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 in 2010. Provides scientific and technical advice on public health issues.
- For more information, read Milestones and History of Public Health Units in Ontario.
- In 1966: 19 staff, $166,000 budget.
- Medical Officers of Health for Perth County:
- Dr. R.M. Aldis (1966 to 1967)
- Dr. H.H. Thompson (Acting, 1967 to 1968)
- Dr. K.W. Hampson (1969 to 1974)
- Dr. Susan Tamblyn (1974 to 2004)
- Dr. Rosana (Pellizari) Salvaterra (2004 to 2007)
- Dr. Miriam Klassen (2007 to present)
- 1967 to 1981: Head office was at 24 St. Andrew Street. There were also sub-offices in Mitchell and St. Marys.
- 1981 – new head office was built on West Gore Street (current location).
- 2005 – downtown Stratford office opened for chronic disease prevention, 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:
The Perth District Health Unit is governed by an autonomous Board of Health with six elected municipal representatives and three provincial appointees.
The Perth District Health Unit 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 information technology (IT).
Partners and Stakeholders:
Established connected with hospitals, doctors, schools, municipalities, long-term care homes, restaurants, salons, day cares, workplaces, local and regional agencies and government.
In Perth County, people live in rural areas and small urban communities. The Anabaptist cultural community includes Amish and Mennonite groups.
The volunteer program is an integral part of program and service delivery with more than 90 volunteers.
In 1994 Health Line telephone information line was launched. Public Health Nurses now answer more than 4,000 inquiries each year. In 1998, the first Health Unit website was launched. In 2011, the Perth District Health Unit joined social media.