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Geese in water

June 26 2019

Partner Profile

Every month, we'll be highlighting one of our PHESC partners. This month, we're pleased to introduce Candace Aqui from the Ontario Public Health Association.

Where do you live? I currently live in Guelph, Ontario, but I’m originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Where do you work? I work for the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) as a Policy and Program Consultant. OPHA is a member-based, non-partisan and non-profit charitable organization committed to promoting public health and wellbeing. OPHA provides evidence-informed public health expertise on a diverse range of provincial and federal policy initiatives. Specifically, I’m part of the program hosted by OPHA that focuses on building capacity in the area of nutrition and food literacy for health professionals and service providers. As a registered dietitian, I’m very fortunate to be able to work for an organization that supports food literacy as one of the pillars of health promotion, while maintaining a strong focus in other related topics areas such as health equity, reproductive health, alcohol and cannabis policy, the built environment, chronic disease prevention and climate change. OPHA is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, which I think is a true testament to its success in connecting health promotion professionals across disciplines and sectors, and the importance of having a place to advocate for issues and influence health public policy. 

What are some current projects that you’re working on? I’m currently working on developing and producing podcasts on various topics such as researchers’ reactions to the new Canada’s Food Guide, lessons learned about legalization of cannabis edibles in Colorado, and nutrition and mental health. I’m also working on developing resources and training tools to increase knowledge and application skills in childhood nutrition using a health equity lens.

What are you most excited for as a PHESC partner? I’m excited about the relationships that have been formed through the PHESC partnership. As I’ve witnessed at OPHA, there is strength in a unified voice, and I look forward to continuing to work together in partnership to share knowledge and advocate for the importance of skill-building in the health sector.

What long-term impact do you hope PHESC will have on the public health workforce in Ontario? PHESC is an opportunity to reimagine the delivery of training. I sincerely hope that as partners, we can continue to create innovation in training offerings, and help those working in public health adjust and adapt to change, whether it’s about the people they serve or the policies that govern their work.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? This is a good question, but a tricky one. I wish I could I have the power to leap and bound over long distances and tall objects. I like to travel, but not a huge fan of flying for environmental reasons, so I think this would be a great way to travel and reduce my carbon footprint. And of course, I’d like to have the power to take a few people with me.

Clouds in downtown Guelph
This photo shows a strikingly unusual but picturesque cloud formation over downtown Guelph and was taken by Candace in May 2019.


Thank You to our Pilot Testers!

We had an overwhelming response to our request last week for pilot testers. Thank you! We'll be in touch over the course of the summer.

Free Mini-course from the Center for Implementation

Change is hard. Learning about implementation science can help.

Understanding and applying implementation science to your own work can be both rewarding and daunting. Most people want easy-to-follow guidance on how to use the best practices from implementation science to inform their own projects and work.

Our mission at The Center for Implementation is to accelerate the application of implementation science to improve outcomes. For a limited time, we are offering our first ever online mini-course for free: Inspiring Change: Creating impact with evidence-based implementation. This mini-course will empower and enable you to:

  • Gain an overview of evidence-based implementation so you can plan your change initiative more proactively
  • Discover how process models, theories, and frameworks can be the backbone of your change plan
  • Be inspired to use behavior change theory
  • Be more purposeful with your time, by addressing high-priority areas and anticipating resistance to change
  • Learn simple tricks and tips that can set you up for success

Sign up (it’s free) – you can launch into the modules right away!

P.S. Pass this along to colleagues and friends who would benefit from knowing about how to apply the science of implementation so that they can create change.

Art of Public Dialogue: Hosting Conversations about Race and Identity

(This external opportunity is more expensive than we would typically include, but some readers may be interested.)

Are you interested in bridge-building and developing key skills needed to support conversations about race, identity, and justice?

Now is the time for bridge-builders to step into the breach, to help nurture understanding and mend inter-group relationships. The Art of Public Dialogue (AoPD Part 1) is an incredible professional learning opportunity that utilizes a road-tested public conversation format called Open Forum, developed by psychologists and conflict transformation experts at the Process Work Institute (PWI). Open Forums have been utilized with success in global hot spots with very hopeful results that range from averting violence, to deepening community belonging, to changing legislation. This methodology will be integrated with the ground-breaking Deep Diversity® framework which tackles racial justice in a manner that is scientific, practical, and compassionate. Hosting practices from the Living Wholeness Institute will also be woven into this unique offering.

Over a 10-month period starting in September 2019, Modules 1-3 (x three days each) of the AoPD Part 1 will help you develop the basic knowledge and skills needed in hosting dialogues about race and identity, as well as the techniques and practices that can be used in organizations or community settings. These include developing awareness at multiple scales: working with yourself, with interpersonal relationships, and in larger groups. Part of this incredible professional development opportunity will include participants working together to design and host a live public dialogue in Toronto for the final module, with coaching and support in real-time.

More information and registration