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Housing plays an immense and complex role in shaping our physical, mental and social well-being. Access, condition, proximity to environmental hazards, and connectedness with the rest of the community are all factors that determine whether housing contributes to or detracts from human health.
This relationship has been recognized in the Healthy Environments and Climate Change Guideline released this year by the Ontario Ministry of Health and LongTerm Care. Among other requirements, this document tasks health units with addressing local substandard housing issues with a variety of strategies. One of these strategies includes engaging with local municipal by-law and standards departments to support changes which are intended to improve health outcomes and address the impacts of the social determinants of health.
This webinar provides examples of recent initiatives that embrace this approach.
Presenters: Helen Doyle, Bob Hart, Vittoria Vecchiarelli and John Burnett
Having recently retired as Healthy Environments Manager with York Region Public Health, Helen now volunteers with the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA), chairing the OPHA Environmental Health Work Group. Helen contributes to advocacy and policy development on environmental health issues, represents OPHA on a number of provincial tables and committees, presents OPHA research and advocacy work at conferences and webinars and engages public health professionals and partners in policy development and knowledge exchange activities. Helen is a certified public health inspector with over 30 years of experience in public health programs relating to environmental investigations, environmental health research, policy development, community engagement, health promotion and project management.
With a career in public health spanning over 35 years, Bob has significant experience managing a diverse range of programs. Prior to his retirement from full-time work earlier this year, Bob managed the Healthy Environments Program for the Grey Bruce Health Unit. It was in this role that he developed a keen interest in the relationship between housing and health. He is currently a member of the Rentsafe Project Team where he continues to work with others to explore the root causes of unhealthy housing.
Vittoria has 12 years of experience in the field of public health and is a Senior Public Health Inspector for the Healthy Environments Program with York Region Public Health. Her current portfolio includes indoor air quality and responding to complaints of unsafe rental housing conditions. Vittoria is a member of York Region’s Public Health Branch Health Equity Champion’s Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Staff Committee and she is also RentSafe project team member.
John Burnett has been employed for 30 years with Niagara Region Public Health. Since taking his position of Team Leader in 2000, healthy environments has been part of his portfolio. Effectively addressing community housing issues has been a long-standing concern for both himself and his department.
The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) Seminar Series is approved by Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of CIPHI. For more information, contact email@example.com.
DISCLAIMER: 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.
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