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HEALTH AND WELLNESS

A. GENERAL DESCRIPTION:

The vision of the Department is `Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Working Together'. The mission is to improve and support the well being of New Brunswickers through an integrated services network focused on individuals, families and communities.

B. MANDATE/PROGRAM SYNOPSIS:

Institutional Services, Public Health and Medical Services, and Mental Health Services.

C. PROGRAMS, POLICIES OR INITIATIVES IDENTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS IMPACTING ON WELLNESS:

Health Services:

Institutional Services _ oversees the operation of the province's hospital, ambulance, Extra-Mural service networks. The Division approves programs, sets standards, funds and monitors the operation of 51 health care facilities operated by 8 hospital corporations; and manages ambulance contracts. Includes air ambulance, ambulance and equipment procurement system, land ambulance, addiction services, construction services, Extra Mural Program, general hospital services, tertiary services, hospital equipment, Hospital Liability Protection Program, New Brunswick Blood Program.

Public Health and Medical Services _ Public Health Services are developed through the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and delivered through the Director of Public Health Management Services by the seven public health regions with support from the Regional Medical Officers of Health. Public health programs include healthy lifestyles, communicable disease prevention and control, community nutrition, sexual health, etc. Where possible, community development processes are used, especially in the approach to healthy lifestyles. Public health initiatives such as the School Nurse Program, and the expansion of the HIV testing program from pilot status to a full service program address wellness.

Public Health and Medical Services are responsible for administering Medicare, the Prescription Drug Program, the Provincial Epidemiology Service, medical education, seniors rehabilitation program, food licensing and inspection, and food safety.

Mental Health Services _ Mental Health Services oversees the operation of 13 Community Mental Health Centres in the 7 health regions, 8 psychiatric units located in regional hospitals, and two psychiatric facilities. Mental Health Services includes community mental health centres, community support services, patient advocate services, and suicide prevention.

The Mental Health Services Division identified many wellness activities/strategies, classified under six main categories: self-help groups for empowerment; mental health promotion and education; increasing level of function, social skills and community awareness; prevention (1,2 & 3 level); and maintaining client in the community.

Joint initiatives (between Divisions within the Department and/or with other Departments) - include long term care services (Extra Mural Program component), psychiatric hospitals, Early Childhood Initiatives, Support Services to Education, Youth Treatment Program, and regional psychiatric inpatient units.

All services/initiatives impact on health and wellness to some extent. However, those that have a health promotion/prevention/education focus include: Early Childhood Initiatives, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Mental Health Prevention and Promotion Initiatives, Communicable Disease Control, Healthy Lifestyles, Community Nutrition, and Sexual Health.

D. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS:

Human Resources is responsible to ensure the Department's compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations.

Human Resources organizes or coordinates the following workplace wellness activities for employees throughout the department:

1. Creation, promotion and maintenance of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees throughout the Department. These committees are committed to creating a healthy and safe work environment and preventing workplace injuries, illnesses, etc., and are mandated by the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act.

2. A "Scent-Reduced Work Environment" is promoted by presentations, distributions of posters, information sheets, publication of articles in the newsletter and posting on the Intranet, Employee Handbook, and providing advice to employees and managers on dealing with issues concerning the use or wearing of scented products in the workplace.

3. Workshops/seminars on HIV/Aids in the Workplace, dealing with stress in the workplace, time management, team building, safe winter driving, smoking cessation, first aid, cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), elder care, retirement planning, etc. are offered annually or on request.

4. Promotion of the Corporate Employee and Family Assistance Program.

5. Flu Immunization Clinics.

6. Blood Donor Clinics

7. Promotion of Workplace Injury Prevention Initiatives

(a) Piloted the Back in Action Program in Campbellton and Fredericton Regional Offices as a result of survey done in 1993 indicating employees were suffering from repetitive strain injuries or discomfort.

(b) Provided tips on prevention of repetitive strain injuries when using a computer, keyboard, mouse, laptop were developed and distributed to employees, published in Images and posted and updated on the Intranet.

(c) Arranged Information Sessions on ergonomics and workplace assessments for employees by health professionals.

(d) Presentations on prevention of workplace injuries given to employees.

(e) Ergonomic general information has been distributed and in some cases employees have had consultation provided by HR staff.

(f) Development of a Health and Wellness Program with a budget that ties together in a holistic way all related workplace wellness issues/programs. (2000-2001)

8. Emergency Evacuation Plan is in place for buildings where department has employees and regularly practiced.

9. Sneaker Day events are held throughout the province in May or June to promote a healthier lifestyle by encouraging employees to walk, run, or jog.

10. Workplace Wellness Fairs for employees are held periodically.

11. Enforcement of a smoke-free work environment.

12. Production of Quarterly and Annual Human Resources statistical reports to monitor sick leave usage and trends, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WHSSC) incidents, Long Term Disability usage, complaints of Workplace Harassment, Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) usage and vacation carryover.


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