Langtry attends world health conference

It was a chance to gather and share information for Doug Langtry, who is just back from attending the World Health Organization’s annual meeting in Vienna, Austria.
This year’s theme was “Networking for Safe Communities,” with keynote speakers from around the world sharing their information on safety programs.
“This is the fourth one I’ve been to,” said Langtry, who is vice-chair of the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition.
Langtry spent two days in Vienna, then went on to Prague in the Czech Republic, where he was part of a workshop with 32 people from around the world developing a manual for calculating the cost of injury in a community.
“This group was an invitation group,” he noted. “We set down a criteria that we’re going to work with for a couple of years.
Langtry’s presence at the annual meeting also was part of the RRVSC’s aim to have Rainy River District designated a “safe community” by the WHO in 2002. By attending the annual meetings, he said it helps strengthen the district’s ties with the group.
“Being tied into the World Health Organization gives you a world network,” Langtry explained. “You share your programs with the world and you get to see the other communities’ programs.
“And we have very good programs here,” he added, noting the RRVSC has added a new aspect to its list of programs each year, the latest being the “Risk Watch” program in district schools.
The RRVSC also has been invited to take part in a pilot project for the Owls program, which provides a central point of information that seniors can access.
Another reason the RRVSC was represented in Vienna was linked to its hopes to host a WHO conference in 2002 after the international gathering in Montreal.
Langtry said he’ll be heading to Medicine Hat, Alta. in the first week of November to make a presentation before a WHO panel, which then will select the host community.
Fort Frances is vying against several Canadian cities to land the follow-up conference in 2002 but Langtry feels we have an excellent chance.
“It’s basically going to bring quite a few worldly people to our doorstep,” he noted.
“It’s a place to show off or showcase our district because we do have a great piece of realty in this world–and we’ve got great people,” he added.