- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

More senior level staffing changes were announced to staff at the Grey Bruce Health Unit on Friday.

Sarah Ellis, who began her career as a Public Health Nurse with the Unit after graduation in 1997, is leaving her current dual roles of Chief Nursing Officer and Interim Director of Operations and Program Development for a position outside the Health Unit.

Drew Ferguson, who many in the area still remember for his work with CTV and CKNX, began a well-deserved retirement from his position as Public/Media Relations Coordinator with the Grey Bruce Health Unit.

Our Health Unit has had no epidemiologist on staff since they terminated the person who had held that position for more than 20 years as a cost-cutting measure in February 2020.  We have had two Data Analysts. One is now leaving the Health Unit, and the other left Friday on maternity leave.

None of these positions are posted on the GBHU website. The only Employment Opportunity listed is for a permanent, full-time Human Resources Assistant, with no closing date for applications.

No organizational chart has been posted on the GBHU website for two years. We enquired about who would take on the responsibilities of departing staff and received this reply: “The organization does not comment on these human resource matters. “

Given that the Health Unit is a publicly accountable organization whose budget comes entirely from the Province of Ontario and Grey and Bruce Counties, we expect to be able to provide our readers with, at the very least, the names and titles of senior staff. We will continue to enquire.

The current members of the Board of Health, with the exception of a public appointee from each County, are up for election in their respective municipalities in less than year. If current members decide not to run for re-election or are defeated in the 2022 municipal elections, more than two-thirds of the people sitting at next December's Board of Health meeting could be brand new to the job.

The members of the Board are appointed by the County Councils of Grey and Bruce, but do not necessarily have to be elected members of their municipal councils themselves. Although that has been the common practice in Grey-Bruce, it is not the case in all Public Health Units in the province.

The Covid-19 vaccine roll-out for children will be the next priority for Public Health, but re-opening and staffing provincially-mandated programs will be essential in order to retain the full funding that goes with them.

We will continue to ask for an Organizational Chart for the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, and to provide you with as much information as we can about the ongoing management and programs of our Unit, as well as the provincial decision-making around re-organization of Public Health Units in Ontario.








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