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

OPP investigating Pikangikum homicide

The OPP is continuing to investigate a homicide in Pikangikum First Nation, 10 years following the death. On March 22, 2009, 33-year-old Judy Ann Quill of Pikangikum was last seen leaving a family…

Council won't be twinning the Rec Centre rink this term

Kenora Council have decided to hold off on plans to twin the rec centre rink. Council directed administration, at their last council meeting, to cease the needs assessment of a twinned ice surface at…

Aerial truck purchase pays off for city, firefighters

It was a tough first test for the City of Kenora’s new $1.2 million aerial firetruck. The vehicle was used on its first fire on Sunday, as emergency responders fought the Main Street fire – which led…

Police target, charge distracted drivers

Police are reminding residents to focus on the roads, not their phones. OPP officers across the North West Region recently completed a distracted driving enforcement blitz, taking place between March…

Pothole season is here

Spring is in the air, and with the shift from winter snow plowing to snow melting, conditions are perfect for potholes to form. Moisture seeps into the pavement and sub-base, freezes, expands and…

Main Street in Kenora open

Main Street in Kenora has opened to vehicles and pedestrians. The CIBC building, demolition site, and Bargin shop remain blocked off by police, as they continue to investigate the cause of Sunday's…

City approves 2019 budget

Kenora city concil officially passed their budget for 2019. “This budget was a particularly difficult one for council," said Mayor Dan Reynard. From the city's perspective, the 3.55 per cent increase…

Suspect apprehended

Police have apprehended a man, following a hold and secure at Kenora schools this afternoon. At around 2:10 p.m. members of the Kenora OPP detachment responded to an incident in the north side of the…

Hold and secure in Kenora

A hold and secure was been put in place for students in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board, as well as the Kenora Catholic District School Board. Senior staff from both school boards are…

CIBC branch manager provides update for customers

CIBC Branch manager Jackie Hailstone said Sunday's fire on Main St didn't impact the inside of the building too badly. "The inside is actually not too bad. We have more concerns around the outside of… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.