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PHO in Action is Public Health Ontario’s blog. Here we tell stories of the work we do day in and day out, with our partners, to keep Ontarians safe and create a healthier tomorrow.

March 28
Public Health 101: Evidence Based Decision Making
March 28
Does your municipality have an alcohol policy?  Find out!

A municipal alcohol policy (MAP) outlines the safe, appropriate use of alcohol at municipally-owned or managed property, places, spaces and events. Public health units (PHUs) can work with municipalities to develop a comprehensive approach to alcohol policy.  In 2015,Public health Ontario’s Municipal A​lcohol Policy (MAP) Scan  found 236  or 53.1% of Ontario municipalities had an approved MAP.   Public Health Ontario (PHO) is pleased to support health units and municipalities with new  resources to help in the development of new or revised  policies.

PHO has developed  a  geographical information system  (GIS) map of al​cohol policies​ in Ontario  identifying  municipalities that have policies and availability to their access and those municipalities where the existence of a policy is unknown. 

The map is connected to a Municipal Alcohol Polices Repository.  The repository is populated with policies which are “reported and available for review” via the GIS map.  Those policies may be used as a reference to help municipalities  draft their own policies.  As policies are revised or made available, municipalities can work with health units to upload current policies to the MAP intake form . 

We trust you find these resources and others available on PHO’s Alcohol Resources page helpful.  If you have any questions please contact Jason LeMar at​

March 23
Public Health 101: Disease Burden
March 20
PHO vaccine safety resources featured by the World Health Organization (WHO)

syringe_vector.pngPHO provides up-to-date evidence to address public health challenges that affect Ontarians.

We also provide support to Ontario’s immunization stakeholders so that they may better understand and raise awareness about vaccine safety. One of our areas of expertise is vaccine safety – monitoring and communicating about vaccine safety is essential for immunization programs to be successful.

Our vaccine safety webpage provides a one-stop source of information related to vaccine safety surveillance in the province of Ontario, including:
  • surveillance data reports
  • reporting forms
  • presentations
  • publications

Recently, we were recognized as a trusted resource in the area of vaccine safety. Our vaccine safety webpage was featured by the World Health Organization in their Global Vaccine Safety initiative. As part of Vaccine Safety Net, our webpage will join a list of others that help internet users find reliable vaccine safety information tailored to their needs.

We are thrilled that our resources will reach a global audience, and further our goal of making our resources easily accessible to health care providers who administer immunization. 
March 15
Public Health 101: Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI)
March 09
Tackling regional issues at the local level: Locally Driven Collaborative Projects
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Public health units are the front-line of Ontario’s public health system. Ontario’s 36 health units work with their communities to deliver programs and services and address local public health issues. Public Health Ontario’s Locally Driven Collaborative Projects (LDCP) bring public health units together to develop and run applied research projects based on their experiences and needs at the local level. 

Each year, PHO facilitates and funds a number of LDCP. These projects are led by collaborative teams of public health unit staff with support from academic partners and community stakeholders. 

This year’s research projects were selected to align with major provincial priorities for public health.  The first is Ontario’s Patients First Action Plan for Health Care, which aims to create formal links between public health units and Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) for health system planning. The second is the modernization of the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) which outlines basic programs and services that public health units are mandated to deliver in Ontario. Originally created in 2008, work is underway to revise these standards to ensure they reflect today’s public health needs in Ontario. This year’s LDCP are: 

  • Identifying key elements for successful collaboration between LHINs and public health units to achieve an improved health system in Ontario using a population health approach. 

  • Identifying an optimal method to use and share health data to enable community partners to better advance health equity in their communities. 

  • Identifying principles and practices to enable engagement between First Nation communities and public health units to improve opportunities for health. 

There is substantial change underway in Ontario’s public health system. The LDCP enable public health units to align and prepare for these changes, and to ensure they can continue to make their communities the healthiest they can be. For more information about these projects and who is involved, see the LDCP webpage

These year-long research projects will launch in March 2017. LDCP teams take an integrated knowledge exchange approach and will connect and consult with stakeholders throughout their projects to ensure they meet the needs of knowledge users. Project teams will also share their findings with knowledge users within public health and the broader community. Previous LDCP teams have completed infographics, conference presentations, academic posters and more​.

Stay tuned to the LDCP webpage for future updates on this year’s projects.

March 07
 Public Health 101: Disracted Driving
February 23
Our People: Taryn Athey, Biocomputational Analyst


Taryn Athey, Biocomputational Analyst. "Recently, I've been refining a pipeline that determines antimicrobial resistance in TB

February 09
TOPHC 2017: A message from our President and CEO


The Ontario Public Health Convention​ (TOPHC) is quickly approaching, with just over one month until hundreds of public health professionals from around the province will meet to discuss this year’s theme Global challenges. Local solutions.

TOPHC is set to take place at the Allstream Centre from March 29 to 31, 2017. For detailed information on registration, program and travel, visit the official TOPHC 2017 website​.​

Our President and CEO, Dr. Peter Donnelly, has prepared a message just for you! Hear about why you should attend TOPHC 2017 and learn some tips for getting the most out of your TOPHC experience.

TOPHC Video screenshot: An interview with Dr. Peter Donnelly. Hyperlinked to YouTube video

February 02
Our People: Tara Harris, Nurse Consultant


Photo of Tara Harris with quote "In my job, I enjoy supporting and advising on clinical aspects of vaccine safety."

January 25
PHO at TOPHC 2017


TOPHC 2017 with colourful background

PHO is getting ready for The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC). TOPHC is the perfect opportunity to meet experts in the field, find potential collaborators, stay up-to-date with the latest public health research and most importantly, to have fun. TOPHC 2017 runs from March 29 to 31, 2017 at the Allstream Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

Global challenges. Local solutions.

This year, TOPHC is taking a global perspective and PHO is ready to join the conversation on global health challenges and how to address them with solutions developed at the local level. 

PHO will be well represented at TOPHC; with 26 posters, 20 15-minute presentations, 5 panels, and 5 workshops; covering topics such as: public health systems, food safety, infection control, surveillance systems and child health. Our staff is busy preparing for what is sure to be a great event. 

The Sheela Basrur Centre​ (SBC) recognition ceremony and lecture kicks off TOPHC on March 29 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. – honouring the legacy of the late Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health. TOPHC will also feature the SBC educational pathway — a series of presentations and sessions dedicated to leadership and communications.

To find out more about the different PHO sessions, presentations and workshops and what else TOPHC has to offer, check out the full program on the official TOPHC website​.

January 24
Public Health 101: Hand Hygiene



From: IPAC Core Competencies Course – Chain of Transmission and Risk Assessment

January 19
Our People: Sarah Morgan, Library Technician


Photo of Sarah Morgan with quote "Right now, I am working with our researchers to explore option for publishing their work."

January 16
Public Health 101: Occupational Health

From: IPAC Core Competencies Course – Occupational Health and Safety

January 13
Planning or evaluating? You need a logic model.

In the field of public health and health promotion, logic models can be a valuable tool.  Logic models show the if/then relationships between program input, activities, and desired outcomes. They can provide a clear and continuous method for establishing the logical flow of a program yet be dynamic and responsive to changes along the way.  Logic models can also serve as a tool for identifying advances towards program goals. 


In follow up to the Logic Model Theory to Practice webinars that were held in the Spring of 2016, Public Health Ontario has released additional resources to support the use of logic models as planning ​and evaluation tools.

The Focus On: Logic model – A planning and evaluation tool provides an overview of logic models and includes design examples and descriptions of their use in program planning and evaluation.  The Logic model: Theory to practice Webinar Q&A  provides practical information and answers questions that were posed during the webinar discussions.

This resource was developed by Public Health Ontario’s Health Promotion Capacity Building (HPCB) team.  To find out about the release of related resources and all of the other exciting work going on at PHO, sign up for our monthly newsletter Connections.​

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