Introducing Southwestern Public Health
Formed by the 2018 merger of Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and Oxford County Public Health, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) is a new, independent health unit serving a population of about 204,000 across Oxford County, Elgin County, and the City of St. Thomas.
With offices in Woodstock and St. Thomas, SWPH will continue to offer the same quality services you have come to expect, from the people you know and trust.
Oxford County Drug Strategy Steering Committee
The Oxford County Drug Strategy Steering Committee met on August 22 in Ingersoll.
The committee welcomed Mamta Chail-Teves, Executive Director of Wellkin Child & Youth Mental Wellness and Lynn Hinds, Director, Planning and Integration South West LHIN.
DPRA was present to share the results of the community consultations.
DPRA shared the results of the community consultations that were conducted during the months of May and June. DPRA identified eight themes:
- Education and awareness
- Children and youth
- Transportation and outreach services
- Addressing stigma
- Greater investments into upstream approaches
- Building greater local infrastructure and resources for problematic substance use
- Family engagement and support
Each of the themes was accompanied by two or more short and long-term actions and were shared with members of the steering committee for further consideration and discussion.
Opioid situational assessment completed
Laura Gibbs completed the situational assessment for Oxford County. Information captured in the situational assessment report was similar to findings of DPRA’s consultations. A preview of the opioid situational assessment report was shared with community stakeholders on Wednesday, September 26. The invitation was extended to members of the Oxford County Drug Strategy Project Steering Committee and organizations that were referenced by participants in the report. The purpose of the meeting is to share a portion of the report with the providers that were mentioned in the report before it is released publicly and to also discuss how SWPH will share these and other findings more broadly.
Opioid Response Plan
Melissa MacLeod, Epidemiologist Southwestern Public Health presented a draft version of Oxford’s Local Opioid Response Plan to members of the Steering Committee. The focus of her presentation was around the development of a formalized response threshold criteria for Oxford County. Recognizing that each threshold will generate a response from participating agencies based on their operational mandates. Further discussion is required to refine the proposed criteria.
Overdose Prevention/Naloxone Distribution
The naloxone distribution program continues to grow and expand. As part of the program expansion to eligible community agencies, CMHA Oxford has begun training their clients on overdose prevention and dispensing naloxone kits. Several other local community agencies are in the process of establishing their own programs. With the expansion of the take-home naloxone program, people at risk of an opioid overdose and their family and friends will have greater access to this life-saving drug.
Opioid Monitoring Bulletin
Public Health issues a surveillance report on the second Tuesday of every month unless an alert needs to be issued when the level is raised. These bulletins share local opioid overdose information on a regular and timely basis with key stakeholders.
An interactive dashboard is being developed to provide individuals with the option to customize the information to their needs.