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What We Heard: Report on Public Health Professionals and the COVID-19 Pandemic Response

May 17, 2022

The Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) invited its members, workgroups and constituent societies, working on the frontlines and behind the scenes of the public health pandemic response, to share their experiences responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This report documents input from over 400 individuals who attended one of 16 virtual discussion sessions from October 18, 2021, to January 13, 2022 and from 128 individuals who responded to a short survey between December 27, 2021 and January 14, 2022.

The aim of this paper was to capture the perspectives of public and community health professionals across the province in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their contributions to the pandemic response offer important insights for enhancing preparedness and for building a strong and resilient public health system and healthier communities in Ontario.

Findings from this report garnered recommendations that OPHA is making to the Ontario government around actions for public health recovery and renewal and strengthening public and community health in Ontario.

  1. Foster excellence in the public health workforce
  2. Improve public health tools
  3. Strengthen the mandate and public health’s leadership role
  4. Ensure stable and consistent funding for public health
  5. Prioritize upstream approaches and health equity by investing in health promotion and prevention strategies
  6. Accelerate a return to public health’s mandated programs

Read the report here.