: A Challenge for Our Times – An overview of health inequalities in Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s actions on these health inequalities.
Primary Care Interventions into Poverty – Access clinical tools developed to assist primary care providers in addressing poverty.