Leading a Multi-Agency Response to Health Hazards in an Un-Licensed Group Home
Kayla Elms and Simran Saini
Southwestern Public Health
On July 7, 2021, Public Health Inspectors issued a Section 13 Order for closure, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, to an unregulated residential facility by Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) to mitigate multiple health hazards observed in the facility, including: accumulation of garbage, pest infestation (flies, rats, bed bugs), and extensive mould contamination. This order, issued in coordination with other local enforcement agencies, followed a progressive enforcement model after several orders were issued by several agencies. Closure of the facility triggered a multi-agency emergency response to close and relocate twenty-six (26) residents to temporary shelter to mitigate the risk to the residents.
Through this presentation, the audience will learn about the multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional investigation and response to health hazards and progressive enforcement undertaken by those agencies, lead by Southwestern Public Health. We will discuss successes, challenges, and lessons learned by PHIs throughout the investigation and closure event, focusing on the importance of stakeholder engagement, use of IMS structure, and policy recommendations to address challenges surrounding unlicensed congregate living settings.