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- Health Unit Recognizes Its Nursing Staff for Helping to Protect Public Health -

Care, compassion and commitment.

These are just a few words to describe the work of the approximately 45 Registered Nurses with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. With National Nursing Week running from May 12 -18, 2014, the Health Unit is using the occasion to recognize its nurses while raising awareness about the important role they play in promoting health and protecting against the spread of disease.

Whether carrying out their duties in schools, homes, clinics or in other places in the community, Health Unit nurses help people in many different ways, according to Fiona Kelly, Chief Nursing Officer with the HKPR District Health Unit.

“From immunizing children, to investigating disease outbreaks, to promoting the benefits of healthy living, our nurses make a world of difference every day to the well-being of people living in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes,” she notes.

Because Health Unit nurses are fewer in number and frequently work behind the scenes, they often do not garner as much attention as their more numerous nursing colleagues in hospital and long-term care settings, she adds. “The work they do is not always visible, but our nurses are certainly a valuable resource in our community,” she adds. “The knowledge and expertise of our nurses helps ensure public health needs are met in our community.”

Health Unit nurses carry out many duties. Nurses immunize children and adults in a variety of settings so they are protected from many vaccine-preventable diseases. Nurses at the Health Unit ensure school-aged children are up-to-date on their immunization by checking their vaccination records. Nurses also investigate cases of infectious diseases and work to control outbreaks so that the community is kept safe.

“Much of our nurses’ work also extends to helping families,” Kelly adds. “Our nurses provide prenatal classes and resources to parents who are expecting. They help new mothers adjust to life with a newborn and give advice to families to support the healthy development of children. Health Unit nurses also run sexual health clinics to provide confidential counseling, treatment and testing for sexually-transmitted infections.”

Less evident, but just as key, is the work Health Unit nurses do to address and raise awareness about the ‘social determinants of health.’ These are social factors such as income, education, employment housing, child care and access to health care that affect a person’s health and quality of life. Says Kelly: “Our role is not only to cure what ails our patients and clients, but also identify and prevent problems before they adversely affect people’s health.”

Local residents can find out more about the work of nurses by contacting the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 or


For media inquiries, contact:

Fiona Kelly, Chief Nursing Officer, HKPR District Health Unit, (705) 324-3569.

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«February 2019»