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.


Overview of the TBDHU

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) is one of 34 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 Thunder Bay District Health Unit oversees a geographic area of over approximately 230,000 square kilometres with approximately 146,000 residents.

Our main office is in Thunder Bay. Branch Offices and/or services are located in Geraldton, Marathon, Red Rock, Manitouwadge and Terrace Bay. Visit our Contact page for a map of our region, with office locations, hours and contact information.



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

Healthy lives together


Our Mission

We improve, promote, and protect the health and well-being of the population in the District of Thunder Bay by delivering high quality public health programs and services with our partners.


Our Guiding Principles

EXCELLENCE: Our population deserves the highest quality programming and the best health outcomes possible. We believe that all of our work should be evidence-informed. We demonstrate responsibility, accountability, transparency, and sound stewardship of resources. We are innovative, modelling and supporting healthy changes within our communities, our population, our organization, and our staff.
COMMITMENT: We are passionate and dedicated to improving the lives of people in our communities. We adhere to the highest standards of professionalism, and integrity, as we strive to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the populations and communities that we serve.
INCLUSION: We believe in dignity and respect for all. We work collaboratively with a diverse network of colleagues, partners and clients to achieve a community wide approach to improve health and well-being. We continuously seek out opportunities to form and strengthen meaningful working relationships, and to be responsive to population and community needs.


See our Strategic Plan 2017-2020 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 (PDF)

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