Porcupine Health Unit in Timmins. Apr/20 (Lydia Chubak/CTV Northern Ontario)

The Porcupine Health Unit has launched a Facebook page dedicated to serving the francophone population of the area.

It can be found here. The health unit has been posting information in both English and French on Facebook and their website  for several years. The former main health unit page will become English-only once francophone residents become aware of the new page.

“Forty-four per cent of the population served by the Porcupine Health Unit is French-speaking and we believe that having a dedicated French language page will make it easier to find the public health information they want and need,” Dr. Lianne Catton, medical officer of health, said in a news release Tuesday.

Chantal Riopel, the health unit’s manager of foundational standards and chief nursing officer, overseen the health unit’s communications efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through COVID-19, we’ve learned a lot about how people rely on social media to get their information," Riopel said. "And we’ve learned how to better use Facebook to communicate timely, accurate and useful information to area residents. This new page is a continuation of that commitment, reflecting our values of respect and empathy.”

Catton said the page is “a small but meaningful step forward, demonstrating our commitment to providing services in French throughout our area.”

The Porcupine Health Unit is located in Northeastern Ontario, serving the entire Cochrane District and Hornepayne, in Algoma District. The main office is located in Timmins, with branch offices in Cochrane, Hearst, Hornepayne, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Matheson, Moosonee and Smooth Rock Falls.