Bridging the Gaps: A Vision for Public Health Surveillance in Canada

Introduction

This first in a new series, this seminar provides participants with an overview of public health surveillance, including foundational concepts, current gaps, and key opportunities to strengthen public health surveillance systems and the workforce behind them. It introduces a project to establish a vision for the future of public health surveillance in Canada, including how public health stakeholders from coast to coast to coast can contribute to developing this vision.

Hosted by

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) – Corporate Data and Surveillance Branch (CDSB) and The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID)

Date and time: Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | 1:00pm to 2:00pm ET / 12:00pm to 1:00pm CT

Language: The seminar will be in English.

Synopsis

Public health surveillance is the essential function of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting health-related data to identify and respond to public health threats, to track the health status of populations and the determinants of health, and to provide evidence for policies and programs. In Canada, public health surveillance is a shared responsibility across local, regional, provincial/territorial, and federal partners. However, gaps in surveillance infrastructure, expertise, and governance, have hindered coordinated responses to emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There is a need to increase public health surveillance capacity and awareness of novel surveillance approaches to address existing gaps and to prepare for the future. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed long-standing challenges in the Canadian public health surveillance ecosystem, such as data sharing timeliness, integration, and quality, as well as workforce capacity and data infrastructure. A vision for high-functioning public health surveillance in Canada will help guide evidence-informed decision-making and align public health stakeholders across the country in their efforts to improve public health surveillance. 

Resources

Learning Objectives

By the end of this seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the foundations of public health surveillance, including their importance in addressing public health threats and promoting population health and well-being.
  • Describe current gaps and future opportunities for public health surveillance in Canada.
  • Discuss how they can contribute to the development of a vision for public health surveillance in Canada.
Moderators
  • Louis Wong, Acting Manager, Corporate Data and Surveillance Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Luisa Arroyave, Post-doctoral Fellow, National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases.
Opening remarks
  • Dr. Steven Hoffman, Vice-President, Corporate Data and Surveillance Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada.

Speakers

  • Dr. David Buckeridge, Executive Scientific Director, Corporate Data and Surveillance Branch, Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Dr. Yoav Keynan, Scientific Lead, National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases
Accreditation statement

Surveillance Advances is a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Surveillance Advances is also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors.