The Grey Bruce Health Unit provides Public Health programs and services in Grey and Bruce Counties, Ontario, Canada. The Grey Bruce covers 8664 square kilometers (larger than Prince Edward Island), comprised of two county level governments, 17 lower-tier municipal governments and two First Nation reserves. There are 158,670 residents (2011 Census). A large numbers of First Nation people live off reserve. Grey Bruce has significant Mennonite and Amish populations presenting unique challenges to accessing medical care, including immunizations. Agriculture, tourism, energy production and small manufacturing form the base of the economy.
The health status in Grey Bruce is typical of many rural areas, “more likely to be in poorer socio-economic conditions, to have lower education attainment, to exhibit less healthy behaviours and to have higher overall mortality rates than urban residents” (Canadian Institute for Health Information. September, 2006. How Healthy are Rural Canadians?).
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health, with the vision of working together for a healthier future for all. The Grey Bruce Health Unit collaborates with a broad range of stakeholders across multiple levels delivering a wide variety of health promotion, protection and enforcement projects and services to diverse target sectors including individuals, at risk groups, the general population and professionals such as teachers and healthcare providers.
Strategic priorities support optimal growth and development by addressing the major threats to health in our area: obesity, socio-economic status, education and literacy, injuries and substance misuse. The strategic plan also looks to support healthy communities using a social determinant of health approach to nurture optimal development.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit is funded approximately 80% provincial and 20% municipal levy. The 2011 budget was $14,583,028. The Health Unit has a highly qualified multidisciplinary complement of 140 professionals and support staff.
Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) provides the legislative mandate for boards of health and the statutory basis for the Ontario Public Health Standards:
...provide for the organization and delivery of public health programs and services, the prevention of the spread of disease and the promotion and protection of the health of the people of Ontario. HPPA, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.7, s.2
Boards of health may deliver additional programs and services in response to local needs identified within their communities, as acknowledged in Section 9 of the HPPA.