Your Government Newsroom News Details


April 19, 2018
Oxford County and Elgin St. Thomas announce new health unit board, name and logo

Public health services will continue as they are now when the new health unit takes effect on May 1

Updated April 20, 2018

The communities of Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas will be served by a new health unit on May 1, 2018: Southwestern Public Health. The new health unit will merge Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and Oxford County Public Health to form a new organization delivering public health programs and services to approximately 204,000 people in a geography spanning Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas.

A merger between the two health units was put forward in November 2017 as an opportunity to enhance programs and services by pooling resources, allowing Public Health to better respond to the unique needs of their small urban and large rural communities.

On April 11 at their respective meetings, the Board of Health for Elgin St. Thomas Public Health and Oxford County Council approved the municipal appointments to the Board of Health for Oxford Elgin St. Thomas Health Unit, which remains the legal name for the new health unit. Board members are:

             Heather Jackson (City of St. Thomas)
             Margaret Lupton (Oxford County)
             David Marr (County of Elgin)
             Larry Martin (Oxford County)
             David Mayberry (Oxford County)
             Lee Rowden (Order in Council)
             Sandra Talbot (Oxford County)
             Bernie Wiehle (County of Elgin)
             Steve Wookey (City of St. Thomas)

The new board of health becomes effective on May 1, the first day of operation for Southwestern Public Health. While the two organizations will continue to work through the process of integrating their operations beyond May 1 into the rest of 2018, people living in Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas will continue to receive the public health services they have now at the same locations in Woodstock and St. Thomas.

Telephone numbers, email addresses and the website will remain the same on May 1, with new contact information and a new website to be announced in June.

The Transition Governance Committee, which was formed to provide oversight on merger activities until the time that a new board could be legally appointed, is on target for completing all deliverables identified in the committee’s terms of reference.

The health units are also introducing today the new logo for Southwestern Public Health. The logo, which emphasizes the “public health” in Southwestern Public Health, was designed to reflect a sense of strength, reaching out, and excitement for the future. It incorporates the names of the three municipal jurisdictions, Oxford, Elgin and St. Thomas. The new logo will begin appearing on public health materials after May 1.


Attachment: Media backgrounder and timeline, “Forging a new path” (April 2018)
Attachment: Southwestern Public Health logo

About Elgin St. Thomas Public Health

Elgin St. Thomas Public Health (ESTPH) works together with its communities to promote and protect the health of people who live, work and play in Elgin County. The health unit delivers a variety of mandatory health programs and services set by the Province of Ontario in the Health Protection and Promotion Act. ESTPH works with its communities to promote wellness, to protect health, to prevent injury, and to advocate for positive change. ESTPH serves a population of just over 90,000 people. For more information about services, visit

About Oxford County Public Health

Through its programs in prevention, protection and emergency response, Oxford County Public Health works to keep the people in Oxford’s communities healthy and safe through programs that promote healthy lifestyles and that aim to prevent illness and disease in the community. Public Health is a service of Oxford County, a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government serving approximately 114,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together.” Learn more at


Tommasina Conte                            Tiffany Terpstra
Oxford County Public Health           Elgin St. Thomas Public Health
519.539.9800, ext. 3503                  519.631.9900, ext. 1308        

Oxford County is taking steps to support our community's response to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) and measures taken by Southwestern Public Health. We are monitoring our operations daily to ensure we are taking the right actions to protect our residents, employees and visitors. Get updates at