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Why working at PHO is important to me:

"Working at PHO is important to me because of the opportunity to inform decisions in emergency preparedness and response at the provincial level, in concert with experts in all fields of public health. I learn from them each and every day in the fast-paced environment of responding to outbreaks and other incidents.  It is both challenging and exciting to participate in building our organization from the ground up, supporting and integrating our staff into synergistic and dynamic teams to fulfil our mandate and vision."

Brian Schwartz, Vice-President
New: Scientist Profile
 Watch Dr. Brian Schwartz talk about:
  • What excites him about his work
  • The impact of his research
  • Why he chose PHO

Trouble viewing? Watch on YouTube.



    Academic degrees and accreditations

    • Doctor of medicine, University of Toronto
    • Master of science (Community health), University of Toronto
    • Fellow, The College of Family Physicians of Canada
    • Certificate in Special Competence in Emergency Medicine, College of Family Physicians of Canada

    Areas of expertise

    • Public health 
    • Core competencies 
    • Emergency preparedness and response
    • Intersectoral health emergency management
    • Emergency Medical Services

    PHO research interests

    • Providing leadership in research and evaluation of public health and health systems’ needs and capacity in emergency preparedness and response.
    • Establishing a formal research program in health emergency management in the Canadian context.
    • Adapting, integrating and evaluating organizational frameworks and communication in public health emergencies.
    • Disaster surveillance and epidemiology; evaluation of public health interventions in a disaster.

    Current PHO research activities

    • Leading the development, research and evaluation of PHO’s strategy, design, policies, procedures and response to health and hazard emergencies or incidents.
    • Identifying and measuring core competency needs of public health and health care providers, including soft skills and cultivating situational awareness and team functioning.
    • Co-leading a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded project entitled Advancing performance measurement for public health emergency preparedness in Canada.
    • Determining the health effects of non-infectious disease-related emergencies such as extreme weather and environmental toxins.
    • Collaborator and knowledge user on project entitled Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation Infrastructure and Research Program (Ontario Research Fund and York University).
    • Evaluating public health strategies in detection (including the role of social media), management of and response to emerging infectious respiratory diseases.

    Top publications

    1. Khan Y, Sanford S, Sider D, Moore K, Garber G, de Villa E, Schwartz B. Effective communication of public health guidance to emergency department clinicians in the setting of emerging incidents: a qualitative study and framework. BMC Health Serv Res. 2017;17(1):312.

    2. Rajaram N, Hohenadel K, Gattoni L, Khan Y, Birk-Urovitz E, Li L, Schwartz B. Assessing health impacts of the December 2013 Ice storm in Ontario, Canada. BMC Public Health. 2016;16:544.

    3. Schwartz B, Nafziger S, Milsten A, Luk J, Yancey A II. Mass gathering medical care: resource document for the National Association of EMS Physicians position statement. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2015;19(4):559-68.

    4. Bochenek R, Grant M, Schwartz B. Enhancing the relevance of incident management systems in public health emergency preparedness: a novel conceptual framework. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2015;9(4):415-22.

    5. Schanzer D, Schwartz B. Impact of seasonal and pandemic influenza on emergency department visits, 2003-2010, Ontario, Canada. Acad Emerg Med. 2013;20(4):388–97.

    Other publications

    1. McDougall CW, Kirsch D, Schwartz B, Deber RB. “Looking for Trouble: Developing and Implementing a National Network for Infectious Disease Surveillance in Canada”. In Case Studies in Canadian Health Policy and Management. Second edition. Deber RB, Mah CL (ed.). University of Toronto Press, 2014: 179-205.
    2. “Risk and Hazard Vulnerability Analysis” (Ch. 2); “Readiness and Mitigation” (Ch. 3); “IMS and Communications” (Ch. 4); “Preparing for Mass Gatherings” (Ch. 8). In Disaster Preparedness for Healthcare Facilities. Kollek D (ed). PMPH-USA: 2013.
    3. “Clinical Aspects of Prehospital Medicine – Section Editor: Trauma and Environmental Incidents”. Kendal Hunt Published 2009.
    4. Improving Access to Emergency Services: A System Commitment. The Report of the Hospital Emergency Department and Ambulance Effectiveness Working Group. MOHLTC. Summer 2005


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