The Health Communications Unit services transition to OAHPP
Much has been achieved in the nine months since the transfer of four resource centres from the Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport (MHPS) to PHO. Collaboratively, we have developed a strategic plan, accountability mechanisms and an overall evaluation framework with the Alcohol Policy Network, the Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, the Program Training and Consultation Centre and The Health Communication Unit (THCU).
We are pleased to announce another new development as we strive to better coordinate, align and build health promotion and knowledge exchange resources across the province. Following discussions with the MHPS, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and THCU, it has been decided that the services provided by THCU will be provided directly or procured by PHO as of April 1, 2011.
THCU has built a reputation for its broad base of expertise, networks and resources and has played a leadership role in the field of knowledge exchange and health promotion skill building. Through this organizational realignment, the work of THCU will benefit from increased access to PHO scientists, content experts and our capacity for program evaluation, applied research, education and knowledge exchange.
The consultants at THCU have been pivotal to its success and credibility in the field. A new “blended” model comprised of a mix of PHO contract staff and procurements will be developed to deliver THCU services. THCU consultants will be invited to apply for positions and tenders that will be posted.
THCU has a long history with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the University of Toronto and PHO looks forward to future opportunities to collaborate with these organizations to strengthen the public health system in Ontario.
Regarding accessing THCU services, please continue to access services in the same way that you do now. We will be working out details and will let you know how to access services as of April 1, 2011.
During the next few months, we will be collaborating closely with THCU Manager Larry Hershfield to implement the new model and ensure continuity of service during this transition period. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that the Public Health Ontario and The Health Communication Unit (THCU) are collaborating to implement the new delivery model to ensure continuity of service. These FAQs will be updated as additional information becomes available.
How will services be improved by this transition?
THCU has built a reputation for its broad base of expertise, networks and resources and has played a leadership role in the field of knowledge transfer and health promotion skill building. THCU products and services are key components that align with PHO mandate for health promotion capacity building, and health promotion intermediaries will benefit from increased access to PHO’s scientists, content experts, applied research and its expertise in program evaluation, education and knowledge exchange.
Are similar transitions being planned for other PHO-affiliated Resources Centres?
No. It is business as usual for PHO’s other partner Resource Centres.
Why is THCU undergoing this transition?
Unlike the other Resource Centres that provide services to support specialized areas within public health (such as tobacco control and injury prevention), THCU has broad expertise that applies to many areas. Its services fit well with PHO’s broad mandate. A collaborative decision was reached to find a new “home organization” for the THCU programs and services. The existing partnership between PHO and THCU, along with the opportunity to build and integrate services for the field around program planning and evaluation guided the transition decision.
Will PHO continue to provide the same products and services as THCU?
Yes. THCU clients and stakeholders will continue to be able to access THCU services during the transition. Over time, we will be working together with THCU staff and consultants to find ways to augment or increase services based on new innovations in health promotion practice and emerging priorities from the field.
Who will provide the services and products provided by THCU?
A new “blended” model will be developed to deliver THCU services. This will be a mix of PHO staff and procured services (e.g., consultation, facilitation, evaluation expertise). We are collaborating closely with THCU as we transition towards this new model of service delivery and will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
What is happening to the consultants at THCU?
The consultants at THCU have been pivotal to its success and credibility in the field. They have been invited to apply for positions and tenders that will be posted.
Will services and products continue to be free?
How will we access services?
Please continue to access services in the same way that you do now. We will be working out details and will let you know how to access services as of April 1.
What will happen to the Ontario Health Promotion E-Bulletin?
PHO’s Communications Unit will partner with Health Nexus to produce the bulletin.
Where will offices be located?
The PHO headquarters are at 480 University Avenue, Toronto.