About Us

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.



Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is one of over 30 public health units in Ontario. We are a non-profit agency funded jointly by the provincial government and the municipalities we serve.

As a progressive public health agency, TBDHU is committed to improving health and reducing health inequities through evidence-informed practice. In response to the health needs of communities, we:

  • provide health information and prevention-related services to people of all ages;
  • advocate for healthy public policies to create and improve supportive environments for everyone;
  • protect health by investigating reportable diseases; and
  • uphold regulations that apply to public health.

Thunder Bay District Health Unit covers a large geographic area of 230,000+ square kilometres with 153,000 residents. This includes 15 municipalities, 25 First Nations, and unorganized communities and areas across Thunder Bay District. Our main office is in Thunder Bay with branch offices in Geraldton, Marathon, Red Rock, and Terrace Bay



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, outlining the expectations for governance and administration practices.


How We Are Governed

Health Units in Ontario are governed through a Board of Health.


The TBDHU is overseen by our Medical Officer of Health & Chief Executive Officer.


Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles


Our Vision

Healthier communities, stronger together.


Our Mission

Working together to promote, protect, and achieve healthier communities and reduce health inequities through high quality public health programs and services.


Our Values

The following values represent core commitments that guide our day-to-day practice both internally and externally with partners and the communities that we serve:

Excellence: We strive for excellence through evidenceinformed practice and by embracing a culture of innovation and continuous learning.

Commitment: We are passionate and dedicated in our work with clients and partners to reduce health inequities and achieve healthier communities.

Inclusion: We prioritize dignity and respect for all and we work collaboratively with a diverse network to provide culturally safer services and settings.

Transparency: We are accountable and communicate openly in meeting the public health needs across the District of Thunder Bay.


See our Strategic Plan 2024-2027 for more information.


Using Transit to Get Here

Transit Website: www.thunderbay.ca/transit

  • Bus Stop #1566 (William & Health Unit) – Route 8 James to City Hall & Route 12 East End. Find out when the next bus departs.
  • Bus Stop #1703 (William & Balmoral) – Route 8 James to Intercity. Find out when the next bus departs.



Ontario Public Health Standards

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