Posts tagged Bill Eekhof
Upcoming HKPR Health Unit Community Events

Submitted by Bill Eekhof

LINDSAY: No-Family Doctor Immunization Clinic, Tuesday, April 2, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. Free immunization clinics for families without a doctor. To book an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 4, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, April 8, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 11, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Men’s Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 11, 5-7 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This sexual health clinic provides men with testing/treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections and a chance to discuss their sexual health issues with a nurse. Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcome. Call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205, for more information.

LINDSAY: Food Handler Course, Tuesday, April 16, 9 am to 4 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This course teaches participants how to handle and prepare food safely. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate (valid for a period of five years) indicating they are registered as a certified food handler. Cost is $40 per person. For more information and to confirm space availability, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 18, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, April 25, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

At Any Age

Media Release Submitted by Bill Eekhof

While Valentine’s Day may come only once a year, the Health Unit is sending a message of love it hopes will resonate with people all the time.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages local residents to look after their sexual health and well-being throughout their lives. That’s the theme of Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week (www.srhweek.ca), which runs February 11-15 and focuses on the importance of ‘sexual health at all ages.’

“At any age or stage of life, we need to look after our sexual health since it is important for overall well-being,” says Jennifer Kurpjuweit, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Big or small, old or new and at every age in between, our sexual health matters.”

Promoting and supporting sexual health takes different forms at different ages:

  • For babies and children, it is important to teach – in an age-appropriate way – that sexuality is a natural, normal and healthy part of childhood, adolescence and adulthood. “We need to move away from a one-time, awkward conversation about the birds and the bees with children and instead normalize talking about gender and sexuality as they grow up,” Kurpjuweit says.

  • For teens, healthy sexual development includes talking about puberty and bodily changes, making safe and appropriate choices about sex, and providing the information they need to build healthy, lasting and respectful relationships.

  • As adults, sexual health involves more than just deciding whether to have children or not. “Sexual health also means taking care of our reproductive health, reducing our risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections, and addressing sexual dysfunction, pain and other concerns we may have about sex,” Kurpjuweit says. “Building and nurturing a healthy relationship can also increase sexual satisfaction and help support overall well-being.”

  • As people get older, nurturing their sexual selves and sexual health continues to be an important aspect of overall health. “But it’s not just about sex,” Kurpjuweit notes. “Sexuality can also involve intimacy, touch and love.”

The Health Unit provides many programs to support sexual and reproductive health in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Health Unit can help couples who are planning to start a family or who are preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Confidential sexual health information, counselling and clinical services are also offered at Sexual Health Clinics in the area. To learn more, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205, visit www.hkpr.on.ca, email info@hkpr.on.ca or text (705) 878-2723.

HKPR District Health Unit February Events

Submitted by Bill Eekhof

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has the following community events taking place in the City of Kawartha Lakes next month.


CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES: S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program, Tuesday, January 29, 1:30 pm. STOP Program supports smokers trying to quit by providing them with five weeks of nicotine patches at no cost. Smokers will also get educational material and other resources to help them in the quitting process. To see if you are eligible, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2202.

LINDSAY: No-Family Doctor Immunization Clinic, Tuesday, February 5, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. Free immunization clinics for families without a doctor. To book an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1507.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 7, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, February 11, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

PORT HOPE: HKPR Board of Health Meeting, Thursday, February 14, 9:30 am, Health Unit office (200 Rose Glen Rd.) in Port Hope. Regular monthly meeting of the Board of Health which oversees public health programs and services in the area. For more information, call: 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1466.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 14, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Men’s Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 14, 5-7 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This sexual health clinic provides men with testing/treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections and a chance to discuss their sexual health issues with a nurse. Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcome. Call 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205, for more information.

LINDSAY: Food Handler Course, Wednesday, February 20, 9 am to 4 pm, Health Unit office (108 Angeline St. S.) in Lindsay. This course teaches participants how to handle and prepare food safely. Upon successful completion, participants receive a certificate (valid for a period of five years) indicating they are registered as a certified food handler. Cost is $40 per person. For more information and to confirm space availability, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5006.

CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES: S.T.O.P. (Smoking Treatment for Ontario Patients) Program, Thursday, February 21, 10 am. STOP Program supports smokers trying to quit by providing them with five weeks of nicotine patches at no cost. Smokers will also get educational material and other resources to help them in the quitting process. To see if you are eligible, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2202.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 21, 4:30-6:30 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Monday, February 25, 10 am to Noon. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

LINDSAY: Sexual Health Clinic, Thursday, February 28, 1-3 pm. The clinic provides clients with confidential access to cervical screening, low-cost birth control, pregnancy testing and sexual health teaching. Testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections are also provided. For more information, locations or to make an appointment, call the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 2205.

Health Unit Offers Top 10 Ways to Help People Cope with Holiday Stress

Press Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

Happy holidays? Some area residents may find that is far from the case.

Hectic schedules, plenty of demands, and oversized expectations that come with the holiday season can lead to feelings of stress and depression among some people. “There are many demands put on people at this time of year, including holiday parties, gift buying, family get-togethers, overexcited children, extra meal planning, and financial concerns,” says Marisa Curran, a Public Health Nurse with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “All of these added pressures can lead to frayed nerves, short fuses, damaged relationships and depression which has an impact on people’s health.”

Curran offers some practical steps to help area residents cope or reduce holiday stress and depression. “Trying to reduce stress before it takes an emotional toll can pay off,” she notes, “and you might find you start to enjoy the holidays.” To reduce stress, the Health Unit suggests the following:

• Show your feelings. If someone close to you has recently passed away or you’re unable to be with family over the holidays, realize it’s OK to show, and share, your grief and emotions.

• Reach out to others, especially if you are feeling lonely or isolated. Seeking out community or social events can offer support and companionship. Volunteering to help others can also lift your spirits and make you feel more connected.

• Be realistic about the holidays. Change your expectations about the festive season; it doesn’t have to be perfect. As family dynamics change, holiday traditions and rituals will too. Hold on to a few traditions and be open to new ones.

• Set aside differences with family and friends. Accept others as they are. If possible, set aside grievances until there is a more appropriate time to discuss. If necessary, limit time spent socializing with loved ones if these situations make you feel anxious or angry.

• Stick to a budget. Deciding how much you can afford to pay for gifts will reduce the financial strain – and related stress and anxiety – on your family. Happiness can’t be bought with gifts, so show your love in creative ways. Consider gifts of time, such as spending a day with a loved one or teaching a child a new hobby or skill.

• Plan for success. Set aside specific days to shop, bake, decorate, visit or do other activities. Plan meals in advance and line up what you’ll need to buy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help to prepare for or clean up from parties and meals.

• Learn to say no. Agreeing to take part in a project or activity for which you have no time can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Set realistic expectations for what you can do over the holidays. Seek balance and try not to overdo it.

• Make time for the people who matter most in your life. Rather than rushing around, take a break by planning outdoor winter activities with your children or plan a date night with your partner.

• Don’t abandon your health. Eat healthy; you can still enjoy a holiday treat, while keeping in mind portion control. Get enough sleep and try to be active every day. Make time for yourself to recharge from the holiday bustle, such as taking a walk, listening to music or reading a book.

• Seek professional help if required. Despite your best efforts, you may still feel sad, anxious, stressed or unable to cope. If these feelings persist, speak to your health care provider or a mental health professional. Locally, the Canadian Mental Health Association (www.cmhahkpr.ca) provides a free, 24/7 professional crisis support line at 1-866-995-9933.

Books are Great Gifts

Media Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

Lift a page from the past by taking a novel approach to your holiday gift-giving for children this year.

 The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit encourages parents and caregivers to include a book under the tree for children. While they may seem old-fashioned compared to modern tech toys, devices and electronic games, books are a great gift to give this holiday season.

“Books can open up new chapters for children and their parents,” says Shelley Shaughnessy, a Public Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Reading together allows family members to bond together, explore new literary worlds and acquire a love of language. Books are valuable because they can support a child’s communication skills that are critical for future success at school and in life.”

As children grow, “their brains are like sponges,” which means they are constantly learning from what goes on around them, she notes. Reading with children helps to stimulate speech and language skills, as adults help them learn new words and discuss their meanings. Visual attention, conversation skills and listening ability can also be improved, she adds.

“Take the cue from your child when reading,” Shaughnessy adds. “If children flip back and forth all over the book, be patient. It shows they enjoy the book and want to concentrate on the parts that especially appeal to them. Another word of advice: show interest and enthusiasm when reading to children so the words on the page have appeal and hold their attention.”

Finding an age-appropriate book for a child is the most important step in encouraging reading. Books with repetitive and rhyming text, as well as plenty of pictures and interactive features such as holes or flaps for lifting, can be a hit with older toddlers and preschoolers. For older children who are less inclined to read, choose a story with an exciting plot that will grab their attention and make them want to read.

Giving a gift certificate to a local bookstore for your child is another way to encourage reading. If children’s expectations this holiday season involve a high-tech gadget, parents might consider electronic book readers as an option. Alternately, a low-tech, no-cost idea may be a better fit. “Get your child a library card and open the door to a world of books, where new experiences await,” Shaughnessy adds.

To further support reading and child speech skills, local residents can visit the KidTalk website (www.kidtalk.on.ca) or call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003.

Putting Poverty Under Wraps

Press Release submitted by Bill Eekhof

(CITY OF KAWARTHA LAKES) – In the spirit of the season, local residents are being asked to buy into something that isn’t available at any store or online retailer.

Instead, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit wants people to take a stand against poverty in the City of Kawartha Lakes. Locally, 16.5 per cent of local children and youth live in poverty. A recent study also found the ‘living wage’ in Kawartha Lakes is $18.42 per hour – what a family of four with both parents working full-time would need to earn to cover basic expenses in 2018. This amount is more than $4 higher than Ontario’s current minimum wage.

“While donating time and money to local charities are great ways to help in the short term, supporting solutions that get to the root causes of poverty can make an even bigger difference over the long haul,” says Mary Lou Mills, a Social Determinants of Health Nurse with the HKPR District Health Unit.

In creating a holiday wish list this year, she encourages people to think of – and act on – ways they can help keep poverty under wraps. One of the most obvious is to be kind and non-judgemental towards low-income earners. “Being poor isn’t a choice,” Mills says. “There are many reasons why people live in poverty, much of it beyond their own control.”

An inability to get reliable, secure work, access affordable housing options, buy healthy food, or find affordable child care all play havoc on a person’s ability to make ends meet. “All of these factors contribute to poverty, which in turn can hurt people’s health,” she adds.

Income-based solutions are essential to successfully address poverty. According to Mills, this is where residents can show they care by:

•                     Getting behind increased social assistance rates.

•                     Calling for people to be paid living wages.

•                     Supporting basic employment standards to reduce unstable work.

•                     Saying yes to building more affordable housing units.

“Raise awareness and lobby for change by talking to your family, friends, neighbours and elected officials about the importance of these income-based solutions,” she says. “These are all gifts that will benefit our entire community.”

For example, the local economy is boosted when everyone has stable jobs that pay living wages. Communities are healthier when everyone has a safe and affordable place to live, can afford nutritious food, and is able to participate in recreational activities. Local families will also face less stress, while children can grow, thrive and succeed in school.