ARCHIVED - The Public Health Agency of Canada – Strategic Plan: 2007 – 2012, Information, Knowledge, Action
Message from the Chief Public Health Officer
It has been almost three years since the Public Health Agency of Canada was created as a separate agency within the federal Health Portfolio. Since that time, our Agency has steadily evolved as we build on our achievements and deliver on the Government of Canada’s commitment to help protect and promote the health and safety of all Canadians.
Throughout this process, we have become an increasingly effective agent for positive change, in Canada and around the world. We protect and inform the public, and we prepare for and respond to anything that threatens its health. Much more than that, we actively promote health and work with our partners to improve and strengthen the very social foundations that underpin not just our health as individuals, but the health of our society.
Of course, we have much work to do. Preventable chronic diseases and injuries continue to take a significant toll on all populations. We’re seeing increasing threats to our environment, with commensurate impacts on our health. Infectious diseases will continue to break out, and as we’ve learned, we are not immune. Perhaps the greatest of all our challenges, persistent health disparities must be reduced and eventually eliminated.
I believe we all understand and appreciate the importance of our many roles.
In December of 2006, the Public Health Agency of Canada Act came into force, giving the Agency the statutory footing required to allow it to continue fulfilling these important roles, building on its achievements and assisting the Minister of Health to deliver on his public health responsibilities.
We are now taking the next step in the ongoing development of the Public Health Agency of Canada. We have been exceedingly effective in responding to short-term requirements and in acting quickly when the need has arisen. To be as effective as possible, however, we need to balance the short term with the long.
Therefore, I am very pleased and proud to present the Public Health Agency of Canada’s first Strategic Plan. It will be our guide for the next five years as it sets priorities for our work, aligns our resources behind those priorities, and helps us coordinate our internal planning and management. At the same time, it will assist us in communicating our vision to our partners, stakeholders and to a public that will increasingly look to us for guidance and protection.
The Strategic Plan is designed around the core theme of delivering on policy and programming priorities. Specifically, we will focus on meeting major public health challenges such as obesity, mental health, HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. As we address the underlying determinants of health, we will be pursuing public health advancements in Canada and around the globe that leave no one behind. Immediate priorities in this area include, among other areas, increased attention to Aboriginal public health, seniors and healthy aging, and the linkages between our health and our environment.
Delivering on these policies means a continued effort to strengthen the capacity of the public health community in general, as well as building the Public Health Agency’s own internal capacity. The Strategic Plan recognizes that to do so, and to continue to anticipate and respond to the health needs of Canadians, the Agency must be supported by the best available science and research, and by a staff that has the resources and culture it needs to be effective.
Further, this plan hinges on the Agency’s ability to develop more effective linkages between its information and knowledge development functions and its actions. Science is at the core of what the Agency does. As such, it is imperative that the information and knowledge we acquire is translated for effective use not only in the public health community at large, but by the Agency itself. The knowledge we generate and information we collect must, in turn, be guided by the needs of our actions and policies.
This plan has been developed internally through an inclusive and representative process that makes it truly reflective of the values and character of our Agency. As we move forward together, we will strive to foster and nurture our own unique Agency culture based on respect, results, performance, and accountability to the Minister, the Government, and to the whole of the Canadian public. I fully believe this Strategic Plan will help us become even better at what we do best, and will give each and every one of us a clearer sense of focus and purpose. We should all be very proud of what we’ve achieved together over these last few years, and we should be excited about where we’re going and what we’ve yet to achieve.
Dr. David Butler-Jones
Chief Public Health Officer
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