Date: January 13, 1998
To: Interim Board of Health
From: Acting Medical Officer of Health
Subject: Update on the Public Health Research, Education and Development Program
This report provides an update on funding of the Public Health Research, Education and Development Program (PHRED). Strategic directions and priorities for the program are also outlined.
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
In 1997, the PHRED budgets were 100% provincially-funded as follows:
East York $986,023
North York $1,116,823
As part of a recent provincial review of the program (previously known as the Teaching Health Unit program), funding was reallocated on a regional basis. The decision was made to reallocate funds to the North, with a maximum reduction of 20% in any region. The programs in East York, North York and Toronto were to merge and collectively undergo a 20% reduction in budget as of April 1998. The total budget allocated to the new City of Toronto is $2,091,899. The required budget reduction has already been achieved through gapping of vacant positions.
With the downloading of public health to the municipalities, the PHRED program has also been downloaded. The Ministry of Health has announced one-time transitional funding for this program until March 31, 1999 (see Appendix A). This represents one-time revenue to the City of Toronto.
It is recommended that this report be received for information.
Comments and/or Discussion:
The purpose of the PHRED program is to assist in the development and evaluation of quality public health programs that are delivered by competent practitioners. PHRED accomplishes its goals through five strategic directions:
1. To conduct applied research and evaluation of public health programs;
2. To create new public health knowledge by critically reviewing the existing published and unpublished literature and interpreting these studies for use in everyday practice;
3. To develop improved public health programs and services through the integration of evaluation and literature with practice;
4. To provide continuing education of public health staff so they are current in their knowledge and have the necessary skills to deliver new and innovative programs and services; and
5. To augment the education of health science students so graduates of these programs can function well in public health practice.
The PHRED program serves both the local and provincial agendas. Where possible, items common to both get top priority. Examples of such projects have included literature reviews on topics such as food safety, the use of lay professionals for home visiting and the factors that affect child health. Examples of completed evaluations include one on the usefulness of school-based dental education programs and a process evaluation on disclosing restaurant inspection results. All of these projects have benefited both the local health unit and the province as a whole.
Staff recently met with Dr. David Mowat, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, and staff from the other PHRED programs. In general, the proposed agenda for the PHRED program for 1998 will be focused on the following:
- The development of indicators/performance measurement to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the new Mandatory Health Program and Service Guidelines;
- Evaluation of the new Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other health units;
- Other program evaluation projects;
- Continue to conduct systematic literature reviews in order to develop better programs and services, and ensure that the results are widely disseminated and available to staff;
- Continue to provide practical skill development and ongoing education for staff;
- Continue to provide student education and curriculum support to local academic health science centres.
The PHRED program provides strong support to public health programs and services through conducting applied research, program development and evaluation, as well as providing continuing education for both staff and students.
The Ministry of Health is providing one-time funding for this program until the end of March, 1999, at which time it will be downloaded to the municipalities.
The program will continue to be implemented in the new Health Department in order to best support the local needs within the context of the provincial PHRED program.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe
North York Civic Centre
Tel: 395-7610 Fax: 395- 7691 E-mail address: email@example.com
Dr. Sheela Basrur
Acting Medical Officer of Health