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Public urged to get on board. Haldimand & Norfolk mayors promote healthy communities

Mayor Marie Trainer and Dennis Travale in front of a mural

Haldimand Mayor Marie Trainer and Norfolk Mayor Dennis Travale stand in front of a mural depicting the thoughts and visions of community members who attended a recent planning session designed to start the process towards building healthier communities in the two counties over the next 15 years.

SIMCOE, ON, NOV. 27, 2009 – Haldimand and Norfolk Mayors Marie Trainer and Dennis Travale are urging their respective constituents to join with them in building healthier communities.

The two mayors attended a healthy communities planning meeting Nov. 17 sponsored by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. Trainer and Travale participated with 58 people from 31 organizations to talk about a vision for Haldimand and Norfolk. This would see the counties’ residents healthier and safer within 15 years.

The planning session was part of the provincial government’s Healthy Communities Ontario program, geared to improving access to priority health promotion programs and services. These priorities include healthy eating, physical activity/sport/recreation, tobacco use/exposure reduction, substance and alcohol misuse reduction, mental health improvement and injury prevention.

“The first step to building healthier communities around these priorities is to encouraging the development of new partnerships and strengthen existing ones,” explained Health Unit Health Promoter Heather Keam.

Charlene Burt, Coordinator of Volunteer Services for Aberdeen Health and Community Services, concurred.

“It was a great day and I found it very good,” Burt said. “It was a great opportunity to network and see others in the community.”

One of the highlights of the day were large murals painted on the spot by artist Disa Kauk, who captured in graphics the thoughts and visions of the participants.

Keam noted that other healthy communities planning sessions will take place in the new year and “we encourage any community members and organizations who play a role in the health of Haldimand and

Norfolk residents to get involved.” People may call the Health Unit at 905-318-6623 or 519-426-6170.

Locally, the healthy communities plan will:

  • Coordinate planning locally, by engaging multiple networks, community leaders and decision makers.
  • Develop a community plan that meets local needs and aligns with Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care priorities.
  • Provide network support and develop partnerships and linkages to other networks to coordinate actions and avoid duplication.
  • Mobilize community leaders, municipal leaders and other decision makers and organizations to work together to support local healthy public policy, such as changing the built environment and increasing access to healthy foods.

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Media contact:
Heather Keam
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
519-426-6170 Ext. 3208 or 905-318-6623 Ext. 3208