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Sharing News And Resources on Health Promotion & Public Health

I OPHA Profile on Public Health Spring Education Days
II More Items of Interest to Public Health
III eCHC News Creates Kids' Asthma Web Sites
IV Alcohol in the News
V Healthy Workplace News
VI Even More New Articles of Interest to Health Promoters!

For today's feature message, Alison Stirling has collected recent news and articles of interest from fellow health promotion organizations and publications, both in print and on email lists.

The goal of OHPE is provide a forum for valuable, select, summarized information exchange among community leaders, practitioners and researchers interested in health promotion. If you would like to write a feature for us please contact the OHPE editorial team at either or Full submission guidelines are available at

I OPHA Profile on Public Health Spring Education Days April 30 - May 1

[This article was originally published in OPHA News in May 2001, a member benefit of the Ontario Public Health Association. Reprinted with permission.]

The Spring Education Days sponsored by the Public Health Branch was well attended and featured opening remarks by the new Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Tony Clement. He was clear that he regards public health and health promotion as a core pillar of the Ministry and that the Ministry is prepared to continue their investment in prevention. There were a number of provincial updates, which were
profiled by Branch staff and others:

*Review of Mandatory Programs and services Guidelines
The Review of field comments is expected to be completed by September 2001. These comments will then go to the Technical Review Committees (TRCs) for their review. A report will then be prepared for the MPSC (Mandatory Program Steering Committee). In addition, the Ottawa CHRU (Community Health Research Unit) will do a resource analysis of the proposed changes. At the same time, the TRCs will be asked to develop implementation priorities and both reports will be forwarded to the MPSC for their consideration. Following this, there will be discussions with AMO followed by internal Ministry discussions and a final review by the Chief Medical Officer of Health prior to presentation to the Minister. It is anticipated at this time that the review will be ready for Ministerial review by April 2002. While it is recognized that other programs could or should be reviewed, this will not take place until this current process has run its course. It was noted by participants that the successful implementation of some programs can be significantly enhanced or thwarted by the presence or absence of provincial policies.

Accountability, viewed by the Ministry as the process by which recipients of public funds answer for the results and the manner in which responsibilities are discharged, involves two distinct areas of attention. The first can be viewed as the process to support continuous quality improvement. This includes clear expectations of what is to be done, reporting and monitoring and taking action to address any shortfalls. Expectations are defined by legislation, the MHPSG, policies and service agreements. Reporting and monitoring includes the MPIQ (Mandatory Program Information Questionnaire), accreditation, finance reporting, complaints, incidence reporting. Under development are service agreements, annual compliance targets, key MCP indicators while systematic program reviews and random audits are under consideration for future development. Assessments and enforcement measures, the second area of attention, are only initiated as a last resort, but must be in place as a means of ensuring compliance with legislation. There is no doubt that the theme of accountability is a strong theme across all Ministries and it is no less in health, the single largest Ministry in government.

On a practical note, the 2000 MPIQ forms will be circulated to health units on May 11th, an electronic version will be ready by June 1 and they are to be completed by June 29th. Scoring and analysis will take place in the fall and the reports will be circulated at the Education Days in late fall.

* Pandemic Planning
There is a National Pandemic Plan in place and negotiations are currently underway for the development of provincial plans. Once the provincial plan is in place, the expectation is that local plans will be in place within one year of that date. A template is being developed to provide guidance in the development of local plans.

* Telehealth Ontario
The history and current status of the telehealth program was profiled as were the results from telehealth programs in other provinces. Consistently, upwards of 45 - 50% of callers would have otherwise gone to their emergency departments. There are four categories responses tend to fall into: reassurance, self-care, appointment required and immediate care. One result is that people who are reluctant when they need to go to the emergency (i.e., the elderly) are told that it is critical that they do so. While the 905 is currently covered, an RFP for 519/613 has been posted and a tender for the 705/807 will be posted in July. By the end of the year, the whole province will be posted. Participants pointed out that there were areas where this service already exists and is working well. The Ministry representative indicated that this would be taken into consideration in their planning.

*Early Years
A profile of changes within the Integrated Services for Children Division was profiled. The Division has six branches, three of which comprise the Early Years Secretariat. These address healthy child development, the Early Years Challenge Fund and a policy/ task group. Members of the Early Years Steering Committees and the Early Years Co-ordinators will be announced shortly. The local Early Years Challenge fund grant proposals will likely be due in the fall. Currently provincial, community and dedicated programs for Francophones and aboriginal peoples available. More information is available at

A more complete profile of the presentations made at the Spring Education Days will be available on the dedicated Public Health Branch web site:

- Peter R. Elson, Executive Director, Ontario Public Health Association,,

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II More News Items of Interest to Public Health

[originally posted to Click4HP by Judy D. Greig of Health Canada]

* Canadian Network on Food and Water Safety
A workshop on food safety, involving scientists from academia, industry, and various governmental agencies, was held June 2-3, 2000 and resulted in a report outlining priorities for research and the creation of a web-based "Canadian Network on Food and Water Safety." The workshop report as well as many useful links are now available on the website of the "Canadian Network on Food and Water Safety"

* What you should know about West Nile Virus
With the mosquito season almost upon us, the Population and Public Health Branch has developed a series of four fact sheets on West Nile Virus. This has been done with other federal, provincial and territorial ministries, agencies and other key partners. These fact sheets and additional information on West Nile virus are available on Health Canada's WN virus website at .

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III eCHN News Creates Kids' Asthma Web Sites

[from IMPORT v.1 #17 May 16, 2001]

With help from the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) and the Asthma Society of Canada, eCHN has created three children's interactive web sites, each for a different age group, to help children and their families to learn more about asthma and how to control it. The site for the youngest age group (3-5) uses a cartoon character, Whimsey Wheezy, to help children make the right choices in managing their asthma in various situations. The sites are found at

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IV Alcohol in the News

[Here are excerpts from the latest bi-weekly APOLNET headline news digest (Alcohol in the News) sent to subscribers of APOLNET-L in May. The next issue will be distributed on June 1, 2001. For a listing of past issues visit]

1. Air Rage
2. Alcohol and Health: "Younger Than 55? Alcohol Risks Outweigh Benefits", Reuters Health, 05/10/01
3. Alcohol Policy: "New Brunswick Report: Small town wrestles with The Liquor Question" on, 05/09/01
4. Drug Testing: "Ontario to test welfare recipients for drug, alcohol addiction" and "Only the sober, literate to get welfare in Ontario under new Tory policies" by Cassandra Szkarski, CP, 05/03 &04/01 News stories Search Keywords: Ontario to test welfare and only the sober
5. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
6. Impaired Driving: "12th arrive alive DRIVE SOBER(R) campaign gears up for the summer" OCCID Press Release, Canada Newswire, 05/01/01
7. Industry News
8. Ontario Budget
9. Youth: MADD Wants Anti-Alcohol Ads, Janelle Carter, Associated Press, Excite News, 05/11/01
10. Odds and Ends

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V Healthy Workplace News

[from National Quality Institute e-list ( as posted to Heart-L by Nancy Dubois]

1. Great Expectations for Healthier Workplaces this year
2. The Canadian Healthy Workplace Criteria free to download in PDF from
3. Healthy Workplace Training
a. Framework for the Development of a Healthy Workplace (2-day Seminar) May 28, 29, 2001
b. Taking the Pulse: Healthy Workplace Self-Assessment (1-day Workshop) May 30, 2001

If you have any further questions please contact National Quality Institute at 416-251-7600 x227 or email

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VI Even More New Articles of Interest to Health Promoters!

On Workplace Health Promotion:
* "From theory to practice: A determinants approach to workplace health promotion in small businesses." in Health Promotion Practice (vol2, 172-182 April 2001), by Joan Eakin, Maureen Cava and Trevor Smith on one of the initiatives of the North York Community Health Promotion Unit.

From Health Promotion International:
* "Measuring community empowerment: a fresh look at organizational domains." Glenn Laverack and Nina Wallerstein. Health Promotion International 2001;16 179-185.
* "Quality indicators for health promotion programmes." Maj Ader, Karin Berensson, Peringe Carlsson, Marianne Granath, and Viveca Urwitz. Health Promotion International 2001;16 187-195.