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RFP - Child Health Needs Assessment Project

The Health Promotion and Environmental Protection Office (HP&EPO), formerly known as the Environmental Protection Office (EPO), of Toronto Public Health is a multidisciplinary team with expertise in toxicology, epidemiology, social sciences, program evaluation and health promotion. Our mandate is to help create healthy sustainable environments that can meet the health needs of the City's present population and future generations. Our major functions include:

- Promoting health and protecting the environment through education, awareness, and advocacy initiatives such as our Smog Alert Campaign;

- Conducting primary and secondary research on environmental health issues, and developing policies that promote health and protect the environment, e.g. Departmental air and water quality studies;

- Monitoring and responding to emerging environmental issues e.g. hormone disrupters, phthalates in infant formula, and electromagnetic fields;

- Developing progressive strategies to address environmental issues such as emissions from coal fired plants and siting of cell phone transmission towers;

- Reviewing and commenting on guidelines, policies and proposed legislation by provincial and federal governments concerning issues such as air, drinking water, soil and groundwater quality;

- Providing technical, policy, and educational support, and working collaboratively with staff in other units of Public Health and other divisions in the City of Toronto;

- Working collaboratively with senior levels of government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and the community to support initiatives such as the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition.

The links between exposures to environmental contaminants and adverse health effects in children have been well documented. Toronto Public Health's efforts can now focus on how to minimize the risk of exposures. HP&EPO is initiating a community needs assessment to help assess the levels of knowledge, behaviours, and perceptions among the general public (i.e. parents and other caregivers) with regard to young children's potential exposures to environmental contaminants. The Needs Assessment will provide baseline data and essential information for planning and evaluating public health strategies addressing this issue.

We are seeking a researcher on a short-term contract basis to develop a study framework and proposal for the needs assessment. The researcher will be responsible for :

- Conducting interviews with Toronto Public Health staff and key informants from other agencies

- Conducting an updated literature review regarding child health and the environment (previous literature reviews are available)

- Participating in a project advisory committee (about 2 to 3 meetings)

- Developing a needs assessment study framework including study goal, objectives, and study methods (including both qualitative and quantitative components)

- Developing a quantitative survey instrument (questionnaire) with content validity

- Exploring the scientific merit and feasibility of using internet as a survey method

- Producing an interim report and a final report

The expected deliverable will be a report including a completed study proposal detailing the study design, goal, objectives and study components. A quantitative survey instrument and discussion about the scientific merit and feasibility of using internet as a survey method are also to be included in the final report.

This is a four to six month contract position commencing January 2001. The researcher will receive a total of $10,000 including GST and PST. This is a contract position only and does not include benefits or Workers' Compensation.

Interested individuals should submit a brief proposal outlining the planned study approach, process and timeline, as well as the relevance of the researcher's training and experience to this project. A copy of the researcher's resume should also be included. An interview may be required. The deadline for submitting the proposal is October 20, 2000.

Fax proposal to:

Jane Ying

Program Consultant

Health Promotion and Environmental Protection

Toronto Public Health

Tel: 416-338-8101 Fax: 416-392-7418