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Statement from the Medical Officer of Health on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/September 30, 2022

Today, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) recognizes the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. HPEPH is open and will continue to provide public health services to the community.

HPEPH is committed to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in what we now call Canada. National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day to learn and acknowledge the history of residential schools, intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism while also providing us with an opportunity to reflect on the work ahead of us. This work must not be limited to a single day, but is an ongoing effort day after day, month after month, year after year.

In commemoration of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we have encouraged staff to wear orange and learn about the story of Phyllis Jack Webstad and her experience at a residential school with a special orange shirt.

In the past year we have accomplished the following:

  • Adopted an organizational land acknowledgement with associated training so staff and readers are familiar with the colonial history tied to the written words of the acknowledgement.
  • Trained select staff in cultural safety.
  • Developed and strengthened relationships with the Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team and other Indigenous community partners.
  • Prioritized work with groups who suffer from inequities from historical injustices, for example, people experiencing homelessness which represents a population that is overrepresented by Indigenous Peoples.

We are also currently providing an update to the internal Indigenous Cultural Safety Capacity Building Plan. This will be launched for a fulsome approach to internal staff training in 2023.

We are grateful for the contributions that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people have made to our communities. HPEPH is proud to work closely with the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory directly to our east and the Kijicho Manito Madaouskarini Algonquin First Nation to our north.

Learn more about our projects to advance local health equity on our website.

Dr. Ethan Toumishey,
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health


Media Contacts:

Maureen Hyland, Communications Specialist

Communications Team

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. HPEPH is situated and provides services on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee people. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

We invite community partners and residents to share this Media Release with their respective networks.

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All individuals ≥ 5 yrs of age are eligible to receive a COVID-19 bivalent booster dose 6 months after previous COVID-19 vaccine.

Appointments can be booked through the provincial vaccine booking site, or by calling 1-833-943-3900 from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week.  


For the most up to date information on current provincial guidelines and advice in case of exposure, visit

The Ministry of Health has launched a toll-free line as an additional resource to help answer questions from the public regarding evolving COVID-19 testing and isolation guidance. The line can be reached at 1-888-777-0730, and is available from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week. Beginning April 3, hours for this line will change to Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.