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Health Promotion Capacity Building (HPCB) Updates

iStock_000003665675Small.jpgPHO’s Health Promotion Consultants are proud to support Ontario’s public health system, community health care intermediaries, and partner ministries. We provide in-depth focused consultations to assist in health promotion planning and problem-solving in support of Ontario’s Public Health Standards. This page provides some examples of consultations. 

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Contact us at or use our Online Service Request Form  



Tobacco Prevention 2.0

Date: September 30, 2015

Over the last two years, we’ve joined forces with Cancer Care Ontario’s Program and Training Consultation Center (PTCC) to develop a suite of social media training services for health promoters across Ontario. We’ve carefully examined how technological advances have changed the way we engage and communicate with our audiences and how messages that are spread through social media may influence health-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. Health promoters must be ahead of the curve to counter conflicting norms and messages, which is why our social media training focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-informed comprehensive media campaigns with strong and responsive social media components.

With revealing case studies, tactics to optimize the design and delivery of key messages, and strategies to reach those most at-risk, participants taking part in our training events gain an understanding of how to effectively curb conflicting trends or user-generated content, boost engagement and facilitate healthy behavior change.  Whether you are working in tobacco prevention, nutrition, mental health, immunization or in any other health promotion topic, our social media training will provide you with the direction you need to take your social engagement efforts to the next level. Join us for our webinar on social media on November 10, 2015.




Understanding Municipal Zoning Bylaws to Create Healthy Communities 

Client: Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit

Date: January 16, 2015

Over the past three years, the Hastings & Prince Edward Counties Health Unit has developed several resources to influence municipal policies, particularly Official Plan policies. An Official Plan sets out long-term land-use policies for municipal growth and development. The success of this work has led their local municipalities to revise their official plans to include healthy community design and development. When these types of revisions are made, municipalities must update their zoning by-laws; presenting an opportunity for the health unit to influence these revisions. Kim Bergeron, a Health Promotion Consultant who works in the area of public policy, facilitated a workshop to help increase capacity in this area.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  • develop a better understanding of municipal zoning by-laws and public health’s role to create healthy communities
  • facilitate a process for influencing the revisions of local zoning-by-laws.


Engaging Youth in the Development of Healthy Eating Culture in Schools


Client: Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health  

Date: November 27, 2014 

Health communication consultant Sophie Rosa lead a workshop, in collaboration with Youth Advocacy Training Institute, where 35 students and adult leaders from the Central West region joined together as advocates for healthy eating in schools.  

The objectives of the workshop were to: 

  • Develop a strategy to engage students in fostering a healthy eating culture in schools using a model for social engagement
  • Provide participants with the basic skills to: 
    • frame the issue of unhealthy eating in schools
    • conduct audience analysis 
    • develop engagement tactics 

Through breakout sessions and group discussions, participants worked together to conduct a situational assessment of their current food culture. They also identified and analyzed pertinent issues to change behaviours and attitudes of students in their school. Representatives from each school identified the barriers and facilitators they faced in implementing a healthier food strategy. Their peers then provided feedback and offered possible solutions. Through the workshop participants gained the foundational knowledge required to foster a healthy eating culture in their schools. 


Exploring Municipal Alcohol Policies

Client: Durham Region Health Department 

Date: September 26, 2014

Durham Region Health Department engaged alcohol specialist Jason LeMar through our service request form to share his knowledge of municipal alcohol policies (MAPs) and provide examples of how to implement them.

The workshop brought together 25 members from different municipalities and departments within Durham Region including parks and facilities.

Jason LeMar presented the eight step model for developing a MAP as well as the Roadmap for Municipal Alcohol Policy Development . He also encouraged participants to maintain common language between MAPs across the same region to develop standardized regulations.

Participants gained an understanding of:

  • the importance of MAPs in public health
  • what makes for an effective MAP; what should and should not be included
  • best practices and tips when planning and developing a MAP
  • steps to evaluating a MAP 

Skill Building in Algoma

Client: Algoma Public Health

Date: June 4 - 5, 2014

There was excitement in the air as staff members at the Algoma Health Unit were introduced to our Skills for Health Promotion Toolkit. Over 40 staff members, from a number of departments, joined PHO’s Kim Bergeron and Sophie Rosa to learn more about:

  • planning and evaluating health promotion programs

  • developing healthy public policies and health communication campaigns

Throughout the two days, participants were able to:

  • apply the knowledge they gained to real situations 

  • Identify ways to apply the step-models 

  • Share challenges and identify solutions to influence decision makers

Participants gained skills in how to define terms, goals, expectations, roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes. They also built the specific skills required to identify collective priorities, as this process allows for collaboration among project/program stakeholders.

Exploring medication and alcohol abuse in seniors

Client: Halton Region Public Health

Date: May 12, 2014

Over 50 professionals from Halton and surrounding regions took part in the Seniors, Medication, and Alcohol Use workshop.

Dr. David Lam spoke about clinical approaches to treating alcohol use disorders in the elderly - engaging the participants with a case study. He also, reviewed Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines, standard drink servings, and screening processes.

Ellen Williams, a local pharmacist and member of the Seniors Medication and Alcohol Research Team (S.M.A.R.T.), shared her insights on:

  • Pharmacokinetic changes (changes to the way the body absorbs, distributes, metabolizes, and excretes drugs) of older adults
  • drug interactions with alcohol
  • some of the more common injuries to seniors when alcohol and medications are mixed, including falls and injuries associated with falls

Williams explained that an annual medication check between a patient and a pharmacist can mitigate risks by helping patients better understand their medication therapy and ensuring that medications are taken as prescribed.

PHO’s Ben Rempel presented an Introduction to Alcohol Policies, including what a municipal alcohol policy is, what its key components are, and why it’s important.

The take-home messages from this event were:

  • Alcohol abuse is a silent problem in older adults, often overlooked or misidentified
  • Disorders associated with alcohol and substance use will increase in prevalence as the baby boomer generation ages
  • Alcohol and substance use disorders can lead to poor social, emotional, cognitive, and physical outcomes
  • Older adults are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol because they often have multiple medical condition and medication that can interact with alcohol
  • Some of the challenges faced by the medical community can be mitigated with sound alcohol policies at the organizational, municipal, provincial, and federal level


Start the conversation!

Contact us at or use our Online Service Request Form
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Page last updated: 30/09/2015 6:45 PM
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