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Health unit thanks its outgoing board members

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The board of health overseeing the Northwestern Health Unit will have some new faces around the table in 2019.

Eight of the 11 seats on the board are filled by representatives from municipalities within the region and on the heels of the recent municipal election, the board will see some new faces.

Up to three members of the board are appointed by the province.

2018 chair Paul Ryan of Fort Frances said he's been pleased with the accomplishments of the outgoing board.

“The biggest achievement was overseeing the development and organization-wide implementation of the strategic plan and our seamless transition of leadership with the announcement of Marilyn Herbacz as our new CEO,” he noted.

Ryan, who recently received the Distinguished Service Award by the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa), added some members of the outgoing board have had a great impact on the public health system beyond work done with the board of health.

He pointed to vice-chair Trudy Sachowski, who also is the chair of the alPHa Board of Health Section and, as a provincial appointee, will remain on the health unit board in 2019.

“Trudy met regularly with people from other health units across the province, and as recently as Nov. 23 had the privilege of presenting to Health minister Christine Elliott in Toronto about the role of boards of health,” Ryan said.

“Our board is a strong voice for the north,” he stressed.

Herbacz offered thanks to the board members, as well.

“We've had the luxury of a thoughtful, progressive-thinking group of individuals who truly care about the Northwestern Health Unit and, more importantly, care about the health standards of those living in Northwestern Ontario,” she noted.

Municipal councils appoint their representatives to the Northwestern Health Unit in December and early 2019.

The new board of health will begin its meetings in January.

The outgoing board members include Ryan and fellow municipal appointees Carol Baron (Ear Falls/Red Lake), Dennis Brown (Atikokan), Joe Ruete (Dryden/Machin), Lucille MacDonald (west Rainy River District townships), and Yolaine Kirlew (Sioux Lookout/Ignace/Pickle Lake).

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