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.:CKDR - Dryden:.
Dr. Pete Sarsfield, the Region's Chief Medical Officer of Health saw
General Session Bios
Pete Sarsfield, MD, is working as a consultant to MDH to facilitate guideline development for community-based Influenza Assessment, Treatment and Referral Centers (Flu Centers).
was involved in the development of the Flu Center strategy in his
role as medical officer for the Kenora Public Health Ministry
The Flu Center strategy is a critical component of the Ontario Pandemic Influenza Plan.
Dr. Sarsfield recently retired as the CEO and medical officer of health with the Northwestern Health Unit in Kenora, a remote rural area of Ontario after 14 years in this role.
A native of Nova Scotia, Dr. Sarsfield
pre-med education at Mount Allison University
in Sackville, N.B. and then his
M.D. at Dalhousie University
After graduating in 1973, he
went to Labrador for 12 years as a travelling general practitioner, also spending some time in the Northwest Territories.
In the 1980s, Dr. Sarsfield underwent specialization training in public health at the University of Manitoba, and then became director of environmental health for the province of Manitoba for five years.
moved to Kenora
in 1994 after successfully applying to be the medical officer of health and CEO of the Northwestern Health Unit
Kenora Daily Miner and News, Kenora, ON
Kenora's chief medical officer, Dr. Pete Sarsfield, called for the inclusion of First Nations in a review of public health services in Northwestern Ontario."It's a major gap," he said, noting their exclusion leads to intolerable conditions.
...Kenora's chief medical officer, Dr. Pete Sarsfield, called for the inclusion of First Nations in a review of public health services in Northwestern Ontario.
"It's a major gap," he
said, noting their exclusion leads to intolerable conditions.Even though aboriginal communities are considered to be under federal control, Sarsfield
said they aren't adequately funded when compared with neighbouring municipalities."I don't think that would be tolerated anywhere else in Ontario.I don't think it should be tolerated here," he
said Tuesday.While the Northwestern Health Unit doesn't have any direct jurisdiction over reserves, Sarsfield
said there may be an implied duty through the language of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, where an obligation to ensure the delivery of mandatory services is spelled out."I've been here 12 years.I've been on many First Nations, and public health services aren't being done," he
In other areas of the report, Sarsfield
found encouraging news for his
Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal
"I'm assuming there was some political pressure to get Toronto in as one of the leads," commented Dr. Pete Sarsfield, medical officer of health for the Kenora region.Sarsfield
added that while he
"regretted" Thunder Bay has been left out of the loop, it wouldn't diminish anti-smoking efforts in the region.
Lung Association of Saskatchewan - xtra0040 - Smoke-free workplaces in Northwest Ontario - asthma, COPD, tuberculosis, pneumonia, smoking, and lung health information
Ms. Stainke was referring to Peter Sarsfield, the medical officer of health who imposed the workplace smoking ban, which includes bingo halls, bowling alleys, bars and restaurants.
But Pete Sarsfield
simply is doing a necessary job that politicians "wimped out" of doing.Beginning today, there is a ban on smoking in Northwestern Ontario workplaces, ordered by Dr. Sarsfield, the medical officer of health.
"This is not so much an antismoking campaign or crusade, as it's been called," said Dr. Sarsfield
."It's against second-hand smoke. . . . I will fight against you having the right to smoke into someone else's lungs."
In Ontario, medical officers of health typically aim their sights at specific hazards, such as asbestos-lined offices, dirty diners and mould growing in schools.But Dr. Sarsfield
said that medical officers are obliged to use their office against a more pervasive public-health threat -- second-hand smoke.His
decree goes further than the bylaws politicians put in place elsewhere in Ontario.In his
region, smoking is banned in all workplaces, including bingo halls, bowling alleys, bars and restaurants.
However, some question the ban's legitimacy, because Dr. Sarsfield
is an unelected official.
stand has brought many compliments, but he
acknowledged that he
is unpopular with some people.At Kenora intersections, he
said, drivers have given him the finger and shouted that they want to run him down.
"You're what I fought against in Europe," a smoker told him.His
boss, the province's Chief Medical Officer, told Dr. Sarsfield
that while he
point, health-protection laws should not be used to set social policy.
But the Kenora
doctor is sticking to his
guns, saying public-health laws empower -- and oblige -- him to issue the ban.Dr. Sarsfield
argued that he
had no choice, given that a clear and present danger persisted amid political buck-passing and vote-seeking.
The area falling under his
responsibility incorporates 19 cities dispersed across a huge area in westernmost Ontario.
For years he
"badgered" municipal politicians for tough antismoking bylaws, Dr. Sarsfield
said.But little happened.He
complained that the province "wimped out" long ago by allowing municipal governments to decide antismoking measures.He
said that most politicians in Northwestern Ontario are unwilling to pass bylaws that could hurt businesses or cost votes.
Nearly everyone in the area expects that fines will be vigorously appealed; the courts likely will have to decide whether a medical officer of health can ban workplace smoking.Dr. Sarsfield
said bans similar to his
should exist across Canada and that higher levels of government should do more.
"I think the provincial government, the Ministry of Health, Workers Compensation and the Ministry of Labour are all being negligent in not taking action," Dr. Sarsfield
said, adding that because it took him so long to issue the ban, "I could be accused of being negligent, too."