In the summer of 1966, the Perth County Health Unit (now the Perth District Health Unit) was established as an official public health unit in Ontario.
Key Dates in Public Health History
- 1873 – First Public Health Act passed
- 1984 – Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act replaced Public Health Act. Office of Health Promotion created
- 2007 – Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion established. Name changed to Public Health Ontario (2010). Provides scientific and technical advice on public health issues.
- For more: Milestones and History of Public Health Units in Ontario
- In 1966: 19 staff, $166,000 budget.
- Medical Officers of Health for Perth County:
- Dr. RM Aldis (1966 – 1967)
- Dr. H.H. Thompson (Acting, 1967-1968)
- Dr. K.W. Hampson (1969-1974)
- Dr. Susan Tamblyn (1974-2004)
- Dr. Rosana (Pellizari) Salvaterra (2004-2007)
- Dr. Miriam Klassen (2007-present)
- 1967-1981: Head office at 24 St. Andrew St. Sub-offices in Mitchell and St. Marys.
- 1981 – new head office built on West Gore Street (current location).
- 2005 – downtown Stratford office opened for chronic disease prevention and sexual health program and clinics.
- 2007 – North Perth office moves out of Listowel Hospital into own office space.
- In 2016: 128 staff; $9.5 million budget
Public Health: A Product of Partnership
Board of Health: PDHU is governed by an autonomous Board of Health with 6 elected municipal representatives and 3 provincial appointees.
Staff: PDHU workforce is made up a Medical Officer of Health, inspectors, nurses, promoters, dental hygienists, dietitians, tobacco enforcement officers, youth peer leaders, administration, epidemiology, communications and IT.
Partners and Stakeholders: Established connected with hospitals, doctors, schools, municipalities, long-term care homes, restaurants, salons, daycares, workplaces, local and regional agencies and government.
Our Community: In Perth County, people live in rural areas and small urban communities. The Anabaptist cultural community includes Amish and Mennonite groups.
Volunteers: The volunteer program is an integral part of program and service delivery with more than 90 volunteers.
Communication: In 1994 Health Line telephone information line was launched. Public Health Nurses now answer more than 4,000 inquiries each year. 1998: First PDHU website was launched. 2011: Joined social media.