Updates from Ottawa Public Health - May 9, 2023

Emergency Preparedness Week - May 7-13, 2023

Emergency Preparedness Week has been a national event for over 25 years and aims to promote awareness about the importance of knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency. We know that emergencies can happen anytime, anywhere and can affect everyone. We also know some people are impacted more than others, particularly those living in densely populated areas and those with less access to resources.

This year OPH’s activities will highlight the importance of social capital - staying connected and leveraging networks and relationships among people within our community. When people have fewer material resources, they are less likely to be prepared for emergencies, which is where social capital fits in. When people in communities are already connected, it is easier to ask for or offer help. OPH is working to leverage and promote social capital as an emergency management strategy in priority neighborhoods, focusing on seniors living alone and the people who care for them.

As members of this community, we all have a role to play in an emergency. This week is an opportunity for us to take action to ensure we are prepared to make sure that we, along with our families and friends, and our communities are safe during an emergency. This year, the national theme is “
Be prepared. Know your risks” which is intended to encourage residents to understand the risks where they live and learn about what actions they can take.

So, what can we do to be prepared and know our risks? Get to know our neighbors! A connected community is a resilient community. We can reduce health inequities by fostering connections within our communities and sharing information about how neighbors can help neighbors before, during, and after emergencies and where to go if they need further support.

Learn your risks by visiting the City of Ottawa’s Emergency Preparedness webpage: 
Before an emergency | City of Ottawa.


National Nursing Week - May 8-14, 2023

This year, Nursing Week runs from May 8-14 and represents a time to recognize the significant contributions of nurses throughout the lifespan and, notably, for their commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic, while responding to concurrent emergencies and maintaining core services.

OPH’s understanding of racism deepened during the pandemic, particularly systemic racism as the root cause of health inequities observed in Indigenous, Black and racialized communities. We would be remiss not to mention the impacts of systemic racism (anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian, antisemitism, and anti-Muslim) on the daily lives of Indigenous, Black, and racialized nurses and the leadership nurses are providing to transform systems.

As public health practice evolves to achieve a healthy, inclusive, and sustainable future, the role of nurses at OPH continues to adapt and expand to support our population’s current needs. The pandemic put a spotlight on the commitment of nurses to their work and the important role they play in the community. By working together with our citizens and using a health equity lens, nurses strive to embed prevention across the health system to maximize impact and create a healthy future for all.  

This year’s theme is “Our Nurses, Our Future”, highlighting the vital role nurses play in shaping decisions that impact care at local, provincial, and national levels. Public health is forward-thinking. The work nursed do now spans from the bedside to the boardroom, impacting the way we lead our lives every day to promote health now, so that our city remains safe, healthy, and thriving well into the future.As we celebrate nursing week this year, let’s acknowledge the diverse role that nurses play to improve the current and future health and wellbeing of all.

Thank a nurse!

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