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Social media is being used by public health organizations worldwide to expand reach, engage stakeholders and improve access to credible information. Although Ontario public health units are using social media, there is limited understanding of how best to integrate social media at the organizational and program levels. A Locally Driven Collaborative Project (LDCP) sought to understand the current state of social media use within and across health units in Ontario and to identify evidence-based strategies that build on existing efforts to facilitate social media adoption, implementation and evaluation in public health.
A literature review, interviews with staff members from each of the 36 public health units in the province and three in-depth case studies uncovered perceptions of public health unit staff, best practices for social media use, approaches to social media management and facilitators of success. These findings led to the creation of a Social Media Toolkit designed for public health professionals in Ontario. The toolkit highlights organizational- and program-level strategies that can be used to enhance social media engagement in a local public health context. This session will present the results of this work, including the description of a toolkit which will assist public health staff to streamline the planning, implementation and evaluation phases of social media use in public health.
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Presenters: Jill Davies, Mandy Dhaliwal and Duc Mai
Jill Davies has a Master of Health Science in Nutrition Communication from Ryerson University. In her six years’ working with Public Health (first at the Region of Peel and currently with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health), she has focused on leveraging digital communication vehicles, including social media, to reach external and internal audiences. Outside of public health she is active in online communities and has contributed to blogs, websites and online magazines for nearly a decade. Jill is a member of the Ontario Association of Communicators in Public Health (OACPH) and is the Lead for the 2012 Locally Driven Collaborative Project on Social Media and Technology.
Mandy Dhaliwal the Project Manager – Marketing at the City of Hamilton Public Health Services. She is a University of British Columbia alumna and has experience working in both the public and private sectors. Her career with Public Health began five years ago and a primary focus area has been social media. Mandy is a member of the Ontario Association of Communicators of Public Health (OACPH) and a Collaborator on the 2012 Locally Driven Collaborative Project on Social Media and Technology.
Duc Mai is a Public Health Inspector at the Middlesex London Health Unit. As a member of the Infectious Disease Control Team, Duc’s primary roles are to conduct inspections, investigate reportable diseases and manage outbreaks. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors. Duc is a Ryerson University alumnus and is a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Waterloo. He is a Co-applicant on the 2012 Locally Driven Collaborative Project on Social Media and Technology.
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