Independent review of the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN)
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Status of the review
The Public Health Agency of Canada is committed to scientific excellence and continuously adapting its processes to enable effective responses to emerging public health issues.
The Minister of Health has requested an independent review of Canada’s global public health surveillance system, the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), to ensure it continues to meet today’s public health needs.
Ms. Margaret Bloodworth has been selected as the chair of the independent panel that will conduct this review. The other panelists include Dr. Paul Gully and Dr. Mylaine Breton. The panel was selected based on diverse experience and expertise in relevant fields, including public health, health security and intelligence, and governance.
This review will consider:
- the capabilities of the existing system
- its role in detecting and informing the Public Health Agency of Canada’s response to COVID-19, and in global and domestic public health surveillance
- opportunities to improve the system
- the future of Canada’s global health surveillance system, including advice on the next generation of intelligence systems and lessons learned from COVID-19, so that Government of Canada is well positioned to respond to future public health events
The terms of reference for the review will be determined in consultation with the panel. The panel will submit a final report with recommendations to the Minister of Health in spring 2021, which will be made public.
The results of this review will help inform future policy decisions around Canada’s global public health surveillance system to ensure the Government of Canada is well positioned for future public health events.
Ms. Margaret Bloodworth (chair)
Margaret Bloodworth is a former senior federal public servant, most recently Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister (2006-2008). Prior to that, she was the first Deputy Minister of Public Safety (2003-2006), Deputy Minister of Defence (2002-2003), and Deputy Minister of Transport (1997-2002).
Currently she is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, a member of the Judicial Compensation and Benefits Commission and Chair of the Advisory Committee to the School of the Public Service.
Formerly she was Chair of the Boards of the Council of Canadian Academies and Cornerstone Housing for Women and a member of the Board of the Ottawa Community Foundation where she chaired the Grants Committee.
She is an honorary Senior Fellow of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the Order of Canada. She has received the Upper Canada Law Society Medal, the Public Service of Canada Outstanding Achievement Award, the Vanier Medal of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, honorary degrees from the University of Winnipeg and Carleton University, an honorary diploma from the Canadian Coast Guard College, and charter membership in the Common Law Honour Society of the University of Ottawa.
She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg and the University of Ottawa, and was called to the Ontario bar in 1979.
Dr. Paul Gully
Dr. Paul Gully is a senior public health physician with specialist qualifications in the UK and Canada, and over 30 years of experience. He worked as a general practitioner in Africa and the Canadian Arctic, then in public health in the UK, primarily in the area of infectious diseases.
In Canada, Dr. Gully worked in Saskatchewan, and Health Canada from 1990-2004 and was directly involved in the federal response to SARS in 2003. Dr. Gully was with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) from 2004-2006 working in the areas of infectious diseases and emergency preparedness and response. At PHAC, he was a Deputy Chief Public Health Officer for Canada.
Dr. Gully was seconded to the World Health Organization (WHO) from PHAC in 2006 to work on pandemic preparedness, and returned to work for Health Canada in 2009 where he was involved in responding to the 2009 pandemic of influenza.
Dr. Gully retired from the federal public service in 2013. Since that time, he has worked for the First Nations Health Authority of British Columbia, for WHO, in Geneva, and in Sierra Leone on Ebola, and has consulted for the British Columbia Provincial Health Services Authority.
He is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia. His main area of interest is communicable disease, and his recent activities relate to teaching global health and supporting community medicine residents.
Dr. Mylaine Breton
Mylaine Breton, MBA, Ph.D. is a 2019-2020 Canadian Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice funded by Commonwealth Fund. She did a sabbatical year at the Center for Primary Care at Harvard Medical School.
Since 2012, she has been a Professor in the Department of Social Science and Medicine at the University of Sherbrooke’s Longueil campus, and she holds a Canada Research Chair in Clinical Governance on Primary Health Care.
Professor Breton’s research program is comprised of applied research projects undertaken in partnership with clinicians and managers to improve the organization of health care. Her current research focuses on primary health care with a focus on better understanding promising organizational innovations to improve accessibility and continuity, such as implementing a centralized waiting list for patients without primary healthcare providers, and advanced access models.
Professor Breton's scientific output consists of more than 60 peer reviewed articles published in the last five years.
Professor Breton has completed basic training as an occupational therapist, and holds an M.B.A. from Université Laval. She earned her Doctorate in Health Service Management from University of Montréal in 2009 and completed a post-doctoral appointment at Université de Sherbrooke/McGill University.
GPHIN is an early-warning and situational awareness system for potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear public health threats worldwide. This includes monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks.
GPHIN was established in 1997. Since that time, a significant number of non-governmental entities now conduct open source surveillance and alerting along with governmental systems. This global shift to both private and public sector public health surveillance has impacted the role that GPHIN plays in Canada and on the world stage.
GPHIN shares a variety of information products with users about public health issues.
- Canadian users receive timely information about public health issues through the GPHIN Daily Report, which includes curated collections of links and articles of interest.
- GHPIN Alerts are links to articles of interest that may merit further attention, and are shared with domestic and international users.
- A range of domestic and international public health partners have access to the GPHIN database.
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