Halton doctors continue to keep our region a safe & healthy place to live

Regional Council’s vision for Halton has always been to be a safe and healthy place to live enhanced by access to high quality health care services. Halton’s doctors play a significant role in achieving this vision.

PhysicianAppreciationWeekFrom April 30 to May 4, 2018 Halton Region is celebrating its 15th annual Halton Physician Appreciation Week. The week was created in 2003 by the Halton Physician Recruitment program, which aims to ensure that every resident in Halton has access to quality physician services.

Now, with more than 600 family doctors and 400 medical specialists across the region, we have a strong team of physicians providing exceptional care to our residents. Whether saving lives or providing everyday care, Halton’s physicians make our community a healthier and better place to live. Halton Region continues to provide support to our physicians and recruitment efforts to support our growing region and changing health care needs.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank our doctors for keeping Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire!

For a list of new doctors in Halton who are accepting patients, visit halton.ca/newdoctor or call 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Halton makes it easy to stay healthy

Halton Region offers many programs and services to help you make healthy choices and live an active lifestyle all year round. The new year is a great time to set new goals for your health and well-being. So whether your goal is to get active, eat healthier or stop smoking, Halton Region’s resources and services make it easy for you to stay on track.

Make a plan

HealthyChoicesPlanning is an essential part of achieving any goal. Write down the reasons why you want to make a change, set concrete goals and develop an action plan to achieve those goals. Halton Region has plenty of online resources to help you get started.

Keep it simple

Set yourself up for success by taking small steps. If you’re looking to get active, start by walking to add more physical activity into your day and gradually build up your endurance.

We are building safer walking, running and biking paths across the region to make it easier to add physical activity to your daily routine. To learn more about improvements coming to your neighbourhood, visit halton.ca/activetransportation to learn more.

A simple change to your diet is also a great way to achieve your health goals. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is a great tool to learn about healthy food choices.

Include your family and friends

SkatingTalk to your family and friends and enlist their support in helping you achieve your goals. Take advantage of outdoor activities across the region that can be fun for you, your family and friends. Visit halton.ca/tourism to find skiing, cycling and hiking trails and outdoor skating rinks. The region offers something fun for everyone. You can also try eating together as a family to encourage healthy eating habits among your kids and get them off to the right start!

Halton Region is dedicated to supporting you in making active, healthy choices and keeping our region a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information or to access our healthy living supports, visit halton.ca/healthyliving, follow us on social media or call 311.

On behalf of Halton Regional Council and staff, we wish you and your family a very happy and healthy New Year!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Protecting yourself during flu season

the_Flu_ends_with_U2We now have many choices for where residents can get their flu shot. The Halton Region Health Department, local pharmacies and physicians are working together to offer residents convenient access to flu immunization. This year, you can protect yourself, your family and your colleagues from the flu by getting immunized at a:

  1. Local pharmacy – More than 100 pharmacies across Halton are providing flu shots to people older than five. Find one close to you by using Ontario’s Flu Clinic Locator.
  2. Family doctor – No matter what your age, you can visit your family doctor and some walk-in clinics to receive the flu shot. If you need a family doctor, go online or call 311 to find a list of Halton doctors that are accepting new patients.
  3. Halton Region Family Flu Clinic – If your family has a child under five years of age, you can book an appointment at Halton Region’s Family Flu Clinic either online or by calling 311.

In addition to getting immunized, it’s also important to take everyday precautions by washing your hands with soap often, using an alcohol-based sanitizer (if soap and water are not available) and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent the flu from spreading to others and talk to your doctor if your illness worsens or doesn’t begin to get better after a few days.

METROLAND_Oct12_8x91_Flu_9119_FS

For more information on the flu or to find a location near you that offers the flu shot, visit halton.ca/flu or call 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

 

Get ready for back to school by updating immunization records

At Halton Region we want to make getting ready for back to school as easy as possible. Some immunizations are required to attend school, so it is important to make sure immunizations are up-to-date and reported to the Halton Region Health Department.

ImmunizeReportHalton has made it easier for parents and guardians to report and request immunization records:

  • You can now report immunizations using our online reporting form – you can even take a picture of your immunization record and send to us through our webpage!
  • If you’re unsure what immunizations the Health Department has on file, you can fill out the convenient online immunization records request form to request a copy.
  • You can also update your records on-the-go by downloading and using the OneHalton app.
  • If your child is unable to get immunized or if you choose not to, you must have a notarized exemption on file with the Health Department in order to meet school attendance requirements.

As always, parents or guardians can also report or request records in person or by dialing 311.

Look for important letters from the Halton Region Health Department

As we continue to enforce the Provincial Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), the Halton Region Health Department periodically sends letters to students in target age groups who have outdated immunization records. In spring 2017, we sent out letters to families of students born in 2008 and 2009; we’re currently sending letters to families with students entering grades 9 to 12 this school year. If you received one of these letters, please report your child’s immunizations as soon as possible to the Health Department to avoid possible school suspension.

If your child requires certain immunizations, please visit your family doctor. If you are in need a family doctor, please visit halton.ca/newdoctor.

Working together, we can protect ourselves, our children and our community from vaccine preventable diseases. Thank you for helping us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Staying safe while enjoying summer

Summer is great time to get outdoors and explore our beautiful region. Whether it’s going for a dip at the beach, hiking one of Halton’s many trails, having people over for a barbeque or enjoying a picnic at a local park, it’s important to remember that making smart choices helps keep you safe. Below are some tips and information to keep in mind while you enjoy all that Halton has to offer this summer!

Beach safety

We are fortunate to have several recreational beaches located throughout the region. Beginning in June, our Health Department staff sample Halton’s beach water to determine if the water is safe for swimming and water activities. The beach water quality results are updated weekly at halton.ca/beach and you can check to see if it’s safe to go swimming before heading to the beach.

Air quality and heat safety

You can help protect yourself from the health impacts of extreme heat and poor air quality by getting environmental alerts delivered to your inbox. This is especially important for people with health concerns such as asthma, families who have children in outdoor summer camps or people who work outside. Sign up to receive alerts at halton.ca/airquality.

As we get closer to summer and higher temperatures, it’s important to drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks from activities and use sun protection. Also remember to visit family members, friends and neighbours at risk from extreme heat to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated. To learn more, visit halton.ca/heat.

Food safety

Summer means firing up the grill and barbecuing. Make sure your food is safe by following these four tips:

  • Clean
  • Separate
  • Cook
  • Chill

After a day of visiting our local farms or farmers’ markets, remember to properly wash and store your fresh fruits and vegetables. To learn more, visit halton.ca/foodsafety.

Mosquito safety

Halton Region staff work hard to help protect our communities from mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus (WNV). The Halton Region Health Department monitors and helps control the mosquito population to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in the region. Residents can also protect themselves by:

  • wearing insect repellent with DEET or Icaridin;
  • avoiding being outdoors at dusk and dawn;
  • covering up: wearing light coloured clothing that covers your arms and legs; and
  • removing areas of standing water from your home

Practice tick safety when travelling

While the risk of tick-borne diseases in Halton is low, it’s important that residents are aware of how to protect themselves. If you will be around wooded, brushy or tall grass areas, or traveling to areas identified at risk for Lyme disease, you should be especially cautious and know how to avoid tick bites. Halton residents can also submit ticks found on themselves or family members for identification and testing through the submit-a-tick program.

By working together, we can help keep our community safe and healthy, and ensure that Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. Wishing you all a fun summer in Halton!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Healthy changes for the New Year

Holiday resolutions can be maintained by making small, incremental changes

2017 is here and for many of us we are looking for ways to maintain or improve our health. The start of a new year is often the time when people decide to make changes that can have a positive impact on their health. Physical activity is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy, and it is easy to incorporate into your daily routine, if you take small steps.

If you are just starting out, think about the small changes you can make to improve your health. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Walking is one of the best ways to build physical activity into your day. Halton has a beautiful landscape, from the escarpment in the North to Lake Ontario in the south, with many conservation areas and walkable communities in between. Take some time to get outside, enjoy the fresh winter air and walk for your health.
  • Increase the amount of time you spend moving each day. At home and at work, take regular walking and exercise breaks.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, both at work and in the community, to build more physical activity into your day.
  • For families, there are many fun activities you can do together to help keep everyone get and stay healthy. From walking, skating and skiing outdoors to swimming and playing sports indoors at your local community centre – the options are endless!

To meet your weekly requirements for vigorous physical activity—a minimum of 2.5 hours a week—set goals that incorporate active living into your daily routine. Physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress and anxiety. These are great reasons to get started today!

Halton’s website has a many great resources to help people of all ages stay healthy and physically active. To learn more, visit halton.ca/healthyliving. By making small investments in our wellbeing, we can better enjoy everything that makes Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Protect yourself during the flu season

Fall is such a great time of year to experience the harvest and the beauty of Halton’s natural surroundings, but it is also the season to start thinking about protecting yourself from the flu. The Halton Region Health Department, local pharmacies and physicians are working together to offer residents convenient access to flu clinics and help keep people safe and healthy this flu season.

Visit Ontario’s Flu Clinic Locator for locations of local flu immunization clinics including pharmacies.

While most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization or worse, especially for those at high risk, including the elderly, children under the age of five and those with certain chronic health conditions.

Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself and those you love from getting sick.

Halton Region’s Health Department reports the best way to protect against getting and spreading the flu is to get the annual influenza immunization (flu shot). Remember that when you protect yourself, you protect those around you who may be at risk of severe illness from the flu.

savingyourself-fromthefluThere are many options which make it easier for you to get your flu shot. In Halton, you can get your flu immunization at your physician’s office, walk-in clinics, many pharmacies and some workplaces. Be sure to call the walk-in clinic or pharmacy before you go. Halton Region is also offering flu immunization clinics throughout the Region.

In addition to getting vaccinated, it is important to take everyday precautions by washing your hands frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not available), and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sick, stay home from work or school to prevent the flu from spreading to others, and talk to your doctor if your illness continues to worsen or does not begin to improve after a few days.

For more information on the flu, please visit halton.ca/flu or dial 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.