Event Details

PHO Rounds: Regional Harm Reduction Snapshots in Ontario and the Impact of COVID-19: Presenting Findings From 2022-2023 LDCP

A 2022-2023 Public Health Ontario (PHO) Locally Driven Collaborative Projects (LDCP) team, is pleased to present the Harm Reduction and Opioid Harms Snapshots that describe regional changes to harm reduction service delivery in Ontario over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relationship between these changes and opioid-related morbidity and mortality. Data for the snapshots came from the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network's (ODPRN) Ontario Opioid Indicator Tool and PHO’s Interactive Opioid Tool. The results show that opioid toxicity deaths and emergency department visits have increased in almost all health unit regions, with males aged 25-44 experiencing higher rates of these outcomes. These snapshots indicate that there is variance in trends between health unit regions related to harm reduction service indicators, and opioid-related morbidity and mortality, and that certain regions may require enhanced services or support. The results can be used for enhanced situational awareness around local contexts, and to support advocacy efforts for allocation of resources to address the drug toxicity crisis.

Intended audience: Public health leaders and staff who specialize in or offer services related to harm reduction, substance use and mental health. Policy makers, academic and research audiences interested in this topic area, Public Health Physicians, Public Health Unit staff.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how a Harm Reduction and Opioid Harms Snapshot tool was used to show regional changes to harm reduction service delivery in Ontario over the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relationship between these changes and opioid-related morbidity and mortality
  • Learn how to utilize the Snapshot tool to detect changes in harm reduction service delivery in their region
  • Discuss as a group the implications of the Snapshot findings and potential uses for advocacy and public health practice and in preparation for future public health emergencies

Presenter(s): Emma Nagy and Tara Gomes

Emma Nagy, PhD, is a Research Associate at KFL&A Public Health and co-led the development and implementation of this LDCP.

Dr. Tara Gomes is an epidemiologist, a Canada Research Chair in Drug Policy Research and Evaluation, a scientist with MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, the Scientific Director of Urban and Community Health at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, and is the principal investigator of ODPRN.


The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca.


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca.

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Capacity Building


Updated 28 June 2023