Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Transitions to Public Health Ontario

News Release

31 March 2022

Toronto, ON, March 31, 2022 – Public Health Ontario (PHO) and the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) are pleased to confirm that the hosting of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table (Science Advisory Table or the Table) will transition from DLSPH to PHO effective April 4, 2022.

PHO assuming operation and oversight of the Science Advisory Table will create a permanent home for the Table which will help bolster its provincial resources and ensure it can continue its strong connections with the broader academic community. PHO will work with the Table to continue providing credible and independent scientific and technical advice to inform government and the broader public as Ontario transitions to recovery and to help prepare for and respond to future public health emergencies.

“The Ontario Science Advisory Table has provided critical support to the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response by providing evidence-based, independent and transparent advice over the past two years. During that time, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto has hosted the Table. Making PHO the new and permanent home of the Table provides an opportunity for the Table to continue making important contributions to Ontario’s response to COVID-19, as well as continuing to foster the collaboration between government, public health and academic partners.”

— Prof. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair, Science Advisory Table and dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

“PHO is excited to welcome the Science Advisory Table. We look forward to continuing to support the Table in providing credible and independent scientific and technical advice to inform the Ontario government as we transition towards recovery from COVID-19 and to help prepare for and respond to future public health emergencies.”

— Dr. Brian Schwartz, co-chair, Science Advisory Table and vice president, Public Health Ontario

After the transition, the Table will continue to:

  • Be comprised of independent, volunteer and non-partisan experts.
  • Be transparent about its membership, reporting, and conflicts of interest. The same principles that have guided the Table to date will continue to apply, including the publication of the Table’s reports on its website.
  • Operate under its current Terms of Reference (available on the Table’s website). Over the coming months, PHO and the Table will work together to develop a new Terms of Reference, which ensures that the Table is sustainable over time and can be scaled up as needed, in the event of future emergencies or depending on the situation.

Co-chairs Dr. Brian Schwartz and Prof. Adalsteinn Brown will continue to provide leadership and support for the Table.

The Science Advisory Table’s work is well aligned with PHO’s role and mandate to provide scientific and technical advice to the government, public health units and health sector partners. Additionally, PHO currently hosts various External Advisory Committees made up of teams of multi-disciplinary experts from across Ontario that come together to provide leadership, scientific and technical advice, best practices and recommendations to the health sector on a range of public health topics.

About Public Health Ontario

Public Health Ontario is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to protecting and promoting the health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. Public Health Ontario links public health practitioners, front-line health workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and knowledge from around the world. For more information about PHO, visit: publichealthontario.ca. For the latest PHO news, follow us on Twitter: @publichealthON.

About Dalla Lana School of Public Health

The Dalla Lana School of Public Health is a faculty of the University of Toronto, and Canada’s largest public health school. Our community is comprised of internationally recognized teachers, students, practitioners, policymakers and citizens.  We create new knowledge, educate changemakers, advance practice and guide the way to better, more equitable outcomes in population health and health systems – locally, nationally and globally. Join us at the forefront of change in health!

Media Contacts

For media inquiries, please contact:

Janet Wong
Public Health Ontario

Heidi Singer
Dalla Lana School of Public Health
Updated 31 March 2022