The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Region Public Health 2017 Annual Report

Images of families

The Regional Municipality of York strives to keep residents healthy. Under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health, York Region Public Health professionals deliver a range of programs and services to prevent disease, protect the health and safety of residents and promote healthy lifestyles and environments.

As one of Ontario’s 36 health units, York Region Public Health is directed by the Ontario Public Health Standards.


In 2017, York Region Public Health’s budget was $71,213,238. Costs are shared between York Region and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, with the Ministry providing 75 per cent of the funding for most programs. The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) also funds 22 per cent of the total Child and Family Health (CFH) Division amount.

Division Budget Per Cent of Total
Child and Family Health $20,316,899 28%*
Health Protection $17,976,389 25%
Healthy Living $20,359,825 29%
Infectious Diseases Control $12,560,125 18%
TOTAL $71,213,238 100%

A graphic showing the budge percentages as in the table above

*Note: The MCYS portion of the total CFH amount is 22 per cent ($4,401,635)

Child and Family Health Division

Supporting healthy child development for parents and families

The Child and Family Health division supports healthy child development from preconception to school transition. The division offers prenatal classes, breastfeeding clinics and support, parenting education and resilience building and home visits through the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program.

Registered nurses call all mothers in the first few days after being home with a new baby to answer questions and provide support. In addition, the division provides dental screening for preventive or urgent treatment for children and youth including assistance to find a dentist and apply for help with the cost of children’s dental care.

Providing oral health program screenings at selected child care centres

In 2017, the York Region Public Health dental program implemented oral health screening at licensed child care centres in York Region as part of a pilot project to identify dental care needs in children before they start school. Baby teeth are an important part of healthy growth and development, but one third of children in Junior Kindergarten experience dental caries. Early childhood caries is the leading cause of day surgery in Canada for children aged one to five years.

The program provided oral health screening to 974 children in 39 licensed child care centres and identified 357 children with a dental care need. Families of those children were contacted and resources were provided to encourage appropriate treatment, including enrolment in the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program.

Based on the success of this pilot, screening in child care centres will be offered to more locations in 2018 to reach more children sooner.

2017 Highlights


6,207 home visits to families


8,511 Healthy Babies Healthy Children (HBHC) screenings completed to help identify families and children who might be at risk for compromised child development or parenting


2,540 breastfeeding clinic appointments completed


2,126 children and youth who received preventative dental treatment in public health clinics

Tooth with cleaning tools

36,515 children and youth identified as needing dental care

Tooth with 2 people

50,531 children and youth received dental screenings


47 parenting programs with 722 attendees


2,015 expectant parents registered for prenatal education

Head with speech bubbles

322 mental health promotion sessions with 2,182 attendees

Parenting questions

6,905 calls related to child and family health topics supported by registered nurses

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Health Protection Division

Inspecting and monitoring places where we work, live and play

The Health Protection division delivers programs and services to reduce the incidence and spread of infectious diseases, food and water-borne illnesses and other environmental health hazards. Key strategies include education, monitoring, inspection, enforcement and policy development.

Programs include food safety, rabies control, safe water, vector-borne diseases, infection prevention and control, health hazard prevention and management and tobacco/electronic cigarette education and control.

Tick surveillance programs confirm increase of blacklegged ticks and Lyme disease risk

Health Protection uses tick surveillance to help measure the location of blacklegged ticks and the level of Lyme disease risk in the community.

  • Ticks submitted by residents for identification and possible testing have doubled over the previous year
  • Tick dragging by Public Health has detected blacklegged ticks in various locations in York Region and has seen the number of ticks increase by 300 per cent over the last few years

Lyme disease risk areas are also on the rise in York Region and across Ontario where there is greater risk of encountering an infected blacklegged tick. Knowing the locations of blacklegged tick populations and how to stay safe by using personal protection is the best defence in reducing the potential of locally-acquired Lyme disease cases.

2017 Highlights


64 investigations of indoor air quality

Knife and fork

4,557 people certified though YorkSafe Food Handler Certification

Person in chef's hat

11,643 food premise inspections


2,990 tobacco and electronic cigarette vendor inspections

Swimming pool

1,615 inspections of pools, splash pads, receiving basins, wading pools and spas

Spa tools

1,540 personal services setting inspections

Animal paw with rabies vaccine needle

154 rabies vaccine dispensed

Animal paw with magnifying glass

1,164 animal exposure and rabies investigations

Baby on a changing table

465 infection prevention and control (IPAC) inspections in long-term care homes and child care centres


101,695 street and environmentally sensitive catch basins treated with larvicide to prevent the spread of mosquitoes which carry West Nile disease


33 active tick surveillance sessions

Tanning Bed

22 tanning salons inspected for compliance with the Skin Cancer Prevention Act

STOP sign with exclamation point

86 IPAC Lapse Investigations and 19 requiring posting

Person drinking from a water fountain

69 inspections of small drinking water systems
789 adverse drinking water quality incidents investigated


181 inspections of migrant farm worker accommodations

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Healthy Living Division

Promoting and supporting health and wellness for children, youth, families and seniors

The Healthy Living division promotes healthy, safe and resilient communities through 18 distinct Public Health programs. The Healthy Living Division focuses on health promotion, disease prevention, program surveillance and evaluation, health emergency planning, sexual health promotion and sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection follow-up.

Adapting programs and services for persons with intellectual disabilities

In 2017, the Healthy Living division developed an idea to support the health and well-being of clients with intellectual disabilities. This priority population was identified through community engagement, recognizing an increased risk for negative health outcomes and a lack of a coordinated approach in health promotion and available resources.

The division created a “Tips for communicating with persons with intellectual disabilities” resource in consultation with community partners. The resource will support public health staff to modify and adapt public health programs and services for persons with intellectual disabilities and is currently being used with community partner expertise to modify an existing nutrition program.

You’re the Chef” is a hands-on cooking program that may help clients with intellectual disabilities develop the skills, confidence and independence needed to prepare healthy meals. The resource will continue to support public health professionals when working with this priority population in the future.

2017 Highlights

Graphic of man using a walker.

78 fall prevention consultations provided to senior-serving organizations

Graphic of graduation cap and an apple.

65% of schools operated a student nutrition program

Graphic of heart with a pulse also a fork and knife.

57% of elementary schools and 70% of secondary schools implemented comprehensive Healthy Schools Program initiatives

Graphic of pills and neddle.

160 peer leaders trained to deliver peer-to-peer substance misuse prevention messaging in schools

Graphic of none smoking sign.

192 health care and social services providers received best practice smoking cessation training to help their clients quit smoking

Graphic of needle and blood drop.

3,530 investigations related to sexually transmitted infections and 4,682 investigations related to blood-borne infections

Graphic of band aid and condoms in wrappers.

5,561 visits to sexual health clinics

Graphic of male and female signs.

41 sexual health workshops for community groups

Graphic of man with sling on arm.

6,726 students attended injury prevention education sessions

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Infectious Diseases Control Division

Reducing the impact of infectious diseases

The Infectious Diseases Control division delivers programs and services to reduce the burden of infectious diseases and build capacity for disease prevention through health protection and promotion initiatives. The division investigates cases and outbreaks of reportable infectious diseases (not including sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections), conducts ongoing disease surveillance, manages the supply and distribution of publicly funded vaccines to community health care providers, provides school and community based immunization clinics and enforces the Immunization of School Pupils Act.

Case study: Reducing the impact of infectious diseases in the community

On December 20, 2017, York Region Public Health’s (YRPH) Control of Infectious Diseases and Outbreak Management team was notified that a young child with Hepatitis A attended school while contagious. YRPH immediately started an investigation to determine the number of staff and students potentially at risk of infection. With a Hepatitis A exposure, all exposed contacts should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A within 14 days. With the holidays just around the corner, YRPH had to act quickly.

YRPH’s Vaccine Inventory program immediately gathered enough pediatric and adult vaccine doses to meet the potential demand. The Vaccination Clinics program also arranged two in-school vaccination clinics on the last two days of school before Christmas Break. YRPH, the school and school board collaborated in a timely and responsive manner, vaccinating all students and staff before the holidays, minimizing their risk of becoming ill.

2017 Highlights


More than 612,000 vaccine doses distributed to community health care providers and public health clinics (valued at over $26.8 million)

Vaccine needle and serum bottle

1,033 immunization clinics held by public health and 53,806 vaccine doses administered by public health staff

Magnifying glass

74 confirmed tuberculosis cases and 503 contact investigations

Drop of blood

2,190 of reportable communicable disease cases investigated (excluding tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne infections)
1,758 reportable communicable disease cases investigated that met disease-specific case definition (80 per cent)


718 vaccine storage fridges inspected of which 84.6 per cent were in compliance

Clipboard withe checklist and needle

66,983 requests sent to York Region residents requesting updated immunization information for their children

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Public Health performance measures

The Province of Ontario has Public Health Accountability Agreements that outline terms and conditions of funding and performance expectations for public health units. Accountability Agreement performance measures are common across all public health units, but targets vary according to performance baselines. Public health units submit required performance measures for Ministry of Health and Long-Term review on an annual basis. For 2017, York Region Public Health’s performance measures have been submitted and reviewed by the Ministry and will continue to be monitored into 2018.

public health,reporting The Regional Municipality of York en-US York Region Public Health 2017 Annual Report A report on the programs and services delivered by York Region Public Health to prevent disease, protect health and safety and promote healthy lifestyles

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