Leadership Centre

Supporting leadership capacity building within Ontario.

Leadership Centre website

Enhancing leadership competencies, facilitating thoughtful discussion and examination of leadership issues for public health professionals.

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Community Food Advisor

Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

Community Food Advisor website

Community Food Advisors work in their community to improve and promote safe and healthy food selection, preparation, and storage practices.

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Public Health and You

Your questions about public health answered...all in one place.

Public Health and You website

Learn about why public health plays a vital role in ensuring the health of communities across Ontario!

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Ontario Public Health Association

Committed to improving the health of Ontarians.

OPHA website

Since 1949, OPHA has served as a catalyst for development in the Public Health sector.

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Nutrition Resource Centre

Credible public health nutrition at your fingertips.

Nutrition Resource Centre website

Strengthening the capacity of health professionals across all care settings and in all communities across Ontario.

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Contact Us

The OPHA is a not‐for‐profit member‐based association that provides leadership in advancing public health in Ontario. Our Association represents six public and community health disciplines and our membership represents many public health and community health professionals from Ontario. To learn more about us, our structure, strategic direction, or membership, please visit the following links:

The OPHA provides leadership on issues affecting the public's health and works to strengthen the impact of people who are active in public and community health throughout Ontario. For more information, please visit the following pages:

The OPHA creates and maintains advocacy initiatives with a province-wide perspective. For more information, please visit the following pages:

This section includes the latest news about the OPHA and its programs, upcoming OPHA events, and other news of interest to the public health sector. For more information, please visit the following pages:

The OPHA leads the development of expertise in public and community health through collaboration, consultation and partnerships. Learn more about our Constituent Societies here.

The OPHA leads the development of expertise in public and community health through collaboration, consultation and partnerships. Learn more about our Constituent Societies here.

The OPHA Member’s Lounge is a dedicated space reserved for our OPHA members to store and access important information and exclusive resources. The Lounge includes the following:

Built Environment

Built Environment

The purpose of the Built Environment Workgroup (BEWG) is to work on issues that affect public health as it is impacted by the built environment. Members of the BEWG represent health units and other stakeholders from across Ontario working in the areas of environmental health, chronic disease and injury prevention. Download a copy of our Terms of Reference.

The built environment refers to anything in our physical environment that is human-created. In addition to things like buildings, parks and neighbourhoods, it includes land use patterns, transportation systems and design features of communities1. Research shows that the built environments in which we live, work and play have a direct impact on our health.

The BEWG seeks to influence provincial policy and contribute to provincial initiatives that will support public health efforts at a local level to improve the built environment.

Current topics of interest for the BEWG include:

  • Active transportation
  • Public Health and Planning working together
  • Social equity and built environment
  • Linking public health with engineering
Read more about our workgroup here!

Current Activities

The BEWG’s projects evolve from priorities identified by its members. The Workgroup does on-going advocacy, policy development, capacity building and knowledge exchange. Some highlights of this work include:

  • Participating in consultations for updates to the Provincial Policy Statement
  • Providing comments on the Coroner’s Review of Cycling Deaths
  • Providing comments on the Draft Ontario Cycling Strategy
  • Hosting annual webinars
  • Meeting with staff from Ministry of Transportation, Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Chief Medical Officer of Health
  • Building partnerships with groups from a variety of sectors including the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Public Health Ontario, Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health, Clean Air Partnership

The BEWG also maintains an active listserv. This is a great way to keep in touch with other professionals, get up-to-date information, share resources and pose questions. To join the listserv, go to this link: http://list.web.net/lists/listinfo/builtenviro

Current projects

  1. Public Health and Planning 101: An Education Module for Professionals.
    This project was initiated to identify and address the educational needs of public health and planning professionals working on the built environment in Ontario. A needs assessment (Phase 1) was completed, and education modules (Phase 2) are being developed, with completion anticipated in late 2013. A project website is under construction and will be available shortly.

Recent Accomplishments

  1. The Feasibiltiy of a Comprehenvie Healthy Community Audit project was completed. This inlcuded background research on existing health impact assessment/audit tools to determine the most appropriate strategy for assessing a healthy community. View the final report here.                                                                                    
  2. Increasing Driver Awareness and Knowledge of Safely Sharing the Road with Cyclists.
    The goal of this project was to improve teaching resources for new drivers by including more information about how to share the road with cyclists into MTO materials and policy. The group has:
OPHA will continue to be available to the Ministry to provide policy advice on active transportation and the built environment

1 Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada, 2006.

Interested In Joining?

If you are interested in joining the Built Environment Workgroup or have questions, contact the co-chairs at:

Dr. Lawrence Loh
905-791-7800 ext. 2566

Kendra Willard
905-825-6000, ext. 2988


Upcoming events

Meltdown - A Climate Change Summit
Lean Sigma White Belt Workshop
OPHA Fall Forum 2019: Health & Climate Change