What is Public Health?
Public health refers to all organized measures to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong life among the population as a whole. It’s an essential part of the health care system which focuses on helping whole populations or groups of people to become healthy and stay healthy. Public health helps keep health care costs down by reducing demands on the health care system.
Public health programs and services are intended to prevent the spread of disease, and to promote and protect health. All boards of health have a legislated duty to ensure that the public health programs and services required under Health Protection and Promotion Act (1990) are provided to the citizens of their communities.
Overview of the TBDHU
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is one of 36 Public Health Units operating in the Province of Ontario, Canada. We are a non-profit agency funded jointly by the provincial government and the municipalities we serve.
As a committed progressive public health agency, TBDHU is committed to improving health and reducing social inequities in health through evidence-informed practice.
In response to the health needs of the community, we:
- provide health information and prevention-related clinical services to people of all ages
- advocate for healthy public policy
- protect you by investigating reportable diseases and
- uphold regulations that apply to public health.
The Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) outlines the programs and services that all health units are required to provide. Health Units accomplish this by carrying out the Ontario Public Health Standards. The standards, published by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), set out the minimum requirements for fundamental public health programs and services.
Health units also follow the MOHLTC’s Ontario Public Health Organizational Standards (PDF), outlining the expectations for governance and administration practices.
How We Are Governed
Health Units in Ontario are governed through a Board of Health.
Vision, Mission, Values and Goals
To be leaders in creating healthy communities and healthy environments.
We are committed to meeting the public health needs of our citizens by delivering accessible programming of the highest standards in protection, prevention and health promotion.
Dedicated: We are passionate about our work and the lives of people in our communities.
Responsive: We continuously seek out opportunities to create and enhance innovative programs in response to community need and to develop our knowledge and system expertise to support them.
Trustworthy: We act with integrity in everything we do and work in the best interest of our clients and our communities.
Healthy: We provide our employees with a safe and healthy environment and, as an organization, encourage healthy choices and lead by example within our communities.
Supportive: We collaborate with a diverse network of colleagues, partners and clients to support each other in the achievement of common goals.
Fun: We are committed to creating a flexible and enjoyable work environment.
Goal 1: Foster an evidence-based, innovative culture.
• Develop resources and organizational capacity to support innovation and an evidence-based culture
• Investigate, assess and implement leading practices
• Develop tools and processes to support evaluation in every initiative and practice we undertake
Goal 2: To be a trusted, recognized and respected leader in the public health system.
• Enhance the quality of services delivered through the TBDHU
• Develop a consistent communications strategy and process for our clients, staff, partners and community
• Seek out strategic opportunities to influence the development, discussion and implementation of health policy
• Provide credible guidance to stakeholders regarding health promotion, prevention and protection
• Create capacity and process for leadership development within TBDHU
• Identify and pursue opportunities to enhance and highlight TBDHU’s contributions to clients, communities and the health system
Goal 3: Seek out partnerships that assist in the efficient delivery of services.
• Assess, on an ongoing basis, current services and providers within the district to determine areas of service duplication and opportunity
• Evaluate the effectiveness of current and evolving TBDHU partnerships and coalitions
• Seek out partnerships that will assist TBDHU in its pursuit of an evidence-based environment
Goal 4: Create an organizational structure and human resources model that promotes accountability, adaptability and flexibility.
• Assess opportunities for organizational realignment to enable integration of promotion, prevention and protection services
• Implement a performance management system to align organizational and personal objectives with strategy
• Seek out opportunities to enhance internal awareness and understanding of TBDHU programs and services
Goal 5: While maintaining a population-based approach, acknowledge and address gaps in service to ensure accessibility for priority populations.
• Identify, on an ongoing basis, priority populations and their respective public health needs
• Foster a culture of prioritization of services relative to the need within the district
• Assess barriers preventing access to services for all populations