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Monday, 4 June 2012

CPHA – Time to support our organization.

With the CPHA meeting just a week away, a reminder to all Canadian public health workers of the need to support the organization.   At a 102 years of age, its longevity exceeds most of the other health organizations in the country.  CPHA is feeling the pressure of both federal cuts and a long standing dependency on coordination of international projects which began to be eroded over a decade ago, and as with many organizations was slow to respond to the impending fiscal reality.  It is however still the preeminent public health organization in the country and all public health workers should consider actively being involved.  To this should be added the benefits to align the professional specific organizations under the umbrella – the Public Health Physicians of Canada have attempted to do this for the past 4-5 years with some success, it is time for groups like CIPHI (Public health inspectors) and CHNAC (public health nurses) to lay down professional jealousies and come together in defence of the organization from which they were originally conceived. 

For our international colleagues, while this post relates to a short term domestic issue, CPHA has been a major driver behind the World Federation of Public Health Associations whose current president Jim Chauvin is a long standing director of policy with the CPHA head office. He is not the first Canadian to chair this relatively young group either.   WFPHA home page 

Some of the great work that Canadian public health workers depend upon that requires our support, more of which can be found just by suffering the CPHA website at CPHA home page

Canadian Coalition for Public Health in the 21st Century – a network of 35 health organizations that stand together in advocating for health in Canada.  The organization has been in place for 9 years

Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness and Promotion – headed from the CPHA offices, this is the group that keeps promoting immunization awareness and providing the great resources that most public health workers depend on daily.

CPHA used to house the Canadian Aids/HIV clearinghouse until funding was eliminated a couple of years back – it still maintains a portal to many on-line resources.

Canadian Journal of Public Health – a foundational document that remains one of the few resources for public health professionals focused predominately on Canadian public health practice.

Annual conference – an enjoyable location where academics, policy makers, senior officials, front line staff can come together as equals and discuss the issues of public health in Canada.

And many more, including numerous portals, services, sales and advocacy activities.  

CEO Deb Lynkowski has done a marvellous job over the past few years in opening transparency of the organization and attempting to bring an approach to fiscal sustainability in a resource compromised environment.  The retirement of assistant CEO Janet McLaren who quietly in the background made things happen within the organization was a significant loss but with well wishes for her retirement.  Other key office staff who have weathered the years and remain dedicated to the mission of CPHA include the directors Greg Penny (knowledge), Ian Culbert (communications) and Karen Craven (CJPH assistant editor). These are the unsung heroes of the Canadian public health system.

If you are a member – thank you.  If not, it is not a huge financial commitment but one that reaps benefits for all Canadian public health workers and through them, to all Canadians.  Not in Canada – support your national public health association, it is the backbone for public health work globally. 

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