PHAC's Ontario and Nunavut Agency Regional Office is the Agency's primary mechanism for promoting and strengthening integrated action on public and population health in Ontario and Nunavut. The Regional Office carries out the Agency's mandate through such activities as program delivery, research and knowledge development, policy analysis and development, community capacity building, and public and professional education.
The Ontario and Nunavut Agency Regional Office has offices in Toronto, Sudbury and Kitchener. Currently, these offices house approximately 70 staff.
Although there are no staff located in Nunavut, the Regional Office provides health portfolio coordination for emergency preparedness and response in the territory. PHAC’s community-based programs in Nunavut are delivered through an Interdepartmental Letter of Agreement with Health Canada's Northern Region.
The Ontario and Nunavut Agency Regional Office is made up of the following sections:
The Regional Office delivers community-based funding programs and initiatives which centre on healthy child development, adult health and health promotion. The Agency balances the promotion of healthy living with chronic disease and injury prevention, as well as preparations for public health emergencies and infectious disease outbreaks.
The Healthy Child Development section provides funding to more than 150 community-based organizations under three programs: Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities, which is for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and their families; the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program, for pregnant women and new mothers facing challenging circumstances; and the Community Action Program for Children, which is targeted to children up to six years old who are considered at risk, and their families.
The Population Health section provides funding to organizations under the following programs: the AIDS Community Action Program; Hepatitis C Prevention and Community-Based Support Fund; Canadian Diabetes Strategy; and the Healthy Living Program. The programs are based on well-established partnerships with non-governmental organizations and the Province of Ontario.
The Public Health Capacity and Knowledge Management division was established in the spring of 2008. The division leads regional initiatives that aim to enhance the capacity of the Agency and stakeholders to create, manage, exchange and apply information and knowledge to ensure that programs, policies and practices are supported by evidence, as well as to enhance the capacity of the public health workforce.
The Emergency Preparedness and Response unit works to increase Canada's preparedness for and ability to respond to any public health emergency, including pandemic influenza. It works closely with counterparts in the Province of Ontario and the Nunavut Territory and with the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response in Ottawa.
The Regional Director represents the Chief Public Health Officer and the federal Minister of Health in Ontario and Nunavut and is the official Agency spokesperson in the Region.
The Strategic Policy, Planning and Intergovernmental Affairs unit provides regional policy advice and analysis, leads strategic planning and reporting of performance/results in the Region and facilitates regional intergovernmental relations. The unit also plays a key co-ordination role between the Regional Office and its national counterparts.
The Regional Business Management unit provides administrative, financial and human resources support for the Regional Office. It manages overhead costs and oversees daily operations.
The Communications unit provides strategic communications advice and support to the units of the Agency Regional Office, responds to media and public enquiries, assists with internal events and co-ordinates exhibits at external events.