A smorgasbord of national enteric outbreak investigations, video chats with accomplished epidemiologists, data visualization activities, statistical analyses, a COVID-19 surveillance rotation… What could this delightful array of experiences be? You guessed it – my virtual summer practicum with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)!
There is no question the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time, but it has also provided those of us working in public health with one of the greatest learning opportunities of our time. It has tested our strengths, exposed our weaknesses, and forced us to figure out how to improve together as a system. And on a personal level, it has given me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain real-life pandemic response experience.
Congratulations to Courtney Primeau, an MPH and PhD in Population Medicine (Epidemiology) graduate for being announced as one of the three winners of the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health 2020 Knowledge Translation student award. Courtney and her fellow award winners will be part of a webinar on September 3rd.
More details about the funding of public health services in Ontario are emerging. The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) had a teleconference with the 35 health units in the province on Thursday April 18, 2019. It was announced the current 75% provincial/25% municipal cost sharing relationship will be altered immediately. It will begin with a 70/30 provincial/municipal split next year. It will move to 60/40 for municipalities with a greater than one million population.
As many of you are aware, the Ontario Provincial government announced their 2019 Budget “Protecting What Matters Most”. An unexpected component of the budget was the reduction of the number of public health units in the province from 35 to 10. Of note is the language of regional public health entities and regional boards of health – a movement away from public health units. A common governance model will be implemented along with these boards by 2020-2021. The rationale provided is that the current system has public health units outside of the health care system.
Congratulations to Steven Lam, one of three receipts of this year’s National Collaborating Centres for Public Health (NCCPH) NCCPH Knowledge Translation Awards. This award recognizes the efforts of graduate students in Canada for their outstanding work in knowledge translation.
Alex Sawatzky successfully defend her PhD work on December 16, 2018. Her excellent and interesting work titled "The Best Scientists are the People That's out There”: Inuit-Led Integrated Surveillance for Place-Based Health Adaptation to Climate Change" was the first in the field of Public Health within the Department of Poulation Medicine. Alex's unique blend of art and science will serve her well into the future.
Second year University of Guelph MPH students Saarah Hussain (left) and Amber Gillespie (right) have received the 2018 Ron de Burger Student Award, which recognizes outstanding work in the critical analysis of environmental health issues.
University of Guelph MPH grad Shannon Brown recently received a $25,000 award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for their Hacking the Knowledge Gap—Trainee Award for Innovative Thinking to Support LGBTQI2S Health and Wellness. Her project “Men tan too: Addressing the absence of queer men in skin cancer prevention efforts,” won her the award.
The Ontario Veterinary College Alumni Association continues to provide funding for the Dr. Robert Clarke Public Health Prize, awarded to the student with the best poster. There were many great posters on display at the 9th Annual MPH Public Health Forum, but there could only be one winner. This year, Robbie D’Addazio was awarded this prize.