The Reproductive Health Workgroup was created in 2009 to address the many facets surrounding reproductive health with an eye towards influencing provincial policy and systems to enhance reproductive health for Ontarians.
Reproductive health is an encompassing term which ultimately affects the overall health and well-being of all.
To advocate for accessible and equitable reproductive health services and supports across Ontario to better meet the physical, emotional and psychosocial needs of all individuals, regardless of gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, in their reproductive years.
The Ontario Public Health Association Reproductive Health Workgroup is a dynamic and innovative force, enhancing and reshaping systems that support the public’s reproductive health, inclusive of all gender identities, gender expressions or sexual orientations. Reproductive health includes preconception health from puberty, prenatal health, labour and birth, healthy birth outcomes, postpartum health and transition to parenthood.
The mission of the Ontario Public Health Association Reproductive Health Workgroup is to provide leadership and advocacy for issues affecting the public’s reproductive health, inclusive of all gender identities, gender expressions or sexual orientations and to strengthen the impact of people who are active in public and community health throughout Ontario.
We have over 40 members primarily from the Public Health sector, as well as, educational, professional, community, health promotion and health services representation. Our workgroup has recently focused advocacy work in the area of preconception health (PCH) and the importance of physiological labour and birth (L&B) and informed decision making.
2016-18 Reproductive Health Workgroup Work Plan
Involvement in External Committees
Our members actively work with a number of interdisciplinary external committees including:
Best Start Resource Centre Prenatal Education Key Messages Advisory Committee
Ontario Preconception Health Research Project
Central South West Reproductive Health Working Group
CSEP Physical Activity Guidelines for Pregnant Women - Guidelines Development Steering Committee
Public Health Ontario - Healthy Human Development Table
The RHWG advocates on reproductive health issues at the provincial level with:
Association of Public Health Epidemiologists of Ontario (APHEO)
Better Outcomes Registry and Network (BORN Ontario)
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC)
Ontario College of Family Physicians (OCFP)
Ontario Family Health Network
Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health (PCMCH)
Public Health Ontario (PHO)
Accomplishments and Ongoing Work
Input provided to Best Start Resource Centre in Health Before Pregnancy website revision (November 2016 – present)
Developed a labour and birth position paper: Informed Decision-Making for Labour and Birth (November 2016)
Input provided to Best Start Resource Centre in organizing 2017 Preconception Health Pre-Conference Workshop (2016)
Input provided to the Modernization of the Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS), Reproductive Health Standard
Co-facilitated an OPHA webinar with the Breastfeeding Promotion Network in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health, the Association of Ontario Midwives and the BFI Strategy for Ontario: Impact of Labour and Birth on Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (September 2016)
Input provided to the Best Start Resource Centre Labour & Birth Prenatal Education Modules updates (2016)
Member of the Best Start Resource Centre Adult Reproductive Life Plan Advisory (2015 – 2016)
Input provided to the BORN Public Health Reproductive Health Indicators (May 2016)
Letter of support for Bill 141 “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, Research and Care Act” and considerations for financial and other supports needed for its effective implementation (February 2016)
Input provided to the Provincial Council for Maternal & Child Health Low Risk Maternal Newborn Strategy (December 2015)
Input provided to Best Start Resource Centre A Healthy Start for Baby and Me prenatal manual revision (December 2015)
Co-facilitated workshop at Family Medicine Forum (November 2015)
Letter of support to innovators of the SmartMoms app (October 2015)
Reviewed content of the OMama App by BORN (Better Outcomes Registry & Network in Ontario) (July 2015)
Facilitated an OPHA webinar to promote the preconception health position paper (May 2015) To view the webinar, Let’s SHIFT our focus - Preconception Health
Presented at The Ontario Public Health Convention Changing the landscape for reproductive health in Ontario: A panel discussion on preconception health promotion and care (March 25, 2015)
Developed a preconception health position paper, Shift – Enhancing the health of Ontarians: A call to action for preconception health promotion and care (February 2015)
Launched the preconception health position paper at the 2015 BSRC Conference (February 2015). View video here.
Participated in the review of the Preconception Health Care Tool developed by the Centre for Effective Practice (Fall 2014)
Collaborated with University of Ottawa on CHNET webinar #384 Caesarean Section After the Hospital: Public Health Perspectives on the CARE Strategy (April 2, 2014)
Supported the development of the Best Start Resource Centre (BSRC) Reproductive Life Plan (RLP) for Youth resource (March 2014)
Feedback for Public Consultation on Caesarean Section Rate Review: An Evidence-Based Analysis (October 2013)
Advocacy efforts with PCMCH for prioritization of the development of best practice for birth in Ontario (December 2012 & February 2013)
Catriona Mill (Chair)
Neshma Dhanani (Vice Chair)
Deanna Stirling (L&B Taskgroup Lead)
Joanne Enders (PCH Taskgroup Lead)
Brittany (Jewell) Andryc
Josee Dion-St Pierre
Mary Ann Gatbonton
Nilusha Jiawani Ebrahim