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Why working at PHO is important to me:

"PHO’s partners in policy, public health, and health care are currently facing complex challenges to effectively address drug-related deaths and substance use disorders in the province. PHO’s role in providing scientific and technical advice will support informed decision-making and innovative approaches to improve the health of the population related these issues. Responding to these important health issues will require strong collaboration and integrated work with other health and social services, and PHO is in an ideal position to lend public health expertise to the development of effective solutions."

Pamela Leece, Public Health Physician, Health Promotion, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention


  • Clinical Associate, Women’s College Hospital, Substance Use Service
  • Clinical Academic Appointment (part-time), Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Academic degrees and accreditations

  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Ottawa
  • Master of Science (Health Research Methodology), McMaster University
  • Fellow, The Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC), Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto
  • College of Family Physicians of Canada (CCFP), Family Medicine Residency Program, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Areas of expertise

  • Substance use disorders, harm reduction and overdose prevention
  • Public health
  • Health services
  • Quality improvement and knowledge translation
  • Program evaluation

PHO research interests

  • Public health approach to opioid overdose prevention, including overdose education and naloxone distribution.
  • Opioid medication safety, adherence to clinical guidelines, and quality improvement. 
  • Integrated substance use health service planning and evaluation, using chronic disease management models.
  • Knowledge translation in guideline adherence using behavior change theory.
  • Assessing and mitigating conflict of interest in opioid prescribing guidelines.

Current PHO research activities

  • Co-leading on the development and evaluation of tools to improve Canadian family physicians’ knowledge and performance in safer prescribing of opioids for chronic pain.
  • Collaborating on the Surviving Opioid Overdose with Naloxone Education and Resuscitation (SOON-ER) trial: a randomized study of an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution intervention for laypeople in ambulatory and inpatient settings.
  • Collaborating to describe the clustering of opioid agonist treatment among physicians in Ontario.
  • Collaborating to describe the quality of primary care for patients on opioid maintenance therapy in Ontario, Canada.
  • Collaborating to describe access to opioid maintenance treatment and treatment retention for patients entering residential programs in Ontario for opioid addiction.
  • Collaborating on assessment of conflict of interest among opioid prescribing guidelines.

Other Publications

  1. Strike C, Hopkins S, Watson TM, Gohil H, Leece P, Young S, Buxton J, Challacombe L, Demel G, Heywood D, Lampkin H, Leonard L, Lebounga Vouma J, Lockie L, Millson P, Morissette C, Nielsen D, Petersen D, Tzemis D, Zurba N. Best Practice recommendations for Canadian Harm Reduction Programs that Provide Service to People Who Use Drugs and Are at Risk for HIV, HCV, and Other Harms: Part 1. Toronto, ON: Working Group on Best Practice for Harm Reduction Programs in Canada. 2013. 
    (Chapter author:  “Opioid overdose prevention: education and naloxone distribution”) Available:

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Page last updated: 2017-08-18 11:08 AM
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