Protecting Our Community's Health | Ottawa Public Health's 2019-2022 Strategy

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We have heard from communities, clients, partners, employees and our Board of Health about our City's health priorities, and these priorities have been reflected in our new Strategic Plan - Protecting our Community’s Health: Ottawa Public Health’s 2019-2022 Strategy.  

Our new strategy will help us remain focused on our local priorities, and balance:

  • Our core and strategic work
  • Short and long term goals and health outcomes
  • Access and service delivery across urban, suburban and rural communities

Core Purpose: Vision, Mission, Commitments


Ottawa's People: Healthy, Safe and Well


We work together with our community to improve, promote and protect the health and well-being of the people of Ottawa

We are committed to

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We work in partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and communities to advance Indigenous health equity.


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We use the best available evidence to continuously improve and inform our work.



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We work with residents, partners and communities to develop the conditions that support health and health equity.


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We promote sustainability by directing resources for maximum benefit and value. 




3 to 5 Year Strategic Directions

Strategic directions are the guideposts that keep us on track for the life of the strategy and help organize the activities needed to fulfill our core purpose.

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Promote mental health and reduce the health and social harms of substance use

Continued strategic focus is required to enhance mental health and address the harms of problematic substance use in Ottawa. There is commitment and momentum among community partners and the public to make a greater impact on mental health and substance use.


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Drive prevention across the health system 

As a respected partner in the health system, OPH has a key role in preventing and mitigating the burden of avoidable health issues. OPH has the capacity to be the catalyst and support community-wide initiatives, not only to keep people out of hospital but to keep them healthy, safe and well.


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Influence the social and physical environments that support health and well-being

The built and social environment can shape our health for the better. OPH will work to ensure communities are planned, built and supported to positively impact the physical, mental and social health of all residents. 


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Maximize potential in people, processes and resources

OPH is committed to developing and supporting our employees, standardizing our processes, and evolving our tools to anticipate and adapt to emerging health issues and a changing public health sector.



Annual Goals and Measures  

OPH has designed a 3-5 strategy with the notion of delivering and executing on the strategy through focused annual action plans.  

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Drive innovative approaches to mental health and substance use

Problematic substance use in Ottawa is a serious issue across the lifespan that requires proactive and evidence-informed solutions. We will work with partners and people with lived experience to develop and implement an action plan to prevent stigma, support emerging harm reduction initiatives, and promote collaboration and integration across the system.

Measure: Percentage of Mental Health and Substance Use Action Plan completed


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Healthy communities by design

Our physical environment has the potential to enable people to live healthier lives, by making the healthy choice, the easier choice. OPH will support the design of vibrant, safe and inclusive communities with a focus on transportation, housing, food, and natural environments and greenspaces.

Measure: Percentage of Healthy Communities by Design Action Plan completed


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Streamlining through digitizing

Digital health innovations have the potential to improve the capacity and quality of health services. Embracing a new Electronic Public Health Record (EPHR) system will help OPH better serve and connect with clients, colleagues and the broader health system.

Measure: Percentage of program areas online by target date


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A healthy workplace and workforce

When our employees feel psychologically safe and healthy, everyone benefits. A healthy OPH workforce helps foster a healthy community. During times of change, it is increasingly important that employees feel engaged, safe and well.

Measure: Ottawa Public Health's psychological health and safety score


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Continuously improve our core work to maximize impact

Public health works to prevent illness, infections, and chronic diseases resulting in a decreased use of the healthcare system. It’s important to evaluate and continuously improve OPH’s approach to its work to maximize its impact in the community. 

Measure: Service delivery performance score


Transformational Initiatives

Transformational initiatives are the foundational elements we need to build now in order to transform they way we work later:

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Community and Client Engagement

We will embed a coordinated and effective approach to engagement across our geography (urban, suburban and rural), teams, and services to ensure the decisions we make and the work that we do is rooted in the voices of clients and partners.


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Ontario Health Teams

We are committed to building capacity to drive greater prevention in the healthcare system. OPH will partner with Ontario Health Teams to deliver integrated, patient-centered care, not only to keep people out of hospital, but to keep them healthy, safe and well.


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Public Health Modernization

We will work to build on our strong public health system, to respond to the health needs of our community and ensure access to services across Ottawa’s urban, suburban and rural communities. 


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