Albanese re-elected as chair of health unit


Fort Frances Coun. John Albanese was re-elected chair of the Northwestern Health Unit’s board of health for a seventh-consecutive year during a meeting Monday in Dryden.
Coun. Albanese, who has sat on the board of health since 1989, said Monday that he’s looking forward to another year working with the board of health to ensure the health unit’s programming goals are met in 2011.
“I am looking forward to another year of hard work, making sure that the citizens in the catchment area get the best health care we can provide,” he remarked.
Coun. Albanese said among the new programs in the year ahead, the health unit is in the process of getting a mobile dental van to deliver the “Healthy Smiles Ontario” program, taking the care to the people as opposed to expecting them to come to the health unit’s offices.
This is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
“We’re very excited to go and provide service where there is no dental care but people need dental treatment,” Coun. Albanese said.
Another one is a diabetes education pilot project north of Kenora.
The health unit also will continue to carry on with its other programming, such as the ’flu shot program.
“If you haven’t got your ’flu shot, please do,” reminded Coun. Albanese.
“It’s very critical when you don’t get it,” he warned.
He also noted the health unit will continue to promote health prevention programs, like smoking cessation.
“We try to encourage people not to smoke, especially the young people,” said Coun. Albanese. “They’re the ones that really need a guide.
“They want to be cool but later on in life, you pay the price,” he stressed.
Coun. Albanese also thanked the health unit board and management for their support in 2010.
“I am very excited about the coming year,” he remarked. “I’d like to thank the board for the great support, and I am looking forward to fulfilling the obligations they’ve set in front of me.”
The health unit board holds an election each January.
The Northwestern Health Unit board of health represents 19 communities, governing 13 health units encompassing an area from Pickle Lake to Rainy River to Atikokan.