Case Example

Collaborative leaders are catalysts …They bring the right people together at the right time to make things happen, and continue to sustain the process that will lead the collaborative to success.”
Without Leadership … this would not happen.

Exemplar: Preamble to the Ontario Public Health Standards 2008

“Working Together to Build a Stronger Public Health System. 2007 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to the Ontario Legislature Assembly”
David C. Williams, MD, MHSc, FRCPC,  Chief Medical Officer of Health Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, Health Protection

The report begins with the statement “Public Health is everybody’s business.” See http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/common/ministry/publications/reports/cmoh07_report/cmoh07_report.pdf

Explaining the follow-up to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, the advances made in the area of Infection Control with the creation of the provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee (PIDAC). This committee led the mobilization of individual with expertise to work closely with the health care field to set standards and guidelines for infection control. One professional explained it this way, “This initiative is significant yet more work in collaboration is necessary.”

This report addresses the importance of the long-standing issue of vacancies in leadership positions within public health, particularly at the local public health unit level. The importance of this matter is acknowledged in this report. Addressing this challenge, an eminent public health leader, Dr. Chandrakant Shah, Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, explained the importance of collaborative leadership with the following:

Not enough has been done to look at population health as a central part of public health…Public health is more than health protection…Public health and health promotion [are] like the left and right eye. They must work together and they must focus together.

To take a population health approach would require that public health work more closely with primary care. If you want to promote a healthy population then you have to be at the table with primary care physician(s).”

Excerpt: Working Together to Build a Stronger Public Health System 2007 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to the Ontario Legislature Assembly p. 27

Leadership at the systems level supports the critical point that, if public health is to achieve its goals relative to population health, it must include significant collaboration with primary care.