President's Message

President's Message

26 April 2018

For three days in March, members of Ontario’s public health community gathered to exchange ideas, learn and gain inspiration from each other at the eighth annual Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC).

We were extremely pleased to have more than 1,000 registrants for TOPHC this year – our most ever. TOPHC also included: 50 sessions, 5 full-day workshops, 88 academic posters, 781 unique visitors to the TOPHC 2018 mobile app and many interesting conversations and insights shared through our social media feeds.

I enjoyed connecting with many of you throughout TOPHC as we engaged with this year’s theme: Leadership. Partnership. Change. Some highlights for me include:

  • The Sheela Basrur Centre Lecture on promoting truth and reconciliation in public health with Pat Mandy, Kevin Lamoureux, Dr. Marcia Anderson and Dr. Rosana Salvaterra. They discussed strategies for how we can advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s “calls to action” in our work and shared perspectives and experiences from both Indigenous health and public health. As the first plenary session at TOPHC they helped set the tone for a thoughtful, energetic and engaging convention. 
  • The Hot TOPHC plenary session on working together to achieve an integrated health system  with Dr. Vera Etches, Dr. Rita Valaitis, Dr. Doug Manuel, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Cynthia Martineau and Liane Fernandes. Our panel provided public health unit, Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and health system partner perspectives on challenges and opportunities when collaborating under the Patients First legislation. 
  • Dr. Brian Goldman from CBC’s White Coat, Black Art’s insightful talk about combating fake health news at the first ever TOPHC Talks session.
  • The opportunity to participate in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto)’s In the Loop alumni event, which was held on site at TOPHC. It featured Dr. Timothy Caulfield who gave a talk on “Science-ploitation.”
  • Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams’ advice for the next generation of public health practitioners at the Fireside Chat for students.
  • Day 3 remarks by Roselle Martino, Assistant Deputy Minister, Population and Public Health at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on a changing public health landscape, which helped set the stage for the day’s five full-day workshops – a new format for TOPHC this year. 
  • The five full-day workshops, which sold out before the start of TOPHC. Special thanks to the workshop organizers and presenters who put so much work, time and thought into developing and running their sessions. 

TOPHC is truly a public health community event and wouldn’t be possible without your support. Thank you again to everybody who participated and especially to our TOPHC partners, the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHA).

For those of you who were unable to attend or missed a session that you were interested in, we will be posting presentations on the TOPHC website in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the TOPHC blog to read recaps on select sessions.  

I always come away from TOPHC feeling energized and inspired by our discussions. I look forward to continuing the conversation with you throughout the year and hopefully seeing you on March 27-29 for TOPHC 2019 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto.

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Updated 26 April 2018