The work of the Grey Bruce Health Unit and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ian Arra received strong praise and support at the Owen Sound city council at Monday's meeting.

ianarraDeputy Mayor Brian O'Leary said: “One of my duties as a member of county council is to sit on the Board of Health and I wanted to extend my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Ian Arra. I stay in touch with him a couple of times a week, and can assure everyone that currently he is just about the busiest man in Grey Bruce.

He is a man of character; he takes criticism with grace, and with all the chaos during this pandemic, has the compassion to sit down and write a heartfelt letter to all frontline workers in the long-term care homes, thanking them for what they're doing. Dr. Arra is our Medical Officer of Health, and through his calm demeanor he is leading us through this emergency. He is in constant contact with Grey Bruce Counties, municipal leaders and the media.

On behalf of Owen Sound council I thank you Dr. Arra for your strength and leadership.

Councillor John Tamming followed up: "I just wanted to echo what Deputy Mayor O'Leary said. I went to the Health Unit last Friday and today at the invitation of Dr. Arra just to see first hand the control centre for this covid crisis. I can't speak highly enough about Dr. Arra. I was very pleased that this doctor knows northern Ontario; he knows rural Ontario, and he knows epidemiology – cold. It's what he is trained for. And we are all well-served by a gentlemen who, for instance, is not a family physician who became a director of health – he lives for this sort of thing; he lives for epidemiology and everything it represents.

In speaking to him I learned that he knows the data that is important coming in to the Unit, and just as important, that which is useless. And there's a lot of social media discussion out there, a lot of emails circulating about this number or that number and why aren't you doing this and so forth – I was very impressed that he's in his wheelhouse, nimble, eager to try new approaches. He has enormous credibility...

This crisis I think is going to teach us the value of having a local Grey Bruce Health Unit .I know there has been talk of mergers, but when I walked around the floor the other day and again this morning and I saw what they're up to - I see they get rural health; they get our aboriginal communities; they get our Amish communities. I noticed the team of contact tracers (and it's good that there's only about 80 cases now they have to trace) but it's good to see local people doing local analysis in the local context

So I for one am exceedingly grateful for our local Health Unit."





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